Obama administration grants permit for part of the Keystone pipeline

posted at 3:21 pm on June 27, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

The Keystone XL pipeline debacle of last winter was a prime example of Team Obama’s precarious position with the environmental lobby. Environmentalists generally have a vociferous hatred for all things oil-related, and dubiously cited possible terrestrial leakages and increased carbon emissions as the too-dire-to-even-consider consequences of allowing TransCanada’s pipeline project to move forward. The obvious counter for the pipelines’ proponents, of course, was that the pipeline would instantly create productive private-sector jobs, encourage economic growth, and decrease our dependence on less-than-friendly oil sources. What’s a president to do?

The Obama administration decided they wanted to have their cake and eat it too, so they thought they’d punt on the approval until after the election, claiming that more research was necessary — even though the State Department had already concluded that the project was a good one. This provided a practically giftwrapped opportunity for Republicans to hammer President Obama on his political dithering when the economy is in real trouble, and there was so much bad PR for the White House they decided they did indeed need to do something, anything — but preferably nothing too drastic that would overexcite the greenies. Ergo, in March the president announced he’d do everything humanly possible to expedite the review process. Looks like they’re at least partially, albeit oh-so-cautiously, following through on bits and pieces of that promise:

The Army Corps of Engineers on Monday told TransCanada, which wants to build a 1,700-mile pipeline to carry heavy crude from Alberta to the Gulf Coast, that it could begin construction on the portion of the proposed pipeline that would end at the gulf port of Nederland, Tex. The Corps of Engineers is still reviewing permits for a section of the pipeline beginning at a major oil depot in Cushing, Okla., and linking up with the final leg ending at the gulf. …

TransCanada said Tuesday that it welcomed the permits and was awaiting approvals from the two other Corps of Engineers districts that must rule on the remaining 400 miles of pipeline route beginning in Cushing. …

Environmental advocates and some local landowner groups strongly opposed the pipeline, citing the dangers of possible spills and saying that the oil it would carry, extracted from tar sands formations in northern Canada, was a major contributor to greenhouse gas pollution.

TransCanada may be resigned to taking what they can get, but I’m sure as heck not — how is the Obama administration still able to pretend that this has anything to do with the review process? We all know it’s just about trying to have it both ways and fly under the radar until after November. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: President Obama likes to chide Republicans that “we can’t wait!” for jobs, but we apparently can and will wait for President Obama to secure his second term, whether we like it or not.


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My understanding was that they only approved this because they couldn’t stop it. So they didn’t actually approve it anymore then they approved of the fracking on private land. They simply have no way to stop it.

The pipeline is going to happen and then we’re going to have to apologize to the canadians for letting our environmentalists f’ them.

Karmashock on June 27, 2012 at 3:23 PM

fishing for more votes again. Next up, mortgage forgiveness, student loans, etc…

LeftCoastRight on June 27, 2012 at 3:23 PM

More energy? NOOO!
More gayness? YESSS!

Thanks, Obama.

search4truth on June 27, 2012 at 3:23 PM

MSM Translation: Obama leads while Republicans only offer bitter infighting and obstructionism over energy.

KS Rex on June 27, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Too Little Too Late!

FlatFoot on June 27, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Obama administration grants permit for part of the Keystone pipeline

…and then….will find a way to stop it!…later.

KOOLAID2 on June 27, 2012 at 3:29 PM

The underlying blog post is written backwards.

The Obama fight was with the Environmental Impact side of the pipeline, NOT the construction details.

The blogger at the NYt is trying to spin this as something for Obama when it is already out of Obama’s hands.

Freddy on June 27, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Let’s see — 1.4 million new workers with free green cards, minus a few thousand jobs on Keystone…

The Rogue Tomato on June 27, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Like stealing Rubio’s diluted DREAM act, it’s all about appearances.

John the Libertarian on June 27, 2012 at 3:32 PM

yeah, but will they connect the damn thing????

ted c on June 27, 2012 at 3:33 PM

So the contractors paid up huh ?
;-)

burrata on June 27, 2012 at 3:33 PM

extradite the review process.

expedite?

Tim_CA on June 27, 2012 at 3:33 PM

Ergo, in March the president announced he’d do everything humanly possible to extradite the review process.

Did you mean expedite?

Night Owl on June 27, 2012 at 3:34 PM

Ergo, in March the president announced he’d do everything humanly possible to extradite the review process

may we extradite the president and do everything to expedite the review?

SARC

ted c on June 27, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Oblamo is so pathetic. I can’t wait until Nov.

NapaConservative on June 27, 2012 at 3:37 PM

More energy? NOOO!
More gayness? YESSS!

Thanks, Obama.

search4truth on June 27, 2012 at 3:23 PM

winner winner, chicken dinner! Wait…is that Politically Correct?

kirkill on June 27, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Environmentalists generally have a vociferous hatred for all things oil-related,

Except when they’re flying around the world to global climate “conferences”, or driving their nice cars to pick up their grant checks, or when they’re using electricity to send donations to other environmental groups, or when they’re using their expensive electronics made from oil.

