TransCanada submitted its application for a permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline on September 19, 2008. Five years later, President Obama still grasps for excuses to reject it.
In June, the President raised the bar for the application when he announced the “net effects of the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical” in determining whether he would approve it. In July, he sneered at the jobs the pipeline would create as a “blip relative to the need” -- even though his State Department projects the pipeline construction could support 42,000 jobs across the country. Now, a bipartisan group of Senators is concerned the President may exploit an inspector general’s inquiry into the pipeline’s most recent environmental review to push the application into an unprecedented sixth year.
The President should stop searching for reasons to reject the Keystone XL pipeline and finally approve this infrastructure project to generate American jobs, economic growth, and energy security.
Major points in Keystone XL’s five-year struggle
- 9/19/08 – TransCanada applies to State Department to construct Keystone XL pipeline.
- 10/15/10 – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton indicates the Obama Admininistration is “inclined” to approve the pipeline application.
- 7/25/11 – The Obama Administration says, “the Department of State has been working diligently to complete the permit decision process for the Keystone XL pipeline and has publicly committed to reaching a decision before December 31, 2011.”
- 11/10/11 – President Obama announces his administration will not make a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline application until after the 2012 election. A decision is expected in early 2013, after the administration identifies a new route.
- 12/23/11 – The House and Senate unanimously approve, and the President signs into law, legislation requiring approval of the Keystone XL pipeline within 60 days unless the President determines the project does not serve the national interest.
- 1/18/12 – President Obama formally rejects the Keystone XL pipeline application, citing complaints about the route. By this time, TransCanada has already agreed to an alternative that addresses environmental concerns and satisfies local officials.
- 3/8/12 – President Obama personally lobbies the Senate to kill an amendment calling for congressional approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. Eleven Democrats join all voting Republicans in favor of the project.
- 3/22/12 – President Obama misleadingly takes credit for expediting the construction of the Oklahoma to Gulf Coast portion of the Keystone XL project -- over which he has no actual approval authority.
- 5/4/12 – TransCanada reapplies, using its new route.
- 3/22/13 – The Senate calls for approval of the pipeline by a vote of 62 to 37, with 17 Democrats joining all Republicans in support of the project.
- 6/25/13 – President Obama says he will consider the pipeline’s effect on the climate in making his decision to approve or reject it.
- 7/27/13 – President Obama sneers at the 42,000 jobs the Keystone XL pipeline would create as a “blip relative to the need.”
- 8/29/13 – A bipartisan group of Senators requests that President Obama not extend its review into an “unprecedented sixth year.”