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Keystone pipeline: Delays, denials and uncertainty

Jan 20, 2012
Carter Wood

Reuters columnist John Kemp hits the mark in his observing that President Obama's rejection of the Keystone pipeline reflects larger problems with the U.S. regulatory process, creating economic uncertainty that hurts our country.

From The Financial Post (Canada), "Keystone symbolises what is wrong with U.S. policy":

There are strong arguments for and against the project. But leave them to one side for the moment (“This announcement is not a judgement on the merits of the application,” according to Obama) to focus on the decision-making process itself.

Like regulatory approvals needed for a wide range of other energy projects, the permitting process for Keystone subjected it to years of delay, maximised uncertainty for investors and the oil industry and was ultimately influenced by extraneous factors that were not relevant to the pipeline extension itself.

The approval process should enable the federal government to balance competing economic and environmental interests in a timely manner and set a clear, coherent and consistent framework to enable investment in long-lived capital projects, but instead it is being abused for narrow political point-scoring.

The Canadians are none too happy with the denial of the pipeline, either. The oil will be produced, the question is, where it goes: United States or China. Coverage and commentary: