What everyone else is saying about the State Department’s Final EIS

Yesterday, OSFC gave the run-down of how anti-Keystone XL activists are scrambling in the wake of the State Department’s final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) which essentially destroys every argument they’ve been making over the past five years.

So what’s everyone else saying about the State Department report?

Well, the wait has been so long, and the State Department report makes it so obvious that Keystone XL is environmentally sound, that even MSNBC’s Ed Schultz – not exactly a shill for oil – is saying it’s time to build:

“Based on safety I think the President should give this project the stamp of approval. Environmental groups obviously think differently. And so do the majority of people on the left. But this newsflash: We’re not getting out of the oil business in America. It runs our economy. Do we have climate change? Yes we do. But the construction of this pipeline does not mean we are going to consume more as a country.”

Today, Democrats and Republicans in the Senate and House were joined by union leaders –such as Sean McGarvey, President of North America’s Building Trades Unions and Jeffrey Soth, Legislative and Political Director of the International Union of Operating Engineers – and national security leaders – such as Rear Admiral Don Loren – to give President Obama a clear message: the State Department FEIS clears the way for Keystone XL approval.

Here’s what key Democrats in the Senate had to say:

Senator Landrieu (D-LA): “This final report from the State Department is encouraging, but the bottom line is – we don’t need any more reports, we need action.”

Senator Heitkamp (D-ND): “This process has dragged on for far too long.  It’s past time for the President to make a decision – the right decision – and approve this project so we encourage and benefit from energy production from a friend and ally, rather than get those resources from volatile countries elsewhere across the world.”

Senator Begich (D-AK): “Last week’s environmental impact statement is further proof that must move ahead with the Keystone XL Pipeline and that is why I have been urging President Obama to approve it now.”

Senator Pryor (D-AR): “We’ve waited years now for the President to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. We have the studies, we have the support of the states along the route, and we have the backing of a bipartisan coalition in Congress.  Mr. President, let’s build the Keystone XL Pipeline.”

Unions also weighed in on the FEIS telling President Obama to stop delaying good-paying union jobs.  As Terry O’Sullivan, President of the Laborers’ International Union of North America said,

“The final environmental analysis of the impact of the Keystone XL pipeline underscores what experts have said for five years: there is no environmental justification to block the construction or operation of the pipeline.  Following the upcoming public comment period, there are no reasons for further delay. It is time to unlock the good jobs the pipeline will create, which are a lifeline to thousands of working men and women. And it is time to harness the energy that a trusted neighbor can provide and lessen our dependence on oil from unfriendly and often tyrannical regimes.”

What News Outlets are saying about the FEIS

National Journal: The Strange Logic of Keystone XL: “In America’s court system, you’re innocent until proven guilty. Following that logic, President Obama should approve the Keystone XL pipeline until or unless he can give a new reason not to. Here’s why: The final environmental review the State Department released Friday says that the pipeline probably won’t exacerbate global warming (because it’s unlikely to have a big impact on the development of Canada’s oil sands). That’s the test Obama imposed on the project in his June 2013 speech, and Keystone passed it. Obama administration officials and environmentalists spent the waning hours of Friday and the whole weekend insisting that this report isn’t a definitive signal of how the president will decide. Nonetheless, the burden of proof now lies within the administration to come up with another reason to deny the pipeline.”

Detroit News Editorial: Let the oil start flowing:  “The State Department has given President Barack Obama cover to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline, despite stubborn objections from environmentalists. He should use it.  The president asked the department to assess the carbon impact of allowing Keystone to be built. The answer: None. And, in fact, the study concludes that constructing the pipeline is the most environmentally friendly way to carry heavy crude from Alberta oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries.”

Associated Press: Obama Is Running Out Of Reasons To Reject The Keystone Pipeline: “President Barack Obama is running out of reasons to say no to Keystone XL, the proposed oil pipeline that’s long been looming over his environmental legacy. Five years after the pipeline’s backers first asked the Obama administration for approval, the project remains in limbo, stuck in a complex regulatory process that has enabled Obama to put off what will inevitably be a politically explosive decision. But the release Friday of a long-awaited government report removes a major excuse for delay, ramping up pressure on the president to make a call.”

New York Mag: Keystone Pipeline to Be Built Because There’s No Reason Not To: “The State Department today released its long-awaited environmental impact analysis of the Keystone XL pipeline. The analysis is key because President Obama announced last summer he would not approve the pipeline unless it was found to have no significant impact on climate change. And that’s what the analysis finds. It argues, as many other analysts have concluded, that if we block the pipeline, Canada will just ship the oil out by rail. So, what public policy reason is there to block the pipeline? There really isn’t one. Indeed, the environmentalists’ obsession with Keystone began as a gigantic mistake.”

Bloomberg: Approve Keystone. Now: “So the wait on the Keystone XL pipeline is over. Just kidding. However, the State Department did release its final environmental impact report today. And what did it say? That the pipeline will not increase carbon emissions much, which is exactly what previous reports also found. So what’s changed? Well, with this report, President Barack Obama can give the pipeline the go-ahead. In 90 days.”

WSJ: No More Keystone Excuses:Economic reality waits for no man. The only difference is how the oil is transported, and the green protestors should be chaining themselves to White House fences to get Mr. Obama to sign off as soon as possible. The hilarious irony is that the anti-Keystone campaign is creating more carbon emissions. Their political lobbying is harming the planet by their own standards. The State Department constructs an alternative scenario in which the Keystone XL is not built and the oil reaches refineries via rail and tanker. That results in 27.8% more greenhouse gas emissions. If the oil is distributed instead by train to the network of existing pipelines, that’s a 39.7% carbon increase. Transporting by rail directly to the Gulf of Mexico, as some operations are now doing, means a 41.8% increase.”

Politico Pro: Report deflates hopes of Keystone opponents: “The State Department has just released a final environmental study of the Keystone XL oil pipeline that increases the odds it will win approval from the Obama administration, representing a major disappointment to climate activists. Even before the highly anticipated report came out, oil industry supporters were predicting victory, while environmentalists ranged from angry to disappointed. But the report is not the final word on the Alberta-to-Texas project, and opponents still expressed hope that President Barack Obama will rule their way later this year.” 

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