(adds comments from State Dept official, state meetings)
WASHINGTON, July 22 The U.S. State Department
said Friday it expects to issue a final environmental
assessment next month on TransCanada Corp's (TRP.TO) proposed
$7 billion pipeline that would deliver crude from Canada's oil
sands to refineries to Texas.
The pipeline has been opposed by many lawmakers and
environmentalists for greenhouse gas emissions associated with
oil sands production and because the line would run across one
of the world's largest aquifers.
Federal agencies would have 90 days to comment on the
department's final environmental assessment after it's issued
The State Department said it still expects to make a final
decision on approval of the line by the end of the year.
The department is currently writing the pipeline's final
environmental impact statement, which will total more than
1,000 pages, said Daniel Clune, the State Department's
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Oceans
and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.
The department will consider energy security issues,
including the impact of the disruption in Libyan oil exports,
when deciding whether to issue a permit, Clune said.
The department is planning to hold a series of meetings in
September in the capitals of the states where the pipeline
would cross, which are Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska,
Oklahoma and Texas.
(Reporting by Timothy Gardner, additional reporting by Tom
Doggett; Editing by Alden Bentley)