The State Department will continue its seven-year review of the Keystone XL pipeline and rejected TransCanada’s request to pause it while questions about the proposed route are worked out in Nebraska.
The reaction from pipeline supporter Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) to the State Department’s decision speaks volumes:
So now the administration wants to make a decision about the Keystone XL pipeline? It’s been stalling and delaying such action for seven years now – politicizing an energy infrastructure project and blowing it completely out of proportion.
This screams of political gamesmanship.
In 2014, the same State Department that today “wants that work to continue” on the pipeline review, said a decision on the project would be delayed because of “the uncertainty created by the on-going litigation in the Nebraska Supreme Court which could ultimately affect the pipeline route in that state.”
The Washington Post’s editorial board called that decision “embarrassing.”
The United States continues to insult its Canadian allies by holding up what should have been a routine permitting decision amid a funhouse-mirror environmental debate that got way out of hand. The president should end this national psychodrama now, bow to reason, approve the pipeline and go do something more productive for the climate.
Why the double-standard by the Obama administration? Ed Crooks, an energy editor for The Financial Times, speculated on Twitter that President Obama wants to make a big splash at next month’s Paris climate talks by announcing he’s rejecting the pipeline.
I hope not, but it’s not out of the question. Allowing politics to trample sound energy policy has been the name of the game throughout this regulatory ordeal.