Posts Tagged Dave Heineman
Posted at 04:42 PM ET, 05/23/2012
Governors want Washington to do its job
By Fred Hiatt
There’s nothing like talking to a state governor or three to be reminded that political dysfunction in Washington isn’t just a depressing game: It really matters, to real people.
The governors are in town for the annual meeting of the National Governors Association, and three of them visited The Post on Wednesday. There were two Democrats (Christine Gregoire of Washington and Jack Markell of Delaware) and one Republican (Dave Heineman of Nebraska), but they were fairly united in their views of Washington, D.C., dynamics.
“Our worst day in Delaware is better than the best day in Washington,” Markell said, at most half-jokingly.
“They need to know each other on a more personal basis,” Heineman said of capital politicians. “I don’t know if it’s a picnic, or a summer retreat. But they need to find a way to get to know each other.”
Gregoire added that it’s often unclear, at NGA meetings, which governor belongs to which party. “You can’t tell, because we’re there to govern,” she said.
But it was when the conversation turned to the practical effects of Washington paralysis that the governors really warmed up.
Because Congress has failed to reauthorize the federal transportation bill, Gregoire said, several major projects, already underway, are at risk. She can’t very well stop them in mid-construction; but she can’t complete them without the promised federal share of dollars.
Because Congress stalled on climate change reform, so have the states. Both Delaware and Washington belong to regional climate change partnerships. “But when Congress did nothing, it took the wind out of the sails of the Western Climate Initiative,” Gregoire said. “We started seeing states saying, ‘Well, wait a minute, if we’re not moving as a country . . . ’ There’s a fear you’re going to put yourself at an economic disadvantage.”
Because Congress failed to pass immigration reform, she said, “I nearly lost my apple crop last year.” Americans don’t want the harvesting jobs, she explained, and ramped-up enforcement without an accompanying guest-worker program has deprived Washington farmers of the labor they need. Now, she continued, it’s her asparagus that’s at risk; soon it will be “my cherries.”
Delaware farmers are “scared to death about what’s going to happen to their farms,” Markell agreed. And legal immigrants and their descendants, Heineman chimed in, are getting tired of living under suspicion.
“It’s very disappointing,” the Nebraska Republican said. “This is one where we need a federal policy.” No matter what decision Congress makes, Heineman added, “You’re going to make half the country mad. But we’re paying you the big bucks. Make a decision.”
- The State of Entrepreneurship: State and Local Governments Hold the Key to Accelerating Economic Growth in 2012 (kauffman.org)
- Here comes the Ron Paul Party – PostPartisan – The Washington Post (mbcalyn.com)
- Governor Markell Recognizes Delaware Finalists in High School Biotechnology Research Competition (prweb.com)
- Democratic governors discuss bypassing Congress with Obama (thehill.com)
- Governor Christine Gregoire Tours Modumetal, Inc. (prweb.com)
- Heineman: Gay ordinances should go to a vote (omaha.com)
- Nebraska Governor: Let Majority Vote On LGBT Nondiscrimination Protections (thinkprogress.org)
- Washington governor passes wildfire safety test (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman Wants Popular Vote on Discrimination Laws Protecting LGBT People (towleroad.com)
- Amping up interest in college savings plans (omaha.com)
TransCanada Reapplies for Keystone Permit
May 4, 2012
TransCanada that it has submitted a new application for a permit for the northern portion of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline that would bring Canadian tar-sands oil from Alberta to Steele City, Neb., reigniting the divisive political debate over the project.
“Our application for a Presidential Permit builds on more than three years of environmental review already conducted for Keystone XL,” TransCanada CEO Russ Girling said in a statement, noting that 10,000 pages of review documents have already been completed for the project. “It was the most comprehensive process ever for a cross-border pipeline and that work should allow our cross-border permit to be processed expeditiously and a decision made once a new route in Nebraska is determined.”
The Obama administration earlier this year denied a permit for TransCanada to build the full pipeline running from Canada down to the Gulf Coast, but President Obama did give the nod to the southern portion of the project, which will run from Cushing, Okla., to Port Arthur, Texas, to help ease a bottleneck in the nation’s pipeline system.
Since then, TransCanada has unveiled a new route for the northern portion of the pipeline that would go around the sensitive Sandhills region in Nebraska. Obama had delayed the project last fall because of environmental concerns about the route through Nebraska. The Nebraska Legislature and the state’s Republican governor, Dave Heineman, have signed off on legislation that will allow the company to work with Nebraska’s Department of Environmental Quality in finalizing this new route.
TransCanada said on Friday that it still plans to begin construction of the pipeline in the first quarter of 2013, noting the “firm, long-term” contracts the company has in place to carry more than 500,000 barrels of oil per day in the pipeline. TransCanada expects to begin construction of the $2.3 billion southern portion of the project this summer and complete it by mid to late 2013, with the full project’s completion slated for late 2014 or early 2015. The completed pipeline is meant to bring Canadian tar-sands oil as well as Bakken crude oil from Montana and North Dakota down to U.S. refineries along the Gulf Coast.
For its part, the State Department, which is tasked with evaluating the project because it crosses an international border, said that it has received TransCanada’s permit application and “will consider this new application on its merits.”
As it has in the past, the State Department said that it will be hiring a third-party contractor to assist the department in reviewing the existing Environmental Impact Statement for the pipeline project as well as any new analysis. In addition, State said that it plans to cooperate with the state of Nebraska and other local agencies in its process evaluating whether the pipeline is in the national interest. Nebraska’s own state review of the new route is expected to take six to nine months, according to the State Department.
State said that it will conduct its new review as efficiently as possible, using the existing analysis available from the company’s previous application and corresponding environmental review.
- TransCanada expected to reapply for Keystone pipeline permit as soon as Friday. (washingtonpost.com)
- TransCanada reapplies for Keystone XL permit (cbc.ca)
- US: TransCanada reapplies for oil pipeline (foxnews.com)
- TransCanada reapplies for Keystone XL permit (cbc.ca)
- US: TransCanada reapplies for oil pipeline (kansascity.com)
- TransCanada to reapply ‘imminently’ for Keystone XL permit (theglobeandmail.com)
- Report says TransCanada to reapply for Keystone XL imminently (ctv.ca)
- TransCanada reapplies for Keystone XL oil pipeline in U.S. (billingsgazette.com)
- Energy co. reapplies for Keystone XL oil pipeline (cbsnews.com)
- US: TransCanada reapplies for oil pipeline (newsok.com)