End of the line: Nebraska governor officially approves Keystone XL pipeline; Update: State Dept still not quite ready to decide

posted at 1:11 pm on January 22, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Well, now — President Obama’s several eminent statements about his revived commitment to really do something about climate change during his inaugural speech on Monday are about to be put to the immediate test. As expected, Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman has approved the revised Keystone XL pipeline proposal through his state after a positive environmental review, meaning that the Obama administration’s last, best readily available excuse for continuing to punt on the project is dunzo:

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman notified the Obama administration Tuesday that he has approved the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline to traverse his state, marking a significant step toward reviving the project after President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sidelined it.

The governor approved a revised route for the Canada-to-Texas pipeline which his office said would avoid environmentally sensitive areas.

Environmental groups lost no time in seizing on the president’s second inaugural remarks yesterday to remind him that he should flatly reject the environmentally innocuous and economy-growing pipeline that the greenies have successfully managed to turn into a highly controversial issue:

Environmental groups hailed Obama’s new focus on climate change but said the president’s words will soon be tested as he decides whether to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada.

Obama blocked the pipeline last year, citing uncertainty over the project’s route through environmentally sensitive land in Nebraska. The State Department has federal jurisdiction because the $7 billion pipeline begins in Canada. …

“Starting with rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, the president must make fighting global warming a central priority,” Margie Alt, executive director of Environment America, said Monday.

Alt and other environmental leaders said they are counting on Obama to set tough limits on carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants and to continue federal investments in renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power.

The State Department is all set to conclude yet another of their reviews of the project, so now it’s only a question of which path-of-wrath President Obama will choose: Inflaming the green lobby by giving the green light to one of their most highly detested items of protest; or thwarting American economic growth, job creation, and energy security (all of which the president proclaims are on his own list of goals) by rejecting the use of oil sands that will then just be bought up and used by the Chinese anyway.

There were reports that now-erstwhile EPA chief Lisa Jackson resigned in protest over the president leaning toward inevitably approving the pipeline (I told you — the eco-zealots really hate this thing), but President Obama certainly led with his chin on the climate-change talk yesterday. Whether that was just some grandiose verbosity or a hint at his real intentions, we should find out shortly.

Update: But not that shortly.

The Obama administration has delayed a decision on TransCanada Corp’s rerouted Keystone XL oil pipeline until after March, even though Nebraska’s governor said on Tuesday he approved a plan for a section of the line.

“We don’t anticipate being able to conclude our own review before the end of the first quarter of this year,” said Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman at the State Department, which had previously said it would make a decision before the end of March.

The State Department will rule on a final permit for the $5.3 billion northern section of the line being planned by TransCanada because it would cross the national border.


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He will deny it

MoreLiberty on January 22, 2013 at 1:16 PM

He’s got nothing to lose. Offer him a little graft.

John the Libertarian on January 22, 2013 at 1:22 PM

I smell a delay coming.

Jabberwock on January 22, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Ni Hao Prime Minister Harper. Whose your daddy?

can_con on January 22, 2013 at 1:23 PM

What happens if Obama blocks the pipeline and Gov. Heineman suggests him to shove the block up his love receptacle and orders a start of construction?

Archivarix on January 22, 2013 at 1:23 PM

“…thwarting American economic growth, job creation, and energy security (all of which the president proclaims are on his own list of goals)”

You can still hear the applause from yesterday…

Seven Percent Solution on January 22, 2013 at 1:23 PM

Why of course he will thwart American economic growth. That is all he knows.

FireFly on January 22, 2013 at 1:24 PM

He will deny it

Anything to bring the country to its knees….all by Alinsky design to overload the system and deny us a way to pay for it.

RADIOONE on January 22, 2013 at 1:24 PM

O, unbridled now— I can’t imagine him okaying the pipeline. I so hope I am wrong.

CoffeeLover on January 22, 2013 at 1:26 PM

He will deny it

yes, but the no-nuts version, as always — he will simply never decide.

Voting present to the bitter end, like the gutless simp that he is.

Dirty Creature on January 22, 2013 at 1:26 PM

All talk no walk Obama

cmsinaz on January 22, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Lame Duck.

John the Libertarian on January 22, 2013 at 1:27 PM

The enviro-extremists don’t hate the pipeline, they hate the mining of tar sands in Canada. But they have much more influence over the US government now than they do the Canadian government, so they are using it to block the pipeline, which will do exactly zero to stop the tar sands mining.

These are Red state jobs, which Obama does not care about. he does not care about the opinions of a Republican state government either. He will find another reason to kill the pipeline and keep the enviro-extremists happy.

Nobody said they were smart, just effective.

rockmom on January 22, 2013 at 1:29 PM

the Obama administration’s last, best readily available excuse for continuing to punt on the project is dunzo

Le dunzo.

Good. I’m betting he’ll block it. Make him own it.

petefrt on January 22, 2013 at 1:29 PM

These are Red state jobs, which Obama does not care about. he does not care about the opinions of a Republican state government either. He will find another reason to kill the pipeline and keep the enviro-extremists happy.

rockmom on January 22, 2013 at 1:29 PM

This.

petefrt on January 22, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Eff the Kenyan… Someone should remind dear leader that it is the states that created the federal government, not the other way around.

