Off the hook on Keystone pipeline

For five years, President Barack Obama has delayed making a decision whether to allow construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada to the United States. In the process he has, in effect, vetoed the project temporarily.

Some critics claim the pipeline would be an environmental disaster, though various studies have concluded that is not true.

If constructed, the pipeline would bring large quantities of oil from Canadian tar sands deposits to this country, helping Americans to achieve energy independence.

Now it seems Obama may be off the hook. For the project to be approved, the State Department must conduct an environmental study. It has been completed – but there have been accusations the firm involved, Environmental Resources Management, is involved in a conflict of interest.

If it is concluded such a conflict exists, a new study, taking at least a couple of years, would be required.

Good heavens. Can government do nothing right? Even if a conflict exists, surely a new study can be prepared in a reasonable amount of time. Congress should insist on that, even if Obama tries to throw more roadblocks in the way.