CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Aug. 9 (UPI) —
The proposed Keystone XL pipeline would not have an impact on greenhouse gas emissions, a study indicates.
The study by energy consultancy IHS CERA says it agrees with the conclusions of the U.S. State Department’s draft environmental review of Keystone released in March that says oil sands production is expected to continue at similar levels regardless of whether the project goes ahead.
Keystone XL, which would move oil from the oil sands of Alberta, Canada, to refineries along the U.S. Gulf Coast, is now under federal review at the State Department. The project needs a cross-border permit to complete the project’s northern leg.
The department said in its draft review Keystone XL wouldn’t substantially increase greenhouse gas emissions.
President Barack Obama in his June 25 climate address said the project would win approval only if it does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.
Environmentalists maintain Keystone XL would add to greenhouse gas emissions.
In the absence of the pipeline, IHS CERA’s study says, U.S. Gulf Coast refiners would replace expected deliveries of diluted bitumen from Alberta with heavy oil from Venezuela, which has roughly the same emissions intensity as the Canadian crude.
The study says in the absence of the Keystone XL, Canadian oil sands will still find a way to market, either through pipelines traveling exclusively through Canada and not requiring U.S. government approval, or through the increasing use of railcars to ship the heavy oil.