AG to feds: Assess climate impacts of Keystone XLPosted by Casey Seiler, Capitol bureau chief
(AP)CapCon intern Shivani Gonzalez reports:
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wants the U.S. State Department to hold off on a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline project until there is a full analysis on potential pollution and climate change consequences.
The proposed 875-mile pipeline would run between Alberta and Nebraska, and transport crude oil extracted from the Canadian sand tars. From there, the oil would be sent to the Gulf of Mexico for sale and refining.
The project is awaiting permits and other federal approvals — including a determination of whether it would serve national interest. The federal government has yet to make a decision because of the absence of a complete assessment of the climate change impacts — the same sort of study Schneiderman is seeking.
According to a release, the Attorney General’s office estimates that the pipeline would emit 605 to 3,740 million metric tons of additional climate change pollution over the pipelines anticipated 50-year lifespan. That would be two to 14 times New York’s total climate and emission pollution, and almost equal to the nation’s total pollution emissions for 2011.
Peter Iwanowicz, executive director of Environmental Advocates of New York, said “it is smart to make it hard” to build the pipeline because of the climate change concerns.
Schneiderman believes the State Department’s final environmental impact statement for the Keystone XL — issued Jan. 31 — failed to acknowledge the amount of climate change pollution that would be emitted. The AG’s office called that EIS “arbitrary and capricious” in comments it submitted for the review.
The AG’s office, like those in many states downwind of midwestern air pollution, has taken an active and frequently litigious role in emission issues.
The original report is at Capitol Confidential.