Thursday, April 19, 2012

5 Trillion Reasons Democrats Should Produce a Budget

IBD Editorials ^ | April 18, 2012
Budget: Senate Democrats this week decided that, after digging the nation $5 trillion deeper in debt, producing a budget plan to get us out would be just too darn hard. It's time for new leadership.
'This is the wrong time to vote in the committee," Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad said this week in an attempt to explain why Senate Democrats would once again fail to produce a budget. "This is the wrong time to vote on the floor."
Give Conrad credit for a little honesty at least.
Since President Obama entered the White House in 2009, the Democrats have managed to sink the country $5 trillion deeper in debt.
The national debt now exceeds the entire U.S. economy, and unless Congress manages to reform entitlements and control spending, it'll only get worse.
Any wonder Democrats think it's the wrong time to tell us how they'd get out of this mess? Either they'd have to get serious about spending cuts and entitlement reform — which they've refused to do — or they'd have to propose massive tax hikes on everyone.
Worse still, they'd have to cast votes announcing to the world where they stand on these choices. Who needs the hassle?
Better to just take pot shots at House Republicans — who've actually put forward a budget — and hope voters don't notice, or care about, Democrats' gross dereliction of duty until the election is safely behind them.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.investors.com ...

Obama Doubles Down On More Solyndras

IBD Editorials ^ | April 18, 2012
Green Energy: Another day and another set of layoffs at a Department of Energy-backed solar company and an electric-car maker funded with stimulus dollars. Yet the President wants to double down on green energy.
First Solar, a solar energy company that received a $1.46 billion loan guarantee from the Department of Energy, announced Monday it will lay off 2,000 workers worldwide. In December, First Solar laid off 100 employees at a Santa Clara , Calif., plant.
The DOE has committed the loan to a project in Riverside County, Calif., expected to create a whopping 15 permanent jobs and 550 construction jobs.
Contrast this boondoggle with the privately funded Keystone XL pipeline, delayed by President Obama over alleged environmental concerns, which would create 20,000 jobs initially and perhaps 10 times that over the life of the project. It will bring 800,000 barrels of oil daily to U.S. refineries, whether the sun shines or not.
Last Friday, Delaware Online reports, 12 more workers — including engineers and maintenance technicians — were laid off at Fisker Automotive's plant in Wilmington, Del., an old General Motors facility.
Originally Fisker was to build its $107,850 dream car, the electric Fisker Karma, there. The Karma, which Consumer Reports labeled "undrivable" after it had to be towed away after a test drive, is being built by Valmet in Finland. Fisker Automotive is the recipient of a $529 million federal government loan guarantee
(Excerpt) Read more at news.investors.com ...

Pain At The Pump And Pain At The Checkout Line

IBD Editorials ^ | April 18, 2012
Energy: The effect of restricting domestic oil production isn't limited to gas prices. Petroleum is used to make or move everything we buy. So a higher price amounts to an unconscionable tax on middle and working classes.
Pump prices are now more than $2 higher than they were when President Obama took office. For a middle-class family that fills up, say, two cars with 15-gallon gas tanks each week, that amounts to an extra $3,100 a year — no small expense.
But it's not just the price of filling up the family cars that's getting harder to afford. From the clothes on your back to the shoes on your feet to that backpack for junior, rising oil prices made worse by restricted domestic supply have affected the cost of far more things than we realize.
When the railroads and trucks that deliver food to the supermarket pay more for diesel fuel, the added cost shows up when you pay for your groceries at checkout. Look in your closet and you'll find clothing made from petroleum-based fibers, including rayon, nylon and polyester. Look beneath your feet and you'll see petroleum-based carpeting and flooring.
Petroleum is used in agriculture to make fertilizers and pesticides, to run the tractors, threshers and other farm equipment used to raise our food. That food must also be transported via fossil fuel-consuming trucks and trains.
The average retail price for one pound of 100% ground beef was $2.36 in January 2009 — the month Obama was sworn in as president. As of last December, that price had risen to $2.92 — a 23.7% increase.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.investors.com ...

