Keystone XL Project Executive Summary—Draft Supplemental EIS
The proposed Keystone XL Pipeline is a new875-mile pipeline infrastructure project that wouldallow delivery of up to 830,000 barrels per day (bpd)of crude oil from Alberta, Canada, and the BakkenShale Formation in the United States to Steele City,Nebraska for onward delivery to Cushing, Oklahoma,and refineries in the Gulf Coast area
The Gulf Coast area refers to the region from Houston, Texas, to Lake Charles, Louisiana.
. TransCanadaKeystone Pipeline, LP (Keystone) has applied for aPresidential Permit which, if granted, wouldauthorize the proposed pipeline to cross the UnitedStates-Canadian border.For proposed petroleum pipelines that crossinternational borders of the United States, thePresident, through Executive Order 13337, directs theSecretary of State to decide whether a project is inthe “national interest” before granting a PresidentialPermit. The national interest determination by theU.S. Department of State (the Department) involvesconsideration of many factors, including energysecurity; environmental, cultural, and economicimpacts; foreign policy; and compliance withrelevant federal regulations. Before making such adecision, the Department also asks for the views of the Departments of Energy, Defense, Transportation,Homeland Security, Justice, Interior, and Commerce,and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Previously, Keystone submitted an application for thesame border crossing, but with a pipeline route in theUnited States that differed from the route that iscurrently proposed. The biggest difference in theprevious route compared to the current one is that itwent through the Sand Hills Region of Nebraska asidentified by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (NDEQ). A separateEnvironmental Impact Statement was issued inAugust 2011 for that route. In November 2011, theDepartment determined that additional informationwas needed to fully evaluate the application, inparticular, additional information about alternativeroutes within Nebraska that would avoid the SandHills Region. In late December 2011, Congressadopted a provision of the Temporary Payroll TaxCut Continuation Act that sought to require thePresident to make a decision on the PresidentialPermit for that route within 60 days. That deadlinedid not allow sufficient time to prepare a thorough,rigorous, and transparent review of an alternativeroute through Nebraska. As such, the PresidentialPermit was denied.In February 2012, Keystone informed the Departmentthat it considered the Gulf Coast portion of theprevious pipeline project (from Cushing, Oklahoma,to the Gulf Coast area) to have independent economicutility and indicated it intended to proceed withconstruction of that pipeline as a separate project, theGulf Coast Project. The Gulf Coast Project does notrequire a Presidential Permit because it does not crossan international border. Construction on the Gulf Coast Project is underway.On May 4, 2012, Keystone filed a Presidential Permitapplication for a new Keystone XL Project. Theproposed Project has a new route and a new statedpurpose. The route in Montana and South Dakotawould be largely unchanged from the route analyzedin August 2011. However, the newly proposed routenot only avoids the NDEQ-identified Sand HillsRegion but also terminates at Steele City, Nebraska,and thus is approximately half the length of thepreviously proposed project analyzed in 2011. Inother words, the newly proposed Project is 509 milesshorter than the previously proposed project analyzedin 2011.
About the Draft Supplemental Environmental ImpactStatement
The Department has issued this draft SupplementalEnvironmental Impact Statement (draft SupplementalEIS) that builds on the analysis completed in August2011 (the Final Environmental Impact Statement orFinal EIS). The analysis has been revised, expanded,and updated to include a comprehensive review of the new route in Nebraska as well as any significantnew circumstances or information that is nowavailable on the largely unchanged route throughMontana and South Dakota.In completing the draft Supplemental EIS, theDepartment took into consideration the commentscontained in more than 400,000 e-mails, letters, andother communications submitted throughout thescoping process by public citizens, governmentagencies, Tribal governments, and interested non-governmental organizations as well as over onemillion e-mails, letters, and other communicationssubmitted to the Department during its considerationof the previous Keystone XL application.