Hillary: No decision on pipeline until Spring 2013

The official word from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Keystone XL Pipeline Project Review Process: Decision to Seek Additional Information

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
November 10, 2011

Executive Order 13337 authorizes the Department of State to lead the review of Presidential Permit applications for transborder pipelines, granting the Department discretion in determining what factors to examine to inform a determination of whether the proposed project is in the national interest. Since 2008, the Department has been conducting a transparent, thorough and rigorous review of TransCanada’s application for the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline project. As a result of this process, particularly given the concentration of concerns regarding the environmental sensitivities of the current proposed route through the Sand Hills area of Nebraska, the Department has determined it needs to undertake an in-depth assessment of potential alternative routes in Nebraska.

As part of the National Interest Determination process, the State Department held a public comment period, including public meetings in the six potentially affected states and Washington, D.C., to increase the opportunity for public comments. During this time, the Department also received input from state, local, and tribal officials. We received comments on a wide range of issues including the proposed project’s impact on jobs, pipeline safety, health concerns, the societal impact of the project, the oil extraction in Canada, and the proposed route through the Sand Hills area of Nebraska, which was one of the most common issues raised. The comments were consistent with the information in the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) about the unique combination of characteristics in the Sand Hills (which includes a high concentration of wetlands of special concern, a sensitive ecosystem, and extensive areas of very shallow groundwater) and provided additional context and information about those characteristics. The concern about the proposed route’s impact on the Sand Hills of Nebraska has increased significantly over time, and has resulted in the Nebraska legislature convening a special session to consider the issue.

State law primarily governs routes for interstate petroleum pipelines; however, Nebraska currently has no such law or regulatory framework authorizing state or local authorities to determine where a pipeline goes. Taken together with the national concern about the pipeline’s route, the Department has determined it is necessary to examine in-depth alternative routes that would avoid the Sand Hills in Nebraska in order to move forward with a National Interest Determination for the Presidential Permit.

Based on the Department’s experience with pipeline project reviews and the time typically required for environmental reviews of similar scope by other agencies, it is reasonable to expect that this process including a public comment period on a supplement to the final EIS consistent with NEPA could be completed as early as the first quarter of 2013. After obtaining the additional information, the Department would determine, in consultation with the eight other agencies identified in the Executive Order, whether the proposed pipeline was in the national interest, considering all of the relevant issues together. Among the relevant issues that would be considered are environmental concerns (including climate change), energy security, economic impacts, and foreign policy.


  1. 2011 says:

    Terrible year for Leavenworth St. The Suttle Recall failure, the devastating Lincoln city election losses, and now a huge pipeline reroute victory for Jane Kleeb.

  2. RWP says:

    It isn’t a pipeline reroute decision. It’s a pipeline refusal decision. It pushes the comment period alone to Spring 2013, and then projects consultation with eight other agencies after that. This is death by passive-aggression.

    The permit application was filed September 19, 2008. This means the final decision will likely end up taking five years. Does anyone here really think you can maintain an advanced economy if approval, at the federal level alone, of major engineering projects, with vital US economic and security issues at stake, takes five years?

    My God, what sort of baksheesh collecting, slovenly third world hell hole have we turned in to?

  3. lizzie says:

    Jane Kleeb is a useful idiot. She only does and says what her sugar daddies tell her.

    The Penn Staters rioting in support of the coverup of child sexual abuse (in the interest of their football season), reminds me a lot of Janiepants getting on National TV and defending Planned Parenthood in thier (wait for it)…

    Coverup of Child Sexual Abuse.

    As RWP said, Obama has voted “present” again by delaying the KXL until after the 2012 election. Pure unadulterated politics. I hope the unions wise up and hold him accountable.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Bad week for Republicans. Victories for the unions in Ohio. People still get to vote in Maine. Now the Pipeline is stopped dead in its tracks . Plus Joe Paterno Republican hero is fired for sex cover up. Next thing you know more heroes will come out and expose Herman Cain for his sins. Then a year later Obama wins reelection. America is still the land of the free and the home of the brave.

