Although over one million comments have been submitted to the State Department opposing the Keystone tar sands pipeline – because it’s all risk with no reward – most think President Obama will approve it.
Keystone would be nearly twice as wide as the pipeline that ruptured in Arkansas, carrying almost nine times as much tar sands oil every day – 830,000 barrels.
Just as the comment period was closing, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) weighed in, also criticizing the State Department’s analysis by rating it "insufficient."
The State Department needs to look harder at climate impacts and pipeline safety issues.
In concluding that Keystone would not influence tar sands production, the State Department used outdated information, notes EPA.
Opponents to the pipeline are giving it everything they’ve got. 60,000 people are being trained in civil disobedience in advance of the State Department’s "national interest determination report," where they will finally say "yes" or "no" to the pipeline.
That’s expected in September. 1,000 protests are planned after the determination to pressure Obama not to issue the cross-border permit.
The EPA could play a pivotal role if it decides to. The State Department can issue the cross-country permit on its own if no other agency objects, but if the EPA were to object, issuing the final permit would be in Obama’s hands.
EPA also questioned the State Department’s first analysis of Keystone’s potential climate impact because it didn’t fully address potential environmental impacts or whether a quick transition to clean energy would make tar sands imports unnecessary.
Read ClimateProgress’ take on EPA’s comments on the State Department analysis: