Trans Canada Pipelines (TCPL) recognizes that President Obama will not approve a permit for the cross border construction of the Keystone pipeline. The only chance of approval is the election of a Republican President in 2016.
To keep the possibility of approval of Keystone alive, TCPL has made a formal request to President Obama to suspend the Federal permit process. TCPL rationalizes this request by referring to the still-incomplete proceedings in the Courts and Legislature of the State of Nevada. Some years ago Obama decided not to take further action until litigation had confirmed that State approvals would be forthcoming.
The weakness of TCPL’s rationalization for its present request is obvious. Obama has every reason to reject Keystone if
- its construction leads to significantly increased CO2 emissions, regardless where those emissions may occur.
- if the approval would be inconsistent with US international policy on climate change –as it is clear that the US does not need the quantities of tar sands oil that a pipeline will transport.
- the Canadian Government – which in the days of Conservative Rule consistently supported Keystone – is neutral.
Politically its request is sensible: TCPL does not wish Keystone to be a polarizing issue in the US Presidential election. Republican Senators in mid-Western states could still use the bureaucratic delay in their campaign for re–election! (That’s Washington! – as seen from the mid-West)