Friday, December 06, 2013

Tweet

[IWS] CRS: KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE PROJECT: KEY ISSUES [2 December 2013]

IWS Documented News Service

_______________________________

Institute for Workplace Studies----------------- Professor Samuel B. Bacharach

School of Industrial & Labor Relations-------- Director, Institute for Workplace Studies

Cornell University

16 East 34th Street, 4th floor---------------------- Stuart Basefsky

New York, NY 10016 -------------------------------Director, IWS News Bureau

________________________________________________________________________

 

Congressional Research Service (CRS)

 

Keystone XL Pipeline Project: Key Issues

Paul W. Parfomak, Specialist in Energy and Infrastructure Policy

Robert Pirog, Specialist in Energy Economics

Linda Luther, Analyst in Environmental Policy

Adam Vann, Legislative Attorney

December 2, 2013

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R41668.pdf

[full-text, 43 pages]

 

Summary

TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL Pipeline would transport oil sands crude from Canada and

shale oil produced in North Dakota and Montana to a market hub in Nebraska for further delivery

to Gulf Coast refineries. The pipeline would consist of 875 miles of 36-inch pipe with the

capacity to transport 830,000 barrels per day. Because it would cross the Canadian-U.S. border,

construction of Keystone XL requires a Presidential Permit from the State Department. A decision

to issue or deny a Presidential Permit is based on a determination that a project would serve the

national interest, considering potential impacts on the environment, the economy, energy security,

foreign policy, and other factors. Environmental impacts are evaluated and documented in an

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

 

TransCanada originally applied for a Presidential Permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline in 2008.

The initial proposal included a southern segment from Oklahoma to the Gulf Coast. A key issue

that arose during the permit review was concern over environmental impacts in the Sand Hills

region of Nebraska. This concern led the Nebraska legislature to enact new state pipeline siting

requirements that would alter the pipeline route through Nebraska. In January 2012, the State

Department concluded that it would not have sufficient information to evaluate an altered

pipeline route before a deadline imposed by Congress and denied the permit. The southern

segment of the original Keystone XL proposal, now called the Gulf Coast Project, was

subsequently separated from the original proposal because it did not require a Presidential Permit.

It has been approved by the relevant states and is currently under construction.

 

In May 2012, TransCanada reapplied to the State Department for a Presidential Permit to build

the northern, cross-border segment of Keystone XL. The new permit application initiated a new

NEPA process. The governor of Nebraska approved a new route through the state avoiding the

Sand Hills on January 22, 2013. On March 6, 2013, notice was published in the Federal Register

that the State Department draft EIS for the reconfigured Keystone XL Project was available for

public comment. The department is in the process of addressing these comments as it prepares a

final EIS. When the final EIS is issued, a 90-day public review period for the national interest

determination begins. The department has not stated when it plans to complete this process.

Development of Keystone XL has been controversial. Proponents base their arguments primarily

on increasing the diversity of the U.S. petroleum supply and economic benefits, especially jobs.

Pipeline opposition stems in part from concern regarding the greenhouse gas emissions associated

with the development of Canadian oil sands, continued U.S. dependency on fossil fuels, and the

risk of a potential release of heavy crude.

 

In light of the State Department’s denial of the 2008 permit application, some in Congress seek

other means to support development of the pipeline. The Energy Production and Project Delivery

Act of 2013 (S. 17) would eliminate the Presidential Permit requirement for the reconfigured

Keystone XL Project. The Keystone for a Secure Tomorrow Act (H.R. 334) and a Senate bill to

approve the Keystone XL Project (S. 582) would directly approve Keystone XL under the

authority of Congress to regulate foreign commerce. The Northern Route Approval Act (H.R. 3)

would eliminate the Presidential Permit requirement for Keystone XL, among other provisions.

The Senate passed an amendment to the Fiscal 2014 Senate Budget Resolution (S.Con.Res. 8)

that would provide for the approval and construction of the Keystone XL Project (S.Amdt. 494).

The North American Energy Infrastructure Act (H.R. 3301) would transfer permit authority for

oil pipelines from the State Department to the Department of Commerce and would make other

changes to the pipeline permitting process.

 

Contents

Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 1

Description of the Keystone Pipeline System .................................................................................. 2

The Keystone and Keystone XL Pipelines ................................................................................ 2

Marketlink for Bakken Oil Production ...................................................................................... 4

Presidential Permit Applications ...................................................................................................... 5

Consideration of Environmental Impacts Under NEPA ............................................................ 7

EPA Rating of the Environmental Impact Statement .......................................................... 8

The National Interest Determination ....................................................................................... 11

State Siting and Additional Environmental Requirements ...................................................... 13

Legislative Efforts to Change Permitting Authority ................................................................ 15

Arguments For and Against the Pipeline ....................................................................................... 16

Impact on U.S. Energy Security .............................................................................................. 17

Canadian Oil Imports in the Overall U.S. Supply Context ............................................... 18

Oil Sands, Keystone XL, and the U.S. Oil Market ........................................................... 19

Economic Impact of the Pipeline............................................................................................. 26

Lifecycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions ..................................................................................... 27

Private Land Use and Oil Spill Impacts .................................................................................. 28

Issues with the Original Pipeline Route Across the Sand Hills ............................................... 30

 

Figures

Figure 1. Existing Keystone Pipeline and Proposed Keystone Expansions .................................... 3

Figure 2. The Keystone XL Project and Gulf Coast Pipeline .......................................................... 4

Figure 3. Proposed Enbridge Flanagan South Pipeline Route ....................................................... 23

Figure 4. Keystone XL Project—Pipeline Route in Nebraska ....................................................... 32

 

Tables

Table 1. Milestones in the NEPA process for the Keystone XL Project ........................................ 10

Table 2. Milestones in National Interest Determination Process for the 2008 Keystone XL

Pipeline ....................................................................................................................................... 13

Table 3. U.S. Oil Imports ............................................................................................................... 19

 

Appendixes

Appendix A. Presidential Permitting Authority ............................................................................. 33

Appendix B. Details of the Initial NEPA Review .......................................................................... 35

 

 

________________________________________________________________________

This information is provided to subscribers, friends, faculty, students and alumni of the School of Industrial & Labor Relations (ILR). It is a service of the Institute for Workplace Studies (IWS) in New York City. Stuart Basefsky is responsible for the selection of the contents which is intended to keep researchers, companies, workers, and governments aware of the latest information related to ILR disciplines as it becomes available for the purposes of research, understanding and debate. The content does not reflect the opinions or positions of Cornell University, the School of Industrial & Labor Relations, or that of Mr. Basefsky and should not be construed as such. The service is unique in that it provides the original source documentation, via links, behind the news and research of the day. Use of the information provided is unrestricted. However, it is requested that users acknowledge that the information was found via the IWS Documented News Service.

 




Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?