Image From ..Washington Post
The announcement this week by President Obama accepting the State Department's recommendation to reject the Keytone Pipeline project, understandably has many interested parties angered and baffled.
Robert Samuelson of the Washington Post said today that "rejecting the pipeline is an act of national insanity." Energy interests want it built. Unions want it built. State officials from Nebraska to Texas want it built. Americans who want relief from staggering unemployment want it built.
Samuelson argued that it's an election year and someone apparently believes the environmentalists should be placated, at least until the election is behind us. "So the sop tossed to the environmentalists could be temporary. The cynicism is breathtaking."
According to Bloomberg News, in a phone call yesterday between Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the president of the U.S., Haper told Obama “Canada will continue to work to diversify its energy exports." While 99 percent of Canada’s crude exports go to the U.S., that figure could be reduced if Harper succeeds in transforming Canada into a “superpower” in global energy markets.
“The decision by the Obama administration underlines the importance of diversifying and expanding our markets, including the growing Asian market,” Oliver told reporters in Ottawa.
While the "shovel ready" Keystone project is stalled, some in Congress are already working to circumvent the decision and its inherent delays.
Additionally, TransCanada said it is now considering moving forward by building the U.S. portions of the Keystone XL pipeline and later seeking approval of the critical Alberta link to circumvent the Obama Administration's rejection of the $7 billion project.
TransCanada may develop a segment between the over-supplied oil hub of Cushing, Oklahoma and Gulf Coast refineries in Texas, as well as a longer line fom Montana to the Gulf Coast, according to the Calgary Herald.
The Herald reminds us that "There is no requirement for a presidential permit to lay pipe anywhere in the U.S. providing the line doesn't exend across th border into Canada." TransCanada would later apply for a presidential permit to link the line with the oil sands in Alberta and complete the Keystone XL pipeline as originally envisioned.
TransCanada's CEO Russ Girling also said that the new application for presidential approval would include the detour in Nebraska around ecologically sensitive areas that has already been approved by the Nebraska legislature.
Where there's a will, there's a way. You can bet on it, especially when there's $7 billion at stake.