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State Department: No Major Environmental Impact From Keystone Pipeline

  • VOA News

Demonstrators march with a replica of a pipeline during a protest to demand a stop to the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline outside the White House, in Washington, Nov. 6, 2011.
A U.S. State Department study says a new proposed route for the Canada-to-Texas Keystone oil pipeline would have no significant impact on the environment, but did not recommend whether it should be built.

The 2,000 page report Friday on a new route for the pipeline said if TransCanada, the company that will build the pipeline, follows all regulations, there would be no major additional risks to the environment.

The State Department says it will hold off making a recommendation on whether the project should go forward until after a 45-day public comment period.

The Obama administration rejected an earlier proposed route for the pipeline because it would have gone through the environmentally-sensitive Sand Hills region of Nebraska.

The proposed 2,700-kilometer-long pipeline would carry more than 800,000 barrels extracted from the "oil sands" of Alberta, Canada, to the Texas Gulf Coast.

Environmentalists want to stop the project, saying the process of extracting the Canadian oil is much dirtier than regular crude.

The Natural Resources Defense Council said the State Department report had numerous flaws. It says the report avoids the significant implications the project would have on the environment.

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