Will the Government Shutdown Delay the Keystone Decision?
The government shutdown could have an unforeseen impact on the State Department’s study of the Keystone Pipeline, Reuters reports. The State Department is currently working on its final report that will assess the impact of the Keystone Pipeline on the environment and on the economy.
The report was due to be finished sometime this month, which would allow President Obama to being to evaluate the feasibility of the project at that time. A decision by the president would then have been expected sometime early in 2014, if not earlier.
However, the government shutdown is expected to slow down the process, perhaps by a considerable amount. Though the State Department’s study itself is funded by a guaranteed multi-year grant, the study closely relies on data and other consulting services from different government departments, such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior. The EPA has been especially hard hit by government furloughs, as many of its employees are not considered absolutely necessary for the continuation of the country.