Hey, remember how much of a headache it was to get the Keystone Pipeline project going? Do you remember all the political fights and power plays?
Do you remember how President Obama took credit for “approving” the construction of the pipeline after TransCanada, the company behind the 1,700-mile project, decided to start construction in the U.S., thereby making it non-international and thereby taking away the president’s veto power?
Seems like it was all a real pain in the neck, right? Well, considering how bad the economy is, at least we can finally get started on that massive job creator — oh, wait. No.
“A federal agency‘s recent decision involving the endangered American burying beetle could cause up to a year’s delay in construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, if the project wins federal approval,” the Omaha World-Herald reported Wednesday.
Of course, a spokesman for TransCanada says the federal officials assessment is premature.
But let’s just stop for a moment and take this all in. After everything that has happened with the construction of this pipeline, Federal officials may delay it for up to a year because there is an endangered bug in the area.
But wait! It gets better:
… an official with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed the agency is not allowing researchers hired by pipeline TransCanada to trap and relocate the endangered beetles from the new path of the controversial crude-oil pipeline until the project receives federal approval.
Not only is this just silly, but it’s also a major change of procedure. The feds have never had a problem with TransCanada researchers moving bugs in the path of the proposed pipeline.
Gee, we’re starting to feel that they’re doing this on purpose.
“Mike George, state supervisor of the federal agency, said a lawsuit filed by anti-pipeline environmental groups last year prompted Fish and Wildlife attorneys to re-evaluate its practices [emphasis added],” the Omaha World-Herald reports.
Ah! There it is!
“Now, he said, research projects on endangered species that require disturbing the species will not be allowed before major construction projects, like the Keystone XL, gain a federal permit,” the report adds.
But how could this bug delay the construction of the pipeline for up to a year? Well, it’s because you can only trap it in the spring and summer, of course!
TransCanada spokesman Shawn Howard said the environmental group “Biological Diversity” [we’re not making this up, folks], one of the eco-organizations that sued the Fish and Wildlife Service in 2011, was “getting way too far ahead of themselves.”
Of course, do we even need to mention that no one even knows how many beetles might be in the path of the new pipeline?
“There’s a lot of ways to deal with this,” Howard said, adding that construction is expected to take two years and that it could “be adjusted to allow for removal of any beetles without affecting that timetable.”