Kerry to Canada on Keystone XL: We’ll do all the consultation we feel like, thank you very much
posted at 4:51 pm on January 17, 2014 by Erika Johnsen
Like I said the other day, nobody on either side of the fight is going to oblige the Obama administration’s interminable dithering on the Keystone XL pipeline by finally backing off the politically contentious issue and letting it fade into the background of bureaucratic purgatory — not Congress, not the oil and gas industry, not the eco-radicals, and certainly not Canada — so why not just man up and make the tough decision already, either way, and have it out? It was about this time last year that Kerry was blithely assuring Canadian officials that they would have a decision ready in the conveniently vague “near term,” but nearly twelve months later, I think the Canadians are starting to get the creeping feeling that they really might try to keep pushing their egregiously protracted review process past this year’s midterms. Not having it:
Canada bluntly told the United States on Thursday to settle the fate of TransCanada Corp’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline, saying the drawn-out process on whether to approve the northern leg of the project was taking too long.
The hard-line comments by Foreign Minister John Baird were the clearest sign yet that Canada’s Conservative government has lost patience over what it sees as U.S. foot-dragging. …
“The time for Keystone is now. I’ll go further – the time for a decision on Keystone is now, even if it’s not the right one. We can’t continue in this state of limbo,” Baird said in a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
It’s the uncertainty that almost hurts more than anything else; the Keystone XL pipeline would be the safest, most efficient, most cost-effective way for the country from whom we import the most oil to transport their wares, but the industry is perfectly willing to find a way to get along without it if need be (and indeed, they have already been doing so for quite awhile now), so will you just get on with it. According to Kerry, however, the administration still just has so much work to do, and “an analysis will be made with respect to the national interest ultimately and we’re just not at that point yet. I haven’t received it.” How quaint.
Keystone XL pipeline analysis isn’t complete, says John Kerry Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday the environmental analysis on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline isn’t complete and vowed not to rush even as Canadian officials said the process has dragged on too long and demanded a decision.
“I can promise our friends in Canada that all the appropriate effort is being put into trying to get this done effectively and rapidly and my hope is that before long that analysis will be available,” Kerry said at a news conference at the State Department with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird.
… Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Thursday the U.S. decision to seek more comment on the next phase of the suggests President Barack Obama’s administration may further delay a decision.
“How much consultation do you need to do?” Harper said in the interview with Bloomberg News in his Ottawa office. “It’s clearly another punt.”