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Keystone XL: Affairs of State
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USA Today Reports: Obama to reject fast-tracking Keystone XL pipeline

"The Obama administration will reject fast-tracking approval of the TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline, turning aside Republican demands that he sign off on the deal they claim will create 20,000 new jobs and strengthen American energy security, according to news reports."

 

"Despite today's rejection, the administration will allow TransCanada to reapply after it develops an alternate route through the sensitive habitat of Nebraska's Sandhills. Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns is expected to make the announcement this afternoon, the Washington Post reports."

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Aboriginal Leaders Angered by Outright Government Support of Northern Gateway Pipeline

Aboriginal Leaders Angered by Outright Government Support of Northern Gateway Pipeline | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it

"Aboriginal leaders from around the country came down on Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver this week for voicing support of Enbridge Corp.’s proposed Northern Gateway pipeline from the Alberta oil sands to the British Columbia coast for pickup in Kitimat by mega-tankers.

 

'The First Nations Leadership Council is greatly troubled by recent comments by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver advocating for the proposed Enbridge Gateway pipeline to proceed even before the Joint Review Panel’s environmental review has begun,' the First Nations Leadership Council said in a commentary published in the Rossland Telegraph.

 

They and other aboriginal leaders were responding to statements made by Oliver in a public letter released on the eve of hearings into the $5.5 billion, 730-mile-long dual pipeline. In it, he suggested that radical, foreign groups based in the United States were funding the opposition. At the same time, Harper was promulgating the pipeline project.

 

The hearings before the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project Joint Review Panel began on January 10 in Kitimat, British Columbia, with testimony from six Haisla First Nation hereditary chiefs."

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Linda McMahon, GOP Senate Hopeful, Wrote Keystone Op-Ed Parroting TransCanada

Linda McMahon, GOP Senate Hopeful, Wrote Keystone Op-Ed Parroting TransCanada | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it

"After calling out an opponent for plagiarism, Republican Senate candidate Linda McMahon pulled key parts of her own Keystone XL op-ed, which ran last week on a Connecticut news site, from the website of the corporation that stands to...

 

HuffPost's Tom Zeller has documented that TransCanada's assertion about the pipeline creating 20,000 jobs -- 13,000 in construction and 7,000 in manufacturing -- is a considerable exaggeration. He wrote:

 

'The 13,000 construction jobs, for example, are really "person years of employment" -- a bit of economic modeling jargon that simply means one person employed for one year. Under that scenario, which is laid out rather plainly in the study commissioned by TransCanada but is frequently mischaracterized, a single laborer working for two years to build the Keystone XL pipeline would be counted twice.


So it was that the State Department, in its analysis of the project, estimated that its construction would create only between 5,000 and 6,000 jobs -- over three years.

 

Construction work being what it is, those jobs would also evaporate as soon as the thing was built.'"

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Money & Politics | Topics | BillMoyers.com

Money & Politics | Topics | BillMoyers.com | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it

"Bill Moyers has spent years digging into the complex and controversial relationship between money and politics in America, an intersection that has become all the more significant in the aftermath of the 2010 Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling — allowing unlimited and often anonymous amounts of corporate cash to be used as political contributions. How far back does the influence go and how much does it corrupt our democracy today? Explore these issues with help from Moyers & Company, Bill Moyers Journal, and NOW with Bill Moyers. Check out our in-depth investigation into the world of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff in Capitol Crimes, and get crucial insight from guests including Floyd Abrams and Trevor Potter, Lawrence Lessig, Nick Gillespie, Kevin Drum, Zephyr Teachout, and Monica Youn."

 

For videos and other resources on this topic, go here: http://goo.gl/ZobrD

 

"In recent years, the rich have seen their wealth grow dramatically while the poor and middle class have basically flat lined. And it’s no accident, argue Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson in their book Winner-Take-All Politics. The infographic [above], which draws from Hacker and Pierson’s book, explains how our politicians — on both sides of the isle — fell under the spell of corporate dollars and re-engineered our economic system to favor the wealthy."

 

For more on "The Triggers of Economic Inequality," go here: http://goo.gl/W4krQ and go here: http://goo.gl/ZobrD .

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NRDC threatens legal action if Obama approves Keystone pipeline - The Hill's E2-Wire

"A major environmental group said Friday that it would consider a legal challenge if President Obama approves the Keystone XL pipeline.

 

Susan Casey-Lefkowitz of the Natural Resources Defense Council told reporters that she is confident that Obama will reject the pipeline under a GOP-backed measure requiring a decision on the project by Feb. 21.

 

But if Obama decides to greenlight the project, she said NRDC 'would be looking at various legal challenges to the pipeline, which is not in the national interest.'

 

The administrationwould open itself up to legal challenges if it approves the pipeline because the Republican measure — which was included in a broad payroll tax cut package — does not give officials enough time to complete a national interest determination, she said.

 

'Frankly, it’s common sense. You can’t make a decision on the pipeline when you don’t know the path of the pipeline,' said Casey-Lefkowitz, who is director of NRDC's international program."

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Media Advisory - TransCanada Releases Detailed Keystone XL Job Creation Data

Media Advisory - TransCanada Releases Detailed Keystone XL Job Creation Data | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it

"TransCanada Corporation (TSX, NYSE: TRP) (TransCanada) released further details today that highlight the thousands of jobs Keystone XL would create for Americans.

 

The $7 billion oil pipeline is the largest infrastructure project on the books in the U.S. right now. It would create 20,000 jobs: 13,000 in construction, 7,000 in manufacturing.

 

Construction of the 1,600 mile pipeline is broken down into 17 U.S. pipeline spreads or segments, with 500 workers per spread - that's 8,500 jobs
Keystone XL also needs 30 pump stations worth tens of millions of dollars. Each station requires 100 workers - that's 3,000 jobs. Add another 600 jobs that would be needed for the six construction camps and tank construction at Cushing, Oklahoma 
A project of such magnitude needs construction, management and inspection oversight - that would create 1,000 jobs, bringing the overall Keystone XL total to 13,000 direct, on-site jobs.

 

A typical union-based pipeline spread/segment for Keystone XL would employ Americans in the following positions: [sic]"

 

For list of positions, go here: http://goo.gl/4S0Rx .

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Keystone XL: Job Creation and Our Energy Choices

Keystone XL: Job Creation and Our Energy Choices | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it

"Readers respond to an editorial urging President Obama to push for clean energy jobs rather than the Keystone XL pipeline."

 

"Re “Where the Real Jobs Are” (editorial, Jan. 2):

 

ROBERT JONES
JAMES MILLAR
Calgary, Alberta, Jan. 3, 2012

Mr. Jones is vice president of Keystone Pipeline System. Mr. Millar is manager of corporate communications and media relations for TransCanada.

 

TransCanada has been constructing and operating natural gas and oil pipelines for more than 60 years. We know what it takes to build multimillion-dollar pieces of infrastructure — the amount of equipment, the materials and the number of workers.

 

The $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline is the largest infrastructure project planned in the United States right now. It will create 20,000 jobs: 13,000 in construction, 7,000 in manufacturing.

Construction of the 1,600-mile pipeline is broken down into 17 pipeline spreads, or sections, with 500 workers per spread — that’s 8,500 workers.

Keystone XL also needs 30 pump stations, each requiring 100 workers — that’s 3,000 jobs. Add in another 600 jobs that will be needed for the six construction camps and tank construction at Cushing, Okla.

 

A project of such magnitude needs construction and management and inspection oversight — the 1,000 workers here brings the overall Keystone XL total to more than 13,000 direct, on-site jobs. These are new, real American jobs — not person-hours; there is no double counting here."

 

Other Letters from:

 

RICHARD G. LUGAR
Washington, Jan. 4, 2012

The writer is a Republican senator from Indiana.

 

TONY LaMANTIA

Chicago, Jan. 2, 2012

 

THOMAS JANDL
Towson, Md., Jan. 2, 2012

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How Much Would 'Huge Political Consequences' From the Oil & Gas Industry Cost?

"Last week, the head of the American Petroleum Institute, Jack Gerard, delivered a message to President Obama: approve the Keystone XL pipeline or face "huge political consequences." As the president of an energy trade association that bills itself as the only national trade association representing all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry, Gerard could possess the clout to make good on his threat. In a recent two-year time frame, contributions to current members of the House of Representatives from individuals and PACs connected to the Oil & Gas industry have totaled nearly $12 million.

 

The decision on the Keystone pipeline has placed the White House between high-contributing environmental policy groups that oppose the creation of the pipeline and sagging poll numbers tied to a troubled economy that would benefit from the creation of new construction projects."

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US Chamber of Commerce Leader calls for Keystone XL, Energy Growth - Oil

"US Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue made energy the lead item in his jobs agenda for 2012, calling for speeding oil and natural gas permitting and quickly approving the Keystone XL pipeline to boost the economy.

 

'Our nation is on the cusp of an energy boom that is already creating hundreds of thousands of jobs, revitalizing entire communities and reinvigorating American manufacturing,' Donohue said, in his annual 'State of American Business' speech on Thursday.

 

The chamber is the US' largest business group, representing about 3 million businesses.

 

Donohue cited development of shale gas and unconventional oil resources as potentially creating about 1 million jobs over the next few years adding hundreds of billions to federal coffers, offering North Dakota's energy boom as an example.

"To tap our energy resources we've got to speed up permitting," Donohue said.

 

"Instead of handpicking a few technologies we must harness all of our resources, traditional and alternative, while expanding nuclear power and driving greater efficiency," he continued later.

 

Asked at a news conference following the speech if exports of new oil and gas resources could hurt the US economy, Donohue said exports should remain small and the benefits of gas production, in particular, would attract companies to the US.

 

'I think over time we're going to keep a lot more [oil and gas] here and we're sure going to attract a lot of companies to come back here, primarily, for starters, in the chemical business because they use natural gas as their seed corn,' Donohue said."

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Help Improve Legislation: Sunlight Drafts SUPERPAC Act to Address Hidden Money in Elections

Help Improve Legislation: Sunlight Drafts SUPERPAC Act to Address Hidden Money in Elections | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it

"As the second anniversary of the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United decision approaches, the Sunlight Foundation has drafted the Stop Undisclosed Payments in Elections from Ruining Public Accountability in Campaigns Act (the SUPERPAC Act). This bill, if enacted, would be one step towards addressing the corrupting influence unlimited, secret SUPERPAC money has on our elections and our elected officials.

 

Unfortunately, Congress seems to have given up on efforts to shine a light on campaign activities that are financed by secret money flowing from corporations and unions. First, the DISCLOSE Act was largely derailed by congressional Republicans. Now, by failing to offer new legislation, both parties appear to have abdicated their responsibility to ensure our elections are transparent.

 

We hope the SUPERPAC Act reignites the effort and that members of Congress will decide to stop serving their self-interest and start acting in the public interest by taking a step in favor of transparency. The SUPERPAC Act is designed to be a disclosure only bill, largely including the transparency provisions of the DISCLOSE Act while leaving out some of the bans, carve-outs and other provisions that made DISCLOSE controversial.

 

We encourage the public to comment on our effort so we have posted The SUPERPAC Act on PublicMarkup.org, Sunlight’s web site that allows anyone to help improve legislation we propose."

 

Here are highlights of the bill: http://goo.gl/dPWxm 

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For Hire: Lobbyists or the 99%?

"Amidst a growing federal deficit and widespread economic insecurity for most Americans, some of the largest corporations in the country have avoided paying their fair share in taxes while spending millions to influence federal policymakers. This report builds on a recent report on corporate tax dodging by Citizens for Tax Justice by examining lobbying expenditure data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics. We also look at publicly available data on job creation, federal campaign contributions, and executive compensation, to further understand how these corporations have been spending their cash.

 

Key Findings

 

• The thirty big corporations analyzed in this report paid more to lobby federal policymakers than they paid in federal income taxes for the three years between 2008 and 2010, despite being profitable.

 

• Despite making combined profits totaling $164 billion in that three-­‐year period, the 30 companies combined received tax rebates totaling nearly $11 billion.

 

• Altogether, these companies spent nearly half a billion dollars ($476 million) over three years on federal lobbying—that’s about $400,000 each day, including weekends.

 

• In the three-­‐year period beginning in 2009 through most of 2011, these large firms spent over $22 million altogether on federal campaigns.

 

• These corporations have also spent lavishly on compensation for their top executives ($706 million altogether in 2010)."

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Keystone XL Pipeline a Bad Deal | John L. Ward

"Edward Harmon’s statements about TransCanada’s proposed Keystone XL pipeline, designed to carry Canadian tar sands across the U.S. (Speaking Out, Jan. 2) are based on the unsupported claims of vested interests.

 

Harmon states that the pipeline would create between 10,000 and 60,000 construction jobs. But according to data TransCanada supplied to the State Department, the project will produce no more than 2,500 to 4,650 temporary construction jobs for two years and as few as 50 new, permanent pipeline jobs. By contrast, the solar industry added 6,700 permanent, well-paying jobs this past year.

 

Harmon states that the pipeline would reduce our dependence on oil from hostile countries. But an analysis by Department of Energy contractor Ensys Energy in December 2010 found that the pipeline would have virtually no impact on Middle East imports.

 

Based on a report commissioned by the State Department, Harmon brushes off the environmental threat that the pipeline poses. But he neglects to mention that this so-called “expert report” was written by a company recommended by TransCanada, Cardno Entrix, a “major client” of theirs."

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PetroChina Buys Oil-Sands Project

"Athabasca Oil Sands said it was exercising an option to sell a 40% stake in one of its oil-sands prospects to PetroChina for $666 million, a move that for the first time will give full ownership of such a project to a Chinese company.

 

Athabasca is selling its remaining interest in the MacKay River project in northern Alberta to PetroChina for 680 million Canadian dollars, or US$666 million. In 2010, Athabasca sold 60% stakes in MacKay and a separate development, Dover, to PetroChina for C$1.9 billion.

 

Chinese oil companies PetroChina, China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., known as Sinopec, and Cnooc Ltd. have all invested heavily in Canada's oil patch. Chinese firms have typically sought to buy into minority stakes in projects or companies. But last year, interest in buying whole companies ratcheted up."

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Obama administration expected to reject Keystone XL pipeline permit today - Political Hotsheet - CBS News

"Sources say administration plans to reject permit for controversial underground pipeline opposed by environmentalists and backed by Republicans Read more by Brian Montopoli on CBS News' Political Hotsheet."

 

"The Obama administration is expected to reject TransCanada's controversial $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline later Wednesday, a source familiar with the decision told CBS News Monday, adding that a formal announcement is expected from the State Department.

 

Multiple media outlets have reported that the decision is imminent, citing unnamed sources, but the White House and the State Department have not confirmed the announcement.

 

As part of deal last December extending the payroll tax cut for two months, Congress imposed a Feb. 21 decision on President Obama to issue or reject the permit. Language in the deal mandates that only the president can block the Keystone Pipeline project, and the impact of an expected State Department announcement is not clear. Shares in TransCanada Corp fell following initial reports about a decision."

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Don't be Fooled - the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline is not a Jobs Plan, but an Oil Export Plan

"You’ll hear the GOP, the American Petroleum Institute, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce make wild claims about the job creation potential of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Don’t be fooled. The pipeline company itself admits only “a few hundred permanent jobs” are created by Keystone XL.  The debate over whether Keystone XL creates jobs is a convenient diversion from something oil company backers don’t want you to know: this is an export pipeline to help them access foreign markets and bypass the United States. Oil companies will make bigger profits and oil prices for Americans will increase. That’s not a project that helps Americans. It’s a project that helps Big Oil."
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Keystone XL Pipeline Would Be Hard to Kill, Analysts Say

"A provision attached to the recent payroll tax bill requires President Obama to decide by Feb. 21 on the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the U.S.

 

But even if the administration rejects the project, it may not be enough to kill it, industry analysts said. Americans' thirst for oil probably will push the administration and TransCanada Corp., the pipeline's sponsor, to find a way to transport Canadian crude across the United States even if it's not through a pipeline called Keystone XL, industry analysts said.


'We think it will be built,' said Jamie Webster, senior manager for markets at PFC Energy, a Washington consulting firm. 'The interesting bit is, what is 'it'? The future of the pipeline could go a couple of different ways.'

 

TransCanada said it had already started to work with Nebraska authorities to find an alternative route. Once one has been determined, the environmental review could take about nine months, TransCanada said.

 

Over the next six weeks, TransCanada could pull the Keystone application to avoid deepening the political fight over the permit and submit it later with a new route through Nebraska, said Frank Verrastro, director of energy and national security at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a nonpartisan Washington think tank."

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Jacob Hacker & Paul Pierson on Winner Take All Politics

Bill Moyers explores how America's vast inequality didn't just happen, it's been politically engineered.

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1/14/12 - Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) Delivers Weekly GOP Address On Keystone XL Pipeline

"In the Weekly Republican Address, North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven discusses the Keystone XL pipeline and why it's "in the national interest and the interest of the American people."

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Where the Real Jobs Are - Editorial

"The Keystone pipeline is bad energy policy and doesn’t do enough for the economy. President Obama should argue for alternative fuel sources and clean energy jobs."

 

"The Republicans’ claim that the pipeline will create tens of thousands of new jobs — 20,000 according to House Speaker John Boehner and 100,000 according to Jon Huntsman — are wildly inflated. A more accurate forecast from the federal government, one with which TransCanada, the pipeline company, agrees, says the project would create 6,000 to 6,500 temporary construction jobs at best, for two years.

 

The country obviously needs more jobs. Mr. Obama needs to lay out the case that industry, with government help, can create hundreds of thousands of clean energy jobs without incurring environmental risks — by upgrading old power plants to comply with environmental laws, retrofitting commercial and residential buildings that soak up nearly 40 percent of the country’s energy (and produce nearly 40 percent of its carbon emissions) and promoting growth in new industries like wind and solar power and advanced vehicles.

 

By even the most conservative estimates, the power plant upgrades required by the new rule governing mercury emissions are expected to create about 45,000 temporary construction jobs over the next five years, and as many as 8,000 permanent jobs as utilities install pollution control equipment. And while the projects are new and the numbers tentative, the Energy Department predicts that its loan guarantee programs could create more than 60,000 direct jobs in the solar and wind industries and in companies developing advanced batteries and other components for more fuel-efficient cars."

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Oil lobby's financial pressure on Obama over Keystone XL pipeline revealed

Oil lobby's financial pressure on Obama over Keystone XL pipeline revealed | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it

"... Maplight, an independent research group in Berkeley, California, that tracks the influence of money in politics, has conducted an analysis of oil industry contributions to members of Congress supporting the pipeline.

 

The study, which is due to be published on Wednesday, studied industry contributions to members of the House of Representatives which passed a bill last July that would have forced Obama to speed up approval of the Keystone project.

 

The analysis did not include the Senate, which did not pass the bill last July but where there is a strong push now from Republicans to get Obama to approve the pipeline.

 

Maplight found only two of the 118 members of the House of Representatives who list oil and gas industry among their top 10 campaign contributors opposed fast-tracking the pipeline. The two hold-outs were Ed Markey, the Massachusetts Democrat who headed the global warming committee that has since been disbanded by the Republican leadership in the house, and Charlie Bass, a New Hampshire Republican.

 

Only 10 of the 195 members of the House of Representatives who list the oil and gas industry among their top 20 contributors opposed the bill. In all, the oil and gas industry has given nearly $12m in direct contributions to members of Congress in the last two years, Maplight said."

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Stephen Colbert to Explore (or Pretend to) Run for President

Stephen Colbert to Explore (or Pretend to) Run for President | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it

"If anyone can make a mockery of the newest campaign finance innovation, the 'super PAC,' it’s Stephen Colbert.

 

Mr. Colbert, the Comedy Central television host, has made jokes at the expense of super PACs for months — forming his own group, soliciting money for it, then running an ad that featured Buddy Roemer, a long-shot candidate who has criticized the Supreme Court decision that allows the existence of the free-spending PACs so long as they do not explicitly coordinate with candidates.

 

On Thursday night’s 'Colbert Report,' Mr. Colbert took it a big step further, handing control of his group to his friend and fellow host Jon Stewart so that he can legally run for president, or at least pretend to. Mr. Colbert, who has comically flirted with — and mocked the possibility of — runs for political office before, said he would form an 'exploratory committee for president of the United States of South Carolina.'"

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Clean energy: It’s Time to Get Real - Part 1

Clean energy: It’s Time to Get Real - Part 1 | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it

"This is the first in a series of blog posts to give you the facts about clean energy and how we can solve the climate crisis. Stay tuned for the second post soon.

 

When people ask what we can do about climate change, what do you say?


If you’ve been listening to us for a while, you know that the way to solve the climate crisis is to make a transition to clean energy. That means clean, renewable sources like wind and solar, and it means finding ways to use the energy we have more efficiently.

 

But lately, a lot of naysayers have spoken up and tried to poke holes in the benefits that clean energy brings to the table. Maybe you’ve heard that clean energy is too expensive. Maybe you’ve heard clean energy technologies will never replace fossil fuels. Or maybe you’ve heard that clean energy doesn’t create a lot of jobs.

 

None of these claims are true — and we’ll explain why in a series of blog posts about our clean energy reality. Scientists tell us that climate change is a real and urgent problem. It’s also a reality that we can begin to solve this crisis, using clean energy solutions that are available today."

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Keystone XL Pipeline: Republicans Working On Contingency Plan Should Obama Say No

"Congressional Republicans, who are urging President Barack Obama to give a permit to the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL oil pipeline project, are working on a plan to take the reins of approval from the president should the White House say no.

 

Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota, a state counting on TransCanada Corp's pipeline to help move its newfound bounty of shale oil, is drafting contingency legislation that would see Congress green-light the project, an aide told Reuters.

 

After delaying the $7 billion project past the November 2012 election, Obama was compelled by Congress to decide by February 21 on whether to approve the pipeline that would sharply boost the flow of oil from Canada's oil sands.

 

Should Obama reject the pipeline, Senate Republicans would look at a bill that would force the go-ahead for work to begin, said Ryan Bernstein, an energy adviser to Hoeven, citing the powers given to Congress in the Constitution to regulate commerce with foreign nations.

 

'We believe that express authority in the Constitution gives Congress the ability to approve and move forward on such a project,' Bernstein said in an interview."

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Canada Pipeline Hearings Near

Canada Pipeline Hearings Near | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it

"The first of more than a year's worth of public hearings over a proposed pipeline designed to ship crude from Canada's landlocked oil-sands to the Pacific begins Tuesday, threatening to fan a debate in Canada over the country's growing status as a global energy powerhouse.

 

Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently ratcheted up support for the idea of transporting some of Canada's growing oil production westward to the coast, where it can be loaded onto tankers and sent to thirsty Asian markets. The new push comes after another proposed pipeline, TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone XL, was tripped up by politics in Washington.

 

Keystone XL would move crude from oil-rich Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast, but environmentalists and some powerful U.S. Democrats have opposed it. Late last year, President Barack Obama signed legislation—part of a tax compromise with Republican lawmakers—requiring him to make a decision on the pipeline by the end of February. The White House has signaled the deadline might force the president to reject the project."

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China's Softly, Softly Energy Grab

China's Softly, Softly Energy Grab | Keystone XL: Affairs of State | Scoop.it

"China's oil majors are notching up big purchases by steering clear of controversy."

 

"The latest wave of acquisitions by China's national oil companies shows they have learned from past missteps. Where Cnooc's $18 billion bid was an attempt to swallow Unocal whole, the national oil companies now target minority stakes and joint ventures that are less likely to ring alarm bells in Western capitals. Sinopec's latest deal is typical in this respect, giving it a one-third share of Devon's shale fields.

 

Targeting unconventional assets also helps. The image of China's state-owned giants siphoning off the crude from American wells raised fears about selling the farm to a strategic competitor. Squeezing the oil out of sands in Canada—as PetroChina will do following its purchase from Athabasca—may cause a stir in Alberta. But compared with the Unocal bid, China's new wave of purchases is less threatening."

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