Kevin Glass

Allegations that the State Department hired a contractor with a "conflict of interest" when approving they Keystone Pipeline have delayed progress on the project already, and now the State Department says that a review of the contractor's conflict of interest won't be completed until next year.

The Hill reports:

It’s unclear whether State would need to wait for its Office of Inspector General to release that report before deciding whether to recommend approval of the Canada-to-Texas pipeline. State did not return a request for comment from The Hill.

The news of a January release for the report raised the specter of another delay for Keystone, which is under review at State for a cross-border permit to complete the pipeline's northern leg.

At issue is whether the contractor the department selected to perform a draft environmental review of Keystone had ties to pipeline builder TransCanada Corp.

All in all, it's yet another delay for a pipeline whose construction has been estimated to create 5,000 to 6,000 jobs per year. And this comes despite middle-America Democrats like Heidi Heitkamp who have been publicly approving of the pipeline.

President Obama has been largely noncommittal on Keystone XL, but has to contend with the radical environmentalists in his base that estimate that Keystone is an environmental monster waiting to happen.

Kevin Glass

Kevin Glass is the Managing Editor of Follow him on Twitter at @kevinwglass.

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