WASHINGTON (Nov. 3, 2015) – Having already waited seven years for a decision from the U.S. State Department, the R Street Institute was disappointed at yesterday’s news that TransCanada was forced into asking for further delays to the Keystone XL review and approval process.
“For years, this project has been languishing, when it could be creating thousands of jobs and contributing billions of dollars to the economy,” said Catrina Rorke, R Street’s director of energy policy. “The approval process has become so politicized that TransCanada has decided it would be better to wait another year for an approval decision than face sure defeat at the hands of this administration.”
The move by TransCanada is an effort to delay the final State Department ruling and executive branch decision until after the Nebraska Public Service Commission completes review of the pipeline. That likely won’t happen until after President Barack Obama leaves office. Most parties believe the Obama administration would oppose moving forward with the pipeline, despite the obvious benefits to the U.S. economy.
R Street has been a leader in crafting conservative solutions to America’s energy and environmental challenges, such as promoting responsible hydraulic fracturing, identifying free-market alternatives to command-and-control greenhouse gas regulation and supporting greater exports of domestically produced natural gas.
The pipeline would offer U.S. refineries access to a secure source of North American oil. The State Department’s own estimates show it would create 42,000 jobs and contribute roughly $3.4 billion to the U.S. economy. Because pipelines are safer and less emissions-intensive than other forms of transport, the State Department found the project also is likely to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to lower the risk of oil spills, when compared with existing transport methods.
“Although this request will lead to yet more delays in the process, we are hopeful that it serves a greater good,” said Rorke. “Keystone XL is just one pipeline, but the gross mismanagement of the decision process by this administration has highlighted the risk for all other companies looking to invest in American infrastructure. Perhaps in a new administration, the benefits of the pipeline will be better recognized and accepted, and the road forward will be smoother.”