So far unconfirmed, but Fox News’ White House correspondent Ed Henry is tweeting that the State Department will announce today that it is not going forward with the Keystone XL pipeline.
Great timing, considering the president’s “Council on Jobs and Competitiveness” just released a year-end report calling for an “all-in approach” to energy that allows “more access to oil, natural gas and coal opportunities on federal lands.”
The report does not specifically mention the Keystone XL oil pipeline, but it endorses moving forward quickly with projects that “deliver electricity and fuel,” including pipelines.
“The Council recognizes the important safety and environmental concerns surrounding these types of projects, but now more than ever, the jobs and economic and energy security benefits of these energy projects require us to tackle the issues head-on and to expeditiously, though cautiously, move forward on projects that can support hundreds of thousands of jobs,” the report says.
The report retreats slightly from an interim report released in October that addressed the Keystone XL pipeline directly. The interim report appeared to offer cautious support for Keystone, calling on officials to “balance” environmental protections while realizing what it called the benefits of the pipeline.
UPDATE: Washington Post now also reporting State will put the kibosh on Keystone, but that it will “allow” TransCanada to reapply with an alternate route that bypasses environmentally “sensitive” parts of Nebraska.