Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Keystone XL Pipeline - #3746 - Surprise: Obama to Fast-Track Approval for Keystone Pipeline's... er, Southern Half - Hot Air

I’ve got to hand it to him. This is so shameless and predictable a pander that it really did make me laugh when I read it. Well played, champ. As far as every low-information voter in America who barely scans the headlines is concerned, you just “approved the Keystone pipeline.” You really do care about gas prices.  President Obama plans to announce in Cushing, Oklahoma Thursday that his administration will expedite the permit process for the southern half of the Keystone XL pipeline, a source familiar with the president’s announcement tells CNN.  In January, the Obama administration denied a permit for the 1,700 mile long Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would stretch from Canada’s tar sands development to the U.S. Gulf Coast. That decision was met by persistent Republican criticism that the president has not been doing everything possible to create jobs and combat high gas prices…  Senior administration officials would not confirm the president’s plan to unveil the effort to cut red tape for the project, though one senior administration official acknowledged the need to deal with the glut of oil in Cushing, where oil from the Midwest hits a bottleneck as it is transported to the Gulf of Mexico.

It’s the northern half of the pipeline, particularly the section that was originally set to be routed through the Nebraska Sandhills (and which was re-routed by TransCanada months ago), to which environmentalists object most vehemently. Oh, minor footnote: TransCanada announced weeks ago that it was planning to start building the southern half of the pipeline by late spring or early summer at the latest. It doesn’t even need approval from the State Department to do so because no international boundary is implicated. All it needs are regulatory approvals from whichever federal agencies are in charge here. (Bureaucracy being what it is, no one’s quite sure yet who that might be.) All The One is doing here is making sure there’s a little less red tape in the way of a project that’s already a fait accompli. And he’s doing it, conveniently, just in time for his big photo op at the oil storage complex in Cushing, Oklahoma on Thursday.  Read more..........

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