2014 US Trucking News – Obama Keystone Pipeline Review Lashed by Nebraska Judge
Bob Schulz, a business professor at the University of Calgary who has studied the Keystone Pipeline Project, says that this gives both President Barack Obama, and the US State Department an out. He wonders why they would decide on this project if it’s not even necessary. Schulz believes that the president will continue to push it back for one more year.
By putting off these choices, President Obama manages to stay away from upsetting voters in energy-rich states once he chooses to support environmentalists, and snub the former. Tom Steyer, a former hedge-fund manager who is against the Keystone NextGen Climate Action group spends around $100 million this year by supporting candidates that are serious when it comes to the pipeline.
Chris Lehane, a political aide who is a part of Steyer’s group, says that if a person is sitting in a boardroom of TransCanada, a lot of valuables are out there. This includes the fact that people do not even have a path that was accepted through a critical state. The politics of this still continue to shape up, even in states like Nebraska.
Democrats that are looking for a re-election in Republican states, such as Louisiana’s Mary Landrieu and Alaska’s Mark Begich both want the president to approve the Keystone Pipeline.
Environmental groups say that this project, which costs $5.4 billion, will make the climate change even worse, while labor unions and Republicans in Congress claim that constructing and working from United States to western Canadian refineries on the Gulf Coast can make jobs and even develop the US economy.
The State Department is currently examining the Keystone project since it crosses an international border. It is also in the development of shaping whether this project has gained national interest. Meanwhile, it is up to President Obama to make the final pronouncement. An anonymous State Department official says that the agency has not given any comments.
It’s not the first time that these questions at the Nebraska route have caused delays in the decision. Back in 2011, the State Department has said that they still need to wait before they could review a different route, after residents of Heineman say that the original path of Keystone crossed an aquifer which became a hazard to their supply of drinking water.
In January 2012, President Obama has dismissed the original path because of the concerns he had over Nebraska. Heineman, as well as the state legislature, then approved the revised path which is being analyzed by the US State Department.
In a research note, Christine Tezak, who is an analyst with ClearView Energy Partners LLC, a financial research group in Washington, says that in short, the Keystone Standard Time seems to be positioned to drag on for a little bit longer. And because of the decision in Nebraska, this could even go even further than the mid-term elections.
Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper, as well as other Canadian officials, lobbied President Obama to allow the construction of the Keystone pipeline, stating that this will improve the energy security of North America. Prime Minister Harper has even referred to the project as a “no-brainer”, and criticized the US president for delaying the verdict regarding the pipeline.
After a meeting with Prime Minister Harper and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in Toluca, Mexico, President Obama has said that he will not rush the US review.
President Obama also said during a news conference that Keystone will continue along the route that has already been set. He knows that it has been broad and a little bit too painstaking at times.
Representative Lee Terry, who is a Nebraska Republican and a supporter of legislation intended at forcing the president to grant the construction of Keystone, has faulted the decision of the judge.
Terry has spoken in a statement that this is a harsh decision. If this is endorsed, it could possibly result in an enlarged reliance on foreign sources of oil. But Terry also says that this choice does not hamper the president from making the right choice after five years of consistent delays and signing the permits to construct the Keystone pipeline.
Environmentalists have said that this verdict would probably hamper President Obama’s decision on the pipeline.
Jim Murphy, an attorney with the National Wildlife Federation who has opposed to construction of the pipeline, says that the State Department has studied a certain path in Nebraska, and now a judge has thrown this path out. He thinks that this road to approval will be complicated.
Anthony Swift, an international attorney for the National Resources Defense Council, said in a review by the state public service that charge would probably become a lot more exact than the method followed by the governor. Swift says in an email that he would not assume that it is a sure bet by any means that the PSC will land on a similar path.
In a verdict for a case that was made by three landowners, legislation that removed power from the commission over the site of the pipeline is both invalid, and illegal. Since the actions of the governor in approving the Keystone pipeline’s path were predicted on an unauthorized importance, the court has also found the actions of the governor to be unacceptable and void.
Under its rules, the Nebraska Public Service Commission is given seven months from the filing of an application, to permitting or disapproving oil or projects that involve natural gas.
It has also been ruled in a case that was brought up by those three Nebraska property owners, who have sued to block the planned route. Arguments were heard on September. This choice has also prevented the governor or the state’s Department of Environmental Quality from getting any type of further action when it comes to the pipeline.
People who have supported this project say that they still continue to be hopeful that the decision of the judge would not cause any more further delays.