McCaskill urges Hillary to approve the XL pipeline
Sen. Claire McCaskill has urged the State Department to speed up the review process of the revised Keystone XL pipeline route through Nebraska.
In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Missouri Democrat said that State doesn’t need to undertake a review of the entire pipeline route, from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, but just the redrawn portion that sidesteps Nebraska’s ecologically sensitive Sand Hills.
The region sits atop the Ogallala Aquifer, a source of drinking water for several states, though the new route would not avoid all of the water supply.
Supporters claim the project would create jobs, boost state revenues and reduce reliance on oil from the Middle East. Critics cite environmental concerns over the Canadian tar sands oil, which would require considerable energy and water to extract it, as well as producing more greenhouse gases than conventional oil.
The pipeline has to pass muster with the State Department because it crosses an international border. State did not complete its initial review prior to a congressional deadline last February.
“As the State Department reevaluates the environmental impact of the pipeline, it would clearly be most efficient and appropriate to examine only those new issues that are associated with TransCanada’s renewed permit application,” McCaskill said in the letter. “This new section… is the only portion of the pipeline that has not previously received review. The State Department should adopt its previous analysis of the Keystone XL pipeline for the sections that remain unchanged and only conduct a review of the rerouted section of the pipeline.”
McCaskill was one of 10 Senate Democrats this spring who backed a Republican amendment to give Congress, not the White House - which opposed it - the final say over the project. The amendment still failed to win approval.