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May
2011
10

Action Alert: DOS Taking Public Comments On Keystone XL Pipeline That Could Create 13,000 Jobs

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United Association Director of Political and Legislative Affairs, Rick Terven, issued a call to action via Facebook concerning the Keystone XL Pipeline that is awaiting approval. The project will put as many as 13,000 people to work including thousands of Building Trades union members.

“The Department of State (DOS) has asked for public comments regarding this project,” Terven writes, “and we need as many people as we can to make these public comments by following the directions in the email below from Robert Jones, Vice President, TransCanada.”

The deadline for the 45 day posting of comments ends June 6th, 2011. Terven has stressed the benefit of sending this call to action to “signatory contractors and their associations who many will benefit from the work opportunities this will create.”

Per Tervern’s note:

Comments must be limited to the subject matter addressed in the SDEIS, such as the following key issues:

o Revised information on proposed Project facilities design, construction and maintenance, regulatory requirements; and potential connected actions.

o Additional information on groundwater, potential spill impacts, alternatives to the proposed Project, and environmental justice considerations.

o Additional information on crude oil composition, potential refinery emissions, and greenhouse gas (GHG) and climate change considerations.

The aforementioned letter, from Keystone Pipelines Vice-President, Robert Jones, is below:

****

Dear Colleague,

The Keystone Gulf Coast Expansion Project (Keystone XL) is in need of your support.

Background

The Presidential Permit application for Keystone XL has been under review by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) for nearly three years. Since the application was filed in 2008, the DOS has held more than 20 public comment meetings along the pipeline route and, in the spring of 2010, determined that expansion of Keystone to the Gulf Coast would have limited impact on the environment. In addition, TransCanada has held more than 90 open houses and public meetings along the route; delivered hundreds of hours of testimony to local, state and federal officials and submitted thousands of pages of project information and studies to government agencies. Committed to the goal of making Keystone XL one of the safest pipelines ever built, our team has worked diligently and thoroughly for several years to ensure that impacts to the environment and neighboring communities along the route will be minimized. We are confident we will achieve our goal.

Status

With Canadian regulatory approval received from the National Energy Board (NEB) in 2010, the Project is ready to commence construction activities as it awaits final approval from U.S. regulators. In March of 2011, the DOS committed to delivering a definitive decision on Keystone XL before the end of the year and recently issued a supplemental draft environmental impact statement (SDEIS).

Regulatory Timeline

* September 19, 2008: Application for Presidential Permit is filed with DOS.
* November 2008: TransCanada submitted Environmental Report on Keystone XL to DOS and Bureau of Land Management.
* January 28, 2009: DOS began public scoping period to solicit input on Keystone XL from interested parties.
* March 16, 2009: Public scoping period ended.
* April 16, 2010: DOS issued draft environmental impact statement (EIS) on the proposed Keystone XL and its potential environmental impacts.
* July 2, 2010: DOS comment period on EIS closed.
* April 15, 2011: DOS issued a SDEIS, based on its assessment of additional information about the project.
* April 22, 2011: A 45-day public comment period on the SDEIS began.
* June 6, 2011: Public comment period will end and final DOS review will begin.
* December 2011: DOS decision on Keystone XL.

Public Comment Process

As noted above, effective April 22, the public will have until June 6 – a period of 45 days – to submit comments on the SDEIS for Keystone XL. The DOS requests that comments be limited to the subject matter addressed in the SDEIS, such as the following key issues:

o Revised information on proposed Project facilities design, construction and maintenance, regulatory requirements; and potential connected actions.

o Additional information on groundwater, potential spill impacts, alternatives to the proposed Project, and environmental justice considerations.

o Additional information on crude oil composition, potential refinery emissions, and greenhouse gas (GHG) and climate change considerations.

You are encouraged to get involved by commenting on the SDEIS in support of Keystone XL. You DO NOT need to be American or living in the United States to comment. The DOS prefers that comments be submitted online via the Keystone XL Project EIS Official Comments Page.

Other methods for submitting comments are:

o By email: keystonexl@cardno.com

o By mail: Keystone XL EIS Project, P.O. Box 96503-98500, Washington, D.C. 20090-6503

o By fax: (206) 269-0098

The SDEIS is available in its entirety at the following webpage and an executive summary is attached for your convenience:

http://www.keystonepipeline-xl.state.gov/clientsite/keystonexl.nsf?Open

For further background on the Keystone Pipeline and oil sands development, please reference the attached electronic information package which contains links to a variety of TransCanada and external documents.

Please forward this message on to everyone in your network. Your continued support of TransCanada’s Keystone Pipeline is important. It will make a difference and it is appreciated.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Robert Jones
Vice-President
Keystone Pipelines

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