"WASHINGTON — If the Keystone XL pipeline is not built — and more oil from the Canadian oil sands is moved by rail — there could be hundreds more deaths and thousands more injuries than expected over the course of a decade, according to an updated State Department analysis of the contested project that was released Friday.
The report is the latest twist in the long fight over the proposed 1,700-mile pipeline, which would carry crude oil from Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries. The findings are significant: The State Department has the authority to approve the pipeline because it would cross international borders, although President Obama is expected to make the ultimate call.
The initial study noted that without the pipeline, companies would simply move the oil by rail, and an addendum concluded that the alternative could contribute to 700 injuries and 92 deaths over 10 years. Friday’s updated report raised those numbers more than fourfold, concluding that rail transport could lead to 2,947 injuries and 434 deaths over a decade."