Kuffar on January 22, 2013 at 1:32 PM

No worries, the EPA will do what they do best and VJ’s pool boy gets his wish without having to suffer any political backlash.

antipc on January 22, 2013 at 1:34 PM

I smell a delay coming.

Jabberwock on January 22, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Sorry, that was probably me. I’ve been trying to work more fiber into my diet.

29Victor on January 22, 2013 at 1:34 PM

There were reports that now-erstwhile EPA chief Lisa Jackson resigned in protest over the president leaning toward inevitably approving the pipeline

But what does Richard Windsor have to say about it? Seriously, the woman may be an eco-zealot but she had ethical issues that were about to hit the fan. Hiding behind fake e-mail accounts to avoid FOIA requests is not only a lack of transparancy it is against the law.

Happy Nomad on January 22, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Whether that was just some grandiose verbosity or a hint at his real intentions, we should find out shortly.

The State of the Union will be telling. How much of his speech to the gathered multitudes of worthless moochers, takers, and parasites was all hat and no cow? Where he lays his markers down in the Capitol are far more revealing than pandering to the worthless dregs of society who can do nothing for the filthy rat-eared wonder.

Happy Nomad on January 22, 2013 at 1:39 PM

YEAH!

22044 on January 22, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Obama will kill it.

Whenever forced to choose between the left and sanity, he always goes left.

blue13326 on January 22, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Whether that was just some grandiose verbosity or a hint at his real intentions, we should find out shortly.

Heh, when did those two things ever become an either-or proposition for Teh One?

My prediction: he will compromise, and allow one-half of the pipeline to be built (in an erratic, loopy configuration that avoids Red and Right-to-Work states) …

ShainS on January 22, 2013 at 1:43 PM

I’ll be very surprised if Obama approves it. You know he doesn’t actually want it, and now that he’s in his second term, he has no reason to approve it. He doesn’t care that it would actually help the economy.

supernova on January 22, 2013 at 1:46 PM

President O could throw his supporters underneath an alternative fuel bus!!!!

patch on January 22, 2013 at 1:48 PM

What happens if Obama blocks the pipeline and Gov. Heineman suggests him to shove the block up his love receptacle and orders a start of construction?

Archivarix on January 22, 2013 at 1:23 PM

The bombing of Nebraska will commence.

katy the mean old lady on January 22, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Good for him.

gophergirl on January 22, 2013 at 1:50 PM

The State Department shouldn’t need to conduct another review. Their only involvement is where it crosses the international boundary. Any State Department review is a stalling tactic.

I don’t understand the arguments against this based on the GHG potential. This fuel WILL BE consumed somewhere. It is either going t be consumed in the United States where we have some of the strictest environmental controls in the world which help to reduce the overall environmental impact, or it will be consumed in other countries (like China) that lack even basic environmental controls which means that global pollution will be even worse.

I know greenies would prefer that it be left in the ground, but the fact has already been established that it will be removed from the ground in Canada. The United States has no control over drilling operations in Canada.

If the green movement were at all environmentall conscious any more they would be in favor of this pipeline in order to have a smaller impact on the global environment. Alas, they are only interested in controlling the means to production.

Heineman really screwed this up by objecting to the original route. We Nebraskans had 3 years to comment on the original route, and there was nary a peep until the last minute when the greenies got all hot and bothered (funny how they never raise issues until the last possible moment, thereby delaying the start of projects until as late as possible). Heineman gave Obama the excuse he needed to deny the initial route, which he gladly took the opportunity to do.

Obama has nothing to lose by denying the project now that he isn’t facing re-election, which is sad because this project would be done by now if Heineman hadn’t reacted to the hysterical greenies.

weaselyone on January 22, 2013 at 1:50 PM

Ultimately, Obama will approve it. Mark my words.

tommy71 on January 22, 2013 at 1:54 PM

What happens if Obama blocks the pipeline and Gov. Heineman suggests him to shove the block up his love receptacle and orders a start of construction?

Archivarix on January 22, 2013 at 1:23 PM

Good luck getting the Canadian Tar Sands Oil across the border without approval from our Federal Government. Ordering construction of a pipeline in the US to carry Canadian oil doesn’t work very well when the oil cannot cross the border.

At least we would have more infrastructure to transfer oil from ND, I guess.

weaselyone on January 22, 2013 at 1:54 PM

The oil will be produced, sold and consumed. I guess I’m not seeing the global warming connection. The only question is, who will use the resource, us or someone else.

I suppose cows applaud the vegetarians who choose to ignore their own organism’s makeup, but it doesn’t make much difference to them in the end. Whether they end up at Burger King or Ruth Chris Steak house, it’s pretty much all the same.

Or, perhaps we should just ban automobiles — by executive order, of course — and get on with it. Oh, and using electrical appliances or any hot water not warmed by sun or wind power. The greenies in NYC would love that, don’t you think?

