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Sierra Daily

Sep 26, 2013

Confidence Men

Bluff

There’s an increasing smell of desperation coming from our neighbors to the north. In June, President Barack Obama said he’d OK the Keystone XL pipeline “only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.” Since Keystone obviously flunks that test, Canadian Prime Minister John Harper has reportedly promised to somehow mitigate the carbon pollution from Keystone if only Obama would approve it. (In a letter to Obama, Sierra Club Executive Director @bruneski called the offer "a rubber check written against an empty account.")

Today, according to Bloomberg News, Harper "said he remains optimistic the project will be found to be in the national interest of the U.S." A dive into the archive by our friends at Bold Nebraska found, however, that such assertions of confidence are apparently de rigueur for Keystone supporters. A brief history: 

 

July, 2010: “TransCanada Corp, the county's No. 1 pipeline and power company, said on Thursday it does not expect significant delays to its $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline project to the U.S. Gulf Coast.”
 
February, 2011: “[TransCanada] said it now expects U.S. authorities to approve the project in the last six months of 2011. Its previous estimate was for early in the year.”
 
September, 2011: “We are increasingly optimistic about the likelihood of a presidential permit, which will be based on his analysis of the national interest.”
 
November, 2011: “TransCanada said it was optimistic its Keystone XL oil pipeline would be approved even after Washington said it would consider alternative routes.”
 
December, 2011: “TransCanada expects Keystone XL, including the Houston Lateral, to be in service by the end of 2014.
 
January, 2012: Pourbaix is confident a deal will be in place with Nebraska by September. The company would then apply for federal approval to connect the pipeline to the Alberta oil sands after it begins construction in the States.”
 
February, 2012: “Proceeding with the southern leg of its Keystone XL route reflects TransCanada Pipeline's confidence the rest of the controversial project will be approved by Washington, said company spokesmen.”
 
 
November, 2012: TransCanada still expects to receive White House approval for its 830,000-bpd Keystone XL pipeline project after President Barack Obama's re-election, the company said Friday.”
 
February, 2013: “A senior executive of TransCanada Corp. said Tuesday the company expects final State Department approval for the Keystone XL pipeline expansion in two to three months, following a final U.S. environmental assessment, which he said was ‘imminent.’”
 
February, 2013: “TransCanada, which has been waiting for White House approval for the 830,000 barrel-a-day pipeline expansion for years, expects to receive the necessary permit ‘by the first half of 2013,’ Paul Miller, TransCanada's senior vice president in charge of oil pipelines, said.
"We anticipate to have this in service by end of 2014 or beginning of 2015," Mr. Miller said.
 
September, 2013: “An executive for the Canadian firm that plans to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline through northeast Montana said Wednesday he’s confident the project will get final approval from the U.S. State Department.”
 

Image by fotoscape/iStock

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PAUL RAUBER is a senior editor at Sierra. He is the author, with Carl Pope, of the happily outdated Strategic Ignorance: Why the Bush Administration Is Recklessly Destroying a Century of Environmental Progress. Otherwise he is a cyclist, cook, and father of two. Follow him on Twitter @paulrauber

 

 

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