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
Add to Briefcase
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 »
MOST WATCHED EVER?
Little Ratings Drop-Off from Beginning to End of Debate
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

The conventional wisdom is already emerging that Donald Trump opened last night's debate well, but that he faded badly down the stretch. And most viewers apparently witnessed it. "The early Nielsen data confirms that viewership stayed high the entire time. Contrary to some speculation, there was not a big drop-off after the first hour of the 98-minute debate." Final data is still being tallied, but "Monday's face-off may well have been the most-watched debate in American history. CNN and other cable news channels saw big increases over past election years. So did some of the broadcast networks."

Source:
FUNDING RUNS OUT ON FRIDAY
Federal Agencies Prepare for Govt Shutdown
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

As Congress continues to bicker on riders to a continuing resolution, federal agencies have started working with the Office of Management and Budget to prepare for a government shutdown, which will occur if no continuing resolution is passed by 11:59 p.m. on Friday night. The OMB held a call with agencies on Sept. 23, one that is required one week before a possible shutdown. The government last shut down for 16 days in 2013, and multiple shutdowns have been narrowly avoided since then. It is expected that Congress will reach a deal before the clock strikes midnight, but until it does, preparations will continue.

Source:
OBAMA’S ENVIRONMENTAL LEGACY IN THE BALANCE
Obama’s Clean Power Plan Faces Courts
3 hours ago
THE LATEST

President Obama's Clean Power Plan, a large pillar of his efforts to leave a lasting environmental legacy, "goes before the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today." The plan "imposes the first national limits on carbon pollution from power plants." A number of consolidated cases finds 27 states challenging this plan, which was blocked by the Supreme Court in February pending decisions from lower courts. The states will argue that the government doesn't have the right to impose restrictions requiring them to shutter plans and restructure full industries.

Source:
UNCLEAR IF THIS WILL AFFECT POLLS
Instant Reaction: Clinton Won Debate
3 hours ago
DEBATE UPDATE

There seems to be a clear consensus forming about Monday's debate: Hillary Clinton was the winner. One focus group of undecided Pennsylvania voters, conducted by GOP pollster Frank Luntz, found 16 favored Clinton while five picked Donald Trump. In a Florida focus group organized by CNN, 18 of 20 undecided voters saw Clinton as the winner.

DIDN’T BECAUSE CHELSEA WAS IN THE ROOM
Trump Wanted to Bring Up Bill Clinton
3 hours ago
DEBATE UPDATE

As both candidates walked off the stage, Donald Trump lauded himself for being restrained and for not bringing up Bill Clinton. "I didn’t want to say—her husband was in the room along with her daughter, who I think is a very nice young lady—and I didn’t want to say what I was going to say about what’s been going on in their life," Trump said. Trump claims he stopped himself from hitting Bill Clinton because daughter Chelsea was in the room.

Source:
×