The patience of the folks at TransCanada Corp. may not be infinite, but it’s lasting far longer than I would have expected them to continue putting up with the nonsense coming out of the White House. On Friday, they filed yet another permit to move forward on construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, complying with the latest round of demands from the Obama administration that they revise the route through Nebraska and include the results of the last environmental impact study. (Both benchmarks are achieved and the study indicates that any environmental impact will be “minimal.”)
So we should be all set, right? President Obama should get right on the job quick like a bunny and light this candle. According to Republican leaders in congress, you might not want to schedule the victory parade just yet.
“Today there is just one person standing in the way of tens of thousands of new American jobs: President Obama,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement.
“After nearly four years of review, delay and politics, he is out of excuses for blocking this job-creating energy project any longer.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Friday that the president has run out of excuses to delay approval of the pipeline.
“With millions of Americans out of work in the Obama economy and a growing need for a stable supply of energy, the president turned his back on the Keystone XL pipeline that would have helped with both,” McConnell said in a statement.
“The Obama administration cited a need for a new application from TransCanada and a new route in Nebraska. Now that he has both, what will his excuse be?”
Their skepticism may be prudent. The president has repeatedly indicated that he doesn’t want to have to deal with this particular thorn in his side until the election is safely behind him. Plus, he needs to keep his base in line, and environmental groups still don’t feel like the West Wing has tossed them enough bones these past three years. Some of the usual suspects were quick to remind Obama that they are watching.
And the project still faces opposition from the same critics who say that TransCanada’s jobs estimates are inflated and that tapping Alberta’s oil sands would ratchet up greenhouse gas emissions and imperil the Earth’s climate.
“I feel like we’re stuck in some terrible zombie movie about pipelines that won’t die,” the Sierra Club’s Kate Colarulli told reporters Friday.
TransCanada’s new application “might be the same old, same old,” added the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Susan Casey-Lefkowitz. “But the State Department’s review needs to take a fresh look.”
I’ve pretty much given up hope of ever cutting through the blanket of noise and trying to impart some reality to these people. They keep insisting that if the pipeline is built, all of this nasty old oil will get burned and the elk will begin growing extra antlers or something. But they are apparently willfully ignorant of the fact that China is lobbying like mad to get their own pipeline to ship all of that oil to Asia if we don’t take it. Perhaps if we just told them in a slightly louder voice?
THE OIL IS GOING TO BE PRODUCED AND BURNED ANYWAY! HELLO? HELLO? IS THIS ON?
Oh well. Another day, another delay. What’s a few trillion barrels of energy between friends?