State Department to Delay Keystone XL Pipeline Decision Until After November

By Ryan Koronowski via ThinkProgress

The State Department will “extend the government comment period on the Keystone XL pipeline, likely postponing a final decision on the controversial project until after the Nov. 4 midterm elections,” Reuters reported on Friday afternoon. The organization credited the information to a 1:30 call with Congressional staff.

The decision of whether or not to approve the northern leg of TransCanada’s pipeline, connecting the tar sands of Alberta to oil refineries and export facilities in Texas, will enter its sixth year in September.

State made the decision to give more time for 8 federal agencies to weigh in on the project. This would move the end of the review process, originally scheduled to end in May, to a date “likely” after the 2014 midterm elections, according to the Wall Street Journal. State Department officials cited a February district court decision that struck down a Nebraska law that aimed to put decisionmaking power over the pipeline in the hands of the governor.

Lancaster County District Court Judge Stephanie Stacy ruled that the law, which allowed pipeline companies to choose to submit their plans to either the governor’s Department of Environmental Quality or the more rigorous Public Service Commission, was unconstitutional.

Bold Nebraska director Jane Kleeb told ClimateProgress that the Nebraska Supreme Court will likely not issue a decision on the case until about January 2015. She also noted that South Dakota’s permit granted for the pipeline would expire on June 20, 2014 — meaning that TransCanada would have to reapply for a state permit after that date.

“The State Department is following Pres. Obama’s lead who has said all along he wants to follow the process,” Kleeb said in a statement. “The basic fact that Nebraska has no legal route is reason to delay any decision until our state can analyze a route using process that follows our state constitution.”

“Nebraska landowners will not give up their property rights with bad contract terms and unknown chemicals risking our water. This delay is yet more proof this project is not permit-able and not in our national interest.”

This post was originally published on ThinkProgress.


Jim Ven
Jim Ven5 months ago

thanks for the article.

Carrie-Anne Brown
Carrie-Anne Brownabout a year ago

thanks for sharing :)

Mark Donners
Mark Donner2 years ago

Sarah H. News for you, it would go to China anyway.. right down to Texas oil refineries and shipped out on the next boat. Aside from the fact its the filthiest oil on the planet and causing an environmental holocaust in Canada, and that the hundreds of thousands of gallons of "acceptable spillage" from their pipeline would contaminate every aquifer and stream it passes through. Stop repeating the propaganda of oil and coal billionaires. They would put you and your family in the grave so much as look at you. And Canada with that Harper terrorist leading the charge has become one of the most evil environmental criminals in the sordid history of mankind.

Janice Thompson
Janice Thompson2 years ago

After November, Big Business will try to push it through again.

Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla2 years ago

I hope they say NO!

Michael T.
Michael T.2 years ago

Here's my further response to you and your completely misinformed comments

Michael T.
Michael T.2 years ago

Additionaly, for those trolls who just want to beat up on the black guy, while claiming they want these pitifully few jobs claiming they are only thinking about doing something good for America would be risking national security from the projected oilspills (as many as 7 a year or 1 every 7 years if you believe the liars) and subsequent damage and cost to our economy and environment, so some Texas oil refineries can make some tax free income while selling the oil to Europe and Latin America.

Climate Change: Keystone XL is the fuse to North America’s biggest carbon bomb.
In a study funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, a group of retired four-star generals and admirals concluded that climate change, if not addressed, will be the greatest threat to national security.

So you folks keep beating up on the black guy because its fun, but that pipeline would be simply stupid to allow to go through on all kinds of levels. Have a nice evening eating your hats.

Michael T.
Michael T.2 years ago

That’s if the GOP would stop standing in the way of creating those jobs to rebuild our failing infrastructure instead of being retards.
Transcanada’s Exaggerated Jobs Claims for KeystoneXL” National Wildlife Federation
Safety: A rupture in the Keystone XL pipeline could cause a BP style oil spill in America’s heartland, over the source of fresh drinking water for 2 million people. NASA’s top climate scientist says that fully developing the tar sands in Canada would mean “essentially game over” for the climate.

TransCanada predicted that the Keystone I pipeline would see one spill in 7 years. In fact, there have been 12 spills in 1 year. The company was ordered to dig up 10 sections of pipe after government-ordered tests indicated that defective steel may have been used. KeystoneXL will use steel from the same Indian manufacturer.

Michael T.
Michael T.2 years ago

In 2008, TransCanada’s Presidential Permit application for Keystone XL to the State Department indicated “a peak workforce of approximately 3,500 to 4,200 construction personnel” to build the pipeline.

Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) both oppose the pipeline. Their August 2011 statement: “We need jobs, but not ones based on increasing our reliance on Tar Sands oil. There is no shortage of water and sewage pipelines that need to be fixed or replaced, bridges and tunnels that are in need of
emergency repair, transportation infrastructure that needs to be renewed and developed.

Many jobs could also be created in energy conservation, upgrading the grid, maintaining and expanding public transportation—jobs that can help us reduce air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and improve energy efficiency.”

Michael T.
Michael T.2 years ago

TransCanada’s 2008 Permit Application states “Existing markets for Canadian heavy crude, principally PADD II [U.S. Midwest], are currently oversupplied, resulting in price discounting for Canadian heavy crude oil. Access to the USGC [U.S. Gulf Coast] via the Keystone XL Pipeline is expected to strengthen Canadian crude oil pricing in [the Midwest] by removing this oversupply. This is expected to increase the price of heavy crude to the equivalent cost of imported crude. The resultant increase in the price of heavy crude is estimated to provide an increase in annual revenue to the Canadian producing industry in 2013 of US $2 billion to US $3.9 billion.”

According to an independent analysis U.S. farmers, who spent $12.4 billion on fuel in 2009 could see expenses rise to $15 billion or higher in 2012 or 2013 if the pipeline goes through. At least $500 million of the added expense would come from the Canadian market manipulation.