State Dept report: Yeah, we can’t really find any climate objections to the Keystone XL pipeline. …Again.

posted at 4:01 pm on January 31, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

I don’t know if the environmentalist contingent was honestly hoping for some sort of staunch renunciation of the Keystone XL pipeline in the State Department‘s latest iteration of an environmental impact report or what, but they are not very happy campers right now. …Which seems kind of unreasonable, because even the Obama administration only has so much power to continually deny brazen facts, and the department’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement released on Friday afternoon was destined to conclude more or less the same thing that their last version did: That the construction of Keystone XL will have only a negligible impact on climate change. Canada is planning on developing and transporting their oil sands come hell or high water, and if it isn’t going to get done with the United States’ pipeline partnership, then it will just have to happen by rail, by sea, and through their own volition. Some quick key takeaways from the report via the WSJ:

An Obama administration analysis of the Keystone XL pipeline application shows the project wouldn’t likely change the amount of oil ultimately removed from Canadian oil sands, suggesting that building the pipeline would have little impact on global climate change.

The report found that the “approval or denial of any single project is unlikely to significantly affect the rate of extraction of the oil in the oil sands, or the refining of heavy crude on the U.S. gulf coast,” a State Department official told reporters Friday. …

The report makes no recommendations on TransCanada Corp.’s permit request, leaving President Barack Obama the space to draw his own conclusions about whether the pipeline should get built.

As I said, the environmentalists are not pleased about this, and they are going to cling with all their might to the report’s finding that Canadian oil sands are indeed somewhat more carbon intensive than the oil that normally passes through our refineries:

The report actually concludes that Canada’s oil sands will emit about 17 percent more greenhouse gases than conventional crude, but again, that isn’t even the point here: The point is that those oil sands are coming out of the ground either way. As for jobs, the report again concludes: “During construction, proposed Project spending would support approximately 42,100 jobs (direct, indirect, and induced), and approximately $2 billion in earnings throughout the United States.”

As Tom Randall points out at Bloomberg, however, this still doesn’t quite mark the end of the interminable Keystone XL review process. The State Department’s latest environmental impact report just tees off the 90-day period during which they will deliberate over a more explicit decision over whether the pipeline is in the “national interests” (lolz), and during which a handful of other government agencies can give their own input, including the EPA and Interior. After that, I think it’s a safe bet that the eco-crowd will probably continue their desperate straw-grasping by trying to keep the contractor controversy going:

Today’s assessment was conducted by Environmental Resources Management (ERM), a U.K. company that environmentalists later criticized for potential conflicts of interest. The scrutiny is about to get heated. Two environmental groups, Friends of the Earth and the Checks and Balances Project, accused ERM in July of lying about its ties to TransCanada, the Calgary-based company that wants to build the pipeline. Specifically, they charged that ERM claimed not to have worked with TransCanada for at least three years, when in fact they had worked together more recently on a pipeline project in Alaska. The allegations are being investigated by the State Department’s Inspector General. In December, 25 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to Obama asking for the final impact study to be delayed pending the outcome of that probe. That didn’t happen, but the conflict, if true, could conceivably lead to a do-over, which is not without precedent.

And the final step, of course, comes down to President Obama himself. If his own administration is having trouble coming up with any valid reasons why they should keep frustrating the pipeline — because, sorry eco-radicals, but just sticking it to fossil fuels because you don’t like fossil fuels is not a serious, real-world option — I don’t know how he’ll be able to spin an ultimate “no.” C’mon, let’s get bipartisan up in here!


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So, build the damned thing already…

OmahaConservative on January 31, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Much heart-ache among the Huffers, and it’s all the Kochs’ fault.

What are the chances Obama approves this before the election? I keep thinking the coward will just push it off on the next president.

juliesa on January 31, 2014 at 4:10 PM

…it’s good for the local economies, etc.etc…….this group of clowns running this country…CAN’T HAVE THAT!

KOOLAID2 on January 31, 2014 at 4:11 PM

350.org is crushed. But not to worry! Facts were never the issue, emotion and cult belief are at the core of this one and that fact won’t change.

