The extended wait for approval of the permit for the Keystone X-L oil pipeline has gone on long enough, according to Thomas Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, a Washington-based advocacy group. Pyle says President Obama is dodging the issue.
“The delay, delay, delay, it’s clearly a stalling tactic because there’s no justifiable reason not to approve it,” Pyle says. “The reasons keep piling up but they keep setting the bar higher and higher and higher for it.”
The pipeline will cross into north-central Nebraska on its way to the Gulf Coast. The construction is being held up because the president needs to approve the permit for it to cross the US-Canadian border.
Pyle says the holdup is over perceived environmental issues.
“He’s got a very vocal, loud, well-funding minority of environmental extremists or activists, or hyperactivists, that have used this as their cause celeb in terms of raising money,” Pyle says. “The symbolism of it to them means a great deal.”
Pyle says he’s concerned environmental and legal wrangling will continue to cloud the pipeline project.
“They have created such a confusing situation that it really opens up the door to lawsuits afterwards,” Pyle says. “I fear we won’t break ground on this pipeline while this president is in office. How do we reverse this? Syria is an example of where we have these no-brainer reasons why we should get this going.”
The pipeline would cost about five-billion dollars and could employ nearly four-thousand people during construction. It would transport more than a half-million barrels of Canadian tar sands oil every day to refineries on the Gulf Coast.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton