In the Delaware Riverkeeper v. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) case, judges ruled that a continuous pipeline project cannot be segmented into multiple parts to avoid a comprehensive National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review. This is what Kinder Morgan proposed and did for its Northeast Upgrade Project.
Regulating by emergency orders gives the distinct impression that the government is wholly unprepared to deal with safe handling of ultra-hazardous oils. Maybe it's time to take a good look at what we are doing and where we are heading before creating an energy future that may be slowing national productivity, not building it.
Already, 19 companies, including Walgreens, Whole Foods, and Columbia Sportswear have committed to take action on tar sands fuel for their vehicle fleet and shipping operations. Other companies interested in taking action on tar sands have expressed confusion over the chain of custody for petroleum.
On the day that President Obama finally rejects the Keystone XL pipeline, the connection between tar sands development and climate disruption should be only one of the reasons (although it's certainly reason enough). For someone like Obama, whose first real job was as a community organizer on the south side of Chicago, the effect of the pipeline and its toxic payload on the people and communities in its path will surely also be a factor.