LINKS Sept. 14, 2011


Detroit bridge owner gets Koch help [Bloomberg]

More secure passports coming next year [CP]

US federal prosecutors discuss northern border issues [WSJ]

Holder: Officers from US, Canada will work on cross-border investigations [AP]

Harper, Obama to give details of border security deal [Postmedia News]

Much good has come from tightened border security [Peace Arch News]


Ottawa says it will fight Buy American measures [Toronto Star]

US envoy says trade with Canada is top issue [AP]

Canadians anxious about Buy American provisions in Obama’s jobs bill [CP]

Geithner: Economy in an early stage of crisis [Real Clear Politics]

Obama declares ‘national emergency’ for jobs [Politico]

Strong Cdn dollar not only reason for shopping in US [CBC]

Weak job market has Canadians looking north [Postmedia News]

US media juggernaut still a threat to Canada [Troy Media News]

Cdn doctors still make dramatically less than US counterparts: study [National Post]


Doer says he won’t run for NDP leadership [Toronto Star]


Canada to extend Libya mission by 3 months [CTV]

Canadian companies will benefit from military intervention: Libyan official [Postmedia News]

NATO balks at Libya nation-building, policing [AP]


Oliver stumps for Keystone pipeline in California [CP]

Peter Lougheed opposes Keystone pipeline [CBC]

Yedlin: Lougheed comment sparks pipeline debate [Calgary Herald]

Oil patch steams ahead [Financial Post]

Tar-sands showdown [Wired]

10 reasons why the Keystone pipeline will be built [National Review]

Over 1,200 Keystone protesters arrested [Living on Earth]


LINKS Sept. 7, 2011


Border agent says there’s nothing to do, money is being wasted [CNN]

Canada dropped $92-billion on security post-9/11 [Postmedia News]

Canadian trucker admits smuggling cocaine from US [AP]

Tragedy forged new reality [CP]

Schumer calls on Feds to move ahead with joint border crossing []

Hampson: 9/11 and the Remaking of Canada []

Robertson: The border: The bygone days of ‘pass friend’ [Embassy mag]

After 9/11, border patrol doubles, fewer tourists cross border, more criminals caught [Detroit Free Press]

More Canadian manufacturers encountering difficulty as they try to cross into the US [NB Business Journal]

Georgia man stays in jail after border child porn bust [Winnipeg Sun]


Flaherty wants probe into ‘irritating’ US-Canada price gaps [Postmedia News]

How Canadians get access to US-only deals [Globe and Mail]

Is the US ready for Little Mosque on the Prairie [BBC]

Canadian dealers get ‘carve out’ from US regulations [Financial Post]


Lt. Gen. Bouchard assesses NATO’s mission in Libya [NPR]

Plan would keep small force in Iraq past deadline [NY Times]


Sen. Johannes, second prominent Nebraska Republican opposes Keystone pipeline [Des Moines Register]

Study: Tar sands oil will reach US sans pipeline [Forbes]

Oil sands need US workers: Alberta minister [Bloomberg]

Dalai Lama joins Keystone pipeline opponents [Calgary Sun]

McKibben: What comes next for oil sands action []

Nobel Laureates urge Obama to reject pipeline [Huffington Post]

Canada minister ‘increasingly optimistic’ about Keystone approval [Dow Jones]

Cdn ambassador confident pipeline will be approved for jobs [Postmedia News]

Oil-funded study: more drilling would add 1.4 million jobs [Reuters]

Are Canadians growing apathetic about the oil sands? [Huffington Post]

Keystone XL benefactor to send oil overseas [Michigan Messenger]

Letter to Oprah Winfrey on ‘ethical oil’ ads []



Why Obama hasn’t intervened on Keystone XL

April 25, 2011

The bottom line is, Obama can’t be seen to be pre-judging a process legislated by Congress. If there are doubts about the integrity of the review process, the final decision could end up in the courts, postponing a final outcome even longer.

From my story in the previous print issue of Maclean’s , now available on-line:

[Please note that the supplemental environmental impact statement referred to below was issued after this story went to press and you can scroll down this blog for some of the reaction.]

…It was the U.S. Congress that passed a law requiring a multi-step review process by the State Department before the permit can be issued. Under the Environmental Protection Act, the State Department, which is in charge of international pipelines, must issue an “environmental impact statement” and then a “national interest determination” of all pipelines crossing the U.S. border. Last July, the Environmental Protection Agency said State’s draft environmental impact statement on Keystone XL was inadequate, and asked State to study potential impacts on everything from greenhouse gas emissions, spill response and impacts on wetlands and birds. If State had refused, “they would open themselves to litigation,” says Danielle Droitsch, director of U.S. policy for the Pembina Institute, an Alberta environmental think tank. Such lawsuits, she adds, happen “a lot.”


So it grinds on. State is working on a “supplemental” statement due this month, and two more government-commissioned studies are expected: one on pipeline safety and another on greenhouse gas emissions. After more consultation and a decision on the “national interest,” a final permit decision is expected by the end of the year.

Permit decisions are made by a deputy secretary and passed to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Only if there is a major dispute between State and the EPA would the issue land on the President’s desk. At this stage, Obama is not entitled to intervene. “It is a legal impossibility for the President or the State Department to sign the order today,” explains David Goldwyn, a former senior State Department energy official. “All this is prescribed by Congress and there is not much discretion there,” he says, agreeing that a decision would be “subject to litigation if the people have not followed the process meticulously.”

Full story: No Greasing These Wheels []

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