Just a few days ago, the White House had the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline tucked safely away at the State Department and in the hands of Secretary of State John Kerry.
Now the project faces new problems after Nebraska opponents won a court decision, and partisans on both sides have upped their rhetoric. President Barack Obama told governors on Monday he would decide whether to issue a permit in a couple of months, two of them said, but the specter of more uncertainty for the $5.4 billion project looms large.
The State Department late Thursday said Secretary of State John Kerry has not paused its review of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline in response to a court ruling in Nebraska that put a new question mark over the route.
The position for now shifts attention to the state, where legal wrangling could mean more months in courts before state officials, project owner TransCanada and opponents know if the route is valid or must go through a new approval process.
The State Department will push on with its national interest determination review of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, despite a court ruling in Nebraska that has thrown a cloud over the project.
"At this point, the State Department continues its review of the presidential permit application for the proposed project," a spokesperson said in a statement. "We are monitoring the ongoing litigation in Nebraska."
The statement for now addresses questions about whether Secretary of State John Kerry would pause the department's 90-day interagency review, after a Nebraska judge on Wednesday ruled the state law used to approve the project's siting was unconstitutional.
TransCanada President Russ Girling earlier Thursday said the company wanted the review to proceed while the state appeals the ruling. Completion of the review sets the stage for Kerry to make a final recommendation on the $5.4 billion project.
The chief executive of TransCanada on Thursday called on the Obama administration to press ahead with its national interest review of the Keystone XL pipeline, despite a legal setback in Nebraska that could delay the project.
"This is a solvable problem and we are undeterred," TransCanada President Russ Girling said in a teleconference with analysts and reporters on the company's fourth quarter results. "It's our view that there shouldn't be any impact on the Department of State process."
LINCOLN, Nebraska (AP) — A Nebraska judge on Wednesday struck down a law that allowed the Keystone XL oil pipeline to proceed through the state, a victory for opponents who have tried to block the project to carry oil from Canada to Texas refineries.
The ruling could cause more delays in finishing the pipeline.
Lancaster County Judge Stephanie Stacy issued a ruling that invalidated Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman's approval of the route.
Environmental advocates, including a former adviser to Barack Obama, have renewed their calls for the President to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. On Wednesday they urged the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies to help make their case.
Anthony Swift, an attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council, called EPA "the gatekeeper in evaluating how credible the environmental review is," during the national interest determination process on the project underway at the State Department.
Nebraska is getting dueling radio ads for and against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, as landowners and ranchers in the state who are opposed to the project are matching spots put up by TransCanada, The Hill reports.
Increased seasonal fuel demand and the opening of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline have driven up oil prices in the short term, as well as increased speculators' bets on higher prices in the long term, Bloomberg reports.
More than 3,500 public comments have been filed so far on the State Department's latest environmental report on the Keystone XL pipeline, with the majority appearing to oppose the project, FuelFix reports.
Communications with TransCanada disclosed by a Nebraska landowner suggest that the company may consider altering the route of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline to prevent further delays stemming from the ongoing presidential review of the project, E&E reports.
Oil continues to wash up on some Louisiana beaches four years after the Deepwater Horizon sinking sent oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico and a number of area residents remain angry and resentful despite BP paying out billions of dollars in compensation, Reuters reports.
Environmental Protection Administrator and Boston native Gina McCarthy and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz will throw out the first pitches at the Red Sox game Tuesday, to mark Earth Day, The Hill reports.
A subsidiary of American Energy Partners, the company run by shale pioneer Aubrey McClendon, is renting seven rigs from his former firm Chesapeake Energy to drill for gas in the Utica Shale, Bloomberg reports.
The total U.S. rig count for the week remained at 1,831, according to oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc., which said that oil rigs declined while gas and miscellaneous rigs increased, Bloomberg reports.
Vermont Yankee owner Entergy has applied to scrap the 10-mile emergency planning zone around it, because of the nuclear plant's closing by year's end, raising concerns from citizen groups, The Recorder reports.
Critics complain that proposals to increase security of the nation’s power grid, drafted by the industry in the wake of an attack on a California substation last year, won’t do enough to stop anyone intent on sabotage, The Wall Street Journal reports.