There have been ongoing protests in the US regarding this pipeline and possible environmental issues. Whilst it is easy to see why some have protested, the West's reliance on oil will never be good news. As usual we want our cake and eat it.
In the Middle East, wars have been fought supposedly for democracy whilst the true reason has been in order to secure oil supplies. Of course the Middle East is not in the West's own backyard. The XL Keystone pipeline will be and some people are up in arms.
Washington has been lobbied and many felt that a new Republican government would smile kindly on XL. In reality that may be the case, but it may not. Even if a Republican is returned to the White House in November 2012 there is nothing to say that XL will be high on their agenda. What politicians promise in the run up to an election usually bears no relation to what they do when in office. That is unless it is something which will help those who bank rolled their election campaign.
Wednesday January 18, 2012, US President Obama rejected the XL Keystone pipeline plans. President Obama however issued a statement which maintained that he had been forced into making this decision, by Republicans. He argued that a "short-term extension to the payroll tax cut that required him to either issue a permit to allow the 1,700-mile pipeline to be built or explain why it was not in the national interest by Feb. 21", was at the heart of the problem.
USA Today went on to report that Obama said, "This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people. I'm disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision, but it does not change my administration's commitment to American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on oil."
With the election rapidly approaching both Democrats and Republicans will be playing a war of words and hoping to undermine each others campaigns. This always makes it hard for the man or woman on the street to truly know just what each politician and party stands for. Each will always blame the other for their shortcomings.
Mr Obama wanted enough time to assess alternative pipeline routes whilst his political enemies said he was putting jobs on the line by doing so. Presumably he was also putting the wealth of Republicans and their supporters on the line.
Of course Republicans are hammering home the XL Keystone debate and keeping it central to their campaigns. They see it as one way to hit Obama. It strikes this blogger as odd. In one breath they say Obama is finished and will not be re-elected and in another they are latching onto anything possible which could hit potential Obama voters. It smacks of Republicans being desperate.
Trans Canada Corp have however seemingly accepted Obama's words. The Obama administration offered TCC the chance to reapply and they have said that they will be doing so. Without a time sensitive arrangement this will give both parties chance to explore alternative routes.
Bloomberg have reported that, "Obama called Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who told the president Canada will seek to diversify its energy exports after Keystone was rejected. Harper “expressed his profound disappointment” with the Keystone decision, according to a statement from his office".
Obviously environmentalist groups are happy with the rejection. This could be a short lived rejection though. Republicans will decry the rejection whilst secretly being pleased for the political fire power it could give to their election campaigns. In all honesty though the Obama administration must be a winner in some ways. It has shown that even in an election year it will not simply cave in to pressure. Then again all it could still be playing for time. That said the Alberta Oil Sands fiasco is far from over.