Wednesday, March 8, 2017

May 1st. final deadline for Great Lake Basis?


eds give Great Lakes Basin a May 1 deadline for rail plan

The federal government has given Great Lakes Basin Transportation a May 1 deadline to finish its application to build and operate an Indiana-to-Wisconsin freight rail bypass around Chicago.

The Surface Transportation Board's Office of Environmental Analysis set the deadline in a letter dated Friday to GLBT Chairman Frank Patton.

"If you are unable to file, OEA will cease all work on the environmental review of GLBT's proposal, including taking down the project website," OEA Director Victoria Rutson wrote.

Her letter was in response to a Feb. 28 request from GLBT to continue a suspension of the OEA-led environmental study for the proposed railroad. That suspension began last December, when Patton asked that his company be allowed to focus on the rail line application — which will include an overview of the project and detailed financial and operational data — before continuing with the environmental review.

The OEA told GLBT in December to provide the Feb. 28 status report. In that letter, Patton asked for suspension of the environmental review to continue until April 30, "at which time we will either file the application or provide another status report."

Rutson's response acknowledged that "GLBT's ongoing discussions with potential customers, shippers, and other parties are necessary to glean information needed for both the application and OEA's environmental review of this complex proposal."

"However," she wrote, "the Board is mindful of the need to move forward expeditiously with the environmental review process, as well as the project's potential impact on affected communities."

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How much US Steel in the new Pipelines?



AP FACT CHECK: How Trump's Keystone XL story fell apart

CALVIN WOODWARD 11 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Twice in the last month, President Donald Trump has told a story about how he'd come up with an idea to require the use of U.S.-made steel and pipes while preparing to sign orders to advance the stalled Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines.

Now, though, it turns out that both projects are advancing without meeting that requirement. In recent days, the White House exempted Keystone XL from the rule. It was a stretch from the beginning to think it would apply to Dakota Access because that pipeline is almost complete.

A look at Trump's comments and what really happened:


— "I was sitting at my desk and I'm getting ready to sign Keystone and Dakota. I said, where's the pipe coming from? And I won't tell you where, but you wouldn't be happy. I say, why is it we build pipelines and we're not using pipe that's made in our country? I say, let's put that little clause in, like it's a one-sentence clause, but that clause is gonna attract a lot of people and we're gonna make that pipe right here in America. OK?" — Jan. 26, at a Republican retreat in Philadelphia.

— "We have authorized the construction, one day, of the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines, and issued a new rule. This took place while I was getting ready to sign. I said, who makes the pipes for the pipeline?  Well, sir, it comes from all over the world, isn't that wonderful? I said, nope, comes from the United States or we're not building it. American steel. If they want a pipeline in the United States, they're going to use pipe that's made in the United States, do we agree?" — Feb. 24, at the Conservative Political Access Conference.


For starters, the buy-America improvisation Trump describes does not resemble the ceremony staged and recorded on video in the Oval Office on Jan. 24, when he displayed a series of executive actions that had been prepared for his signature.

Among them, he signed two reviving Keystone XL and Dakota Access projects — each close to 1,180 miles long — that had been sidelined by President Barack Obama. Neither directive specifies U.S. content. He signed a third memorandum aimed at having new, expanded or repaired pipelines made from U.S. material.

This memorandum does not name Keystone XL or Dakota Access and does not mandate all U.S. content in future projects. Instead it says materials and equipment should be made in the U.S. "to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted by law," and gives the Commerce secretary until July to come up with a plan.

Trump continued either to state or to imply that the two projects were subject to this directive until last week. A careful parsing of his speech to Congress shows that he was no longer saying explicitly that the projects were required to use U.S. steel or pipes, even if he left that impression.

"We have cleared the way for the construction of the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines," he told lawmakers, "thereby creating tens of thousands of jobs. And I've issued a new directive that new American pipelines be made with American steel."

By the end of the week, Trump's original story had come apart.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Keystone is not affected by the directive because "it's specific to new pipelines or those that are being repaired," and since "the steel is already literally sitting there, it would be hard to go back." Dakota Access, meantime, is almost ready to carry oil.

TransCanada said in 2012 that half the pipe for its Keystone XL pipeline would come from a mill in Arkansas, almost a quarter from Canada and the rest from India and Italy.

Trump's Keystone XL order invited TransCanada to resubmit its application, which it did, and laid out a fast track for a U.S. decision. He has stated prematurely that he has approved the project.

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Donald Trump resumes his attacks on Barack Obama and mistakenly accuses him of ordering release of 122 Guantanamo terrorists

Donald Trump resumes his attacks on Barack Obama and mistakenly accuses him of ordering release of 122 Guantanamo terrorists

Harriet Alexander,The Telegraph Tue, Mar 7 6:28 AM PST

President Donald Trump has accused Barack Obama of “another terrible decision” to release prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, in a tweet in which he wrongly quoted official figures.

Mr Trump said on Tuesday morning that 122 “vicious” Guantanamo inmates had returned to the battlefield, “released by the Obama administration”. 

The Guantanamo statistics Mr Trump cited come from a September report by the Director of National Intelligence.

The report did find that 122 of the 693 prisoners transferred out of the Cuban camp had returned to terrorist activities.

However, 113 of them were released by George W Bush. 

Only nine of them were transferred out by Mr Obama.

Of the 122, 30 have been killed and 25 captured. The DNI says 67 remain at large.

The 17 British Guantanamo detainees - Where are they now? in pics

On Monday, the Pentagon confirmed that a former Guantanamo inmate had been killed by an air strike in Yemen.

Yasir al-Silmi, who was held at Guantanamo from 2002 to 2009, was killed on Thursday. He was repatriated by Mr Obama in December 2009. Transfers to Yemen have since been banned because of the turmoil in the country.

Mr Trump has promised to chart a radically different course on Guantanamo to his predecessor.

Mr Obama campaigned on the promise to close Guantanamo, and has stated that his biggest regret is not shutting the detention centre on his first day in office.

He signed an executive order on January 22, 2009 to shut the camp, but Congress repeatedly blocked his efforts. He did manage to reduce the population, and fewer than 100 detainees remained at the base when he left office.

By contrast, Mr Trump has promised to keep Guantanamo Bay’s detention facility open and stop the release of detainees from it. 

At one point, the president promised to “load it up with some bad dudes.”

Draft executive orders have circulated that would allow any captured Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) fighters to be sent there, but no order has been signed yet.

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