Obama Refuses TransCanada Request to Suspend Keystone XL Pipeline Approval

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Republicans, and even Canada’s former prime minister, have spent five years railing on President Barack Obama for taking “way too long” to grant a foreign corporation, TransCanada, permission to construct a tar sand pipeline over 1,179 miles of American soil. Early in 2015, Republicans even attempted to subvert the President’s Executive Branch and State Department authority by passing legislation granting TransCanada permission to build its Keystone XL pipeline because it was so necessary to America’s existence that construction could not wait one more day; the U.S. Constitution be damned.

Now, however, TransCanada are “requesting” an indefinite and last minute “time out” on building Keystone XL and it begs the question; why now and why is it not vital to America’s survival any longer? Particularly after five years’ worth of mendacity and propaganda from Canadians and Republicans alike that unless the President approves the construction permit today, millions of prospective American jobs will be lost, the price of gas will exceed the $20 a gallon mark, and America will fail and fall into the sea.

The foreign corporation that, along with Republicans, has been behind the gargantuan push to construct the ridiculously dangerous Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the U.S Gulf Coast has just begged the U.S. State Department to suspend its review of the environmentally disastrous project. That’s right, after convincing Republicans to attempt an unconstitutional legislative maneuver to seize Executive Branch authority for big oil profits, TransCanada wants America to suspend the permitting process. One wonders why no Republicans are screaming bloody murder.

The foreign corporation, TransCanada, offered up a bovine excrement excuse for the suspension request and claimed that after seven years and a monumental crusade, “a suspension would be appropriate while we work with Nebraska authorities for approval of its preferred route through the state.” Of all the reasons TransCanada could have proffered for asking for a suspension of a project they have pushed mercilessly, claiming they need more time to “work with” any American officials for their “preferred route” across America is sheer nonsense and a seriously dirty filthy lie.

It is more likely that the real overriding reason is to avoid the Obama Administration’s “widely expected” rejection of the permit to build Keystone XL; regardless of who wants it. It is also likely that an underlying factor is that the current historically low oil prices have “undercut the financial logic” of TransCanada taking the project forward. The Koch brothers or oil acolytes in the Republican movement have not weighed in on the announcement and it seems curious that after securing over a million or so acres of tar sands in and around Alberta, the impatient Koch brothers are not outraged the company now wants to put the project on hold.

TransCanada is not the only combatant in this war on the environment and the climate. The Koch brothers and Republicans cannot countenance losing another battle with President Obama or the environmental movement for that matter, and the oil industry can avoid “the pre-election rejection by President Obama that many are predicting,” and hope that by putting the project in limbo they can avoid losing outright; particularly after a costly and multi-year campaign just to procure a permit to build the pipeline.  Maybe they even believe that in a year or so all the nasty environmental activists and land owners opposed to the project will have vanished, or that the EPA and preponderance of climate scientists will have an epiphany that developing tar sands will not meangame over for the Earth’s climate.”

Whatever their true motivation, TransCanada knows for certain now that the Keystone pipeline fails the, frankly weak, climate test President Obama has laid out and is an economic disaster for ranchers and farmers across the Midwest. It is also going to be “devastating for the land and people of Northern Alberta,” and absolutely worthless to the  American people; except of course for the 35 people who get a job, the Koch brothers, and the foreign export market.

If the pipeline is, as Republicans have claimed for five straight years, a job creating bonanza like America has never seen, necessary to provide Americans with cheap gas, or a critical part of a robust economic recovery; why are they not declaring war on Canada for asking America to suspend the permit approval process? This request for a suspension is all the proof any American needed that Republicans, Canada’s former prime minister, TransCanada, and particularly former-speaker of the house John Boehner have been lying through their teeth all along about the benefits of building the pipeline. What has been missing since TransCanada announced they want a respite from trying to push a nasty project their citizens will not allow in Canada, is outrage from Republicans or their masters the Koch brothers who stand to lose hundreds of millions of dollars annually without the pipeline. One would expect Republicans and the Koch brothers to be screaming foul from every television in America that TransCanada is destroying a million prospective jobs, thwarting 45-cents a gallon gasoline, and sending the  economy into a deep dark depression; all because their precious Canadian corporation is delaying its plan to despoil America’s Heartland as well as the entire Earth’s climate.

Although the President could have summarily rejected TransCanada’s permit application long before now, he waited for all the facts to come in that indeed, the pipeline fails his climate test. This is something TransCanada is well aware of by  now. They also likely are aware that based on his climate agenda and particularly his recent ban on drilling in the Arctic, it is more likely than not the President will reject Keystone XL “once and for all.” These are just delaying tactics on the part of a foreign corporation in league with the Koch brothers, John Boehner, and every oil-dependent Republican in Congress. They are all counting on the next administration to toe the fossil fuel line, obey the Koch brothers, and do big oil’s bidding because it has finally dawned on them that this President puts the people’s welfare and the Earth’s climate first.

Over the past two years, in particular, President Obama has made the environment and the climate a primary concern of his Administration and he actually made it “clear that Keystone XL can’t be in our national interest.” It is not a massive job creator and according to the Environmental Protection agency it will “significantly increase carbon pollution and exacerbate global climate change immeasurably.”

The foreign corporation TransCanada, Republicans, and the Koch brothers are resorting to what environmentalists are rightly calling “a desperate delay tactic to prevent President Obama from following through on his pledge.” It is glaringly apparent that the axis of mendacity, the Kochs, Republicans, and TransCanada, are terrified of this President and now likely comprehend that challenging his resolve or expecting him to concede to big oil is a very stupid move. They are hoping the next president is going to do what President Obama has already demonstrated he will never do; choose oil industry profits over the health, safety, and welfare of current and future generations of human beings the world over. As if to punctuate that point, the White House has announced that despite TransCanada’s request, the President will not “yield to big oil” to delay his decision on Keystone XL, and that he will make the final decision before he leaves office.