The Republican theory on the Keystone XL pipeline is that the President is holding back the immediate creation of eleventy billion jobs by refusing to give approval to a permit for construction. Under their various pieces of legislation, TransCanada, the pipeline operator, would be able to immediately begin construction and create jobs hauling tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.
But Brad Johnson finds a story on an earnings release from TransCanada, stating firmly that there would not be a start date for construction until 2015.
The Calgary, Alberta-based company said Tuesday in an earnings release that its executives continue to work with Nebraska to determine the best route that avoids Nebraska’s environmentally sensitive Sandhills region.
Last month, the administration of President Barack Obama denied a permit for the project, but left the door open for TransCanada to apply for a new pipeline route. The company said last month it expected the new application would be processed in an expedited manner so that it could be in service in late 2014.
TransCanada has now moved that back to early 2015.
While the report makes it sound like the denial of the permit is responsible for this pushback of the start date, as Johnson explains it’s really the mandate from the state of Nebraska for a new route around the underground aquifer in the Sand Hills region. That requires the deployment of a new route, which has to be mapped out and planned. And that leads to the delay. Incidentally, that mandate in Nebraska was carried out by a Republican governor and a Republican legislature, concerned about the impact of the pipeline on their environmentally sensitive areas.
Nonetheless, Senate Republicans will try to attach a rider forcing the immediate approval of Keystone XL into the transportation bill when it comes up later this week. So far, a coalition of progressive groups, led by Bill McKibben’s 350.org, has acquired over 770,000 signatures, as of press time, against the pipeline, in less than 24 hours.