Bipartisan senators: Do not delay the Keystone pipeline into 2014

posted at 6:11 pm on August 30, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Last week, the Obama administration announced that, most unfortunately, it very much looks like the long-delayed Keystone pipeline decision is going to have to be delayed still further, probably into early 2014. The State Department is being ultra-fastidious with this review process, you understand, and new revelations via an inspector general probe about a potential conflict of interest in the department’s selection of a contractor analyzing the project mean that this administration intends to follow through on its pristine record of avoiding anything untoward in their methodology.

In response to the news, a group of four senators have a message for the administration: Cut the crap already.

Sens. John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.), John Thune (R-S.D.) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.), all pipeline backers, together issued statements Thursday criticizing the potential for more delays in the five-year federal review.

“This tactic of delay and deferral must stop. It is depriving America of jobs, hurting the American economy and hurting the American people,” Hoeven said in one of the statements, which underscore efforts by pipeline backers to keep political pressure on the White House.

The senators noted that an earlier phase of the IG’s inquiry into a third-party contractor’s environmental review gave the project a basically clean bill of health in early 2012. …

“We cannot sit by while excuse after excuse delays jobs in Montana and across the country,” Baucus said. “We’ve had years of studies and the President’s own State Department has repeatedly concluded the environment won’t be harmed. It’s past time to put Americans to work building the Keystone pipeline.”

The Keystone pipeline, by the way, won’t just be transporting oil from Canada; it will accommodate oil from Montana and North Dakota, too, and is representative of the major expansion of pipeline infrastructure the United States is going to need over the coming years to adequately service the rising oil and gas boom.

Funnily enough, ahem, the oil and gas boom has largely been the Obama administration’s economic saving grace in the face of stagnation and shrinkage in other industries. While I’m sure the White House will gladly talk up the recently expected rise in GDP for the second quarter, I feel that, in the same vein that I mentioned when wondering earlier this week why President Obama has yet to visit North Dakota, he won’t get too vocal about the driving factor behind it. He’s all too happy to take credit for the industry’s increased and thriving activities (neglecting to mention that the increases have largely occurred on state and private lands while his administration continues to block access to requested areas), but only in the context that he add some very misleading addenda about how his renewable- and efficiency-visions have been so very successful. Ahem, also via The Hill:

Two of President Obama’s top economic advisers are crediting increasing petroleum production with the rosier estimate for second quarter economic performance announced this week.

“This is yet another reminder that the President’s focus on increasing America’s energy independence is not just a critical national security strategy, it is also part of an economic plan to create jobs, expand growth and cut the trade deficit,” Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Jason Furman and National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling wrote in a blog post on Thursday.

The United States petroleum trade deficit hit a record low in June as booming domestic oil production displaced imports and exports of refined petroleum products increased.

That played a significant role in revising U.S. gross domestic product growth in the second quarter to 2.5, up from 1.7 percent, said Furman and Sperling.


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In response to the news, a group of four senators have a message for the administration: Cut the crap already.

Four Senators? Wow that really must be a distraction for Obama as he is demanding drone attacks on that 11-year-old Syrian kid that mocked him.

Seriously, the positions of these Senators have been consistent for obvious reasons. This is just posturing and should be ignored as chatter.

Happy Nomad on August 30, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Hey Erika! Knock it off! King Barry has a buddy by the name of Warren Buffett who OWNS A RAILROAD.

That railroad is making a lot of money transporting oil!

GarandFan on August 30, 2013 at 6:23 PM

Juggears wants to keep helping his terrorist pals in the Middle East. Why would he grant us some independence from OPEC?

jawkneemusic on August 30, 2013 at 6:23 PM

“This tactic of delay and deferral must stop. It is depriving America of jobs, hurting the American economy and hurting the American people,” Hoeven said in one of the statements, which underscore efforts by pipeline backers to keep political pressure on the White House.

