Delay after delay has kept the Obama administration from giving a final go ahead for construction of the Keystone pipeline and the upwards to 42,100 jobs it would create. Now the State Department is saying the decision will be pushed off again-this time until 2014.
This newest hurdle was put in place with a demand by environmentalists that the government investigate a supposed conflict of interest with the contractor that was hired to write a report on the pros and cons of the pipeline project. The review rated the project favorably.
The State Department’s Office of Inspector General announced on August 23 that the results of the investigation into whether or not Environmental Resources Management has ties to pipeline builder TransCanada Corp. won’t be ready until January.
This late release of the results of the investigation almost assures that the government won’t begin making any decisions until 2014.
The President has done everything he can to distance himself from having to make this final decision. He’s demurred many times to definitively say where he stands on the project and has even diminished the number of jobs the pipeline will create, characterizing the whole project as inconsequential.
Earlier in the year, Obama said that the pipeline would only create 2,000 jobs and that the whole project was just a “blip” in the big jobs picture. This is a claim even the left-leaning PolitiFact.com called false.
Not long after that, the President absurdly downgraded his estimate even further, claiming that only 50 jobs would be created by the project.
Still, even Democrat backers of the project say they are “optimistic” that the whole thing will be approved eventually.
After a recent visit to the Canadian oil sands, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) said she believes the pipeline will eventually get the green light.