Make a decision already

Secretary of State John Kerry said last week that the United States won’t be forced into making a quick decision on the Keystone XL pipeline project.

Huh? A quick decision? The massive pipeline project, which would transport oil from Canada’s tar sands region to refineries in the United States, was first proposed in 2008. Six years later, the State Department, which has authority over the project in the United States because it crosses the U.S.-Canada border, still hasn’t approved the project.

The latest delays have been blamed on waiting for an environmental report on the $7 billion project. Kerry said last week that he is waiting for the report, and then he will begin the work of preparing a recommendation on the project. The environmental report is expected to be released soon after the president’s state of the union address on Tuesday, but who knows how long it will sit on Kerry’s desk before his recommendation is completed.

The debate over the pipeline continues, with opponents expressing concern about a spill and saying the project will worsen global warming. Supporters point out that the project would create thousands of jobs in the United States, and help North America reduce its dependence on foreign sources of oil.

The project has been unduly delayed long enough. The State Department needs to make an informed decision on the project. Eight years is long enough to wait.