The Tampa Bay Times conducted a fact check on some statements made by Senator John Thune of South Dakota on Sunday. The fact check covered two main points:
―President Barack Obama’s own administration has done five environmental impact assessments of the Keystone XL pipeline
According to the fact check, the U.S. State Department actually had one report on the pipeline that included several drafts and a major revised version that considered a more environmentally sound route change in the pipeline.
―All of which have said it would have a minimum impact on the environment
While the State Department study found that the pipeline would have minimal impact on the environment, the Environmental Protection Agency worries of a greater impact from the pipeline’s greenhouse gas emissions than the study found.
The new Republican leadership in the Senate plans to have a friendly, open amendment process with Democrats with a goal of passing the pipeline bill. The bill is expected to have enough votes to be filibuster proof, and if not enough to override a presidential veto, enough to force the president to wield his veto pen and take a position on this controversial issue. The claim that gas prices are too low for the new addition to Keystone to have a positive economic impact does not consider that the pipeline will take time to build (and time to get approved) and by then, prices could be up even to record high prices.