As if conditions in Canada’s oilpatch weren’t bad enough, more pain could flow north from Washington, D.C., before the Labour Day long weekend, when President Barack Obama is expected to finally deny a permit to the Keystone XL pipeline.
The latest in the United States capital is that an announcement will be made next Thursday or Friday, when many are out of town, reducing potential for blowback, said a well-connected source.
After seven years of review and despite widespread U.S. public support, the President is expected to offer a convoluted rationale for spiking the Canadian project: that approving KXL would facilitate oil sands growth and make it more challenging for him to rally countries to unite for a greenhouse gas reduction deal in Paris in December; and that there is no need for it because the U.S. has plenty of oil of its own.
A denial has been widely expected since Senator John Hoeven, the North Dakota Republican, said last month that Obama would turn down the project in August. Obama has also been repeatedly dismissive of its benefits and earlier this year vetoed a Republican-backed bill that would have bypassed his State Department’s review.
The article also notes:
If KXL isn’t approved, the company is expected to look at all options, including launching a challenge under the North American Free Trade Agreement, re-applying for a permit under a new administration and abandoning the project altogether due to escalating costs.