Keystone Pipeline Report Fallout: The Latest

View of the Syncrude oil sands extraction facility near the town of Fort McMurray in Alberta Province, Canada on October 25, 2009. Greenpeace is calling for an end to oil sands mining in the region due to their greenhouse gas emissions and have recently staged sit-ins which briefly halted production at several mines. At an estimated 175 billion barrels, Alberta's oil sands are the second largest oil reserve in the world behind Saudi Arabia, but they were neglected for years, except by local companies, because of high extraction costs. Since 2000, skyrocketing crude oil prices and improved extraction methods have made exploitation more economical, and have lured several multinational oil companies to mine the sands.
National Journal
Ben Geman
Feb. 3, 2014, 1:23 a.m.

The State De­part­ment’s un­veil­ing of its fi­nal en­vir­on­ment­al study of the Key­stone XL pipeline on Fri­day brought af­ter­shocks through the week­end.

Bloomberg re­ports that big Ca­na­dian oil sands pro­du­cers don’t need the pro­posed pipeline as badly as they did when Tran­sCanada began seek­ing per­mits a half dec­ade ago.

Sure, pro­du­cers are happy with State’s re­port, which mostly up­held a 2013 draft find­ing that Key­stone isn’t a plan­et-cook­er, Bloomberg notes. But the oil com­pan­ies say the fi­nal U.S. de­cision on a per­mit, whenev­er that ar­rives, isn’t make-or-break.

“Ca­na­dian pro­du­cers wel­comed the pos­it­ive step, while em­phas­iz­ing that their op­tions for trans­port­ing crude are widen­ing,” states the Bloomberg piece that’s head­lined “Key­stone Ar­dor Cools Among Pro­du­cers With More Op­tions.”

White House Chief of Staff Den­nis Mc­Donough, ap­pear­ing on Sunday talk shows, em­phas­ized that State’s re­port is just one part of the fed­er­al re­view. He offered no timeline for a fi­nal de­cision.

“What the pres­id­ent’s role is now is to pro­tect this pro­cess from polit­ics, let the ex­pert agen­cies and the Cab­in­et sec­ret­ar­ies make their as­sess­ments both of the study that was put on Fri­day as well as its im­pact on the na­tion­al in­terest. So we’ll re­solve that over the com­ing peri­od of time,” Mc­Donough said on CBS’s Face the Na­tion.

Mc­Donough said more or less the same thing on NBC’s Meet the Press.

The re­port puts new pres­sure on Pres­id­ent Obama to green-light Key­stone, but as Na­tion­al Journ­al re­por­ted Fri­day, the White House is leav­ing its op­tions open.

The study, to be sure, was good news for ad­voc­ates of Key­stone, a pro­ject that would bring hun­dreds of thou­sands of bar­rels of oil per day across the bor­der en route to Gulf Coast re­finer­ies.

Bil­lion­aire anti-Key­stone act­iv­ist Tom Stey­er, in a let­ter to John Kerry on Sunday, urged the sec­ret­ary of State to launch an “in­de­pend­ent and trans­par­ent” re­view of State’s fi­nal en­vir­on­ment­al ana­lys­is.

Stey­er and oth­er en­vir­on­ment­al­ists ar­gue that Key­stone is a linch­pin for ex­pan­sion of car­bon-in­tens­ive oil sands de­vel­op­ment. State’s re­view ba­sic­ally con­tra­dicted that claim, al­though it also ex­amined al­tern­at­ive mar­ket scen­ari­os in which Key­stone is in­deed im­port­ant for get­ting oil sands crude out of Al­berta.

Else­where, Re­u­ters looks at a sep­ar­ate part of the 11-volume re­port. “Re­pla­cing the Key­stone XL pipeline with oil-laden freight trains from Canada may res­ult in an av­er­age of six ad­di­tion­al rail-re­lated deaths per year,” Re­u­ters re­ports in sum­mar­iz­ing one of the find­ings.

Na­tion­al Journ­al has more here on the next steps in the fed­er­al re­view.

What We're Following See More »
BACKING OUT ON BERNIE
Trump Won’t Debate Sanders After All
1 days ago
THE LATEST

Trump, in a statement: “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. ... I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.”

AKNOWLEDGING THE INEVITABLE
UAW: Time to Unite Behind Hillary
2 days ago
THE DETAILS

"It's about time for unity," said UAW President Dennis Williams. "We're endorsing Hillary Clinton. She's gotten 3 million more votes than Bernie, a million more votes than Donald Trump. She's our nominee." He called Sanders "a great friend of the UAW" while saying Trump "does not support the economic security of UAW families." Some 28 percent of UAW members indicated their support for Trump in an internal survey.

Source:
AP KEEPING COUNT
Trump Clinches Enough Delegates for the Nomination
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"Donald Trump on Thursday reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for president, completing an unlikely rise that has upended the political landscape and sets the stage for a bitter fall campaign. Trump was put over the top in the Associated Press delegate count by a small number of the party's unbound delegates who told the AP they would support him at the convention."

Source:
TRUMP FLOATED IDEA ON JIMMY KIMMEL’S SHOW
Trump/Sanders Debate Before California Primary?
2 days ago
THE LATEST
CAMPAIGNS INJECTED NEW AD MONEY
California: It’s Not Over Yet
2 days ago
THE LATEST

"Clinton and Bernie Sanders "are now devoting additional money to television advertising. A day after Sanders announced a new ad buy of less than $2 million in the state, Clinton announced her own television campaign. Ads featuring actor Morgan Freeman as well as labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will air beginning on Fridayin Fresno, Sacramento, and Los Angeles media markets. Some ads will also target Latino voters and Asian American voters. The total value of the buy is about six figures according to the Clinton campaign." Meanwhile, a new poll shows Sanders within the margin of error, trailing Clinton 44%-46%.

Source:
×