In July 2008, TransCanada announced a $7 billion expansion to its Keystone pipeline system, calling the project the Keystone XL project, linking Alberta, Canada crude oil from Canadian tar sands to an oil refinery in the State of Texas. The line is expected to handle 590,000 barrels of oil a day and would take about a year to build. Three years ago the plans were communicated to the State Department, which sat on the project for specific reason.
Then the Obama administration came in, and there was a lengthy delay in moving the developing stages forward. No work was put into the project, no reviews were done, and nothing materialized for several years. Starting in the summer of 2010, Republicans began to put increasing pressure on the State Department and the Obama administration to approve the pipeline project or begin the approval process. Then the Obama administration put a halt on this project for very good reasons I’ll explain later.
This past December of 2011, the Republicans attached to the payroll tax deal a provision that forces President Obama to decide within 60 days whether or not to approve the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. The deadline runs out on February 21, 2012. President Obama instead decided this past January 18, to reject the proposed pipeline and turn down all the jobs and money and income stating that “there was now too little time left to review the project and change its proposed route.”
If there is time left to review and change the projects routeat this point it wouldn’t be easy, and it might take a lot of work and time and effort, but there is less than a month to get it done. There was still time left to review the project in 2010 and change the route- even though Obama said that it would take exactly “a year” to finish a review process and be able to make a decision right after the November 2012 election if he gets re-elected as I don’t think he will, but at that time, the administration did not accelerate the process and put in the hard work to get the project up and working.
There was time left in the summer of 2010 to do the review process and change the route- and do in the time-frame that President Obama suggested that it would take. That means it would already be approved for construction to begin by now. But Obama did not do anything in 2010 because of the situation in the Gulf of Mexico.
Big Oil with the help of Congressional members provided deep pockets to push the Obama’s administration to act on this project and compromise environmental safety building the pipeline that would bring considerable jobs and money and wealth to America while without environmental oversight. But President Obama didn’t. This is not a political fight pitting party against party, nor is this a fight with the establishment.
What the President is doing is protecting the environment. By allowing the Keystone XL project to move forward without regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency would be a political disaster but more of a catastrophe nightmare in protecting the American environment.
The BP Deepwater Horizon fire, explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that injured 17, killing 11 aboard BP’s Deepwater drilling platform commonly referred to as the greatest oil disaster in US history damaging the Gulf Coast region fishery industry, wildlife and change an already frail ecosystem.
BP oil disaster which flowed unrestricted oil for three months in 2010, the spill stemmed from a sea-floor oil gusher that resulted from the April 20, 2010 explosion of Deepwater Horizon, which drilled on a drilling platform leased to BP. The leak was stopped by capping the gushing wellhead after it had released about 4.9 million barrels of crude oil in the Gulf’s waters releasing an estimated 53,000 barrels per day which resulted in massive cleanup efforts that affected coastal states of Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana with damages costing billions.
The Gulf disaster had no regulation to protect the environment. BP, part of the “Big Oil” industry was the least regulated industry which paid lobbyist and career politicians millions of dollars to create a lax environment able to skirt environmental issues. The Obama administration is current revising EPA’s role with heavy regulation. Environmentalists stated Obama had “gotten it right.” With so many failed policies from this administration, one right out of many failures. Wow.