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A Looming Fracking Explosion: The Inadequate NEPA Cumulative Effects Analysis for the Keystone XL Pipeline

November 2013

Citation: 43 ELR 11010

Issue: 11

Author: Jessica Kabaz-Gomez

The Keystone XL Pipeline has drawn tremendous media attention over the past seven years as the U.S. Department of State has assessed the Project’s environmental impacts through the NEPA review process. Despite the lengthy process, the Keystone XL Pipeline environmental reviews fail to adequately assess the Project’s impacts in the Bakken region, where increased pipeline transport capacity is likely to cause increased levels of hydraulic fracturing for oil production. These environmental reviews did not adequately assess the cumulative effects of the Keystone XL Pipeline or its connected actions, which could result in serious and far-reaching environmental consequences if the Pipeline is approved.

Jessica Kabaz-Gomez is a graduate of the George Washington University Law School and a law clerk at the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.

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