Democrats say that Obama will kill the Keystone pipeline deal

From The Hill newspaper:

. . . A senior Obama administration official noted that the president said he would not accept an attempt by Congress to mandate construction before adequate review of health and safety regulations.

The officials said the House-passed Keystone language merely speeds up the decision process but does not determine whether the project would be approved.

Officials at the State Department, which has authority over approving the project, said they would not be able to conduct the necessary review if given only 60 days, the timeline set by House Republicans.

A spokesman for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Democrats are trying to spin the outcome of the payroll tax relief talks in the best possible light.

“If it was not such a big deal, why did they fight so hard to keep the language out of the bill,” said the aide. “Take it with a grain of salt.” . . . .

What isn't mentioned is how incredibly long the decision process on the pipeline has already been. Here is a New York Times article from July 27, 2010 where they were talking about delaying the decision until the end of 2010 instead of September 15th, 2010 as they planned. Now we are at the end of 2011, and Obama announced on November 10th that he wanted to delay the decision until 2013.

The State Department said it would delay its decision on a permit for a contentious $7 billion pipeline project intended to deliver crude oil from the oil sands of the province of Alberta in Canada, to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. . . .

The department provided no timeline for completion of the environmental assessment, but at the least, a decision on the permit would be delayed until the end of this year. . . .

Here is an AP article from October 2010. This indicated that the project was giving a positive report from the State Department back in April 2010.

The steel is staged, and crews are waiting to lay the last and most expensive leg of TransCanada Corp.'s multibillion-dollar pipeline network that would carry Canadian oil to refineries along the Gulf Coast.
Yet final U.S. government approval for the massive project, once assumed to be on a fast track, is now delayed indefinitely, with little official explanation. The company had hoped to begin laying pipe by the end of the year, but those prospects have dimmed. . . .
"I don't know that it was expected to take this long, but it's not a simple process," State Department spokesman Bill Cook said last week. "It's cross-border, across several states, and all these interests have to be reconciled."
In April, the State Department published a draft report giving the Keystone XL pipeline a favorable environmental score, but that was just days before the Gulf Oil spill hit. Other oil-related disasters followed, including Enbridge Inc.'s broken pipeline that spilled hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan. . . .

Back in the beginning of 2009, money was being raised for the project.

Oilsands firms want TransCanada Corp. (TSX: TRP) to charge ahead with its Keystone pipeline to the U.S. Gulf Coast even though that sector has been seeing a big slowdown recently, executives for the pipeline company said Tuesday.

"Our shippers are keen on getting that pipeline built as quickly as we can," said Russ Girling, president of pipelines, on a conference call to discuss the company's earnings. . . .

The continual delays are imposing real costs on the project as well as oil production in the Midwest and the refining capability in the gulf area. Canada will instead start selling the oil to China if the Obama administration continues to delay the project. The environmental problems from shipping by sea are much greater than shipping over land.

A further delay would not only be a blow to TransCanada, it could also prolong a massive gap between U.S. and global oil prices because oil traders are counting on Keystone's 700,000 barrel-per-day capacity to relieve a build-up of crude in the Midwest, which doesn't have enough pipelines to ship growing Canadian output to Gulf Coast refineries for use around the United States. . . .

Remember Obama's statement from just 10 days ago. At that

"Any effort to try to tie Keystone to the payroll tax cut I will reject. So everybody should be on notice."

Newt had this quote in the Fox News debate this past week.

The president of the United States cannot figure out that it is utterly irrational to say, 'I am going to veto a middle-class tax cut to protect left-wing environmental extremists in San Francisco, to say we are going to kill American jobs, weaken American energy, make us more vulnerable to the Iranians,' and do it in a way that makes no sense to any normal rational American," Gingrich said to a loud ovation from the audience at the Sioux City Conference Center. . . .

The Cable has this:

Former National Security Advisor Jim Jones called today for quick action on the Keystone XL pipeline construction, directly opposing the White House he worked for only a few months ago. . . .

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home