On September 19th, 2008 TransCanada began its approval process with the U-S federal government to build the Keystone XL pipeline. The southern portion was ordered fast-tracked and has been in operation for several years. The northern portion goes through Nebraska and the permit process stalled after a conflict regarding the route. That issue was addressed and a new route approved but the permit remains unsigned by the president.
Cindy Schild is the senior manager of American Petroleum Institute’s Refining and Oil Sands Program and says, “There has been a small vocal minority that the Obama Administration has been catering to at the expense of national interest and the wishes of the vast majority of the American people. So, if President Obama is not going to exercise leadership and not look at the findings of his own State Department then we fully support Congress acting on this.” Even with that request Schild doesn’t expect anything to happen until after the November elections.
Schild says most people do not realize that since the first application six years ago more than 10,000 miles of oil and natural gas pipeline has been built across the country – enough to cross the U-S back and forth four times. She says, “It has been under review longer than it took to win World War II, to build the Hoover Dam or paint the Sistine Chapel.”
Schild says voters have embraced the North America energy boom and Americans need to know that their government can make a decision that is in the country’s best interest.