NEWS: The Washington Times "Pipeline Backers Put Obama on Clock"

January 5, 2012

13 DAYS since Congress demanded action
132 DAYS since State Dept. said Keystone XL was the "preferred" option
MORE THAN THREE YEARS since Keystone XL permit was filed

How much longer will President Obama make America wait?

The Washington Times
Pipeline backers put Obama on clock
By Tim Devaney

The clock is ticking on the Keystone XL pipeline.

Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday unveiled a clock on the panel's website that is counting - down to the second - how long President Obama has to make a decision on the proposed Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline.

Two days before Christmas, the president reluctantly agreed to do so within 60 days, or by Feb. 21. As of Wednesday, he was 12 days into the agreement, with 48 days to go. If he does nothing, the agreement calls for the contentious project to be approved…

The Keystone XL pipeline has been waiting three years for approval. The State Department seemed poised to sign off on the project just a few months ago, but the administration in November announced plans to effectively delay any decision until after the 2012 election.

The delay was seen as in part a way to avoid angering elements of Mr. Obama's base - unions and environmentalists - before November's vote.

But congressional Republicans continued fighting for a more timely decision, forcing Mr. Obama to agree to a 60-day timeline as one price for winning an extension of the president's payroll tax cut last month.

The Keystone XL pipeline, being built by the Canadian energy giant TransCanada, would transport tar sands oil nearly 1,700 miles from Alberta, Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast.

TransCanada officials have said the pipeline would create an estimated 20,000 American jobs, 13,000 in construction - for electricians, heavy equipment operators, mechanics, pipefitters, and welders - and another 7,000 in manufacturing, although pipeline critics say those numbers are overstated and many of the jobs will be temporary.

It would also create some 118,000 spin-off jobs at local businesses, according to a study by the Perryman Group. This could translate into $20.9 billion in total spending over the life of the project…

Read the full article online, here.

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