"Senate Republicans on Monday blocked bipartisan-energy efficiency legislation and derailed a promised vote on the Keystone XL pipeline, striking a blow against two Democratic incumbents facing tough re-election races. • Only three Republicans, including its chief GOP sponsor, Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio), voted to end debate and move to a final vote. Supporters needed 60 votes to overcome a filibuster from Republicans angered that Democrats wouldn't allow votes on their amendments. • Monday's 55-36 vote followed days of negotiations that failed to yield a deal on amendments. • The stalemate denied an important victory to the bill’s other sponsor, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), who faces a general-election challenge from former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.)."
More than 100 scientists and economists sent a letter to President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry Monday urging them to block the Keystone XL pipeline project, saying it would worsen climate change.
"On Thursday, [George W. Bush] sat down to speak to more than 2,500 oil and gas industry leaders at the DUG East conference in Pittsburgh, PA. The conference focuses on unconventional oil and gas extraction. Bush’s comments, courtesy of DeSmogBlog, explained his reasoning for why the Obama administration should approve the Keystone XL pipeline: 'I do think we’re underperforming economically. And I think the reason why is there’s not enough focus on private-sector growth. I think the goal of the country ought to be ‘how do we grow the private sector? That ought to be the laser-focus of any administration. And therefore, once that’s the goal, an issue like Keystone pipeline becomes a no-brainer. If private-sector growth is the goal, and Keystone pipeline creates 20,000 new jobs, build the damn thing.' • The comment elicited a burst of applause from the 2,500 attendees of the luncheon."
"On the day of his second Inauguration, in January, Barack Obama delivered an address of unabashed liberal ambition and promise. As recently as early April, before the realities of the world and the House of Representatives made themselves painfully evident, the President retained the confidence of a leader on the brink of enormous achievements. It seemed possible, even probable, that he would win modest gun-control legislation, an immigration-reform law, and the elusive grand bargain with Republicans to resolve the serial crises over the federal budget. And he seemed determined to take on even the most complicated and ominous problem of all: climate change. The President, who had a mixed environmental record after his first term, vowed that he would commit his Administration to combatting global warming, saying that 'failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.'"
"TransCanada’s Keystone Pipeline (above) has safely delivered more than 400 million barrels of crude oil to American markets since it began operation in July 2010. Keystone XL will provide refiners on the Gulf Coast with a secure and reliable supply of lower-priced Canadian and U.S. crude oil to displace overseas imports. - In the last month, professional activists have continued their repeated attempts to undermine the integrity of the State Depatment and the five-year long environmental review process for Keystone XL. The request for delay is premised on a collection of disparate market analyses issued since March 2013. Ordering a new SEIS on this basis would set a precedent for a never-ending review process. These groups have tried to stall and delay this important process at every step of this review, including releasing a misleading report regarding green house gas emissions related to the project. We have rebutted these claims here."
At least a dozen state and federal Republican lawmakers have written in support of the US$5.3-billion Keystone XL project that would cross six U.S. states. In doing so, they often pointed to the same facts and the used the same language. - The letters commend the State Department for its “thorough and transparent” analysis of the pipeline and urge U.S. officials to approve the project as soon as possible. - 'Keystone XL will be critical to improving American energy security and boosting our economy,' Representative Steve Stivers of Ohio wrote. So did Representative Jackie Walorski of Indiana. And Steve Daines of Montana. And John Carter of Texas. And Phil Gingrey of Georgia. - The wording similarities aren’t coincidental. The letters are all based on correspondence written by the Consumer Energy Alliance, a Washington-based coalition of energy producers and users, including Exxon Mobil Corp. in Irving, Texas, and Dow Chemical Co. in Midland, Michigan. - According to the letters, which quote the State Department’s own draft environmental analysis, the project will generate more than $5 billion in economic activity. Most note the 'additional 57 mitigation measures' project sponsor TransCanada Corp. agreed to take to reduce risks of a rupture."
"Whenever President Obama eventually decides on a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, it will be safe to say this: A lot has changed since Washington's previous two big pipeline decisions. • As part of the research for Keystone and Beyond, a new InsideClimate News e-book on the history of the Keystone XL decision, I examined George W. Bush's 2008 granting of a permit for the first Keystone pipeline, the initial step in TransCanada's plans to link Canadian tar sands oil with American refineries. And I looked at Obama's 2009 granting of a permit for the Alberta Clipper, a similar cross-border pipeline built by Enbridge. • It's not easy to see either as a meaningful precedent for the Keystone XL verdict, even though all three pipelines are meant to expand energy supplies of Canadian crude into U.S. markets."