IndieDogg on January 22, 2013 at 1:57 PM

grandiose verbosity

you nailed it Erika. We’ve had 4 years of this with another 4 on the way. Hopefully there’s only 4 more years of this. I can’t the sight or sound of him.

RedInMD on January 22, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Obama never cares about anyone’s job/s. He hates the middle/lower classes. They’re in his way, the former, and tools, the latter.

Schadenfreude on January 22, 2013 at 2:02 PM

Obama: Commerce Clause!

Bulletchaser on January 22, 2013 at 2:04 PM

And I just heard on the local news that the enviro-whackjobs are already filing suit against the Governor’s decision to approve the new proposed pipeline route.

As a Nebraskan, I have been an enthusiastic supporter of the pipeline, but the enviro-whackjobs are continuing their lawsuit filings.

Gothguy on January 22, 2013 at 2:04 PM

This is a perfect example of Carbon Leakage:

Carbon leakage occurs when there is an increase in carbon dioxide emissions in one country as a result of an emissions reduction by a second country with a strict climate policy.

Carbon leakage may occur for a number of reasons:

- if the emissions policy of a country raises local costs, then another country with a more relaxed policy may have a trading advantage. If demand for these goods remains the same, production may move offshore to the cheaper country with lower standards, and global emissions will not be reduced.
- if environmental policies in one country add a premium to certain fuels or commodities, then the demand may decline and their price may fall. Countries that do not place a premium on those items may then take up the demand and use the same supply, negating any benefit.

Too bad the greenies don’t care about the environment any more.

Greenies, taking the Global out of Global Warming since 2008.

weaselyone on January 22, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Nobody said they were smart, just effective.

THIS

joepub on January 22, 2013 at 2:09 PM

I thought carbon leakage was something that happened within a few hours after Taco Bell?

sewer urchin on January 22, 2013 at 2:27 PM

What would the enviro lunatics and communists do now?…

mnjg on January 22, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Too bad the pipeline can’t all be dug underground and in secret from the Obamanation.

MelonCollie on January 22, 2013 at 2:28 PM

I thought carbon leakage was something that happened within a few hours after Taco Bell?

sewer urchin on January 22, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Well…according to EPA:

Methane (CH4) is the second most prevalent greenhouse gas emitted in the United States from human activities.

weaselyone on January 22, 2013 at 2:31 PM

Ultimately, Obama will approve it. Mark my words.

tommy71 on January 22, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Yeah, he will. He just needs to allow a certain period of time for the drama to build. Everything is about brinksmanship and keeping attention on himself.

a capella on January 22, 2013 at 2:32 PM

Yeah, another pipeline would absolutely be a calamity, because it would be such a huge expansion — this demonstrates just how exceptional another pipeline would be.

In fact, some places have more than a few pipelines.

cthulhu on January 22, 2013 at 2:35 PM

And I just heard on the local news that the enviro-whackjobs are already filing suit against the Governor’s decision to approve the new proposed pipeline route.

As a Nebraskan, I have been an enthusiastic supporter of the pipeline, but the enviro-whackjobs are continuing their lawsuit filings.

Gothguy on January 22, 2013 at 2:04 PM

I, too, am a Nebraskan. And I, too, fully support the pipeline route.

The eviro-nuts will never give up. Their minds are made up — don’t confuse them with the facts. If Ogabe actually approves the pipeline (which I strongly doubt), I suspect the entire project will be dogged with sabotaged equipment, catastrophic fires and whatever else they can think of.

catsandbooks on January 22, 2013 at 2:50 PM

What happens if Obama blocks the pipeline and Gov. Heineman suggests him to shove the block up his love receptacle and orders a start of construction?
Archivarix on January 22, 2013 at 1:23 PM

We will change state law and elect Gov. Dave as governor for life. Honestly, would one elected GOPer please stand up to President Nutjob?

NebCon on January 22, 2013 at 3:13 PM

Not exactly holding my breathe Obama will approve this regardless.

Yakko77 on January 22, 2013 at 3:30 PM

The Fish and Wildlife Service will determine that the Keystone XL pipeline would cross the habitat of the Montanan Mountain Mouse, endangered distant cousin of the Demmick Rat, and thereby decree that an alternate route be found through North Dakota, after appropriate environmental impact studies have been completed in triplicate.

Steve Z on January 22, 2013 at 3:49 PM

The Obama administration has delayed a decision on TransCanada Corp’s rerouted Keystone XL oil pipeline until after March, even though Nebraska’s governor said on Tuesday he approved a plan for a section of the line.

And here all everyone thought that only the Iranians were good at STALLING.

And come much, it will be found that ‘much further, in-depth review is needed. Possibly lasting until January 2017.

GarandFan on January 22, 2013 at 3:56 PM

This could be a major turn. We’re about to see how much clout the EPA has…..

itsspideyman on January 22, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Low information voters have no idea about the Keystone pipeline and the fact the country is hostage to a few greenies that Obama needs to appease. I don’t see Obama fooling with his odd 51% coalition. I think he will not fix a majority that is not broken. I say he keeps on delaying so they seemed to be trying to forge the re-elect coalition into a majority grassroots liberal coalition for the second term.

Conan on January 22, 2013 at 6:12 PM