WASHINGTON, March 1 The U.S. State Department
will release on Friday a long-awaited draft environmental
assessment of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that would
link Canada's oil sands to Texas refineries, several government
The State Department will release the assessment of
TransCanada Corp's pipeline, which will examine a new
route in Nebraska as well as emissions associated with the
pipeline, the sources said.
The department declined an official comment.
Many environmentalists oppose Keystone because the oil sands
are more carbon intensive to produce than average crudes refined
in the United States.
Backers say the project will support thousands of jobs and
that emissions should not be considered because the oil would
find its way to markets in the United States, China or
A final decision on the line is not expected until mid-year.
The draft assessment will be open to public
comment, expected to last 45 days. After the assessment is
finalized, the State Department will decide whether the project
is in the national interest, a process that could also take more
than a month.