The State Department's final environmental impact analysis for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline downplays the significance the pipeline would have for development of the Canadian tar sands, according to a new analysis from a United Kingdom-based group. The analysis also argues that the State Department underestimated the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that would come with that development.
The Carbon Tracker Initiative, a nonprofit that focuses on how carbon budgets interact with financial markets, released the new report on Monday, making its case for why Keystone XL is more important in the context of global emissions than the State Department's study indicates.
The State Department released the final environmental impact statement, or FEIS, on Jan. 31. That analysis concluded that approval or denial of any specific project to transport oil, including Keystone XL, "remains unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands, or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the United States."
But Carbon Tracker says this is the "significance trap." The pipeline is only deemed insignificant because the State Department's report failed to fully consider the ways the pipeline would affect production of the tar sands, the group argues.