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.
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With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:
- An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clinton leading Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary Johnson at 7%.
- A McClatchy-Marist poll gave Clinton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way ballot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
- Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”
Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."
Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."