Report: Canadian Officials Bullish on Looming Keystone Review Findings

View of the Syncrude oil sands extraction facility near the town of Fort McMurray in Alberta Province, Canada on October 25, 2009. Greenpeace is calling for an end to oil sands mining in the region due to their greenhouse gas emissions and have recently staged sit-ins which briefly halted production at several mines. At an estimated 175 billion barrels, Alberta's oil sands are the second largest oil reserve in the world behind Saudi Arabia, but they were neglected for years, except by local companies, because of high extraction costs. Since 2000, skyrocketing crude oil prices and improved extraction methods have made exploitation more economical, and have lured several multinational oil companies to mine the sands.  
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Ben Geman
Jan. 30, 2014, 1:46 a.m.

Ca­na­dian of­fi­cials like what they’re hear­ing about an up­com­ing State De­part­ment re­port that will provide a cru­cial hint about wheth­er the White House will ap­prove the Key­stone XL pipeline, the Ca­na­dian Press re­ports.

“What we’re hear­ing is that it’s go­ing to be pos­it­ive for the pro­ject—and there­fore pos­it­ive for Canada,” a Ca­na­dian of­fi­cial, speak­ing on con­di­tion of an­onym­ity, told the news out­let.

The State De­part­ment is be­lieved to be put­ting the fin­ish­ing touches on its latest en­vir­on­ment­al ana­lys­is of the pro­posed pipeline, which would bring hun­dreds of thou­sands of bar­rels per day from Al­berta’s oil sands to Gulf Coast re­finer­ies.

A draft re­port last March con­cluded the pipeline would not cause a big in­crease in green­house-gas emis­sions. A fi­nal re­port up­hold­ing that con­clu­sion—which en­vir­on­ment­al­ists are fiercely con­test­ing—would be a sign that the pro­ject faces good odds of White House ap­prov­al.

Ac­cord­ing to the Ca­na­dian Press, Ca­na­dian of­fi­cials in Ot­t­awa and Wash­ing­ton are “be­ing told the re­port could be ready for re­lease with­in days and will bol­ster the case for the con­tro­ver­sial en­ergy pro­ject.”


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