Keystone Report Brings Early Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day isn't until Sunday, but it sure feels like it today in Keystone XL land.
The State Department issued its fifth final environmental impact statement on the controversial oil-sands pipeline, and for the fifth time, it concluded the project would not have a significant impact on global warming.
President Obama continues down his path to yes today. But, he can still say no, and he can still delay. The regulatory review process has at least four more months. If Obama says no, he needs to say it quickly or wait until after the midterm elections, when his party's control of the Senate is at risk.
Is this the beginning of the end for Keystone's regulatory purgatory, or is another Groundhog Day around the corner?
TOP ENERGY NEWS
MICHAEL BLOOMBERG TAPPED TO BECOME U.N. CLIMATE ENVOY. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has named the former New York City mayor special envoy to the U.N. for climate change and cities.
- Our take: The U.N. chief is stepping up efforts to prevent fractious international global warming talks from going off the rails, but it remains to be seen whether, as negotiators hope, a final global climate accord can be reached in 2015.
KEYSTONE PIPELINE INCHES TOWARD GREEN LIGHT. The State Department said Friday that the proposed pipeline would not lead to a surge in greenhouse gas emissions, a finding that brings it closer to approval but doesn't end the intense lobbying fight over the project.
CANADIAN AMBASSADOR CONFIDENT KEYSTONE WILL BE APPROVED. Gary Doer said that he believes the president will give the project the green light as long as he's looking at "science and facts."
WHITE HOUSE TO NOMINATE NORMAN BAY TO HEAD FERC. Obama is planning to nominate the current director of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Office of Enforcement to fill the post vacated by former chairman Jon Wellinghoff.
CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER PUTS HOLD ON ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS. Stephen Harper is waiting to release regulations aimed at cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions until the U.S. does the same.
WHITE HOUSE WILLING TO EXPLORE 'POLICY OPTIONS' ON CRUDE EXPORTS. Is the White House cracking the door open to relaxing the ban on the export of U.S. crude oil?
WAXMAN: ELIOT NESS, MOTHER TERESA, AND GREEN GIANT ROLLED INTO ONE. The Hollywood Democrat has played leading roles in providing children's health insurance, cleaning the air, and overhauling health care.
ENERGY SECRETARY CALLS INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT TOP PRIORITY. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz says infrastructure has not kept pace with a surge in U.S. oil and natural-gas production.
GREENS OPPOSE FARM BILL. The Environmental Working Group says subsidies in the bill for large agricultural operations will hurt family-run farms and the environment.
HOUSE WATER BILL ON TRACK FOR A VOTE. Legislation introduced by the California Republican delegation in the House this week aimed at curing the state's water shortage hits the floor next week.
HOUSE DEMS URGE EPA TO FINALIZE MOTOR VEHICLE STANDARDS. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., and 40 other members of the House called on the agency to move quickly to finalize its Tier 3 Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards program.
PRICE OF OIL FALLS AT WEEK'S END. Oil prices dipped below $98 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange after a high of $98.23 seen earlier this week.
POLL: MAJORITY SUPPORT LIFTING THE BAN ON CRUDE-OIL EXPORTS. In National Journal's first energy poll—launched right here on Thursday—almost two-thirds of Energy Edge readers supported lifting the U.S. ban on exporting crude oil in some way. Roughly 45 percent said they support lifting the ban entirely, and another 20 percent said they would support some easement (though not lifting the ban entirely). Twenty-nine percent opposed lifting the ban and 6 percent were undecided. We'll do another poll next week!
WHAT INSIDERS ARE SAYING…
Next week's National Journal's Energy & Environment Expert Insiders discussion will look at President Obama's support for natural gas. In his State of the Union speech last week, Obama doubled down on his support for natural gas, calling it "the bridge fuel that can power our economy with less carbon pollution that causes climate change." Is that the right decision?
COAL MARKETS REPORT. The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration releases its coal news and markets report and weekly New York Mercantile Exchange coal futures.
DIESEL AND GASOLINE REPORT. The Energy Department's Energy Information Administration releases its weekly gasoline and diesel fuel update.