Obama’s Keystone stunt has economy on the brink on failure

Reeling from an Obama administration decision to stall by more than a year a final decision on its Keystone XL pipeline until 2013, TransCanada is taking desperate measures to save the project from what some observers believe is a fatal blow,” Petroleum News reports.

“By rerouting a 30-mile section of the proposed 1,700-mile pipeline outside the eastern edge of Nebraska’s ecologically sensitive Sand Hills region, the Canadian-based pipeline hopes it can win over lawmakers in the state and Washington, D.C….It now hopes for a favorable decision within six to nine months from U.S. decision makers, including a presidential permit from the State Department which is needed for XL pipeline to cross from Canada into the United States.”

The permit will not be reviewed until early 2013, meaning even if it were approved the pipeline now would not be operational until 2014.  The delay will cost TransCanada over C$1 million a day.

But experts, including radical green activists, tell Petroleum News Obama will still seek to kill the pipeline, and the more than 200,000 jobs and lower gas prices it would bring.

“But David Wilkins, a U.S. ambassador to Canada under President George W. Bush and South Carolina Republican whose Washington, D.C.-based law firm has been retained by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said it was “premature” for Keystone proponents to celebrate victory.

“‘Any way you shake it, it looks like the decision has been put off past the (2012 U.S. election), which I believe was the intention to start with,’ said Wilkins, who described the postponement of a final ruling on XL as a ‘catastrophic’ cop-out by Obama to improve the president’s chances of re-election.

“’The agreement in Nebraska won’t satisfy others who don’t want the pipeline at all and they’re going to continue to put pressure on the administration,” Wilkins warned.

“That view was echoed by Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, director of the international program at the National Resources Defense Council, who said TransCanada should ‘listen to the American people tell them ‘no’ to the pipeline as a whole and we need Canada to stop pushing dirty tar sands oil on America.’”