The controversial Keystone XL Friday got a step closer to getting approval by the Obama administration. In a draft environment impact statement, the U.S. state department said that the Keystone pipeline project would not be an alarming threat to the global environment.
The state department said the project would not accelerate the global greenhouse gas emissions.
"The approval or denial of any one crude oil transport project, including this proposed project, really remains unlikely to significantly impact the rate of development of the oil sands or the continued demand for heavy crude oil in the U.S.," ABC news quoted Kerri-Ann Jones, Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, as saying.
The U.S. state department statement came amid debates and protests against the Keystone XL, a pipeline project which would carry crude oils from the tar-sands of Alberta, Canada, to Galveston Texas, for shipment to Latin America and Europe.
Albert Premier Alison Redford who recently made a visit to Washington, lobbying the U.S. leaders applauded the draft environment statement.
"We respect the U.S. decision-making process and fully expect the president's final decision will be extremely well thought out and based on science and fact. I believe today's report is another step in that direction," the Canadian news paper Star quoted the Alberta chief, as saying.
Back in Canada, the Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver issued a statement welcoming the U.S. state department's environment draft report.
"Canada and the United States are more than neighbours. Our two nations' shared commitment to democracy, free markets and rule of law underpin why Canada and the United States have the world's most successful relationship," said Joe Oliver in the statement.
"Today, the US State Department released the draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Keystone XL project. We have received the Statement and we are reviewing it. The United States has a process for reviewing the project and we respect their process," added the Canadian Resource minister.
"The Keystone XL pipeline will create tens of thousands of jobs on both sides of the border. Canada has aligned its goals on greenhouse gas emissions with the United States,
President Barrack Obama is set to make a final decision by July.
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