We haven’t been following the controversy in Nebraska over the Keystone XL pipeline that would run southward from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf Coast, and transport heavy oil extracted from Canadian tar sands. Nebraska farmers don’t fancy the idea of having their land taken, and environmenntalists, as is their wont, are up in arms over the pipeline’s impact on the environment. So what’s new about that? This proposed taking has a novel wrinkle to it. Because the pipeline would cross the U.S. border on its way from Canada, this project requires approval from the U.S. State Department. And guess what? The Obama administrations doesn’t want to make that decision, what with the 2012 election coming up, and all that. So what have the “hope and change” folks done? They kicked the can down the road, and have announced that they need to study the problem some more with the decision not forthcoming until after the 2012 election.
You can read all about it in John Broder and Dan Frosch, U.S. Delays Decision on Pipeline Until After Election, N.Y. Times, Nov. 11, 2011 – click here.) For some good commentary that provides context to this dispute see Rachel Weiner, Keystone XL Pipeline Unites Left and right, Washinton Post, November 11, 2011 – click here.