The hate all things oil except when they use it.

darwin on June 27, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Is this like being a little pregnant?

faraway on June 27, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Tree hugger vote

cmsinaz on June 27, 2012 at 3:38 PM

No, they will build it, and build it all the way to the Gulf. They will just forget to build the bottom half of the pipeline. Now see how much oil that carries…and as an added benefit, the top half will provide much needed shade to whatever endangered species is the current darling of the enviro’s.

seymour01 on June 27, 2012 at 3:38 PM

Like Romney said on the campaign trail, what good is building the downstream end of the pipeline if the upstream end isn’t connected to the oil supply in Canada?

It’s like putting expensive plumbing in your house when there’s no pump in the well. Where’s the water?

No $#!+ and no oil, Sherlock!

Steve Z on June 27, 2012 at 3:39 PM

it could begin construction on the portion of the proposed pipeline that would end at the gulf port of Nederland, Tex.

Pipeline to Nowhere

faraway on June 27, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Yup, rod, reel, line, leader, sinker…but no hook. The result, no fish!

Building 99% of the pipeline provides no more energy, and establishes Obama as a hard0nosed poker player with only Monopoly money in his purse..

Don L on June 27, 2012 at 3:42 PM

Obama administration grants permit for part of the Keystone pipeline

Of course he did, it’s Democrat corruption at it’s finest.

He’s letting them invest $Billions getting the pipeline started and then it’s pay to play time, no more Democrat approvals until huge campaign dollars, election support and the Chicago “boodle” rolls in.

RJL on June 27, 2012 at 3:44 PM

but we apparently can and will wait for President Obama to secure his second term

If the people are this stupid they deserve full destruction by him and his thugs.

Schadenfreude on June 27, 2012 at 3:45 PM

This would put that section into competition with the newly reversed Seaway Pipeline from Cushing to Freeport, TX.

Still at least it would relieve some of the bottleneck in getting BAKKEN crude to refineries.

Several VERY MAJOR refineries already have direct connections to the PIPELINE TERMINAL (which also has a marine terminal) at Nederland, TX. That includes the newly expanded Motiva Port Arthur Refinery at 600,000 bpd. Unfortunately the new crude unit rated at 330,000 bpd went down for a year’s worth of repairs due to a faulty valve which leaked caustic soda into the system and it flashed (turned to vapor) upon restart of the unit. $1 BILLION in repairs expected to take a year to complete. It’s BRAND NEW.

Kermit on June 27, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Ergo, in March the president announced he’d do everything humanly possible to extradite the review process.

ex·tra·dite/ˈekstrəˌdīt/
Verb:
Hand over (a person accused or convicted of a crime) to the jurisdiction of the foreign state in which the crime was committed.

The Obama administration is claiming that it is a crime for Canada to actually build and use the pipeline.

Besides, their is no way that oil can be sent from Canada to the port if only the Texas portion of the pipeline is built.

sabbahillel on June 27, 2012 at 3:49 PM

bho can grant permits, but the epa will stop them in their track with everything else having to do with engery?

Gotta watch the other hand of bho’s team, and they are doing his evil best to stop everything but ‘green’ energy?
L

letget on June 27, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Still at least it would relieve some of the bottleneck in getting BAKKEN crude to refineries.

Kermit on June 27, 2012 at 3:48 PM

Isn’t most of the Bakken crude shipping by rail and truck right now? I thought they were having trouble getting access to the pipeline junction in Fargo because the pipeline there was already working at full capacity. My understanding was that the companies working in the Bakken Shale were really needing the northern end of the Keystone XL, so they could connect into that section to start getting more of the Bakken crude to the gulf without having to go through the current junction at Fargo.

gravityman on June 27, 2012 at 3:59 PM

The Keystone XL pipeline debacle of last winter was a prime example of Team Obama’s precarious position with the environmental lobby
=================================================================

MeanWhile:
===========

WASHINGTON – Congressional leaders have tentatively agreed on a two-year bill to overhaul federal highway programs
Updated: June 27, 2012 – 1:49 PM

that drops a requirement that the government approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

http://www.startribune.com/politics/160558845.html

canopfor on June 27, 2012 at 3:59 PM

Environmentalists generally have a vociferous hatred for all things oil-related, and dubiously cited possible terrestrial leakages and increased carbon emissions as the too-dire-to-even-consider consequences of allowing TransCanada’s pipeline project to move forward.

Yeah! Just like the Alaskan pipeline was going to DESTROY the environment in Alaska.

Hardly anyone noticed that just a few days ago, the Alaska pipeline is now FORTY YEARS OLD!

GarandFan on June 27, 2012 at 4:00 PM

More Democrat smoke billowing up,into my Countrymans *ss(s)!
(sarc)

canopfor on June 27, 2012 at 4:01 PM

Another half-assed Obama move.

