A day after President Obama vowed an aggressive global war on global warming, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman delivered a political hot potato to the White House in the form of state approval of a re-routed Keystone XL pipeline.
Given the pressing domestic need for a) more reliable sources of oil and b) thousands of long-delayed, good-paying jobs, you might think federal approval of the endeavor with our closest neighbor and best friend is a gimme.
Ah, but we are just three days past the middle of the 2,922-day Obama era. So, it’s much more complicated.
The 1,700-mile long pipeline is designed to carry 700,000 barrels a day of Canadian heavy crude oil from Alberta tar sands excavations to Gulf Coast refineries. The project would create thousands of construction jobs and reduce U.S. dependence on unreliable foreign oil sources, often cited by both American political parties as a good thing.
Heineman, a Republican, had rejected Trans-Canada’s original route through important aquifers and the state’s fragile Sand Hills region, a step the Obama crowd cited for its initial parallel rejection of the facility. A new study by the State Department, which must approve pipelines crossing international borders, isn’t due until late March at the earliest.
By that time, of course, the Obama administration will have a new secretary of State in the form of John Kerry. The about-to-be-former senator has fallen hook, line and sailboat for the global warming bunkum, making approval appear iffy.