Regenerative medicine repairs mice from top to toe - Three separate studies in mice show normal...

Nature | News ^ | 18 April 2012 | Leila Haghighat
Three separate studies in mice show normal function can be restored to hair, eye and heart cells.
At the turn of the twentieth century...
 
Beating hearts
But stem-cell transplants aren't always straightforward: if the cells fail to integrate into the desired tissue, they can form tumours instead. To avoid this problem, researchers have been trying to reprogram fully developed adult cells directly so that they form other cell types. Now, in a study published in Nature3, a team of researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), has managed to achieve just that using cardiac fibroblasts.
Deepak Srivastava, director of the UCSF Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, led a team in reprogramming cardiac fibroblasts into cardiomyocytes — the muscle cells of the heart that are permanently lost after a heart attack. The team used a retrovirus to deliver three transcription factors that induced the reprogramming in adult mice, and improved their cardiac function. This study follows on from work in 2003, when Srivastava and his colleagues discovered that a mutation in one of these transcription factors, GATA4, caused heart disease in several generations of a family under his care4. “What I do clinically, motivates me. Absolutely, every day,” he says.
Robert Lanza, a regenerative-medicine specialist at Advanced Cell Technologies, a biotechnology firm headquartered in Santa Monica, California, reiterates that regenerative medicine has come a long way since Morgan's time, and is a field that holds much promise for the future. “These three papers are just the tip of the iceberg. By the time we grow old, doctors are going to look back and say, ‘Can you believe people used to go bald, go blind or even have their leg cut off from vascular disease?’ — and then the doctor will treat the problem with an injection of cells.”
(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...

Obama Charges $1,000 Per Handshake (smell the dog meat?)

Big Government ^ | 04-18-12 | Breitbart News
President Obama’s fan base is willing to pay through the nose to get a glimpse of him. In fact, supporters in Dearborn, Michigan showed up today to shell out $1,000 just to shake the hand of The One.

“A thousand dollars is a lot of money,” Lonnie Peek, one of the unfortunate few to touch Obama personally, told CBS. “But other folks are kickin’ in for their candidates, so what you do is you bite the bullet. You wanna have your conscience good, to feel that this is what I did. You know, you go without a couple of meals.
We can miss a couple meals.”

(Excerpt) Read more at breitbart.com ...

Why Obama Lies: he just does not respect Americans!

American Thinker ^ | April 19, 2012 | Ed Lasky
However, there may be a more fundamental reason we are so consistently lied to by Barack Obama and his allies: they just do not respect most Americans and have very little regard for our intelligence.
 
Where, one may ask, is the proof of this claim? Barack Obama and his closest advisers have in fact told us they don't think too highly of most Americans.
The tip off should have been Barack Obama's "gaffe" (Michael Kinsley's definition of a gaffe made by a politician is when he tells us how he truly thinks by accident) back in 2008 when he derisively described people who live in small-towns as bitter people who "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them." Ah, yes, ignorant yokels sharing kinship if not genes with the Clampetts.
But his scorn is not reserved just for people who live in rural areas. He has also said that "I'm not interested in the suburbs. Suburbs bore me," so it may be a fair assumption that he does not have much respect for suburban dwellers either (though if the zip code is ritzy enough he may drop by for a fundraiser or two or two dozen).
 
He has said we have become "lazy" and grown "soft" over the years. He has mocked Republicans as being too dumb to understand a jobs bill he was trying to pass, so Democrats were going to have to break up the Jobs Bill into bite-sized pieces that were easier to understand.
A leader who has no respect for the people "below" him becomes emboldened to make all sorts of claims, confident that the dullards will not fathom they have been had.
(Excerpt) Read more at americanthinker.com ...

Sharpton Annual Conference Again Heavily Corporate-Funded (List provided)

National Legal and Policy Center ^ | April 18, 2012 | Carl Horowitz

Whatever else might be said of Reverend Al Sharpton, when he throws a party, he does it in style.
 
The 14th annual conference of his New York-based nonprofit National Action Network (NAN), held last Wednesday through Saturday in Washington, D.C. (April 11-14), was no exception. Once again, corporations and, to a lesser extent, unions paid most of the tab. And true to form, the conference featured dozens of speakers and panelists echoing the aggressive black-identity politics and culture of their host. The plenary address by Attorney General Eric Holder, followed by a panel on legal issues, amounted to a manifesto for the arrest of George Zimmerman for the highly-publicized February killing, most likely in self-defense, of a black Florida teen, Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman, to the delight of virtually all attendees, was arrested that day on a state second-degree murder charge.
National Legal and Policy Center many times over during the past several years has analyzed the troubling legacy of Al Sharpton, most thoroughly in a 2009 Special Report, "Mainstreaming Demagoguery: Al Sharpton's Rise to Respectability" (see pdf). Since the mid-Eighties "The Rev," as he is known, has amassed a long track record of public demagoguery under the guise of social justice and civil rights. Typically, he serves as an "adviser" to a black family one of whose members is a victim of a crime allegedly committed by a white or group of whites. Most recently, he is assuming this role with Trayvon Martin's parents. This is a major reason why this case has received so much publicity; the parents brought in Sharpton as their "adviser" precisely because of his media-generating abilities. Indeed, all three appeared together on stage on the first day of last week's conference.
In Sharpton's frame of reference, a white individual shouldn't enjoy a presumption of guilt in any apparent crime where the black is a victim. Even if an accused white, by every reasonable appearance, acts in self-defense (Bernhard Goetz), is falsely targeted in a hoax (Tawana Brawley), or commits an honest police error (Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell), accusation suffices as guilt. When a black is accused of a crime against a white, however, Sharpton and his minions will make sure the suspect enjoys a presumption of innocence. Indeed, they will go further, creating a political climate in which it becomes virtually impossible to secure a conviction even if the evidence overwhelmingly points toward guilt (the Central Park pack attack). In each case, Sharpton has displayed an almost preternatural ability to manipulate public opinion with morally-charged incitements. His campaigns on occasion have inspired rioting and murder (Brooklyn's Crown Heights, Harlem's Freddie's Fashion Mart). If the George Zimmerman case goes to trial and the jury doesn't return a guilty verdict, Sharpton in all likelihood will issue tacit incitements for blacks throughout the U.S. to go on a rampage in the name of "justice."
Despite and in some measure because of his track record, Sharpton's standing as a public figure has risen over the years. He ran for U.S. senator from New York in 1992 and 1994, New York City mayor in 1997 (where he very nearly forced a Democratic Party runoff), and president of the United States in 2004. He hosts a popular syndicated daily radio talk show, and beginning late last August, has served as six o'clock news anchorman for MSNBC-TV. His National Action Network conferences in recent years have featured such luminaries as Bill Cosby, Mariah Carey, Martin Luther King III, Magic Johnson, Judge Greg Mathis, various Obama cabinet secretaries, and last year, the ultimate prize, President Obama himself (Obama earlier had spoken at NAN's 2007 conference while as a U.S. senator from Illinois). Sharpton also has reached across the aisle to build friendships with such top figures on the Right as Newt Gingrich, Bill O'Reilly and former Republican National Chairman Michael Steele. Major print media, including Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal, have run recent accounts of a "new" Al Sharpton who somehow has renounced his histrionic past and embraced pragmatism, common sense and empathy. The upshot of this image makeover is that Sharpton, now 57, has become the most influential black civil rights leader in America, even more so than his one-time mentor, Jesse Jackson.
Money, like brinksmanship and media coverage, is a key ingredient in Reverend Sharpton's movement into the American mainstream. Sharpton, like Jackson, instinctively senses that the people running the nation's corporations, labor unions, philanthropies and other organizations can be coaxed into giving him money. All it takes is the right mix of intimidation and flattery. Like Jackson, he sees corporate officials in particular as fearful of boycotts, demonstrations and anything else that could bring bad publicity and undercut profits. Donating to Sharpton thus amounts to a payoff - a civil rights tax, if one will. Sharpton even is willing to accept criticism from generous donors so long as they keep his coffers filled. He noted the irony in an interview last week with the Washington Post: "They bash me at Fox News. But they sponsor my conferences." His comment was all too accurate. Fox News' parent company, The News Corporation, is listed in the program as a sponsor.
That brings us to the issue of the sponsors of last week's shindig at the Washington Convention Center in downtown Washington, D.C. According to National Action Network, sponsorship requires a minimum contribution of $5,000, though a donation can be higher, as much as $100,000. Corporate donors this time included familiar names such as American Honda, Coca-Cola, Ford Motor Company, Home Depot, McDonald's and Wal-Mart, plus recent arrivals such as Facebook and Mars Inc. Organized labor also made itself present in the form of the National Education Association, the International Association of Machinists, the New York-based Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Locals 1199 and 32BJ, and the United Federation of Teachers (New York City's American Federation of Teachers affiliate).
 
The following is a list, in alphabetical order, of all 42 sponsors:
 

Advent Capital
All the Way Foundation, Dennis & Karen Mehiel
American Honda Motor Company
Ariel Investments, LLC
AT&T
Best Buy
Black Entertainment Television
Coca-Cola Company
Comcast/NBCUniversal
Con Edison
CVS Caremark
Entergy
Facebook
FedEx
Ford Motor Company
General Electric
GlobalHue
Home Depot
Human Rights Campaign
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace WorkersJackson Lewis LLP
LawCash
Macy's Inc.
Mars Incorporated
McDonald's
NASCAR
National Education AssociationIra Newman
The News Corporation
OraSure Technologies Inc.
PepsiCo
Perennial Strategy Group
SEIU Local 32BJ
SEIU Local 1199
ServiceMaster
Sony Music
Sports Medicine
SUPERVALU
United Federation of Teachers
UPS Foundation
Verizon
Wal-Mart

 
The people who run these organizations genuinely believe that by donating funds to National Action Network, they are serving their own interests and those of business generally. We at National Legal and Policy Center believe they are wrong. Contributing money to a Sharpton-controlled nonprofit group merely buys a company time to avoid a potential and highly costly "discrimination" lawsuit. What's more, it sends a signal to racial provocateurs like Sharpton that corporations everywhere are easy marks for shakedowns. Worst of all, it provides NAN with the money needed to carry on its never-ending war in the suites and the streets against manufactured "injustice" with a high degree of visibility and legitimacy.
National Action Network came into being in 1991 and has been holding annual conferences and accompanying "Keepers of the Dream" awards ceremonies since 1999 (Note: This year, the Keepers of the Dream banquet is being held separately from the conference in New York City, this evening on April 18). Nobody is disparaging Sharpton's right to hold these events. But what is little short of alarming is why dozens of major organizations, especially corporations answerable to shareholders, feel such a need to pay for them. Dues-paying NAN members and other individuals should be covering all expenses.

States asked to apply for unemployment test plan [O wants employed people to collect unemployment]

news.yahoo.com ^ | April 19, 2012 | JIM KUHNHENN

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is looking for states that will experiment with unemployment insurance programs by letting people test a job while still receiving benefits.
 
The plan is a key feature of a payroll tax cut package that President Barack Obama negotiated with congressional Republicans in February.
 
The Labor Department will open the application process Thursday for 10 model projects across the country. Any state can apply for the "Bridge to Work" program.
The plan is modeled after a Georgia program called "Georgia Works." Under the plan, workers who have lost jobs can be placed in other temporary jobs as trainees for short periods to retain their skills or gain new ones while receiving jobless assistance. About a third of the time, those workers wind up getting hired full-time.
A number of states are combining unemployment benefits with on-the-job training, including North Carolina, New Hampshire, Utah and Missouri.
A senior administration official said those states would be eligible to apply for the federal demonstration project. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the program before an administration announcement.
States that are chosen could get waivers from the federal government allowing them to tap their unemployment insurance accounts to pay for such costs as transportation for workers in temporary jobs.
Supporters of the programs say it helps workers retain or learn new skills and add new job references to their resumes. The plan passed with support from leading Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
It also is designed to answer critics of unemployment benefits who say the aid discourages some people from aggressively seeking work.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...