But Warren Buffett makes lots and lots of money moving that oil by rail and Ogabe loves Warren’s money. And if he’s a really good boy and makes sure Warren makes even more money, maybe Warren will put Ogabe on lots of his Boards of Directors at very high rates of pay after Ogabe relinquishes the crown.

catsandbooks on August 30, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Oil to Obama is what he puts on his aragula salad.

docflash on August 30, 2013 at 6:31 PM

The pipeline won’t increase government power or revenue, it won’t keep gas prices artificially high, it won’t increase government dependency, and those filthy capitalist might make a profit, so what’s the point.

Bark

antipc on August 30, 2013 at 6:37 PM

If we don’t attack Syria, will the Saudi’s re-impose an embargo (1974 redux)
forcing the approval of K-XL?

Another Drew on August 30, 2013 at 6:37 PM

Obamacare comes in poooff, just like that, altering the lives of all free men, attacking religion, turning our health and death over to a zillion bureaucrats to dispose of as they wish, and they still don’t know what’s in the bill, but a pipeline, well, these things take time you know–pushing oil through a pipe, well that’s far more complex and intricate than a little ole brain surgery and stuff.

Don L on August 30, 2013 at 6:38 PM

Warren Boofay certainly didn’t buy into the Ogabe Regime to have his Union Pacific oil / gravy-TRAINS diminished.

viking01 on August 30, 2013 at 7:06 PM

I find it incredibly disappointing to know so many fellow Americans find Obama’s tactic of managing our decline okay. Given all of the failed socialist states we can reference as evidence, how do we divorce ourselves from this national suicide pact?

DanMan on August 30, 2013 at 7:10 PM

jawkneemusic on August 30, 2013 at 6:23 PM

No, it removes the need for the same type of crude oil which comes from Venezuela, NOT the Arabs. Technically Venezuela is one of them since it is that actual founding member of OPEC.

catsandbooks on August 30, 2013 at 6:24 PM

there is neither enough the rail capacity, nor numbers of tank cars nor terminals on either end to handle 700,000 BPD.

Kermit on August 30, 2013 at 7:25 PM

Here in Alaska we have been waiting for ANWR to open since billy jeff made it hands off. The pipeline is already in place. Funny how it’s not even part of the conversation anymore.
It took 11 years to open a gold mine here after Cour already had the permits. Then the lawyers went to work. 11 years worth. It’s been up and running just fine now for 5 years with no problems.
Who came out ahead with this.
Headache now.

scookam on August 30, 2013 at 8:10 PM

If we don’t attack Syria, will the Saudi’s re-impose an embargo (1974 redux)
forcing the approval of K-XL?

Another Drew on August 30, 2013 at 6:37 PM

No, I’m sure they’re holding out a threat of embargo if The One approves KXL. (Not that he ever will, anyway; Gaia must be served.)

I don’t think Syria matters a rat’s a$$ to the House of Saud one way or the other.

clear ether

eon

eon on August 30, 2013 at 8:57 PM

Mary Landrieu?

Give me a break. In the last two years of every election cycle she tries to do something conservaty to increase her cred in Louisiana. She won’t get any criticism from Democrats because, hey, do what you have to do to win elections, right?

itsspideyman on August 30, 2013 at 9:06 PM

Doesn’t O need to have an environmental impact survey done before he bombs Syria. Let’s send the EPA folks over to Syria to study the anticipated impact for a few years first.

KenInIL on August 30, 2013 at 9:27 PM

Good one KeninIL

scookam on August 30, 2013 at 10:42 PM

What’s really funny is that Obama did go to NY to talk up Fracking, but Cuomo has banned it in the state!

Iblis on August 30, 2013 at 10:50 PM

Obama has no intention of giving the OK. This country is filled with ignorant people. Five years of his bs and many still don’t get it. Like the idiots who work for McDonald’s and support amnesty. They will be working for five bucks an hour.

alanstern on August 30, 2013 at 10:53 PM