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Another Keystone Delay: The Sound and the Fury Another Keystone Delay: The Sound and the Fury

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Energy Edge

Another Keystone Delay: The Sound and the Fury

April 18, 2014

By Ben Geman (@ben_geman) and Jason Plautz (@jason_plautz)

The State Department announced Friday afternoon that it's extending its deadline for review of the proposed Keystone XL oil-sands pipeline, a move that could punt a final decision until after the midterm congressional elections.

State said it told federal agencies they will have more time to weigh in on TransCanada's proposed pipeline, a project that's at the heart of an intense political and lobbying fight.

 

The department is citing an ongoing Nebraska court battle over the state law used to approve the route through that state as reason to lengthen its review.

Republicans and Democrats who back the pipeline—including Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.—slammed the delay. Landrieu and Republican Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota said the delay will fuel their efforts to win a permit for Keystone through congressional action. "I will continue to work with my colleagues to approve this important energy project congressionally rather than let the president defeat it with endless delays," Hoeven said in a statement.

An aide to a Democratic senator who opposes the pipeline said the political implications of the delay on the ultimate decision are tough to game out, but he believes it may make a rejection more likely.

TOP ENERGY NEWS

COURT UPHOLDS CEMENT-PLANT RULES. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia largely upheld EPA rules cutting pollution from cement plants in response to environmental groups' challenge that the rules weren't tough enough. (Lawrence Hurley, Reuters)

WEST UNDER GREATER FIRE DANGER. The American Geophysical Union found that the area consumed by wildfires in the American West has grown—and is likely to continue to because of rising temperatures and drought conditions. (Fred Barbash, Washington Post)

STATES WEIGH IN ON CHEMICALS BILL. In an open letter, 13 state attorneys general have expressed their opposition to the Chemicals in Commerce Act, the House version of a bill to overhaul the nation's chemical-management system. The bill would contain a "sweeping preemption of the authority of states," wrote the officials, several of whom represent states that have enacted their own chemical rules.

EPA: DON'T CHANGE YOUR CALENDAR. EPA is still on track to meet the June 1 deadline for proposing its rule limiting greenhouse-gas emissions from existing power plants, an agency spokesman said Thursday. That's despite a statement by Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe that it would be delayed until the end of June.

CADILLAC SHRUGS AT AD CRITICS. After being mocked for the ad for its electric-hybrid ELR that praised wealthy Americans, Cadillac has fired back, with marketing chief Uwe Ellinghaus asking "Where's the humor?" (Alex Davies, Business Insider)

WHAT INSIDERS ARE SAYING

Next week's Energy and Environment Insiders discussion will raise the questions: Are states missing out on millions from the fracking boom? Should states be setting money aside from the natural-gas windfall to break the boom-and-bust cycle that too often comes with natural-resource extraction? Can a balance be found to make sure state residents benefit from the boom without driving drillers away? Or are the policies that already exist detrimental to the industry?

HAPPENING MONDAY

EPA CHIEF BEGINS CLIMATE TOUR. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will be on The Daily Show to promote the White House climate plan, the first in a weeklong set of appearances on the topic.

BIOFUELS CONFERENCE. The Advanced Biofuels Leadership Conference opens Monday, featuring a lunchtime keynote from acting Navy undersecretary Thomas Hicks.

OIL BOOM DISCUSSION. The Bipartisan Policy Center hosts a discussion on the production of unconventional oil sources, including deepwater and Arctic sites.

CARBON CAPTURE DISCUSSION. The U.S. Energy Association hosts a discussion on the world's largest carbon-dioxide-capture energy centers, located in Mongstad, Norway.

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