Keystone XL Would Reduce Long-Haul Truck Traffic; Pipeline Supporter Sees Less Emissions

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Byline: Ben Wolfgang, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline contend that, if constructed, it would lead to dramatic increases in greenhouse gas emissions and accelerate climate change.

But a supporter of the $7 billion oil sands project argued Tuesday that approval would help cut harmful emissions and make the transport of American oil much more efficient.

It would mean 300 to 500 [fewer] long-haul truck trips from oil and gas wells to rail stations in western North Dakota, said Lynn Helms, director of mineral resources at the North Dakota Industrial Commission, in testimony before a House committee.

The Keystone pipeline, Mr. Helms said, would not only transport Alberta oil sands through the U.S., but could also carry fuel from the Bakken Shale, a massive deposit under the U.S. upper Great Plains thatAAEs helped spur an American energy renaissance.

Now, much of the Bakken oil is moved by truck, a method which undoubtedly releases harmful greenhouse gases from the vehiclesAAE fossil-fuel engines.

For every year the Keystone is delayed, we emit 1 million kilograms of greenhouse gases per day that would not be emitted if the pipeline were built, Mr. Helms said.

His testimony before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology underscored yet another argument in favor of the project. Proponents remain frustrated that, after years of review, the Obama administration still hasnAAEt made a decision on whether to approve it.

A recent, favorable State Department environmental review, which found that Keystone wouldnAAEt drive up harmful emissions nor increase American dependence on crude oil, seems to indicate that the White House is leaning toward signing off on the pipeline. …