Say what? I thought Obama rejected that thing?! He did, sort of…. The permit was refused since adequate time was not given to conducting an environmental review. However, the administration just gave the go-ahead for the company to start work on the southern portion of what could be that project, a portion facing less controversy. This portion would run from Cushing, Oklahoma to Port Arthur, Texas.
It is the portion of the project that crosses the Canadian border that requires approval from the State Department. While the whole project can’t go forward without that, it looks like Obama is happy to let portions of it go forward as quickly as possible ahead of that approval.
Basically, the Keystone XL has just been split in two, sidestepping the review needed for the project as a whole, apparently. “We look forward to working with TransCanada to ensure that it is built in a safe, responsible and timely manner, and we commit to taking every step possible to expedite the necessary federal permits,” White House spokesman, Jay Carney, told reporters.
This “essentially unravels its rejection of the entire project just one month ago,” the Guardian reports. It is, to say the least, a horrible shame.
“We see dirty political tricks, dirty PR tricks, and now, this dirty trick to build the pipeline piecemeal,” Michael Brune, the director of the Sierra Club, said.
“The administration must stop trying to have it both ways. President Obama cannot expect to protect the climate and to put the country on a path toward 21st-century clean energy while simultaneously shilling for one of the dirtiest industries on earth,” Friends of the Earth commented.
“Any attempt to move forward with any segment of the pipeline will be met with the same fierce grassroots opposition that stopped the pipeline the first time.”
This is a $2.3-billion project projected to be done by mid-2013.