Democrats Swallow Anything

Blue Dogs

Bo Knows

President Obama's gone from hope and change to blame and shame!

Oh, to be a fly on the wall as President Obama gathered his human props for yet another attempt to find a scapegoat for America’s problems. With the twin scandals of the General Services Administration and the Secret Service exploding all around him, Obama summoned Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Attorney General Eric Holder and others for an attack on phantom oil “speculators,” who, he insisted, are driving up prices at the pump.

Before they marched to the Rose Garden like tin soldiers, did his aides express reluctance about the “crackdown?” Were they embarrassed at being used in a naked political stunt?

Probably not.

He doesn’t like dissent. Besides, there’s no time for scruples when a few voters can still be fooled into thinking the president has an energy policy, a tax policy and an economic plan.

Hope & Change has become Blame & Shame. It’s a daily occurrence now, and the chase for oil speculators is a classic example. In Obama’s world, there’s always somebody whose greed is the problem.

Predictably, he pitched his oil scheme in terms of fairness and victimization. “We can’t afford a situation where some speculators can reap millions while millions of American families get the short end of the stick,” he said.
Ho hum.

He uses the same formulation for all his programs, from tax hikes to health care.

The “system” is always broken and somebody is always getting away with something that you aren’t.

It’s simple — we’re all either oppressed or oppressors.

The politics of envy require a villain. When you can’t find one, you just create one out of whole cloth.

That’s what he does because that’s who he is.

Michael Goodwin is a Fox News contributor and New York Post columnist. To read more on other topics, including the GSA scandal, click here.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/04/18/president-obama-gone-from-hope-and-change-to-blame-and-shame/#ixzz1sUEdmVG3

South Carolina McDonald's employee arrested for allegedly spitting in tea!

NewsCore


A teenage McDonald's employee from South Carolina was charged Wednesday after allegedly spitting phlegm into a mother and daughter's cups of sweet tea.
Authorities said the two women ordered the drinks from the McDonald's in Simpsonville, in the state's northwest, on Saturday and returned them when they found they were not sweetened, WYFF-TV reported.

After finding the drinks were still not correct when they got them back, the pair took them home to add their own sweetener -- only to find phlegm floating in each of their drinks.

Greenville County deputies charged 19-year-old Marvin Washington Jr. with unlawful and malicious tampering with food.

The owner-operator of the McDonald's franchise, John Kennedy, said in a statement that he wanted to assure "customers that my restaurant has the most stringent food safety and quality standards and ... caution anyone from reaching a conclusion without the facts.

"Nothing is more important to me than the safety and well-being of my customers."


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/04/18/south-carolina-mcdonald-employee-arrested-for-allegedly-spitting-in-tea/#ixzz1sUA2MK5v