WASHINGTON (AP) — Supporters of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline are seeking a swift election-year Senate vote on legislation to approve the project that environmentalists oppose strongly and the Obama administration has delayed indefinitely.
Desmond Tutu: "Twenty-five years ago people could be excused for not knowing much, or doing much, about climate change. Today we have no excuse. No more can it be dismissed as science fiction; we are already feeling the effects. This is why, no matter where you live, it is appalling that the US is debating whether to approve a massive pipeline transporting 830,000 barrels of the world's dirtiest oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Producing and transporting this quantity of oil, via the Keystone XL pipeline, could increase Canada's carbon emissions by over 30%. If the negative impacts of the pipeline would affect only Canada and the US, we could say good luck to them. But it will affect the whole world, our shared world, the only world we have. We don't have much time.
TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline route through Nebraska was ruled illegal by a state court judge in a decision seen as setting back the project by as long as a year as U.S. officials consider approving it.
LINCOLN — A Nebraska judge on Wednesday struck down a law that allowed the Keystone XL pipeline to proceed through the state, a victory for opponents who have tried to block the project that would carry oil from Canada to Texas refineries.
"TransCanada Corp. raised its preliminary cost estimate for the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline on Tuesday, saying it now expects the project to cost at least $5.4-billion, $100-million more than its previous forecast."
# The company said it still expects the 830,000-barrel-a-day line to be in service within two years of receiving final U.S. approvals for the project.
It warned that the new cost estimate, coming two weeks after it last pegged the line’s cost at $5.3-billion, will likely climb again once it knows when it can proceed."
# "The southern leg of the project, running from Cushing to refineries on Texas’s gulf coast, is nearly complete and expected to begin delivering oil by year-end."
"BILLINGS - The Keystone XL Pipeline is called the safest and most advanced pipeline operation in North America, but it doesn't come without its controversy.
# Advocates are hoping to have the XL pipeline up and running, but environmental concerns plague the $7 billion project.
# 'In terms of environment impact, if we look at it statically then yes, right now it doesn't look good, but technologies are being developed and a lot of money is going into it to change this,' said Stan Pence, the Canadian Consulate to the United States.
# With recent reports from Texas that the southern leg of the pipeline is riddled with problems, environmental concerns are taking a front seat.
'There are so many pipeline leaks everywhere that to think it's not going to happen here, is just sticking your head in the sand,' said Dena Hoff, an irrigation farmer from Glendive.
# Hoff and her husband are irrigation farmers in northeastern Montana. They say the pipeline is more trouble than it's worth and rural America will find itself in the cross hairs."
"President Barack Obama called it: The number of permanent, long-term jobs that will be created as a result of the Keystone XL pipeline will be minimal, he said in a July 24 interview with The New York Times and again at a jobs-policy speech in Tennessee on July 30. - 'Republicans have said that this would be a big jobs generator. There is no evidence that that’s true,' Obama told The New York Times. 'And my hope would be that any reporter who is looking at the facts would take the time to confirm that the most realistic estimates are this might create maybe 2,000 jobs during the construction of the pipeline—which might take a year or two—and then after that we’re talking about somewhere between 50 and 100 [chuckles] jobs in an economy of 150 million working people…. That is a blip relative to the need.' - On Tuesday July 30 he downgraded that estimate even further, implying that the pipeline would create a maximum of 50 or so jobs, Fox News reported. On the surface it seemed to low-ball the much higher estimates given by TransCanada, the company that would build the $7 billion, 1,700-mile-long dual pipeline through several states from the oil sands of Alberta, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Although it would take that smaller number of people to maintain the pipeline, getting to that point would create potentially thousands of jobs, Fox News pointed out." - "The discrepancy seems to be on what one’s definition of “job” is. Is it a two-year construction job that leaves someone out of work once the pipeline is built? Is it a rash of services such as sandwich joints to feed those hungry workers? Or should only the ones that would provide long-term employment be counted among the benefits of such an enormous project? - The executive summary of the State Department’s preliminary environmental assessment report, released on March 1, did indeed put the number at '35 permanent and 15 temporary jobs, primarily for routine inspections, maintenance, and repairs,' and added, 'Based on this estimate, routine operation of the proposed pipeline would have negligible socioeconomic impacts.'"