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Obama's Next Xmas Gift: Rejecting Keystone Pipeline?

By       Message Scott Galindez     Permalink
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Reprinted from Reader Supported News


A polar bear protests against the Keystone XL pipeline outside of an Obama fundraiser in San Francisco.
(Image by Aaron Sankin)
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Congress plans to ring in the new year with a bang. One thing they plan to do is try to fast-track the Keystone XL Pipeline. President Obama can preempt them, give the environmental movement a huge Christmas present, and reject the pipeline today.

I was very skeptical of all of the presidents's delays. I kept saying if they are building the southern leg then it's a done deal. What I didn't know is that the White House has no power to stop the southern leg. It is going from Oklahoma through Texas to the Gulf. It would be hard to find opposition to an oil pipeline in either state.

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The Obama administration has the power to stop Canada from building a pipeline that crosses our nation's borders but not a pipeline that crosses state borders. In last week's year-end press conference, the president showed signs that he plans to reject the pipeline.

When asked about the benefits to the US from the pipeline, he said there was "not even going to be a nominal benefit to US consumers."

Here are the highlights of his answer:

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"I don't think I've minimized the benefits, I think I've described the benefits.

"At issue on Keystone is not American oil, it is Canadian oil that is drawn out of tar sands in Canada. That oil currently is being shipped through rail or trucks, and it would save Canadian oil companies and the Canadian oil industry an enormous amount of money if they could simply pipe it all the way through the United States down to the Gulf. Once that oil gets to the Gulf, it is then entering into the world market and it would be sold all around the world.... There is very little impact, nominal impact, on US gas prices, what the average American consumer cares about, by having this pipeline come through.

"And sometimes the way this gets sold is, let's get this oil and it's going to come here and the implication is that's gonna lower oil prices here in the US. It's not. There's a global oil market. It's very good for Canadian oil companies and it's good for the Canadian oil industry, but it's not going to be a huge benefit to US consumers. It's not even going to be a nominal benefit to US consumers."

View his full answer here:

Click Here to Read Whole Article

The president went on to say that he is waiting on the decision of a judge in Nebraska on the proposed new route for the pipeline, and then the State Department will have the information they need to make a decision. So we won't see a decision before Congress comes back in January. Senator Kerry was opposed to the pipeline -- let's hope Secretary of State Kerry has not changed his mind.

President Obama also said during the press conference that fixing our roads and bridges would create many more jobs than constructing the pipeline.

Nebraska

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The reason the Republicans are in a hurry to get approval for the pipeline is that they are losing the battle in Nebraska. In 2012, the Nebraska Legislature gave TransCanada eminent domain power to force landowners to grant access for construction of the pipeline on their land. A county judge, however, ruled that the law was unconstitutional, and it is being reviewed by the Nebraska Supreme Court.

The law expires on January 22nd, so the company has one month to initiate eminent domain on over 100 landowners who have refused to give them the right away on their land.

In Nebraska the granting of eminent domain powers to a foreign corporation has angered many conservatives, so it will be an uphill battle to complete the pipeline there.

Washington

It is possible that President Obama is looking for cover from the Nebraska Supreme Court. If they kill the route, then Obama can use it as a reason to reject the pipeline. He doesn't need that cover. If he wants to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, he can do it today.

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Scott Galindez is a graduate of Syracuse University, a US Army veteran, and currently the Political Director of ReaderSupportedNews.org. Scott's activism began at an anti-nuclear vigil in Lafayette "Peace Park" across from the White House. Scott (more...)
 

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