Final Decision On Keystone May Not Come Till 2014

That’s because the results of an investigation into an alleged conflict of interest won’t be out until January.

Keystone Pipeline
National Journal
Clare Foran
See more stories about...
Clare Foran
Aug. 23, 2013, 11:42 a.m.

The State De­part­ment’s Of­fice of In­spect­or Gen­er­al an­nounced Fri­day it does not ex­pect to re­lease the res­ults of an in­vest­ig­a­tion in­to a pos­sible con­flict of in­terest in the de­part­ment’s Key­stone XL pipeline re­view un­til Janu­ary — a move that could delay a fi­nal de­cision on the pro­ject un­til next year.

Earli­er this month, the OIG began an in­quiry in­to al­leg­a­tions made by the Si­erra Club and oth­er en­vir­on­ment­al groups that En­vir­on­ment­al Re­sources Man­age­ment, a con­sult­ing firm hired to pro­duce the draft en­vir­on­ment­al im­pact state­ment for the pipeline, had ties to Tran­sCanada Corp. and the Amer­ic­an Pet­ro­leum In­sti­tute, two or­gan­iz­a­tions with a key stake in the pro­ject.

Tran­sCanada Corp. is the com­pany set to build Key­stone, and the Amer­ic­an Pet­ro­leum In­sti­tute is a trade as­so­ci­ation, which pub­licly sup­ports the pipeline.

The con­flict-of-in­terest in­quiry and the State De­part­ment’s re­view of the pipeline have been on­go­ing, and State has not yet said when it will make a fi­nal de­term­in­a­tion on Key­stone XL. But Fri­day’s an­nounce­ment that the OIG in­vest­ig­a­tion res­ults won’t be re­leased un­til Janu­ary makes it likely that a de­cision on the pro­ject will be pushed back to 2014.

“It is our hope to con­clude work by the end of the year and re­lease a re­port in Janu­ary,” Douglas Welty, a spokes­man for the OIG, said in an e-mail Fri­day. “As to the tim­ing of the de­part­ment’s de­cision — you need to ask them dir­ectly wheth­er our work will have any im­pact on that.”

A State De­part­ment of­fi­cial did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment.

Any ad­di­tion­al delays are sure to prompt an out­cry from con­gres­sion­al Re­pub­lic­ans, who have long ac­cused the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion of ty­ing the pro­ject up in red tape as a con­ces­sion to the Demo­crat­ic party’s en­vir­on­ment­al wing. The pipeline was ini­tially sched­uled for a fi­nal de­cision be­fore the 2012 pres­id­en­tial elec­tion, but the ad­min­is­tra­tion pushed it back last year, say­ing at the time that the en­vir­on­ment­al con­sequences mer­ited fur­ther in­quiry.

What We're Following See More »
BAD NEWS FOR CLINTON
Trump and Clinton Equally Disliked
6 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

According to the most recent Gallup poll, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are equally disliked. The poll, conducted between July 18 and July 25, shows both major party candidates for president are viewed favorably by 37 percent of respondents and unfavorably by 58 percent of respondents. This poll is bad news for Clinton, who has received better favorable and unfavorable ratings in nearly every poll over the last year.

Source:
VP PICK TAKES DIFFERENT TONE THAN TRUMP
Pence: “Serious Consequences” if Russia Hacked DNC
48 minutes ago
THE DETAILS

The same day that Donald Trump encouraged Russia to hack the State Department and "find the 30,000 emails that are missing," the GOP nominee for vice president took a more serious approach. "If it is Russia and they are interfering in our elections, I can assure you both parties and the United States government will ensure there are serious consequences," Pence said in a statement. Trump's comments at a press conference this morning were rebuked by individuals across the political spectrum, while some on Trump's team, including prominent surrogate Newt Gingrich, have called his comments a "joke."

Source:
ECONOMY STABILIZING
Fed Leaves Rates Alone, but Signals Hikes to Come
2 hours ago
THE DETAILS

The Federal Open Market Committee today voted to leave interest rates alone, but "upgraded its assessment of the economy’s recent performance and said near-term risks to the outlook have diminished, effectively leaving the door open to raise rates later this year, possibly as early as September."

Source:
CHARM OFFENSIVE
Pence Is Trump’s Man on Capitol Hill
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

"Spurred by VP pick Mike Pence, a former congressman with close ties to many lawmakers, the Trump campaign in recent weeks has stepped up its courtship of wary Capitol Hill Republicans. And the efforts appear to be bearing fruit." Central to the charm offensive: invitations to more than a dozen "Senate and House members into his family’s private box for some power-schmoozing with him and his kids" during the Republican National Convention.

Source:
PAUL RYAN: STOP IT
Trump Encourages More Spying by Russia
4 hours ago
THE LATEST

Donald Trump essentially encouraged more Russian espionage against Democrats in a press conference this morning. "Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he said. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” That prompted Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan to say: “Russia is a global menace led by a devious thug. Putin should stay out of this election.”

Source:
×