On Feb. 4, 2013, a U.S. congressman sent out a press release with some startling numbers.
On that day, 1,600 days had elapsed from TransCanada Corp.’s initial application for a presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. That was, according to Fred Upton, the Michigan Representative who chairs the energy and commerce committee, longer than the U.S. involvement in the Second World War, between Pearl Harbour and the Japanese surrender. It was longer than the 491 days it took to build the Pentagon and longer than the 1,121-day Lewis and Clark expedition that drew some of the first maps of the American West in the early 1800s.
For Canada, for the U.S., for opponents of the oil sands and supporters of economic expansion, for pro-pipeline premiers and anti-pipeline ranchers, nothing about Keystone XL has been short.