Legal Issues Associated with the Proposed Keystone XL Pipeline [December 16, 2011]   [open pdf - 302KB]

From the Document: "In 2008, TransCanada Corp. applied for a Presidential Permit from the State Department to construct and operate an oil pipeline across the U.S.-Canada border in a project known as Keystone XL. The Keystone XL pipeline would transport oil produced from oil sands in Alberta, Canada, to Gulf Coast refineries. Environmental organizations and federal and state legislators are scrutinizing the State Department's review of the Keystone XL project. Environmentalists question the adequacy of the review under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the routing of the pipeline near key aquifers, and the emissions caused by the oil production. Additionally, as states have begun to contemplate taking action with respect to the pipeline siting, some have questioned whether state siting of a pipeline is preempted by federal law. Others argue that states dictating the route of the pipeline violates the dormant Commerce Clause of the Constitution prohibiting one state from acting to protect its own interests to the detriment of other states. This report reviews those legal issues, finding generally that state oversight of pipeline siting decisions does not appear to violate federal law or the Constitution."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R42124
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