A decision on whether to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline may slip into next year, giving opponents time to marshal efforts against it while offering President Barack Obama a chance to wring concessions from Canada.
The U.S. State Department is reviewing TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s request to build the $5.3 billion link from Alberta’s oil sands to U.S. refineries in the Gulf Coast. The department said it won’t complete its environmental-impact review of the pipeline until after reviewing and publishing 1.5 million public comments it received, a months-long process that could be completed as soon as this week…
Obama may be trying to “extract the maximum leverage” in discussions with Canada on reducing emissions from oil sands production, which tend to be higher than other forms of conventional drilling, said David Victor, an international relations professor at the University of California, San Diego, who has written a book on climate change.
Commitments from Canada to reduce the carbon emissions associated with mining the heavy crude from oil sands could help Obama reduce some of the outrage over an approval of Keystone, Victor said.
That’s important for Democrats in upcoming elections because of the money and mobilization the environmental community offers, he said.