New report finds no major environmental concerns - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

New report finds no major environmental concerns with transcontinental pipeline

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WASHINGTON (NBC) -

Environmentalists are promising more protests to fight the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

They faced a setback late last week when a 2,000 page State Department report found no environmental reason to stop the project.

Sierra Club Director Michael Brune argues the pipeline undermines U.S. progress promoting clean energy.

"Right at the time starting to reduce green house gas emissions, starting to reduce less oil, this proposal would deepen our dependence on the dirtiest form of oil on the planet," he argues.

The 1,700 mile pipeline would carry tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada across the Great Plains to Gulf Coast refineries.

The route avoids sensitive parts of Nebraska that led President Obama to reject a previous proposal.

Supporters add the pipeline would create billions in revenue, benefiting a fragile U.S. economy.

"It would be good for employment in the U.S. immediately with construction jobs, later with refinery jobs. It would be good for gasoline prices," predicts the Heritage Foundation's David Kreutzer.

The president will have the final say.

On Monday he called combating climate change a top priority.

This week the state department will begin a 45 day public comment period before making a final conclusion about the pipeline.

From there the president can decide whether to approve or reject it, meaning a final decision is still months away.

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