Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted January 10, 2015
Throughout the Keystone XL pipeline’s long wait for federal approval, President Obama has used one excuse after another to deflect responsibility for blocking a project that polls in the 70s with the American people, one that would support thousands of U.S. jobs and help move the country closer to North American energy security. All along the way the president could have exercised his authority to say yes to all of the above but deferred instead.
The president said environmental questions needed answers, and they were provided by his own State Department, which cleared Keystone XL in five separate environmental reviews.
The president said the cross-border approval process – required because Keystone XL would cross the U.S.-Canadian border – needed to run its course. It did and then some, stretching now to more than six years when historically, cross-border approvals are granted in 18 to 24 months.
The president said Nebraska needed to work out the pipeline’s route through that state, which it did. Then the president said the state’s Supreme Court would have to settle a legal challenge over the re-routing process.
On Friday, Nebraska’s high court rejected that challenge, confirming the assessment of the state Department of Environmental Quality and the governor’s recommendation to the State Department – leaving the project with only one remaining obstacle: President Obama.
Posted January 8, 2015
With legislation to advance the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline moving ahead in the Senate, potentially attracting a misguided veto from President Obama, some important numbers:
76 – The number of months Keystone XL has been blocked by the Obama administration. Historically, approvals for cross-border pipeline projects take 18 to 24 months. Keystone XL’s history is something quite different – the story of how a shovel-ready infrastructure project was needlessly hijacked by politics.
830,000 – The number of barrels of North American oil per day that would flow through Keystone XL to U.S. refineries on the Gulf Coast, the vast majority of which would be turned into valuable fuel products.
42,100 – The number of U.S. jobs that would be supported during Keystone XL’s construction. That’s not industry’s number. That’s the number coming from President Obama’s own State Department. When he and others dismiss the project’s jobs impact, it reveals a serious lack of understanding of the way large infrastructure construction creates a positive ripple across the economy in terms of direct jobs, indirect jobs and induced jobs – all of which the White House fully appreciated when it was making the case for its federal stimulus package in 2009.
5 – The number of Keystone XL environmental reviews conducted by President Obama’s own Department of State.
5 – The number of State Department environmental reviews that have concluded Keystone XL would have no significant climate impact.
2 – The number of Pinocchios just awarded by the Washington Post’s Fact Checker to claims that Keystone XL will negatively impact the environment and that it would only be only a conduit for oil to be shipped overseas. (This follows the Three Pinocchios given to President Obama last fall for saying oil transported by Keystone XL would go “everywhere else” but the U.S. Bottom line, that’s a lot of Pinocchios.)
Posted March 7, 2014
A new Washington Post/ABC News poll on the Keystone XL pipeline adds to the drumbeat of strong public support for building the pipeline. The Post/ABC survey shows a nearly 3 to 1 margin, with 65 percent saying Keystone XL should be approved.
Posted February 6, 2014
The folks at the Energy Collective hosted an interesting webchat discussion of the Keystone XL pipeline the other day, a good part of which focused on greenhouse gas emissions from the project and oil sands development – identified by President Obama as a key basis for his pipeline decision.
The big takeaway here: Even at the high end of estimates in the State Department’s latest Keystone XL environmental review, emissions would be a tiny fraction of global totals – hardly proving that the project would significantly exacerbate climate change.
Posted June 28, 2013
Raise your hand if you’ve played “Whack-A-Mole,” the old staple of arcades and carnivals, where the object is bopping the heads of mechanical varmints with a padded mallet as they rapidly and randomly pop up through multiple holes in the game table.
The concept pretty well captures tactics Keystone XL pipeline and Canadian oil sands opponents have used to help delay the Keystone XL, a shovel-ready project that would create tens of thousands of U.S. jobs, help grow our economy and make the U.S. more energy secure.
Posted August 29, 2011
Jane Van Ryan
Posted February 25, 2011
Posted February 7, 2011
Jane Van Ryan
Posted October 22, 2010