Barack One Cheek Obama.

profitsbeard on June 27, 2012 at 4:07 PM

I move we “extradite” Obama’s departure.

Sheesh Erika…

Nana on June 27, 2012 at 4:07 PM

winner winner, arugala salad dinner! Wait…is that Politically Correct?

kirkill on June 27, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Now it is.

CurtZHP on June 27, 2012 at 4:08 PM

President Obama likes to chide Republicans that “we can’t wait!” for jobs, but we apparently can and will wait for President Obama to secure his second term, whether we like it or not.

That’s assuming in a second term that Obama would okay it. I think just the opposite would occur. He’d stop the pretenses of wanting to okay it and just flat out reject altogether if he got a second term.

The only way to be sure of jobs coming in 2013 is to be sure Obama doesn’t get a second term.

ButterflyDragon on June 27, 2012 at 4:26 PM

President Obama likes to chide Republicans that “we can’t wait!” for jobs, but we apparently can and will wait for President Obama to secure his second term, whether we like it or not.

In which case, TransCanada can kiss Keystone XL goodbye. Obama may not have to appease extremist environmentalists in a second term, but that’s not the problem. The problem is, he believes in their extremist agenda.

RebeccaH on June 27, 2012 at 4:41 PM

My understanding was that they only approved this because they couldn’t stop it. So they didn’t actually approve it anymore then they approved of the fracking on private land. They simply have no way to stop it.

Exactly.

The really big hangup is right here in Nebraska. A pack of greenies out in western Nebraska have been screaming, sobbing, beating their breasts, and predicting the end of the world if the Keystone cuts any where close to the Oglalla aquifer. (Never mind that there are already several oil pipes going through the Oglalla that have never caused a bit of trouble.) The whole package was ready to go last summer when the greenies managed to apply enough pressure on the state legislature and the governor to get the Nebraska leg halted while everyone tried to figure out a way around the Oglalla. That’s when Obama and company swooped down, declaring that moving the proposed route demanded that the process of environmental impact studying and permit obtaining had to start over from scratch.

Quite frankly, I think Hades will freeze over before the northern stretch through Nebraska ever gets done.

catsandbooks on June 27, 2012 at 4:48 PM

I am sick of hearing the argument that the pipeline will increase GHG emissions.

If the pipeline is not built, then this oil will be transferred by ships to China and elsewhere. This will result in an INCREASE in CO2 emissions. The oil is going to go somewhere, the Canadian government has made that abundantly clear.

weaselyone on June 27, 2012 at 5:05 PM

gravityman on June 27, 2012 at 3:59 PM

There is not the receiving terminals required for this OR the tankcars available. Some is being shipped via rail and that is to be expanded with some new receiving terminals.

It is my understanding that there are a number of wells in BAkken which are NOT producing due lack of method to get to market.

Trucking is good for short hauls say from a tank battery near several wells to a pipeline or rail terminal, but from say Cushing to the Gulf Coast that is an extra $10 per barrel (or $10 less per barrel to producer.)

Kermit on June 27, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Jonah Goldberg recently joked about political compromise leaving us with a 50 foot bridge across a 100 foot chasm, and it looks like Obama is literally doing this.

Daemonocracy on June 27, 2012 at 5:32 PM

What good is half a pipeline?

Steven Den Beste on June 27, 2012 at 5:54 PM

What good is half a pipeline?

Steven Den Beste on June 27, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Princess Nana says they can at least use it to move half the amount of oil.

slickwillie2001 on June 27, 2012 at 6:10 PM

What good is half a pipeline?

Steven Den Beste on June 27, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Ever see the X-Games?

Tim_CA on June 27, 2012 at 6:11 PM

So Obama actually approved a half-pipe???

Bet it was the TOP half!!!

Is there anything more worthless and dangerous than an unrestrained kid who stole the nation’s credit card??

landlines on June 27, 2012 at 6:25 PM

What good is half a pipeline?

Steven Den Beste on June 27, 2012 at 5:54 PM

Team Ocommie knows the effed up the Keystone thing… so the go back to their playbook- promise the first half of the pipeline as a show of fiscal responsibility and discipline and….. and uh -uh, project a sublimlinal image to the voters that a more flexible Obama will be able to finish it- if he is re-elected.

FlaMurph on June 27, 2012 at 7:13 PM

At least part of the problem is that that the Baaken oil and,Canadian tar sands are heavy crude.
Takes a special refinery.Turns out the same heavy crude that we buy from Venezuelan can only be processed by special refineries like the ones located in Texas. Given a choice between helping hugo or the US we know how O’Kardashian will and is voting. Problem is few know the real deel.

rodguy911 on June 27, 2012 at 9:10 PM

Well, if we build it, they will come. In a few specific instances, there will be benefits from Obama’s reelection campaign.

J.E. Dyer on June 27, 2012 at 10:21 PM