Canadian pipeline company TransCanada aims to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline to facilitate the delivery of so-called oil sands from Alberta province to southern U.S. refineries. A U.S. section of the pipeline is under construction, though Washington's approval is needed for the cross-border leg.
Supporters of the pipeline say it will ensure North American energy independence and provide a source of economic stimulus if constructed. Pipeline opponent Oil Change International said the pipeline would go through, not to, North American markets.
"Keystone XL will clearly enable tar sands oil to reach markets beyond the United States, giving the pipeline a unique role in facilitating tar sands production growth and leading to increased greenhouse gas emissions," the group said in a report published Thursday.
The group points to a State Department review of Keystone XL saying the pipeline would create a market situation where Canadian crude may be more economically viable as an export commodity.
U.S. lawmakers this week sent a letter to the State Department saying its report missed the mark when it downplayed the environmental impacts of oil sands production. President Obama said the pipeline would be weighed against its net environmental footprint.