Covering Washington politics. From our vantage point. One day a time.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Two Thumbs Up! Keystone XL Pipeline Decision Delayed

The decision to build the oil pipeline that would potentially cover approximately 2,000 miles from Alberta, Canada to Texas, better known as the Keystone XL, has been delayed.

The State Department announced today that it will explore a new route for the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline citing its concerns the route’s impact on the Sand Hills of Nebraska.

Opposers of the Pipeline proposal, like Friends of the Earth, site that the project could potentially offer hazardous affects to indigenous people along its route, and the environment.  It could also carry one of the world’s dirtiest fuels: tar sands oil.

Protesters took the White House in opposition of the XL Pipeline, with members Congress joining them in their concerns. 

A business agent for a plumbers union we spoke to at the president's Georgetown Key Bridge event urging Congress to pass his Jobs bill, told us he and many other construction workers would welcome the construction of the Pipeline.

"We support the Keystone Pipeline because it would put a lot of construction workers back to work", noting the project would mean jobs for plumbers, welders, and fitters. 

"We hope the president supports the Pipeline", he said.

The 2010 State Department extension for determining the worthiness of the pipeline was extended.

Today, the Department announced it is delaying a decision on TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline to study an alternative route that avoids environmentally sensitive areas in Nebraska.

President Obama, who saw the full affects of the BP Oil Spill two years ago, said in a statement released by the White House today, that he is in support of the delayed decision of the State Department. 

"I support the State Department's announcement today regarding the need to seek additional information about the Keystone XL Pipeline proposal.  Because this permit decision could affect the health and safety of the American people as well as the environment, and because a number of concerns have been raised through a public process, we should take the time to ensure that all questions are properly addressed and all the potential impacts are properly understood.  The final decision should be guided by an open, transparent process that is informed by the best available science and the voices of the American people.  At the same time, my administration will build on the unprecedented progress we’ve made towards strengthening our nation’s energy security, from responsibly expanding domestic oil and gas production to nearly doubling the fuel efficiency of our cars and trucks, to continued progress in the development of a clean energy economy."

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