09 March 2012 17:41 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Politics, not facts, halted progress on the Keystone XL pipeline, the CEO of US-based ExxonMobil’s said on Friday.
“The unfortunate decision to halt progress on the pipeline was a product of political calculations in Washington [DC], negating the work of hundreds of hours of public hearings, thousands of hours of regulatory compliance and tens of thousands of pages of study that confirmed the pipeline would pose no undue risk to citizens or the environment,” said Rex Tillerson, the chief executive of ExxonMobil. “In the end it was also a disservice to the public employees who were charged with overseeing this process and who met their obligations.”
Tillerson made his comments at IHS CERAWeek in Houston.
In January, President Barack Obama rejected a permit for the pipeline ahead of February deadline imposed by Congress. He said the deadline did not allow for enough time to fully weigh project’s impact.
The $7bn (€5.3bn) project would involve building a 36-inch (91 cm) pipeline from Canada across five US states, bringing crude to refineries in the US midwest as well as Texas and providing refined products to another half-dozen states.
“Policymakers at the state, local and federal level have a responsibility to respect the protections and safeguards built in to our nation’s environmental assessment and evaluation processes,” Tillerson said. “In the case of Keystone XL, the Inspector General … recently found the three-year process for evaluating the pipeline’s route from Alberta to Texas was not improperly influenced by the industry. It was in fact a neutral and uncompromised evaluation.”
IHS CERAWeek ends on Friday.
($1 = €0.75)
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