Five years and counting this is how much time has elapsed since the application for a presidential permit was submitted by TransCanada Pipelines. Five years later the Obama Administration still dithers on a decision or will not make one.
President Obama rejected the pipeline outright, stating the concerns with the sensitive Nebraska Sand Hills. The remaining route was designated as safe in the environmental assessment. Regardless the Obama Administration required that the process start all over again. Incidentally the rejection came prior to an election.
For the Obama Administration it is easier to annoy the northern neighbour they share the continent with, rather than alienating the far left base, which funds elections and provides essential votes for Democrats. Unfortunately, even after five years in office, for this president everything is political.
John Baird, Canada’s Foreign Minister, publicly declared this week that it’s decision time for the Keystone XL pipeline, even if it’s a no. John Kerry, US Secretary of State, said that the US would not be pressured into short circuiting the process and the decision would come in time.
But, Mr. Kerry added: The American public has raised lots of questions and concerns about the controversial TransCanada project to funnel upward of one million barrels of Alberta heavy oil sands crude to refineries near ports along Gulf of Mexico. “We are all accountable to our publics,” he said, adding Mr. Baird, who was standing next to him at a news conference, understands that.
Mr. Baird didn’t seem mollified. He has spent the last three days telling anyone in Washington who would listen – at the White House, on Capitol Hill and then publicly in a blunt speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – that “decision time” had arrived for Keystone XL.
Even a “no” would be better than more delay, Mr. Baird said, reflecting mounting frustration in the Tory cabinet with White House dithering over a long-sought outlet to world market prices for Alberta’s landlocked, and discounted, heavy-crude reserves.
Currently Alberta crude oil is flowing to the US on an old pipeline and some of it is being shipping by train. If someone believes that rail transport is safer than a pipeline, think again. There have been several train derailment recently, one which devastated a community in Quebec. In the absence of a pipeline this rail transport will increase and it’s only a matter of time before a major disaster occurs. Oil from the Bakken Basin in North Dakota is highly flammable and most of it is transported by rail.
Demonizing the Alberta Oil Sands has become a favorite game of the far left. Fort MacMurray is an easy target, while the largest polluter in the world is China, no one is about to protest there or in Putin’s Russia.
After five years of dithering, election considerations, the roll out of a bodged Affordable Health Act website, when will it be convenient for President Obama to make this decision. This president would rather waste his time on diversions like income equality. What kind of utopia cloud does he live in?