House panel launches probe of DOS’s Keystone XL application process

The US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee began an investigation of the US Department of State’s environmental impact statement for the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline. It requested comments DOS asked other federal departments to provide regarding DOS’s final supplemental EIS for the project in a Feb. 24 letter to Sec. of State John F. Kerry.

The US House Oversight and Government Reform Committee began an investigation of the US Department of State’s environmental impact statement for the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline. It requested comments DOS asked other federal departments to provide regarding DOS’s final supplemental EIS for the project in a Feb. 24 letter to Sec. of State John F. Kerry.

Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Interior Subcommittee Chair Cynthia M. Lummis (R-Wyo.) sent their letter the same day US President Barack Obama vetoed S. 1 because DOS has not completed its review to determine whether approving Keystone XL’s cross-border permit application is in the national interest (OGJ Online, Feb. 25, 2015).

The project’s sponsor, TransCanada Corp., reapplied for the permit on May 4, 2012, after changing the pipeline’s route across Nebraska in response to state legislators, the governor, and landowners’ concerns. It submitted its initial application on Sept. 19, 2008.

In their letter, Chaffetz and Lummis said that after issuing the final SEIS on Jan. 30, DOS sought comments from the US Commerce, Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, and Transportation Secretaries; Attorney General; and Environmental Protection Agency and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator as Executive Order 13337 requires for cross-border energy transmission projects.

With regard to Keystone XL, the agencies’ deadline for submitting comments was Feb. 2, the House members said. They asked DOS to supply the committee with all reports, recommendations, letters, and comments it received from the advising departments and agencies about the final SEIS by Mar. 9.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

More in Government