MTF on January 31, 2014 at 4:12 PM

But it feels wrong, man.

Meric1837 on January 31, 2014 at 4:13 PM

A new study will be conducted until the desired result is achieved or O is removed from office. Whichever comes first.

nobar on January 31, 2014 at 3:14 PM

Because the winningest response always gets transposted.

nobar on January 31, 2014 at 4:15 PM

I have an idea. Let every single Liberal who is screaming about dirty oil or coal sit in the cold and dark with no electricity. Maybe that will change their minds. I volunteer to remove anything from their houses that uses electricity.

Look, a pipeline is going to be built. It might not be through here in the US, but a pipeline is going to be built somewhere to carry that dirty CO2 emitting crude. So everyone get over it already.

Johnnyreb on January 31, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Canada is planning on developing and transporting their oil sands come hell or high water, and if it isn’t going to get done with the United States’ pipeline partnership, then it will just have to happen by rail, by sea, and through their own volition.

Yeah, those methods never have any environmental disasters occur. //////////////////

But don’t tell the eco-crowd that a pipeline is more enviro-friendly than trains and ships.

And, of course, they somehow believe that Canada won’t bother drilling for this oil if we just don’t build the pipeline.

Talk about clueless moonbats.

Bitter Clinger on January 31, 2014 at 4:20 PM

LURCHing towards a conclusion.

That Nebraska bunch on board yet? He can always use them for excuse fodder. Since his pen is a little slow, I mean.

tree hugging sister on January 31, 2014 at 4:22 PM

So what’s the big deal? The President is blocking cheap oil for the nation causing some financial hardship on individual citizens, and a depressed economy for the country via higher energy costs.

It’s not like he is arbitrarily shutting down a few lanes on a bridge and causing a local community some inconvenience for God sakes as that would be clearly criminal for some reason.

parke on January 31, 2014 at 4:24 PM

Sorry, there is a certain sand flea hive within 10 miles of the proposed pipeline location which must be protected at all costs, so no pipeline.

Bishop on January 31, 2014 at 4:27 PM

Obama STILL won’t approve it. Why? Because he has a pen, and a phone.

And he doesn’t want to stab the Dim base in the back.

Hmm, I wonder what it’s like to be in a political party like that? Where they don’t hate their base, declare war on them and stab them in the back at the drop of a hat.

Hmmmm.

Meople on January 31, 2014 at 4:28 PM

Obviously, what’s needed now is a Super-duper We Really Mean it this Time Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

rbj on January 31, 2014 at 4:29 PM

Any bets King Barack will want a do-over?

GarandFan on January 31, 2014 at 4:29 PM

LURCHing towards a conclusion.

That Nebraska bunch on board yet? He can always use them for excuse fodder. Since his pen is a little slow, I mean.

tree hugging sister on January 31, 2014 at 4:22 PM

If you are referring to BOLDNebraska (or whatever the heck they call themselves), hell will freeze over first. They have drunk the Kool-Aid down to the very last drop. On the other hand, Ogabe’s dear friend Warren is considering buying a company that manufactures a product that makes crude move faster and easier through a pipeline. Keep your eyes on BerkshireHathaway if you want to see which side of the fence Ogabe lands on.

catsandbooks on January 31, 2014 at 4:31 PM

Oh! Dear Leader is gonna be maaaaad!

NavyMustang on January 31, 2014 at 4:39 PM

0bama will sit on this until he needs it to help either congressional dems or his 2016 successor to win election.

CurtZHP on January 31, 2014 at 4:45 PM

Well, darn it, repeat the studies until you DO find problems. Or just make up some problems.

-BO

The Rogue Tomato on January 31, 2014 at 4:47 PM

I had a boss like this once. We kept having to do “analysis” until we came up with the correct conclusion.

Happy Nomad on January 31, 2014 at 4:56 PM

Oh! Dear Leader is gonna be maaaaad!

NavyMustang on January 31, 2014 at 4:39 PM

And nobody is madder than Obama.

Happy Nomad on January 31, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Remember, the “environmentalists” aren’t really concerned with the environment, ecology, or carbon footprints.

