Tuesday, January 22, 2013

DOA? Nebraska's New Keystone XL Routing At the State Department?

The governor's ink was hardly dry before the US State Department said, "Whoa! Hold your horses. We don't anticipate disapproving this new route before the end of the first quarter."

Actually, they didn't exactly say that.

But the President's #1 or #2 or #3 priority (apparently) is climate control.

And all that heavy oil coming down the middle of the US complicates things. It addition this extra-large pipeline literally cuts the US in half (not my phrasing):
In October 2011, Lisa Jackson reiterated those concerns in an appearance at Howard University in Washington.
This isn’t a little tiny pipeline, this is a pipeline that cuts our country literally in half,” she said.
According to Reuters, this is what the State Department had to say about the new route:
The Obama administration has delayed a decision on TransCanada Corp's rerouted Keystone XL oil pipeline until after March, even though Nebraska's governor on Tuesday approved a plan for part of the line running through his state.
"We don't anticipate being able to conclude our own review before the end of the first quarter of this year," said Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman at the State Department, which had previously said it would make a decision by that deadline.
She said the department would take into consideration approval of the line by Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman."
"Take into consideration?" Wasn't his review what this delay was all about? Now, the State Department will simply "take his approval into consideration." Well, that's nice of them.

I see one of three possible outcomes regarding the pipeline as of March 31, 2013:
  • having expedited the review process, the State Department recommends approval, and President Obama concurs
  • having expedited the review process, the State Department recommends changes, and the President concurs, delaying the decision for at least another six months
  • having slowed the process down, John Kerry says he sees merit in the pipeline, and if it were up to him, he would vote for it before ultimately recommending a vote against it; decision delayed
If I were a betting man, and I'm not, the new Keystone XL Pipeline Nebraska route will not be disapproved on/before March 31, 2012.

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