Washington, D.C. – Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith today sent a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy, raising concerns about the integrity of analysis conducted by the agency when it warned that the Keystone XL pipeline could increase U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
“EPA’s letter appears to be an attempt to provide cover for the President’s continuing opposition to the Keystone XL project despite its overwhelming public support and multiple reviews,” Smith wrote. “President Obama has reportedly stated several times since 2013 that he will reject the Keystone XL pipeline if it would ‘significantly exacerbate’ the problem of carbon pollution. Moreover, environmental groups who oppose the pipeline appear to find the EPA’s letter significant because they believe it will likely result in the pipeline being rejected.”
The EPA argued in a short letter sent last Monday that the recent decline in the price of oil is sufficient to call into question the State Department’s comprehensive conclusion that the Keystone XL pipeline will not significantly impact development of the Canadian oil sands nor demand for oil at refineries in the United States. The State Department’s analysis clearly anticipates volatility in oil prices. But EPA chose to ignore this analysis without adequate justification. The Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. described EPA’s letter as including “significant distortion and omission” in a letter to the Secretary of State.
“Given the Committee’s responsibility to ensure the adherence to sound science and objective analysis, greater detail about how the EPA came to these conclusions is warranted,” Smith wrote.
The letter requests all documents and information relating to the letter EPA sent the Department of State on February 2, 2015, regarding the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Keystone XL Project.
The full letter can be found here.