  5. RWP says:

    GOP took over the VA Senate, and now fully control the legislature. MS enacted voter ID, which will stop dead Democrats from voting, and now hold the House, Senate and Governors office for the first time since reconstruction.

    Not such a bad week.

  6. Taxpayer says:

    How is it that OPS does the same thing as Penn St and there has been nothing coming from the County Attorney regarding the non reporting of sexual abuse????

  7. Macdaddy says:

    This is Obama voting, “Present!” yet again. Look at him leading from behind again. Supporters of bipartisanship should be pleased, no matter how much it costs them at the pump.

  8. Lil Mac says:

    The State Department, like the CIA, and Army, does its business outside the USA. The Interior and FBI and National Guard do their business inside the USA. But leave it to the blithering idiots in DC to get this bassackwards. Hillary’s job is to care about the pipeline parts in Canada not Nebraska.

    Obama can do what he wants with the pipeline, it is his government. But he is like the guy who sees a need for a good mechanic and a good surgeon and assigns one to do the other’s job. That may account for things like a Secretary of the Treasury (IRS boss) who doesn’t pay his own taxes, and a USMC Commandant who doesn’t have a Combat Action Ribbon. These are a gaggle of well-intended idiots who like to surround themselves with people less smart than themselves. They are however not useful idiots but people dangerous in their lack. The hope never quits or gets replaced by smarts.

    Try this, hope in one hand and poo in the other and see which fills up first. So much for hoping good government pops out of thin air. Or, try this, vote for people with a) experience, and who b) have read the Constitution. It is that or a stinky handful of hope.

  9. Scott Lautenbaugh says:

    When they do the 2011 supplement to “Profiles in Courage” (which I’m sure they do, right?), no one responsible for this pipeline debacle will be mentioned.

  10. Lil Mac says:

    I see your point. When all else is gone, hope, and humor, are life savers. But in matters of planning good government, which is what voting is supposed to be, hope and despair alone seem equally useless to me. Hope in the absence of experience and sense can kill people. An evil man might enslave you but a hopeful fool or a desparing fool will blow you up along with himself. That said, voting is a bit of a crap shoot too. Let us say that we should do our homework so that our safety isn’t left entirely up to blind hope. For in that resides truly despairing outcomes.

    Happy Veteran’s Day you vets. Thank you for your service.

  11. Anonymostly says:

    Wow, what a sick and cynical bastard posting as anonymous at 4:24. Exploiting the sexual victimization of young boys in Pennsylvania in order to score some cheap political points on a Nebraska political blog? Shameful. Beneath contempt. Pathetic. Utter garbage.

    Congratulations to your Democrat party for scoring a “win” there. Great job. Nice.

  12. I see so many parallels between what has been happening at Penn State and what happens within political parties. Whatever sins OUR guys do, we will tend to cover up because they are OUR guys. Whatever sins the OTHER guys commit, we must exact the maximum punishment from them because the OTHER guys did it. The most important thing of all is that we must protect our party from anything that could harm it, even if it means covering up the most despicable of acts.
    Too often I see arguments in favor of one party or another to be nothing but simple-minded cheerleading and behavior not unlike that of riotous Penn State students.
    Anonymostly, nobody wins when the finger pointing is so partisan.

  13. TexasAnnie says:

    I didn’t take Anonymous @ 4:24 as an endorsement of the Democrat Party. Rather, it was only a slight on Republicans. You keep making this same mistake, Anonymostly. There are other political parties to represent us and so many of us are registered Independents. Why do you keep confusing a rejection of Republicans as an endorsement of Democrats? And why do you keep skirting around an ‘idea’ of ‘ethics,’ without confronting ethical theory head-on? Are you able to discuss ethical theory?

  14. Kortezzi says:

    This crow tastes nasty, even with lots of ketchup.

    The pipeline punt has taught me to never again underestimate the capacity of Barack Obama make the worst possible decision on any given issue.

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