The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Nebraska Gives Keystone Pipeline A Clean Bill of Health

One of the final obstacles to the Keystone pipeline has just been cleared: A report released yesterday by Nebraska’s Department of Environmental Quality found that building the pipeline would not pose a threat to any of the state’s environmentally sensitive areas. The Wall Street Journal reports:

The much-anticipated final review of the pipeline found that a new route proposed by operator TransCanada Corp.  avoids sensitive regions that have been a source of concern. Nebraska became the center of the debate over Keystone XL after the Obama administration rejected a permit for the pipeline last year, saying a congressional deadline made it difficult to conduct a thorough review of the state’s concerns.

Friday’s report triggered a 30-day deadline for Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman, a Republican, to make a final recommendation to the U.S. government on whether to go forward with the pipeline. Nebraska’s approval is considered crucial to final approval by the Obama administration.

This is good news. President Obama’s decision to nix the pipeline last year was a grave mistake, slowing down an energy revolution that creates jobs, cuts costs, and makes the world a safer place without doing much for the environment. But the election is behind him and the President has a second chance to do the right thing. We live in hope.

Published on January 5, 2013 12:00 pm