The ruling did not contain a recommendation on whether the pipeline should be built. However both sides feel that state’s determination that other options to transport the tar sands oil would have a greater impact on global warming than the pipeline makes Keystone’s approval likely.
State’s opinion that moving the oil by rail would have a greater impact on the climate than the pipeline is significant. Trans Canada will move the oil regardless of what determination Obama makes.
If rail is no cleaner than Keystone, why nix the pipeline? State provided the president with a rationale for approving the project on the grounds that it is more sustainable than the alternatives.