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EPA Again Questions Keystone XL Pipeline

EPA Again Questions Keystone XL Pipeline

By Carrie Murphy. CREATED Apr 23, 2013

Washington D.C. - For the second time, the Environmental Protection Agency is raising concerns about the Keystone XL pipeline.  

In a letter to the U.S. State Department, the E-P-A warns the environmental impact of the pipeline has not been studied enough.  The agency wants a more thorough look at oil spill risks, greenhouse gas emissions and alternate pipeline routes.

Since the pipeline route crosses the U.S.-Canadian border, the State Department will make a recommendation on the pipeline before President Obama makes the final decision.  The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and Governor Dave Heineman have recommended approval for the project.

A pro-pipeline organization has submitted a petition asking the State Department to approve the pipeline route. More than 33,000 people signed the petition for Nebraskans for Jobs & Energy Independence.  "Stronger energy security and lower gas prices are only a few of the positives that come with the newly routed Keystone XL pipeline," said spokesman Barry Rubin.

Pipeline opponents have also sent final comments to the State Department and a letter to President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.  It calls on the State Department to study the potential and risks of a spill, the economic impact to Nebraska farmers and ranchers and pipeline safety.  

Opponents say the pipeline route, which was redrawn by TransCanada, still crosses more than 70 miles of the Nebraska Sandhills and the Ogallala Aquifer.

Last week, hundreds of people spoke at the final State Department hearing in Grand Island. President Obama is expected to make the final decision this summer.