Alberta is poised to become a major oil and gas producer in the new era of the Keystone XL pipeline.articleA number of major oil companies have already said they are likely to begin construction of the $7.8-billion pipeline to carry oil from the Alberta oilsands to refineries in the Gulf Coast states of Louisiana and Mississippi.
But the project has drawn fierce opposition from environmental groups and even some of its backers, who have said it would pollute the Great Lakes and other water bodies and could contaminate drinking water sources.
The Keystone XL is an expansion of the existing pipeline, which is expected to run from the Gulf of Mexico to Steele City, Texas, a hub for U.S. crude oil production.
Keystone XL also would bring more crude from Canada to the Gulf, where it will be exported to the United States.
The project has received much criticism from environmental activists, including groups including the Center for Biological Diversity, which has said the pipeline would “deplete the Great Lake ecosystem” and “contaminate water sources in the area where the project would be built.”
In a report last year, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said Keystone XL would be “dangerous” and said it “will pose a risk to the Great Plains ecosystem.”
The pipeline has been controversial since its inception in 2015.
In 2016, President Trump ordered a review of the project and signed a memorandum directing the secretary of state to begin expediting environmental reviews.
A federal judge blocked the move on May 5, and the State Department said in a statement that it would “immediately review the decision.”
The company behind Keystone XL, Energy Transfer Partners, has said that the project will provide jobs for thousands of Americans and will create thousands of American jobs, but critics say that’s just not true.
A coalition of environmental groups filed a lawsuit last year in federal court in San Antonio, Texas.
They accused the company of not adequately considering the impacts of the pipeline on the Great Sioux Tribe in South Dakota, where the pipeline will run.
The lawsuit said the company did not do enough to consider the environmental impacts of Keystone XL on the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, which holds sacred sites in the region.
The group’s lead attorney, Ben Nodelman, said in the statement that the pipeline “would threaten sacred sites and water sources for thousands, if not millions, of people.”
Nodelman added that “the oil sands oil pipeline threatens the water supply for millions more people across the Great Basin and will harm their livelihoods, their health, and their ability to protect their communities.”
In response, the company has said it will spend $2.5 billion to improve its environmental assessments and to reduce its reliance on foreign suppliers.
The company said in March that it was adding another 400 jobs and that it had increased its staffing by more than 100.
The Environmental Protection Agency in August issued a report saying the pipeline poses no environmental threat to the environment.
The report noted that the company had improved its analysis of its emissions, and that the oil would be transported at a lower speed than the current pipeline, and would not need to pass through a pipeline-to-ground pipeline that is typically used by U.s. refineries to move crude oil to refiners in the Midwest and elsewhere.