Those are just camoflage covers. Their real enemy is unrestrained economic growth. They are against it.

They want to CONTROL growth and economic activity. That is extraordinary power – the power to shut down power plants, put whole classes of people out of work, control communities from DC.

That’s their ONLY object.

Notice their support for things like ethanol, wind power, and solar farms – all of which do more damage to the environment than the “fossil fuels” they allegedly replace. It’s not about the Earth and never has been.

It’s about the money, Honey.

Adjoran on January 31, 2014 at 5:00 PM

Oh! Dear Leader is gonna be maaaaad!

NavyMustang on January 31, 2014 at 4:39 PM

And nobody is madder than Obama.

Happy Nomad on January 31, 2014 at 5:00 PM

He will be – once he reads about it in the papers.

Adjoran on January 31, 2014 at 5:02 PM

“Scientists, you folks help us understand our world,” McCarthy said at the 14th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment: Building Climate Solutions, sponsored by the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE). “You help EPA to meet our mission of public health protection and environmental protection.

“I need you now more than ever to speak the truth,” McCarthy said. “I need you to stand up together with us and explain what the science is telling you.

“To tell people that science and technology improvements will allow us to take action moving forward that meets the needs of this president as he has charged EPA, which is to look at climate change as something where we can innovate and we can move forward to grow the economy, to grow jobs, to understand how we’re producing sustainable, livable communities,” McCarthy said.

J_Crater on January 31, 2014 at 5:08 PM

So what’s the big deal? The President is blocking cheap oil for the nation causing some financial hardship on individual citizens, and a depressed economy for the country via higher energy costs.

It’s not like he is arbitrarily shutting down a few lanes on a bridge and causing a local community some inconvenience for God sakes as that would be clearly criminal for some reason.

That’s right, gotta put the lane closer in jail for 100 years.

The guy who refuses to enforce the laws Congress passes, or changes them via Executive Order, man, he gets reelected, becomes a millionaire, and is on the taxpayer tab until he and his whole family go to that great golf course in the sky!

jclittlep on January 31, 2014 at 5:23 PM

about time this is built..

jdivito on January 31, 2014 at 5:30 PM

Obama: “My mind is made up, don’t confuse me with facts.”

It won’t be built.

Another Drew on January 31, 2014 at 5:32 PM

The proper attitude for the Canadian government should be to say nothing and enter into negociations with the Chinese who would be more than willing to finance the construction of an east west pipe line to the Pacific in exchange (using money supplied by U.S. taxpayers in repayment of loans) for a priority on the supply.

Annar on January 31, 2014 at 5:41 PM

Canada is planning on developing and transporting their oil sands come hell or high water, and if it isn’t going to get done with the United States’ pipeline partnership, then it will just have to happen by rail, by sea, and through their own volition.

If Obama wants to go all in with his buddies he will completely ban the import of the Canadian oil by any means whatsoever to ‘save the planet.’ This would indeed make the Chinese happy. (The Japanese would also be willing to buy the product.

Annar on January 31, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Oh! Dear Leader is gonna be maaaaad!

NavyMustang on January 31, 2014 at 4:39 PM

When you say maaaaad, do you mean mad as in angry (like Moochelle in South Africa) or mad as in King George type mad?

lfwest on January 31, 2014 at 6:01 PM

The report makes no recommendations on TransCanada Corp.’s permit request, leaving President Barack Obama the space to draw his own conclusions about whether the pipeline should get built.

Despite the benefit to a friend and ally and despite the beneficial impact to the US – Lurch’s State Department still can’t make a recommendation for the approval of the project.

With all of their collective focus on ‘climate change’, it’s ironic that they seem insistent that Canada sells their oil to the world’s #1 polluter – and a nation that has no real interest in environmentalism. (Which speaks volumes about the green movement – they never have complaints about the former USSR (now Russia), the PRC, or the DPRK and their environmental abuses. It’s always the fault / issue of the West.)

Athos on January 31, 2014 at 6:19 PM

Obama hates working with our allies and loves working with our enemies..simple as that

sadsushi on January 31, 2014 at 8:03 PM