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Report Builds Pressure on Obama to Allow Keystone Pipeline

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker John A. Boehner, along with other Republicans and some Democrats, urged President Barack Obama on Friday to greenlight the Keystone XL oil pipeline after a State Department environmental assessment showed the project would have a negligible environmental impact, reports Humberto Sanchez in Roll Call .  

“This report from the Obama administration once again confirms that there is no reason for the White House to continue stalling construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline,”McConnell said in a release. “So, Mr. President, no more stalling — no more excuses. Please pick up that pen you’ve been talking so much about and make this happen. Americans need these jobs.”  

The report concluded that the project is unlikely to significantly affect the rate of extraction in oil sands areas, based on expected oil prices, oil-sands supply costs, transport costs and supply-demand scenarios. Oil sands require more energy to process and result in higher greenhouse gas emissions than conventional oil fields.  

The finding appears to pass the test Obama laid out in June, when he said: “Our national interest will be served only if this project doesn’t significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.” At the White House Friday, spokesman Jay Carney cautioned in advance of the report that it would be followed by a public comment period and was not the end of the process.

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