Keystone XL pipeline advocates were quick to say that Friday’s State Department report gives President Obama all the evidence he needs to approve the project.
They’ll be disappointed after hearing from the White House. On Friday night the White House left itself plenty of breathing room on making the final decision.
“The President has clearly stated that the project will be in the national interest only if it does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution. The Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement includes a range of estimates of the project’s climate impacts, and that information will now need to be closely evaluated by Secretary [of State John] Kerry and other relevant agency heads in the weeks ahead,” said Matt Lehrich, a White House spokesman.
“A decision on whether the project is in the national interest will be made only after careful consideration of the SEIS and other pertinent information, comments from the public, and views of other agency heads,” Lehrich added.
The key finding in the long-awaited State Department study is that Keystone would likely have little effect on the rate of expansion of carbon-intensive oil sands projects.
That major finding is a boost for TransCanada’s proposed pipeline and a blow to environmentalists, who say building Keystone XL would drive up emissions by serving as a catalyst for expanded oil sands production.
But the report — available here — also examines alternative oil price and pipeline-constraint scenarios that dampen oil sands production, giving project opponents something to hang their hat on.
What We're Following See More »
Debbie Wasserman Schultz has given up her last remaining duty at this week's convention. Now, she's told her hometown newspaper, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, that she will not gavel in the convention today. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will do the honors instead. "I have decided that in the interest of making sure that we can start the Democratic convention on a high note that I am not going to gavel in the convention," Wasserman Schultz said.
Perhaps this talk of unity has been overstated. Addressing a room full of his supporters today, Bernie Sanders heard "sustained boos" when he said he said it was essential that we elect Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine.
The FBI this morning issued a statement saying it is "investigating a cyber intrusion involving the DNC," adding that "a compromise of this nature is something we take very seriously." Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton's campaign is suggesting that the hack "was committed by Russia to benefit Donald Trump."
A group of delegates loyal to Bernie Sanders is actively exploring how to challenge Tim Kaine's nomination for the vice presidency. A lead of the group "said he hoped the Democratic National Committee releases information within hours on how to submit a challenger to Kaine, which he said would require the signatures of 300 delegates. He said they have until Wednesday morning to file a challenge to Kaine and stressed that while his group would take any requests from the Sanders campaign under consideration, the delegate group is an independent organization."
Here are some more numbers out of Utah that should frighten Donald Trump—and give hope to Gary Johnson. "An internal poll conducted for Rep. Mia Love two weeks ago found Trump at 29 percent, Clinton at 27 percent" and Libertarian candidate Johnson at 26 percent. "That was, however, before Trump picked Indiana Gov. Mike Pence." Utah party chairman James Evans said that move ought to clinch the state for Trump. "Utahns are going to come through because the level of distaste for Hillary is so deep," he said.