The State Department has wasted no time in rejecting TransCanada’s request to suspend its review of the Keystone XL oil pipeline and an opponent of the pipeline sees that as an indication a decision on Keystone might be imminent.
State Department officials say its review of the Keystone XL oil pipeline will continue.
Keystone opponent, Jane Kleeb with Bold Nebraska, says the quick rejection surprised her.
“I was surprised that the State Department announced just two days after TransCanada made the request,” Kleeb tells Nebraska Radio Network. “That means that they are moving much faster.”
While Kleeb insists portions of the previous State Department review of Keystone XL disclosed problems with the project, overall the State Department concluded in its final environmental assessment that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would not significantly alter global greenhouse gas emissions.
Officials did caution in the report that they were still weighing whether or not the project would meet the test of the president’s broader climate strategy.
The report said that “approval or denial of any one crude oil transport project, including the proposed project, remains unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands, or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the United States.”
That report was released during the tenure of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Since that time, John Kerrey has succeeded Clinton. Kleeb believes the change is significant, adding that Kerrey is perceived as much more attentive to environmental concerns than Clinton.
Kleeb expects the final State Department review to turn negative and Kleeb expects President Barack Obama to deny TransCanada’s request for a presidential permit to build Keystone XL.
“I think the writing is on the wall which is why I think you’ve seen TransCanada try to scramble with lots of different political ploys lately,” according to Kleeb.
Kleeb anticipates the president to reject Keystone ahead of the Global Climate Summit in Paris at the end of this month.
Keystone XL is an $8 billion project to build an oil pipeline from Alberta, Canada to Steele City, Nebraska. It would connect the northern portion of the pipeline with its southern portion which transports crude to oil refineries along the Gulf of Mexico in Texas. The pipeline would ship crude produced from the oil sands of western Canada as well as from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]