State Dept. defends oil pipeline review

WASHINGTON, June 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department is conducting an exhaustive environmental review of the controversial proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, a spokesman said.

A group of 34 U.S. Senate Democrats, in a letter to the State Department, complained many of their questions regarding the proposed oil sands pipeline from Canada remain unanswered.


They want the State Department to look at emissions, the need for additional capacity and the potential for pipeline degradation associated with the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, among other things.

The Keystone XL pipeline would stretch 1,700 miles from the border of Canada through Oklahoma and on to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Critics complain oil sand production is more harmful to the environment.

U.S. lawmakers are pushing Washington to speed up the review process. Mark Toner, a spokesman for the State Department, told reporters during his regular press briefing that a "stringent" review process was under way by State Department officials.

"They're looking at all the various impacts on the environment," he added.

A separate Keystone oil pipeline already in operation was shut down this week because of a small leak in Kansas.


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