You’d think common sense would’ve won the argument for the Keystone XL pipeline a long time ago, but President Obama needed support from environmentalists to win an election. Now that he got his 2nd term, he is feeling pressure to make good on job creation promises, and the necessary re-route through Nebraska has been outlined, everyone from elected officials to business owners to labor unions are saying that its time to get this show on the road. Obama’s refusal to approve the pipeline has halted job creation before it could even start and opened the doors for reliable energy to go to China. From Bryan Preston of the PJ Tatler:
But TransCanada has proposed a new route for the pipeline that avoids the Nebraska Sandhills, and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality is seeking comment before it drafts its report on the new route. Port-To-Plains Alliance, which is made up of more than 100 local elected officials and community leaders, has today offered its “strong support” for the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Energy sector experts are lauding the reroute as a safe and practical solution. From Michael Whatley of the Consumer Energy Alliance:
This report clearly demonstrates that the Keystone XL pipeline will be one of the safest pipelines ever constructed. We commend the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality for its dedication to a thorough, scientific-based evaluation and for its consistent engagement with landowners and the public throughout this process. Naysayers will be hard-pressed to find any legitimate flaws in either this process or in this report.
Referencing the report, Mr. Whatley also noted:
CEA is pleased to see that the re-route process has clearly and effectively resolved concerns about impacts to the environmentally sensitive Sand Hills region. Not only does the report reaffirm that the project with have no significant environmental impact, the report also concludes Keystone XL will be a boon to the Nebraska economy. Workers and taxpayers across the state will benefit from the jobs-and-revenue combo that will help stimulate growth for years.
The pipeline enjoys broad-based support in Nebraska as can be seen by this petition. Everyone else is ready to move ‘forward,’ but where’s President Obama? On the sidelines, saying nothing. Doesn’t he know the election is over?
Obama put off final decision on the pipeline until after the 2012 elections. He has not reopened discussion of the pipeline since he was narrowly re-elected…President Obama campaigned promising an “all of the above” approach to energy, but has yet to state whether he will instruct the US State Department to approve or deny TransCanada’s permits to construct the pipeline. The State Department has to approve the construction because the pipeline crosses an international boundary.
For those who may not be aware, protesters of the pipeline for weeks have been dressing up as owls and chaining themselves to out-of-use-equipment. Some have even shown up at the White House. Unfortunately, right now, this is the only thing “blocking” Keystone: