After nearly five years of review, after all the questions on Keystone XL have been answered and all opponents’ charges have been debunked, news outlets are reporting that Keystone XL could suffer yet another delay, thanks to opponents’ stall tactics.
Today the State Department Inspector General’s office told reporters that their latest inquiry on conflict of interest charges raised by opponents of Keystone XL will not be completed until January 2014, which could hold up the Keystone XL decision – although as The Hill reported, its “unclear whether State would need to wait for its Office of Inspector General to release that report before deciding whether to recommend approval of the Canada-to-Texas pipeline.” Politico reports that this IG inquiry is a “limited compliance follow-up review’ of an initial probe that found no evidence of a conflict of interest or bias in the department’s analysis of the Keystone XL pipeline.”
That’s right, the conflict of interest charge is likely more of a stall tactic, one that opponents have already tried, only to have the IG clear any wrong doing, as Politico reported last year. Of course, opponents are pulling this stunt again simply because they don’t like the results of the State Department’s analysis and hope to undercut it in any way.
Their arguments that Keystone XL is “game over” for the planet have been debunked numerous times. Just this month, IHS CERA released a report showing that Keystone XL would have “no material impact” on greenhouse gas emissions because Canadian crude would still get to market – and that Venezuela will be “the number one beneficiary of a negative decision” on Keystone XL because Gulf Coast refineries will still refine heavy crude; they will just end up getting more of it from Venezuela instead of Canada.
Even climate scientists are pushing back on opponents’ absurd claims, with climate expert David Victor saying, “As a serious strategy for dealing with climate, blocking Keystone is a waste of time” while Harvard scientist David Keith added that opponents’ “extreme statements” are “intellectually untrue.”
Yet, as opponents continue their delay tactics, polls continue to show overwhelming support from the American people who are tired of waiting for the jobs and energy security Keystone XL would bring, and increasingly impatient with opponents’ persistent stunts.