Faulkner: Backroom Politics Killed the Keystone XL - What the Media Didn’t Report

Senator John Hoeven (R, ND) appeared on Fox News last week and in about 45 seconds chronicled the timeline of the Keystone XL pipeline’s demise that hasn’t shown up on any other media, to no surprise of this author.

According to Senator Hoeven (following personal conversations with the Canadian Government and Trans Canada), the events leading up to the Keystone XL pipeline’s demise were strange, unethical to say the least, if not illegal. Since it hasn’t shown up anywhere else, here is how the Senator chronicled the pipeline’s final hours.

Friday, October 30 – The US State Department contacted Trans Canada asking if they would withdraw the contract. Confused, Trans Canada said no.

Then the State Department next asked if they would “pause” the request, and send a press release accordingly.

Monday, November 2 – Trans Canada sent a formal request to the Administration to “delay” the ongoing review of the pipeline. This was instantly interpreted as kicking the can past the November 2016 election. Little did anyone know of the conversations three days prior.

Tuesday, November 3 – White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest rejected the request to delay, saying the President intended to rule on the Keystone by the end of his presidency and called TransCanada’s request “unusual.”

Mid-Week – Trans Canada received an official letter from the White House rejecting the request to delay the review.

Friday, November 6 – President Obama, in a staged announcement just before noon, with Vice President Biden to his right and Secretary Kerry on his left, announcing that Secretary Kerry had informed him the 7-year long State Department review was now complete and it concluded that the Keystone XL pipeline “would not serve the national interest of the United States. I agree with that decision,” the President said.

And that’s how the Keystone died.

Senator Hoeven said the President’s actions were “all political, not following the law or the regulation as you’re supposed to do.”

For the sake of national defense, reduced reliance on Middle Eastern oil and for ongoing relations with our closest ally in the world, last week was one of our darkest moments. Not that the pipeline is completely dead, it could quickly revive if we put the right people in place next year, but the way this came down was sloppy, underhanded, obviously manipulated. There was certainly no integrity in the maneuverings from either the State Department or the White House.

If the American public knew (or cared) they would be horrified. Or, perhaps after 7 years of this, many may have become oblivious to the word Keystone. This was especially revolting because Senator Hoeven had been talking to both sides in Canada and simply repeated what they claimed happened. It’s not like he made this up for no reason.

Had the pipeline been approved seven years ago, it would be complete and oil would be flowing from Canada, through North Dakota, to the Gulf Coast. It would have contributed to our national defense and helped further wean us from Saudi’s grip.

Now, we will have none of that, at least for a while.

Written by: Chris Faulkner, Breitling Energy CEO, Chairman and author of “The Fracking Truth: America’s Energy Revolution”