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Keystone Decision Pushed to 2014

According to TheHill.com:

The State Department’s decision on the Keystone XL pipeline is in danger of being pushed into 2014.

State’s internal watchdog on Friday said it won’t complete until January a review of allegations that the department hired a contractor with a conflict of interest to review the pipeline project.

It’s 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. State did not return a request for comment from The Hill.

Doug Welty, a spokesman for the department’s internal watchdog, told The Hill that his office wanted to determine whether the “newly adopted process in selecting a third party-contractor” was “effective in assessing potential organizational conflicts of interest.”

The news of a January release for the report raised the specter of another delay for Keystone, which is under review at State for a cross-border permit to complete the pipeline’s northern leg.

It has taken multiple years just for the United States to decide whether or not an oil pipeline can be built. Recall this graphic of the number of pipelines (oil and gas) that exist already in the United States:

compressorMap

Source: EIA

Yet we’re supposed to believe that the Keystone Pipeline is significantly different, to the extent that somehow its construction could be dangerous or harmful. The United States is lucky that there isn’t this level of opposition and delay to basic construction in numerous other parts of the economy.

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