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US DOS plans second Keystone XL project comment period

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Mar. 16 -- The US Department of State will seek additional public comments on the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline project. A 45-day comment period on a draft environmental impact statement for the planned 1,700-mile system will begin in mid-April.

Oil and gas industry groups expressed dismay at the news. “This much-studied and much-needed pipeline would provide a critical link to our largest energy supplier, Canada, and its vast resources of nearby and available crude oil,” American Petroleum Institute Pres. Jack N. Gerard said.

TransCanada Pipelines Ltd. is seeking a cross-border permit from DOS to expand its Keystone pipeline system so it could move crude from Hardisty, Alta., to terminals near Houston and Port Arthur, Tex. Environmental organizations oppose it because the heavy crude would be recovered from Canadian oil sands.

DOS said it has held more than 20 public meetings already along the new pipeline’s route in Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas, as well as in Washington, DC. It said it would seek more comments and hold another public meeting in Washington once it issues a final environmental impact statement, and it expects to make a final decision before yearend.

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