WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department on Thursday issued its long awaited final environmental impact statement on the proposed Keystone pipeline, which would carry crude oil from Canada's tar sands region to refiners in the Gulf of Mexico.
The following are quotes from lawmakers, environmental groups and others on the report and the road ahead for TransCanada Corp's, which was first proposed more than five years ago.
U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER:
"President Obama is out of excuses. The fact that he has let a final decision on the Keystone pipeline project - and the more than 100,000 jobs that come with it - languish for more than five years is economic malpractice."
NEERA TANDEN, CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS:
"This environmental impact study - which ignores the evidence gathered in the past year that indicates the pipeline will increase our level of emissions - is by no means the final word on the Keystone XL pipeline.
"Since we know this pipeline will significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution, I hope that President Obama will hold firm on the commitment he made in his climate speech and reject the pipeline."
U.S. SENATOR JOE MANCHIN, DEMOCRAT OF WEST VIRGINIA:
"I encourage the Secretary of State and the President to take the final step necessary to approve the pipeline's construction because there is no doubt that this is in our nation's best interest."
LARRY SCHWEIGER, CEO, NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION:
"In this report, for the very first time, the State Department acknowledges a scenario in which the Keystone XL tar sands export pipeline dramatically increases carbon pollution. That's a welcome and long overdue change, and it gives President Obama all the evidence he needs to reject Keystone XL."
U.S. SENATOR JERRY MORAN, REPUBLICAN OF KANSAS:
"The release of the final analysis should bring us one step closer to moving this job-creating, domestic energy-producing project forward. Despite the Administration's continued reluctance to approve this necessary project, the overwhelming majority Americans agree that we should proceed immediately."
SENATOR JOHN HOEVEN, REPUBLICAN OF NORTH DAKOTA
"The U.S. State Department's final EIS released today is a step forward in that it poses no reason for President Obama to deny approval of the Keystone XL pipeline project. Although not explicit, this finding is consistent with four previous findings that affirm the need to begin construction without delay. On the other hand, the report is vague and provides no timeline for a final decision, giving the president broad room to postpone a decision further."
REP. HENRY WAXMAN, DEMOCRAT OF CALIFORNIA
"While still flawed, this environmental review recognizes that the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline could have a significant effect on carbon pollution, depending on variables such as oil prices and transportation costs."
SENATOR MARY LANDRIEU, DEMOCRAT OF LOUISIANA:
"This single project will inject billions of dollars into Louisiana and national economies and reduce our dependence on oil from hostile countries. Once again, another study has concluded that the Keystone XL pipeline will have no significant impact on our environment. If we wait any longer to approve this project, we risk losing it for good."
JACK GERARD, PRESIDENT, AMERICAN PETROLEUM INSTITUTE:
"Five years, five federal reviews, dozens of public meetings, over a million comments and one conclusion ─ the Keystone XL pipeline is safe for the environment. This final review puts to rest any credible concerns about the pipeline's potential negative impact on the environment."
ERICH PICA, PRESIDENT, FRIENDS OF THE EARTH:
"The State Department's environmental review of the Keystone XL pipeline is a farce. Since the beginning of the assessment, the oil industry has had a direct pipeline into the agency. Perhaps most frustrating, is the apparent collusion between the State Department, oil industry and the Canadian government."
(Compiled by Ros Krasny)