Madison is wasting more than six million dollars on an unnecessary gym. But in a bit of cosmic fiscal karma, the State Department has made my week by deciding to delay the construction of the unnecessary and un-American Keystone XL pipeline for more than a year.
The State Department announced today that environmental concerns, especially about the Nebraska Sand Hills, justify conducting the in-depth examination of alternative routes, which is one of the big problems the EPA and others said State should have done in the first place.
Now let's look back at May, when Rep. Kristi Noem voted to force the State Department to make a decision two weeks ago. If the bill she voted for had passed, she'd have forced State to make a decision based on the information available on November 1. The State Department's announcement today makes clear that, forced to make a decision on November 1, concerns about the Sand Hills and the Ogallala Aquifer would have forced the Obama Administration to deny TransCanada's application to build Keystone XL.
In other words, Rep. Kristi Noem, in her willful ignorance, voted to kill Keystone XL. And President Obama, through State, just voted to keep it alive. (Kristi, take credit for that an run!)
Actually, opponents of the pipeline are claiming victory, perhaps the first great victory of the 99%. Bill McKibben says the President has effectively killed the pipeline. The dozens of South Dakotans and hundreds of fellow Americans facing eminent domain at the hands of TransCanada can only hope so.
We can only wish that the Madison Central School Board would have shown the Obama Administration's good sense in giving serious consideration to reasonable alternatives to a bad plan.