Keystone Pipeline’s Approval is Imminent

Check your calendars ’cause the Keystone Pipeline is getting approved before you know it.

I posted this back in September 2012. As you know, today the Administration received the long awaited report that stated there is no environmental logic for denying the Keystone Pipeline. This report clears the way for the approval of the pipeline and will be the impetus for the upcoming decision.

The protesters fighting against the pipeline have valid concerns and believe in their cause. However in this case they are arguing against the presence of something that is already prevalent in the U.S. … pipelines. If you could see a map of the current highway of pipelines in the heartland you may be frustrated yet our country does use fossil fuel. Until we wean ourselves completely off-the-stuff we need to maximize the asset.

I am not a big fossil fuel junkie but I am reasonable enough to understand the ” all-of-the-above” energy strategy is what is best for a country looking to transition to a better, greener and more sustainable energy future. Although this is not the best or only option, it is an option that is going to happen. Think of Keystone as the last new pipeline not the next new pipeline.

In light of the recent decision to proceed with the Sequester and actually take jobs away from the economy, let’s at least celebrate the fact that Keystone may at least create a few good paying jobs for the middle of the country. We need new jobs and we need new energy options.

To follow is the original post from September 2012. I may have missed my self-imposed January timeline but better late than never.

Check your calendar ’cause the Keystone Pipeline is getting approved before you know it.

Keystone Pipeline’s approval is imminent.

If you looked at the original impetus for quick approval of the pipeline over a year ago, you recall the reasons for denial from the Administration:
1. Approval is a issue for the State Department because it involves another country.
2. It will take more than the 6 weeks given by Congress to complete the approval process.
3. The route chosen was opposed by the Governor’s of the states the pipeline was going through.
4. The route chosen was opposed by environmentalists.
5. Approval was the purview of the Executive branch , not Congress.

Interestingly enough, the Administration reported to Congress soon after the bill was passed containing the provision to approve the pipeline that , as expected, the pipeline was being rejected as applied for. No kidding! We’re dealing with international issues and the President – regardless of party-is never going to cede control of expediting international issues. Congress got exactly what Congress knew they were going to get. Nada.

Although many gnashed, blustered, and spit, the company trying to secure the project did something very entrepreneurial … they began working on a back-up plan that could get approved. You see, that is what smart and effective business people do; they adapt to the situation in front of them and find a way to “get-it-done”.

Over the past year, a portion of the route was approved however it was not the controversial link that would get the product fully integrated from the northern border to the Gulf. That link was the real shiny object which was the source of all of the attention. Yet progress continued.

If you listened to the debate at the time, an actual timeline for approval was in fact laid out. It’s just no one wanted to hear it. Now it appears they are right on track with the timeline.
1. A new route was submitted
2. The opposition from the states is dwindling.
3. The environmentalists are not happy yet the new route did bypass the most sensitive water.
4. The State Department is close to completion on the application approval process.
5. Most importantly, Congress and the American public are not focused on the process so you can see that real progress is actually being made without any sniping.

This represents the perfect climate for getting a deal done.

Although Keystone oil will be refined in the US and then sold on the world market to the highest bidder, the project will in fact be approved. Some will celebrate and some will complain, however from a practical sense America always seems to get the job done when people are working together in good-faith.

Electricity from renewable sources currently makes up 14% of all electricity produced in the U.S.. The percentage will double in 10 years. We are well on our way to a truly integrated all-of-the-above strategy as we discover multiple options to transitions large portions of our energy portfolio from traditional fuels. This process will take time and investment. This journey will also take continued reliance on traditional energy solutions. Keystone is part of that solution and it’s approval is not the end of our world.

By the way, there is a presidential election going on. Do you really think we’re going to wait until January to see this project approved. Not a chance!

Keep your ears peeled. The Keystone Pipeline’s approval is imminent.

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6 Responses to Keystone Pipeline’s Approval is Imminent

  1. btg5885 says:

    I saw that this morning and came to the same conclusion. The way the report was worded it could support doing or not doing the pipeline. The President got the issue pushed beyond the election which had to be one of his goals. So, now he will likely ask Congress to move forward. The problem is the pipeline will not be foolproof just as other pipelines have not been. So, it will hit the fan at some point. Thanks for sharing, BTG

    • vincentmudd says:

      Your comments are spot-on. I don’t understand why, in a world where risk management is a paying profession, it is so hard to require an environmental mitigation bond be posted in the value of the worst-case failure scenario – as a condition of approval. It seems everyone is clarvoiant when it comes to how bad a failure might be; I just don’t understand why the current pipeline environmental insurance limits are not mandatory to match the size of the failure. Most folks want to avoid big liability so penalties seem to work pretty well to ensure quality.

  2. btg5885 says:

    I agree on this. The company who wants to build teh pipeline has had numerous breaches on a similar one. And, they are talking about buidling near an aquifer. That is about as dumb as it gets. There is a certainty. It will fail and likely fail several times.

  3. Michael12 says:

    Here’s a simple view on this.

    The white house running for re-election needed all the help/votes they could get. Knowing this the White House held off on approving the pipeline until after the election. Since the WH won it no longer needs the support of these people nor does the media really care anymore as well. See the lack of coverage on the protest by many MSM outlest against the pipeline.

    In short the White will now pays no Penalties for approve and will get the benefits of creating jobs.

    I called this months ago.

  4. vincentmudd says:

    Thank you for the comment, M. I think you called it right. The pipeline’s approval in no way diminishes the opportunity for continued focus on renewable’s. As we can see, more and more natural gas plants are replacing coal-fired and more clean energy is coming on-line every day to eventually replace natural gas plants. Let’s also keep in mind the tar-sands oil is already coming to the US from Canada – it is just coming on trains fro the most part. Not exactly the cleanest option for transport when compared to a sealed pipe.

    As with the public concern with armed drones, environmental concerns related to oil-related issues is necessary and something that must stay on the front-burner of US policy. A vocal public is key in a democracy in order to “keep ’em honest”. By they, I mean everyone.

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