Keystone SEIS Released

The Department of State released January 31 the final supplemental environmental impact statement for the Keystone XL pipeline. The study's findings are similar to the March draft, namely that the project would not significantly increase greenhouse gas emissions. The statement's release signals the completion of TransCanada’s application for Keystone XL and the beginning of the State Department’s national interest determination. That 90-day period allows eight federal agencies — the Environmental Protection Agency and the departments of Defense, Justice, Interior, Commerce, Transportation, Energy and Homeland Security — to offer their views. The State Department said last year that it would allow a public comment period — likely an additional 30 days —on the national interest question as well. Once that period expires, the full package moves to Secretary of State John Kerry’s desk, where he can request any additional information he thinks is necessary. When Secretary Kerry makes a decision, he must first notify the federal agencies that weighed in on the national interest determination of his decision. Those agencies then have 15 days to state any disagreements and request that the application go to President Obama for a final judgment.