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Keystone pipeline: Delays, denials and uncertainty
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:
- Edmonton Journal, “Editorial: Pipeline not over until election is”
- Edmonton Journal, “Oilsands could face competition”
- Edmonton Journal, “Why a Canadian energy strategy makes sense”
- Edmonton Journal, “Alberta ups efforts to find new markets”
- Edmonton Journal, “Keystone’s rejection will see Alberta government increase efforts to find new bitumen markets”
- Edmonton Journal, “Keystone denial threatens Gateway: Enbridge”
- Toronto Globe and Mail, “Producers still back Keystone XL, TransCanada says”
- Toronto Globe and Mail, “Keystone XL not dead, but how many shippers will flee?”
- Toronto Globe and Mail, “To Harper’s ‘profound disappointment,’ Obama rejects Keystone”
- Toronto Globe and Mail, “Keystone XL: Canada to diversify oil exports, Harper tells Obama”
- Bloomberg, "Canada Pledges to Sell Oil to Asia After Obama Rejects Keystone Pipeline"