According to today’s Omaha World-Herald, Rep. Lee Terry from Nebraska has succeeded in getting the House to pass a bill that would move the timeline for a State Dept. decision on the Keystone XL pipeline up to Nov. 1 instead of the end of the year. The bill then requires action from President Obama in 30 days rather than 90. Lee, what’s the hurry? Especially when the Republican Senator from your own state, Sen. Johanns, expresses reservations about the haste of the study and impact of the proposed pipeline route, when water experts on the faculty of your university are concerned that the unique territory makes it difficult to predict the true impacts of a spill, and when some of your state legislators want more time to pass a bill protecting Nebraskan interests.
Even if all of the naysayers are wrong, the pipeline and route are perfectly safe, and Nebraska property owners’ interests won’t be violated, this rush to approve the project makes no sense. Who is benefiting from this urgency? Why does Terry, in particular, care about two months of lost time? It’s not as if Nebraskans will have lower gas prices at the pump that much sooner, so what’s his motive? This is definitely a situation where the cynic in me says, “follow the money”, because there is no other likely explanation for these actions.
(Above: land southeast of Bassett, Nebraska, near the site of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.)