Even though the price of oil is crashing and its incredibly cheap price is leading to problems throughout the energy industry, the battle for the Keystone Pipeline continues with Transcanada using all its influence to advance its interests through the corrupt US political system.

Last week Nebraska’s Supreme Court decided to throw out a lawsuit challenging the route of the Keystone XL pipeline. The suit was brought by landowners in Nebraska concerned about their land being seized by the government. Nebraska, along with other states, is targeted to be part of the pipeline’s route from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

Nebraska’s highest court threw out a challenge Friday to a proposed route for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, even though a majority of judges agreed the landowners who sued should have won their case.
The decision removes a major roadblock for the $8 billion cross-continental project that Republicans have vowed to make a key part of their 2015 agenda in Congress…

The proposed 1,179-mile pipeline would carry more than 800,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Canada to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma along the way.

Republicans in the House responded to the court decision by passing a bill to authorize the pipeline and have cited the State Department’s dubious analysis of the pipeline’s minimal environmental effects. Despite all outside recommendations the decision to authorize the pipeline will, in truth, come down to President Obama and whether he will veto a bill from the now Republican-dominated Congress.

With low oil prices and the oil from Canada ultimately going to markets for export (not the US) the economic argument is getting progressively weaker. That’s if there even is one at all with these oil prices. At the same time, the environmental damage from allowing tar sand oil to be both exploited and sold remains dire according to climate scientists.

Then again, given that a reported 72% of Republican Senators are climate change deniers it is unlikely any of the facts of oil and the environment will influence votes in the new Congress. Building the Keystone Pipeline is now an ideological goal outside of material reality.

Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.