On Wednesday, U.S. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to quickly wrap up the review of TransCanada’s revised application for a presidential permit and approve it.
The Obama administration has said the review will take until early 2013, and indeed TransCanada’s new route through Nebraska is still drawing scrutiny and criticism. Many political analysts also saw setting the 2013 date as a political maneuver for delaying the decision until after the presidential election.
But in Montana, the senators clearly think the politics are on their side. They said the State Department shouldn’t review (again) the portions of the pipeline outside Nebraska, where opposition to the line bolstered President Obama’s rationale for delaying a decision.
“We’re already well past due for getting construction crews on the ground, and we can’t waste any more time redoing bureaucratic studies that were completed a year ago,” Baucus said in a statement. “If we do it right, building the Montana portion of the Keystone pipeline means more Montana jobs and greater energy security for Montana consumers,” Tester said in the same statement. “That’s why the State Department needs to approve the permit so we can build a more responsible energy future that creates jobs now.”