The U.S. State Department decided on Friday that work should continue on a $7 billion oil pipeline, which when complete will carry an estimated 700,000 barrels a day from western Canada to the Texas coast.
A thousand-page report from the State Department said there was no signficiant environmental impact during the construction or operation of the 1,700-mile line, which would carry crude oil from the Kearl Oil Sands Project in Alberta through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma. When fully operational, the line could double the capacity of existing pipeline from Canada.
TransCanada maintains that the project would create tens of thousands of jobs. Opponents, including hundreds of protesters outside the White House, said the project would have a devastating impact on the environment.
Controversy over the Kearl Oil Sands project has swirled in Idaho for the past year, primarily surrounding hundreds of mega-loads destined for Alberta that ExxonMobil wants to haul across the Gem State.