Landmark breast cancer study finds 10 strains, revolutionizes treatment options

NewsCore

In what has been hailed a "landmark" discovery for breast cancer treatment, scientists have revealed that instead of viewing the condition as a single disease, it should be thought of as 10 distinct diseases.
Researchers in the UK and Canada studied 2,000 women with the disease and found that breast cancer could be classified into 10 separate types. All but a handful of the tumors fell into one of the 10 categories, with each category indicating how aggressive the condition was and how it reacted to specific treatment.
The study -- published Wednesday in the journal Nature -- is the biggest of its kind globally and has been hailed as the "holy grail" of breast cancer treatment, The (London) Daily Telegraph reported.
"We are over-treating a significant number of women. We are not doing that because we are evil, we over-treat them because we just cannot precisely define the ones who are going to benefit," lead researcher Prof. Carlos Caldas said.
"If we could identify sub-groups where they have such good outcomes that we could spare them treatments instead of adding more and more toxic treatments, that would have enormous value for women," he said.
The results of the study will not immediately benefit current sufferers of breast cancer.
The new information could first be used in clinical trials involving select groups of patients, but in three to five years doctors could begin developing more accurate tests to treat their patients, Caldas said.
The UK's Breast Cancer Campaign chief, Baroness Delyth Morgan, hailed the findings -- telling the BBC that the report could "revolutionize the way breast cancer is diagnosed and treated."
"Being able to tailor treatments to the needs of individual patients is considered the Holy Grail for clinicians and this extensive study brings us another step further to that goal," Morgan said.
According to the Telegraph, various studies suggest that for every one woman whose life is saved, up to 10 women end up undergoing unnecessary treatment for breast cancer.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/04/19/landmark-breast-cancer-study-finds-10-strains-revolutionizes-treatment-options/print#ixzz1sU87lbfF

An Unexpected New Growth Industry for Retired Americans

By Eric Fry

leadimage
02/29/12 Laguna Beach, California – What does marijuana have to do with Ben Bernanke’s monetary policy? A lot, as it turns out. But it’s not what you think.

The connection has nothing to do with the idea that Bernanke’s wacky policies are the work of “somebody who must be smoking something.” No, not that. In fact, we’re pretty sure Ben isn’t a pot smoker. We doubt he has ever inhaled anything more mind-bending than his Harvard education. And frankly, why would you bother with weed, when you’ve got access to Harvard’s pharmaceutical-grade economic theories?

Sadly, the after-effects of sustained econ-theory abuse are usually irreversible. But that’s a story for another day. Our story for today relates to the far-reaching and unintended consequences of a reckless monetary policy.

“By keeping interest rates artificially low,” observes Marc Faber, editor of the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, “[The Fed] has forced people to work longer, since they can no longer retire on the income from their savings. Between 1984 and 1999, the labor force participation rate for those aged 65 and older remained at about the same level, but has nearly doubled over the last ten years or so.”
Meanwhile, the labor participation rate is plummeting for the youngest members of the workforce. Less than 35% of all 16- to 19-year olds are working today, compared to more than 50% one decade ago. So just maybe, Bernanke’s super-low interest rates are doing more harm than good — both for the would-be retired old folks and the would-be-employed young folks.
Labor Participation Rate of People 65 and Older vs. 16-19 Year Olds
“More older people are working because they have to in light of lousy-to-nonexistent returns on CDs and bonds,” http://www.pajamasmedia.com/ gripes. “If CDs were returning 5%, a lot more of them would be staying home.”
So what’s this fact got to do with marijuana? Well, it seems that a growing number of these retirement-impaired older folks are also moonlighting as marijuana dispensers. (We don’t call them “dealers” here in California).
“At a time when many Americans are looking for any job they can get, medical marijuana is still proving to be a growing industry,” CBS News reports.
According to the news report, eager job-seekers flocked to the West Coast Cannabis Expo in San Francisco last fall like hippies to the “Summer of Love.” In fact, some of these job-seekers might be the same folks who danced in Golden Gate Park with flowers in their hair forty-two years ago.
“Most of the people coming to the classes,” says Bob Calkin, CEO of CannaJobs, and of the Cannabis Career Institute, “are retired people or people from another line of work, or business that have either crashed, like the real-estate market or some other thing they’re leaving and they want to try something new.”
But Calkin is ready to lend a hand. Giving new meaning to the term “headhunter”, Calkin is busy helping these retirees and housing-market refugees find employment in this exciting “growth industry.”
Eric Fry
for The Daily Reckoning


Read more: An Unexpected New Growth Industry for Retired Americans http://dailyreckoning.com/an-unexpected-new-growth-industry-for-retired-americans/#ixzz1sU6bxFdM

