New reports from both sides of the controversial proposal hit the news wires this week. We're talking, of course, about the pipeline that would stretch from the Alberta tar sands south through Montana and, eventually, all the way to the Gulf Coast.
Here's a brief recap of the latest:
Final ruling could be delayed to 2012
President Obama and the State Department tossed out a curve ball earlier this week by hinting that the final decision on the political clustermess may not come, as previously promised, by year's end.
"We'd like to get it done by the end of the year, but if thoroughness demands a little more time nobody has slammed the door on that," said State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland. "Our first obligation to the American people, to the president, is to ensure that we do this in a rigorous, transparent and thorough way."
Either way, Obama says the decision is his
President Obama said as much in a recent interview with a Nebraska TV station. He also admitted it may be months until he receives the State Department's recommendation. He's under serious pressure from environmentalists to deny the proposal.
TransCanada says delay would cost $1 million each day
In other words, the company is pissed.
“Should the delay in issuance of a presidential permit extend beyond 2011, it will jeopardize TransCanada’s ability to meet the terms of its shipping agreements and further increase the economic harm TransCanada will suffer,” said TransCanada VP Robert Jones in a statement.
Meanwhile, this isn't good
There are reports that thousands of public comments on the Keystone may not even be considered. This from InsideClimate News:
InsideClimate News asked the State Department how the public comments are being processed and who is responsible for reading them.
After two weeks of e-mail exchanges and phone calls, however, the two agency spokeswomen we dealt with couldn't explain how or when the comments will be processed, or whether any of the actual decision-makers are obligated to review them. The spokeswomen said only that all agency staff working on the pipeline review will "have access to the comments." When we asked for the names and job titles of those who might be expected to read the comments, we were told that information was not available.