The Obama administration has repeatedly assured the public that they were just a hop, skip, and a jump away from making a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, seeing as how its gone through years of environmental impact reviews from various sources and gotten a green light every time (which should hardly come as a surprise to anyone, since the project is no different than any of the other pipelines currently crisscrossing the United States). Their proffered timeline, however, keeps getting bizarrely punctuated with ostensible reasons for delay that just so happen to be mighty convenient for avoiding the political pickle in which an actual decision would land them; at first, it looked like President Obama just wanted to brush the issue under the rug until after last November’s presidential election, but now it just sounds like they’re trying to take it to infinity and beyond:
The Obama administration is unlikely to make a decision on the Canada-to-Nebraska Keystone XL pipeline until late this year as it painstakingly weighs the project’s impact on the environment and on energy security, a U.S. official and analysts said on Friday.
The decision may not be made until November, December or even early 2014, said a U.S. official, as President Barack Obama will not rush the process, which still has a number of stages to work through. One of those stages has not even begun yet and will run for months.
“The president has to be able to show that the administration looked under every stone to ensure it knew as much as it possibly could about the impact of Keystone,” said the official, who did not want to be named given the sensitive nature of the project.
Analysts agreed that a decision would not be made by this summer as the State Department had suggested when it issued an environmental review on the pipeline on March 1.
Ugh. Do you think they’re just hoping that the herds will get bored and move on to another issue or something? That in and of itself is highly doubtful, because the hyper-environmentalist movement has too much riding on this to let it go; they have trumped it up into a symbolic battle about climate change because of the Canadian oil sands that will be developed and then sent through the Keystone pipeline, never mind that Canada is going to make use of their natural resources regardless of whether the United States is the buyer.
For the radically green lobbyist or the wealthy, eco-trendy progressive donor that does not happen to share the economic concerns of the American everyman, however, it’s still enough of a reason to try and thwart the project, and if the Obama administration can possibly stall on this decision until after the 2014 midterm fundraising season — or at least until they can introduce another major set of climate-related rules with which to appease/distract the eco-crusaders and mitigate the inevitable uproar — it looks like they are ready and willing to make every necessary bureaucratic contortion to do so.