Tough talk on oil pipeline should have little effect

If ever there was a presidential moment designed strictly for a campaign ad later in the year, this was it.

“Today I’m directing my administration to cut through the red tape, break through the bureaucratic hurdles, and make this project a priority,” President Obama said, underscoring the seriousness of the southern route of the Keystone XL pipeline by not wearing a tie.


(AP Photo/LM Otero)

How much difference will today’s declaration make? Probably none. The Army Corp of Engineers, which has responsibility for some of that red tape, hasn’t seen an application from the company yet, the Associated Press reports.

And the delay in the pipeline from Alberta’s oil sands isn’t just red tape. Nebraska, a state that knows how to vote red, for example, doesn’t want the pipeline to disrupt the Sandhills. , home of the cranes which draw people to the area every year.

This week, the Nebraska Legislature considered a new route for the project.

Canadian proponents of the pipeline urged Obama to approve the northern segment of the pipeline, though they didn’t say why nor how Nebraska should give up its concerns.

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