US: TransCanada reapplies for oil pipeline
Well, looks like Obama still isn’t off the hook over his delay of okaying the TransCanada Oil pipeline, as the company has just submitted new plans to the State Department. The new plan avoids environmentally sensitive lands. TransCanada applied to the State Department for permission to build the pipeline to carry oil from so-called tar sands in western Canada to a company hub in Steele City, Nebraska. From there, the project would link up with other pipelines operated by the company to carry oil to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.
Earlier this year the Obamanut blocked the pipeline, citing uncertainty over the Nebraska route — a decision that drew fire from Republicans. TransCanada initially proposed a new route last month that would veer east around the groundwater-rich Sandhills region before looping back to the original route.
State Department approval is needed because the $7 billion pipeline would cross a U.S. border. The department confirmed Friday the application for the new route had been received. This all comes as a new jobless report is released by the labor Department. Employers pulled back on hiring in April for the second straight month, evidence of an economy still growing only sluggishly, though the overall jobless rate slipped to 8.1 percent as more people gave up looking for work.
The new pipeline would possibly create 6,000 new jobs.
“The multi-billion dollar Keystone XL pipeline project will reduce the United States’ dependence on foreign oil and support job growth by putting thousands of Americans to work,” said Russ Girling, TransCanada’s president and chief executive officer. “Keystone XL will transport U.S. crude oil from the very large Bakken supply basin in Montana and North Dakota, along with Canadian oil, to U.S. refineries.”
“Our application for a presidential permit builds on more than three years of environmental review already conducted for Keystone XL,” Girling added. “It was the most comprehensive process ever for a cross-border pipeline and that work should allow our cross border permit to be processed expeditiously and a decision made once a new route in Nebraska is determined.” Fox News
Among those opposing the pipeline are Democrats and Environmental whackos, who say would transport “dirty oil” from tar sands in Alberta, Canada, that would require huge amounts of energy to extract. They also worry about a possible spill. The pipeline would travel through Montana, South Dakota, Kansas and Oklahoma, in addition to Nebraska.
In blocking the plan in January, Obama said there hadn’t been enough time for a review. Meanwhile,
Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman signed a bill last month that allows the state to proceed with its review of the proposed pipeline through his state, regardless of what happens at the federal level.
A senior State Department official said U.S. officials would conduct a thorough review of the new application, with a final decision not expected until early next year — well after the presidential election.
Officials will use previous studies to the extent possible, the official said, but will need to complete a new environmental assessment, especially since the route has changed since TransCanada first applied for the pipeline in 2008. In other words, the Obamanut wants re-elected, he can’t afford to p**s off the environmentalist, so he will still hold it up….he needs those votes, regardless whether it could create jobs.
So now there’s talk of the State Department hiring an outside consultant. Democratic lawmakers complained that the firm that conducted the review, Cardno Entrix, had a conflict of interest because of previous work with TransCanada.
The department’s acting inspector general found no conflict of interest or improper political influence but said the State Department could have done a better job evaluating some concerns about the project and should improve its oversight of contractors.