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Eilperin writes: "The company sponsoring the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline Monday asked the State Department to suspend the review of its federal permit application, a request that could push a final decision on the pipeline beyond President Obama's tenure in office."

TransCanada CEO Russ Girling. (photo: Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)
TransCanada CEO Russ Girling. (photo: Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)


TransCanada Asks US to Suspend Keystone Pipeline Application

By Juliet Eilperin, The Washington Post

03 November 15

 

he company sponsoring the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline Monday asked the State Department to suspend the review of its federal permit application, a request that could push a final decision on the pipeline beyond President Obama’s tenure in office.

The administration is preparing to reject a cross-border permit for the project aimed at transporting hundreds of thousands of barrels of heavy crude oil from Canada’s oil sands region to Gulf Coast refineries, according to several individuals who have been briefed but spoke on the condition of anonymity because the White House’s decision has not been announced. In asking for a delay, TransCanada could hand the issue, which has come to symbolize the broader battle over how the United States should address climate change, to the next U.S. president.

The Nebraska Public Service Commission is reviewing the pipeline’s route in the state after residents there challenged the state’s approval process for the project, and TransCanada argued in a letter to Secretary of State John F. Kerry that it would be “appropriate” to delay any federal decision until the Nebraska route is settled. The company first applied for a presidential permit seven years ago.

TransCanada’s president and chief executive, Russ Girling, noted Monday that when residents challenged the approval process for the pipeline in Nebraska’s courts, “the State Department found it appropriate to suspend its review until that dispute was resolved. We feel under the current circumstances a similar suspension would be appropriate.” The Nebraska review, the company said, could take between seven and 12 months.

A State Department official said officials were reviewing the letter.

Earlier Monday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that “our expectation at this point is that the president will make a decision before the end of his administration on the Keystone pipeline, but when exactly that will be I don’t know at this point.”

At issue is the northern leg of the pipeline, which would stretch 1,179 miles between Hardisty, Alberta, and Steele City, Neb. The administration has approved the project’s southern leg.

Many Republicans and some construction union members welcome the prospect of boosting reliance on a U.S. ally for new supplies of heavy crude, and argue that the pipeline would be cheaper and less hazardous than transporting the oil by rail.

But environmentalists have criticized the project because the extraction and processing of the viscous oil requires more energy than many other oil operations.

Jane Kleeb, a member of Bold Nebraska, a group that opposes the pipeline, wrote in an e-mail Monday that the administration should reject the permit.

“The route in Nebraska has been uncertain for years, the only difference now is TransCanada knows they are about to have their permit rejected so they are scrambling,” she wrote. “President Obama can end all of this uncertainty with a stroke of a pen.”

Obama declared in a speech in June 2013 that he would approve the project only if it “does not significantly exacerbate the climate problem.”

The State Department completed two environmental reviews of the project, ultimately concluding it would not contribute to global carbon output unless oil prices dipped to between $60 and $70 a barrel. At that point, extracting oil-sands crude would be much less profitable and the increased cost of shipping the crude by rail instead of the pipeline could persuade companies to shelve big projects.

Conventional crude oil prices are now below $50 a barrel, and the price is lower for the bitumen wrung from oil sands. Many big projects expanding output are in development, but oil companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, Statoil and Teck Resources have put others on hold, citing price and the lack of transportation. On Thursday, Shell said it would take a $2 billion write-off for its Carmon Creek oil-sands project in Alberta.

Backers of the pipeline, including Sens. John Hoeven (R) and Heidi Heitkamp (D) of North Dakota, issued statements Monday saying the administration had effectively killed the project.

“It is clear President Obama was going to deny the permit,” Hoeven said. “The costly delay has prevented the company from proceeding on a new pipeline that would have brought oil from Canada and the Bakken to U.S. refineries and jobs and revenue to local communities.”


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+24 # tswhiskers2012@yahoo.com 2015-11-03 10:31
Last night Rachel Maddow said that possibly TransCanada has asked that its permit application be suspended so that if a GOP candidate wins the election next year they can resubmit in 2017. This is better for them than being turned down flat. So it is NOT a dead issue. Better for us, the public, if a final decision is made while Obama is still in office.
 
 
+10 # Billy Bob 2015-11-03 10:44
All true.

But, it won't be decided by Obama. He never wanted to do anything about it or he would have. I wonder what President Clinton will do?

NOTE: [SNARK]ASM

Being a non-gambler pretending to be a Vegas guy, here's my guess(es):

-Republicans have 25% chance of winning the presidency.

