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Stricter environmental standards further show Keystone XL will not ‘significantly exacerbate’ climate change

TransCanada (ticker: TRP) sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the U.S. State Department asking them to include Canada’s stricter stance on greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters in its review of the Keystone XL pipeline. Recent climate policy announcements from both the federal government of Canada and the government of Alberta demonstrate that the pipeline will not worsen climate change.

Alberta’s New Democratic Party (NDP) government said last week that it plans to lower emissions targets for industrial emitters and double the price of carbon for those that exceed their allotment. Doubling the price of excess carbon emissions would put the price at C$30 ($24) per ton of carbon emitted over the limit, reports Business Insider.

In May, the Canadian federal government in Ottawa said that it plans to cut the country’s GHG by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. Ottawa also backed a G7 decision to “decarbonize” the economy by 2100.

“We are asking the U.S. State Department to consider these recent developments that add to the abundance of evidence already collected through seven years and 17,000 pages of review that Keystone XL will not ‘significantly exacerbate’ greenhouse gas emissions,” Alex Pourbaix, TRP’s president of development said.

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The letter also notes that the heads of several large oil sands operators, including Suncor Energy (ticker: SU) and Cenovus Energy (CVE), have come out in favor of tougher regulations on carbon pricing. TransCanada also wrote to the State Department that the Canadian oil sands will be developed with or without Keystone XL, reports CTV News.

The 830 MBOPD pipeline would start in Hardisty, Alberta, and run to Steele City, Nebraska, where it would join the project’s already finished southern leg to Texas. According to the U.S. Department of State’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, Keystone XL would create 42,000 direct and indirect jobs and $3.4 billion in U.S. GDP.

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