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Pipeline Politics
Keystone Dithering Makes Everyone Miserable

President Obama has found the mythical sour spot in his approach to the controversial Keystone pipeline, as his administration’s seemingly interminable delays on making a decision are frustrating every stakeholder involved. Bloomberg reports:

“We don’t understand what the White House is waiting for,” says Jane Kleeb, the founder of Bold Nebraska, which has been among the most vocal critics of the Keystone project. “Landowners would like to have the certainty that their land is no longer at risk.”

This is a switch for Keystone’s foes. They used to view no decision as no pipeline, and that meant less carbon dioxide from the production of Alberta’s oil sands. Now some see the effort as taking resources away from other environmental fights. […]

[T]ime and effort that could otherwise go to fighting a proposed fracking wastewater well in the western part of the state or in promoting greater use of renewable energy is taken up battling Keystone, Kleeb said.

For once, we agree with the green protestors opposing Keystone. It took them a few years, but it seems some within the modern environmental movement can see the opportunity cost of focusing all their time and effort on this single project. Of course, we still disagree that Keystone is even worth opposing on green grounds, as do the numerous State department reports which have shown the pipeline will have a negligible effect on global emissions.

We can’t begin to guess how much longer this farce will go on, but at this point everyone involved seems sick and tired of the dithering. Solely based on its merits this should have been approved years ago, but the President has been wary of tarnishing his environmental legacy after the green movement bizarrely latched on to Keystone as a make-or-break moment. Now it seems that the longer he takes to end this saga, the more he’ll alienate everyone who’s still paying attention.

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  • fastrackn1

    Obama “Makes Everyone Miserable”…WHO KNEW?….

  • Fat_Man

    1 year, 8 months, 12 days excluding the end date

  • Blackbeard

    Think of this from the viewpoint of TransCanada,the company planning to build the pipeline.. TransCanada has spent probably 15+ years, and tens of millions of dollars, on the effort to get this pipeline built. However, when they started I’m sure their consultants told them that the effort would be low risk. After all pipelines are by far the safest and cheapest way to transport petrochemicals and, as there are already nearly 2 million miles of oil and gas pipelines in the US (http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_01_10.html how controversial could another 1,200 mile pipeline be?

    Well now they, and every other company thinking of making a big investment in the US, know better. Now they know that the approval process in the US is hopelessly politicized and that science, logic and economics mean nothing if some leftist pressure group decides to oppose the project. How many other worthwhile projects that we have never heard about have been shelved in favor of building something in say Kazakhstan where the risks are more manageable?

    And we wonder why economic growth is anemic and employment still remain depressed.

    • Boritz

      In this environment tax cuts didn’t produce jobs, and what does that prove? Tax cuts never produce jobs. We must tax raise our way to prosperity and full employment.

      • f1b0nacc1

        Is that you FG?

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