Republicans, Democrats, Editorial Boards Urge President to Swiftly Approve Keystone

February 3, 2014

The U.S. State Department last Friday finally released its final environmental report on the Keystone XL pipeline, which confirmed the landmark jobs and energy project was safe and would not significantly impact the environment. The report made similar conclusions to the agency’s previous reports, stating, “[A]pproval or denial of any one crude oil transport project, including the proposed Project, is unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the United States.” In June, President Obama signaled that his decision on the project would hinge on this very question, stating “[O]ur national interest will be served only if this project does not exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.” So what’s he waiting for? The State Department, under the leadership of both Secretary Hillary Clinton and Secretary John Kerry, has found no reason to oppose the project that it determined would support over 42,000 jobs.

In response to the final report, Republicans, Democrats, and leading editorial boards called on the president to end the delays and approve the project immediately. House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) expressed, “To kick off his ‘year of action,’ President Obama should use his pen and approve the permit without any further delay. After enduring over five years of review, there is absolutely no reason to keep the American people waiting another day.”

Jan. 21, 2014

Approve Keystone. Now.

So the wait on the Keystone XL pipeline is over.

Just kidding.

However, the State Department did release its final environmental impact report today. And what did it say? That the pipeline will not increase carbon emissions much, which is exactly what previous reports also found.

So what’s changed? Well, with this report, President Barack Obama can give the pipeline the go-ahead. In 90 days.

All that’s left in the bureaucratic process is for the administration to decide whether the pipeline is in the U.S.’s “national interest.” In the coming month, the public will be invited to comment on the project, and the same eight federal agencies that have already weighed in will have 60 days beyond that to weigh in again. It’s doubtful anyone will have anything new to add.

The pluses and minuses have been clear for a long time, as has the fact that the former outweigh the latter. …

Keystone will carry more than 800,000 barrels of oil a day -- some of it from North Dakota -- to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

Pipeline opponents often say that, in the name of fighting climate change, the Canadian crude should stay in the ground. Sure. But that’s not going to happen. Canada is committed to extracting the oil. As long as there are buyers, it will make its way to market however it can -- by train, truck, ship or another pipeline. …

There was a time when it made political sense for Obama to delay a decision… But now the votes are in -- both for the president and, surely, for the pipeline. Further delay would just keep a poisonous debate alive.

Read the full editorial online HERE.

 

February 1, 2014

No More Keystone Excuses

Obama's choice: the green 1% or new and well-paying union jobs.

The Obama Administration has spent 1,960 days studying the potential impact of the Keystone XL pipeline project—nearly five and a half years, or 1/20th of a century. The fifth environmental report on the pipeline that the State Department published late Friday afternoon ought to be the last word, unless President Obama decides to bow again to his rich green funders.

The latest 11-volume "Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement" concludes that the pipeline from the Canadian border to interconnections in Nebraska for the Gulf of Mexico would have no marginal effect on climate or oil and gas development in the Alberta oil sands. The reality is that these natural fossil-fuel resources will be extracted anyway, at the same rate, whether or not Mr. Obama decides to let the pipeline be built.

Economic reality waits for no man. The only difference is how the oil is transported, and the green protestors should be chaining themselves to White House fences to get Mr. Obama to sign off as soon as possible. The hilarious irony is that the anti-Keystone campaign is creating more carbon emissions. Their political lobbying is harming the planet by their own standards. …

Read the full editorial online HERE.