TransCanada submits new Keystone XL pipeline plan

By


For the first time since President Obama issued a controversial order halting its progress, the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline is once again on track for bureaucratic review after TransCanada submitted a new route through Nebraska designed to avoid environmentally sensitive areas.
The new plan, which TransCanada submitted to the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality on Wednesday, takes the Keystone project out of the deep freeze that began in January when Obama agreed with the recommendation of the State Department to reject the initial pipeline application.
This new development, first reported by Fox News, allows Nebraska officials to review the impact of the pipeline's adjusted route. It also opens the door for the pipeline's builder, TransCanada, to submit a new complete proposal covering the entire length of the pipeline to the State Department for its review.
That federal approval is necessary because the pipeline, which will originate in Alberta, Canada, must cross the border for oil to reach gulf coast refineries.
Environmentalists, already disposed to fight oil production, focused on concerns that the pipeline would harm Nebraska's sensitive Sand Hills region. The formal effort by TransCanada and Nebraska officials to find a new route officially stopped with the president's January announcement. This past week, state lawmakers in Nebraska approved legislation allowing for the review process to resume.
"Nebraska will move forward on the review process of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline and any future pipelines that will create jobs and reduce U.S. dependence on Middle Eastern oil," Republican Gov. Dave Heineman said in a statement Tuesday after signing the bill. "The review process is a top priority for Nebraska."
That review will be conducted by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and is expected to take several months. Heineman has told reporters in recent weeks that he fully expects to get an approved proposal before the Obama administration before November's election. A draft report will be open to public review before a final environmental impact assessment is determined.
The political fight over the pipeline's construction has been a major issue in Washington and on the campaign trail. Republicans have blasted away at the president for what they see is intransigence over keeping the pipeline bottled up.
The most recent effort by GOP lawmakers to force the president's hand by attaching a Keystone provision to a pending transportation bill was met by a veto threat from Obama. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has said he'll pass an executive order on "day one" to allow construction.
Pipeline supporters point to Keystone’s expected economic benefits, including thousands of construction jobs as sufficient reason to approve the project and feel further study is unwarranted.
"They've had three years of an environmental assessment that they've looked at this full route,” American Petroleum Institute’s Cindy Schild said in an interview. “So they should have a pretty good handle on the environmental impacts.”
TransCanada officials are optimistic that the pipeline will be green-lighted and project a construction start date for early next year with oil flowing in 2015, but the resistance in Washington has caused political leaders in Canada to reassess their position in the global energy market.
During a recent visit to China, Prime Minister Stephen Harper told businessmen, "we want to sell our energy to people who want to buy our energy. It's that simple."
Huge containment vats at TransCanada's terminal in Hardisty, Alberta, are already under construction. They're supposed to be used for the Keystone pipeline, but plans also could shift to skip the U.S. altogether.
In an interview with Fox News in January, TransCanada CEO Russ Girling noted that demand for Canadian oil will all but guarantee that the pipeline is built -- if not south into the United States, then likely west towards the Pacific Ocean with access to Asia.
"We're going to need a lot of facilities to move that crude oil to whatever market is going to exist," Girling said. "So I'm pretty confident that under any scenario we'll be using these (Keystone XL) facilities."
What’s not immediately clear with Wednesday’s submission is when TransCanada will send the State Department its new permit application. Since most of the route hasn’t changed, the pipeline’s proponents hope the federal review will be swift, or at the very least not take the three years that preceded the January rejection.
Assistant Secretary Kerri-Ann Jones told reporters several months ago that officials will make use of all available information but, “if TransCanada comes in with a new application, it will trigger a new review process, a completely new review process.” There is already in place a memorandum of understanding between federal and state officials to work cooperatively and eliminate redundancies.
In a letter obtained by Fox News, State Department officials told members of Congress that a 2013 approval decision is still feasible, noting that the reason for the original denial was “not based on the merits of the project.” A senior Republican staffer on Capitol Hill tells Fox News that declaration means that if Nebraska signs off on the pipeline, then there is no legitimate reason for the Obama administration to reject the project.
Fox News' William LaJeunesse contributed to this report.


Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/04/18/exclusive-transcanada-submits-new-keystone-xl-pipeline-plan/#ixzz1sU5Fj92f