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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