-ALL Republicans will do anything to please Big Oil (without exception). So, there's a 100% chance a Republican president would approve it.

-Within the 75% chance our next president is a Democrat, Hillary has a 60% chance of winning the nomination, and easily beating any Republican in a landslide (due to conservative whites who just aren't bat-shit crazy enough to vote for the looney Republicans choose).

-Within that same 75% chance, Bernie has a 40% chance of nomination, and will win the presidency, after a hard fought battle against a "moderate" Republican, where he barely wins, or an easy landslide against a more obviously crazy Republican.

-If Sanders is president, he will absolutely oppose it - PERIOD.

-If Clinton is elected, she'll continue the Obama policy of playing both sides against each other, while doing nothing. Eventually, she'll see who gives her more political pressure, and she'll cower to that side. If she's afraid of a Democratic challenger from her left in 2020, she'll oppose it. If she's more afraid of the Republican obstruction that will happen no matter WHAT she does, she'll bow to them like Obama.

Either way, she couldn't care less.
 
 
+7 # Jump Off Joe 2015-11-03 11:43
"obviously crazy Republican."

Aren't you being a wee bit redundant?
 
 
0 # Billy Bob 2015-11-03 18:20
Yeah, I suppose so, but at this point, "crazy-Republic an" could be the new name for the party. I'm sure most "Crazy-Republic an (now, just one word) would be proud of that title.
 
 
+7 # reiverpacific 2015-11-03 11:01
Quoting tswhiskers2012@yahoo.com:
Last night Rachel Maddow said that possibly TransCanada has asked that its permit application be suspended so that if a GOP candidate wins the election next year they can resubmit in 2017. This is better for them than being turned down flat. So it is NOT a dead issue. Better for us, the public, if a final decision is made while Obama is still in office.


Och well; all dirty tricks and tactics notwithstanding , Bernie Sanders'll dump it anyhow when he's elected.
I doubt if Clinton 11 (or even "Tattie" Trump) would dare to approve this filthy travesty of a scheme.
The rest of the Teathuglicans are toast. I'll bet Bush the third (or the "Turd" as I prefer to call him) will be dropping' out eftsoons if not immediately.
And remember, Canada has just lost its biggest proponent, the foul poisoned dwarf, Harper
 
 
0 # HowardMH 2015-11-03 12:36
Obama the Wimp actually make a decision now that Canada has pulled the plug for now -- not a chance.

Just like Shell Oil got the approval to drill for oil in Alaska. Once Shell discovered there wasn't enough oil there to waist their time, then Obama the Wimp said No more drilling in Alaska.
 
 
+15 # elizabethblock 2015-11-03 10:47
1) I think this is a case of "if you're losing the game, change the rules."
2) This isn't about energy self-sufficienc y for the US. It's about TransCanada being able to ship oil abroad.
 
 
+11 # MEBrowning 2015-11-03 11:19
And that is why Hoeven's statement, provocatively positioned at the end of the article, is so disingenuous. Republicans always keep harping on how this dirty, dangerous pipeline will mean jobs for the U.S., when it's already been concluded that those jobs will be few, and many will be temporary. And "costly delay"? That describes the entire Republican congressional agenda since Obama was first elected.
 
 
+12 # Shades of gray matter 2015-11-03 11:59
Perhaps Obama should stall, stall, stall, then maybe grant the delay, depending on 2016 Election results. Meanwhile, I think Canada should be asked to ship the shit by rail thru all their major cities, then by leaky ship the last part of the SL Seaway. Then thru the new Chinese Canal to Asia. This seems like a ridiculously crude project whose time has come, and gone. Kudos to Nebraskans who held it up. Build a northern wall to keep crud from crossing our border!
 
 
+4 # Desiderata 2015-11-03 15:59
Quoting Shades of gray matter:
Perhaps Obama should stall, stall, stall, then maybe grant the delay, depending on 2016 Election results. Meanwhile, I think Canada should be asked to ship the shit by rail thru all their major cities, then by leaky ship the last part of the SL Seaway. Then thru the new Chinese Canal to Asia. This seems like a ridiculously crude project whose time has come, and gone. Kudos to Nebraskans who held it up. Build a northern wall to keep crud from crossing our border!


Ahem :there ain't enough wall in the world to prevent some of your "crud" from crossing the Canadian border.Methinks this pipeline benefits mostly your 1% , some Asians ,Harper and his cronies (who, by the way, have just been ousted ). We have elections too ,they just don't take years , cost billions,and dominate the airwaves ad nauseum. If you succeed in voting in Bernie
then perhaps issues such as this will become a moot point .
 

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