In a controversial move President Obama has delayed a final decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, thereby extending a key review until after November’s mid-term election.
The move by the president made for strange bedfellows as Republicans and red-state Democrats who are up for reelection in November chastised the president for the delay.
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said in a statement, “”It’s absolutely ridiculous that this well over five year long process is continuing for an undetermined amount of time.”
Currently the administration was in the middle of a 90 day review whereby federal agencies have the opportunity to access an environmental study conducted by the state Department.
In a response by the State Department, which is giving agencies “additional time” to voice an opinion in lite of ongoing litigation before the Nebraska Supreme Court over the proposed route of the pipeline.
Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., Chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voiced strong opposition on the president’s decision.
“This decision is irresponsible, unnecessary and unacceptable,” she said. “By making it clear that they will not move the process forward until there is a resolution in a lawsuit in Nebraska, the administration is sending a signal that the small minority who oppose the pipeline can tie up the process in court forever. There are 42,000 jobs, $20 billion in economic activity and North America’s energy security at stake.”
Republicans are in support with Democrats split over the project. Many Democrats site the impact on the environment, but Canadian ambassador to the United States Gary Doer reacted to the president’s decision, “We’re very disappointed. We think there are four reasons to keep going and implement the State Department report to approve the pipeline,” Doer said.
“Number one, we would like to have more blue collar workers employed on both sides of border building this pipeline. Number two, their own State Department report indicates that the oil is going to get to the Gulf Coast and has been getting to the Gulf Coast, notwithstanding the delays in Nebraska a couple of year ago. It’s getting there on rail and on truck, and they, of course, have higher Green House Gas according to the State Department … they have higher risk on a safety side and it’s higher cost. So we think for four reasons, jobs, greenhouse gas impact, the whole issue of safety, and cost, we should proceed with this pipeline.”
The other missing component which has not been mentioned is with more rail being allocated in the transportation of energy to the Gulf Coast, it increases the cost of non-energy related manufacturing products. Thus making manufacturing products more expensive for the American public, plus makes the U.S. more dependent on Middle Eastern oil for the United States energy needs.
This decision was based more on politics than any sound policy decision. [/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]