Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pipeline Still in Limbo

The country isn’t called the United States of Texas, after all. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Keystone XL Pipeline project is officially dead. Congress killed it off unofficially in December, with an amendment attached to a budget measure that stripped the State Department of any possible legal pretext for granting approval. The White House and State Department could have saved the announcement for next month, but saw nothing to be gained in postponing the inevitable.

The rejection yesterday isn’t the final word on the project, as the company is free to reapply with only token adjustments in the route. The fundamental problem with the pipeline, though, is not the route, but the fact that it benefits only the Texas refineries while imposing an enormous burden on everyone else along the way. To be a winning proposition, the pipeline would have to be redesigned so that it is something more than a subsidy for Texas in disguise.