Approval of TransCanada Corp.s proposed Keystone XL
pipeline would significantly increase greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions as it would spur the development of Canadas oil
sands, according to the National Resources Defense Council
"Keystone XL, by
increasing transport capacity, would enable increased tar sands
production and thus trigger all the attendant increases in GHG
emissions," the council said in a report.
President Obama said
recently that the pipelines expected impact on GHG
emissions is critical to its approval (
amm.com, June 26).
Rail transport of
Alberta crude presents serious cost hurdles for producers,
contrary to the State Departments findings that rail
would be used in lieu of the pipeline, according to the
costs associated with rail will undermine the economic
feasibility of many new tar sands production projects and will
reduce investment in tar sands expansion," the NRDC wrote.
Safety concerns also
surround crude-by-rail transport following the recent disaster
in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, which killed 50
amm.com, July 13), the report pointed out.
pipelines to Canadas West Coast face significant
regulatory hurdles and even if approved do not represent
sufficient capacity for producers, according to the NRDC.
In response to the
study, a TransCanada spokesman said in an e-mailed statement
that "the latest paper by the NRDC and its allies does not add
any new information to the discussion around Keystone XL. Two
dozen government agencies and experts have already completed
four environmental reviews ... that have repeatedly stated that
this pipeline will have little or no impact on the
environmental resources along the entire route."