Keystone XL: So now what will the excuse be to delay it?
You likely recall the controversy concerning the President’s denial of approval for the Keystone XL pipeline a few months back. Citing the route through the state of Nebraska as a problem, Obama decided to defer a final decision until after the election.
Up for grabs – a lot of oil and 20,000 jobs. Most saw approval as a no-brainer and the route through NE as easily “fixable”. But Obama was having none of it, choosing to please his base vs. opting for jobs for Americans. Since the disapproval, Canada, where the pipeline originates, has announced plans to sell that oil to China.
Well, there’s a new route through NE and local leaders have voiced strong support for the pipeline:
TransCanada has proposed a new route for the pipeline that avoids the Nebraska Sandhills, and the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality is seeking comment before it drafts its report on the new route. Port-To-Plains Alliance, which is made up of more than 100 local elected officials and community leaders, has today offered its “strong support” for the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Their reasoning seems pretty strong — if you’re interested in putting Americans back to work and helping the economy:
Keystone XL will provide significant economic benefits for our region. The pipeline is expected to create approximately 20,000 manufacturing and construction jobs in the United States. It could also generate more than $5.2 billion in tax revenue to the Keystone XL corridor states. At a time when state and local governments across the country are struggling to balance their budgets, these employment and revenue benefits are critical to our region. Specific benefits for Nebraska include:
- More than $465 million in new spending for the Nebraska economy
- More than 7,500 person years of employment
- Increased personal income by $314 million
- Additional state and local tax revenues of more than $11 million
- $390 million in increased Gross State Product
And that’s just Nebraska. Other states stand to gain significant revenue as well.
Then there’s the issue of the Bakken Formation oil in Montana and North Dakota. It too needs the pipeline to be finished so it can efficiently ship oil from there to the coastal refineries.
Again, the major problem has apparently been solved. It’s a move that would lessen our dependence on Venezuelan and Middle East oil (instead opting for supplies from a loyal and stable ally), would make the shipment of Bakken oil less costly, benefit state and Federal revenue (at a time when both entities are hurting for it) and, most importantly, create multi-thousands of jobs.
So, what excuse do you believe Obama will use to further delay or disapprove it this time?