Congressman Lee Terry remains optimistic, at least a little optimistic, the Keystone XL oil pipeline will win federal approval sooner rather than later.
“I think it has a minimal opportunity to be approved in 2012. It’s not zero, but it’s close. We’re poised if there is an opportunity,” Terry tells Nebraska Radio Network. “Second, for 2013, I think it’s 50-50.”
Terry has introduced legislation that would take authority to approve the Keystone XL pipeline away from the State Department and give it to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
Meanwhile, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality is working with the State Department on an alternative route for the Keystone XL pipeline, away from the Sand Hills.
Congress returns to Washington from its extended August recess next week. Terry says work to get approval back on track will begin in earnest after the elections November 6th.
“I think there will be an incredible fight by the environmental left to stop it and we’ll just have to see who’s in the White House to be able to sign that,” Lee says. “If not, my bill in the House is the same as the one in the Senate. We’ll see what we can do by way of Congress if the president refuses to act.”
Bold Nebraska continues its fight against the pipeline. After playing a strategic role to get the state legislature to discuss an alternative route for Keystone during a special session last year, the organization turned its efforts to block TransCanada’s plans altogether. Bold Nebraska’s Jane Kleeb even traveled to Tampa last week to provide Keystone opposition talking points against efforts during the convention to promote building the pipeline.
Terry acknowledges all the efforts to put the Keystone XL pipeline on a fast-track for approval have proven futile. Terry says President Obama got what he wanted: a postponement until after the elections.
The Keystone XL pipeline is a $7 billion project proposed by TransCanada to carry crude oil from the oil sands of Alberta, Canada to Gulf Coast refineries in Texas. If approved, it will be a 36-inch pipeline stretching 1,700 miles from Canada to the Gulf.