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Government shutdown delaying Keystone XL pipeline review

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A dragging review into proposals to build a pipeline from Canada’s oil sands to the US Gulf Coast may be further delayed due to the US government shutdown, an official said Friday.

The proposed 1,179-mile (1,897 km) Keystone XL pipeline — to carry oil extracted from Alberta’s tar sands south to American refineries — has been on hold for years, awaiting a green light.

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The State Department is putting together a final environmental impact statement to determine whether to give the $5.3 billion scheme the go-ahead.

The project was proposed back in 2008, but after years of delays, operator TransCanada split it in two, and construction began on a southern section that does not require presidential approval.

But the review on the impact of the northern section, which would cross through environmentally sensitive areas in Nebraska, is ongoing.

“Finalizing the draft involves work with consulting agencies to discuss and address their comments,” said State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf.

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“Most of these consulting agencies have had a large number of staff furloughed during this process, which has made it harder to work on with them,” she told reporters.

“We obviously need information, technical expertise that these agencies can provide, and it’s just making it more difficult now.”

For several months, the State Department, which is reviewing the scheme because it crosses the border from Canada, has refused to say when the analysis will be ready. President Barack Obama will likely give any final seal of approval.

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TransCanada said earlier this month it did not believe it would be given the White House nod before the end of the year.


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Michael Moore predicts Mick Mulvaney will get into Heaven after confessing Trump’s quid pro quo

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Academy Award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore predicted acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney will ascend to Heaven in the afterlife during a Friday interview on MSNBC's "The Beat" with Ari Melber.

The host played a clip of Mulvaney admitting Trump's quid pro quo while seeking foreign election assistance from Ukraine.

"This man obviously is going to be admitted into Heaven," Moore said. "You know, he told the truth."

"If there was a movie version of this, somebody stuck him with a needle just before he walked out onto the stage there, a truth serum needle, and he just went on and on saying, 'Yeah, that’s what we do. Yeah, of course.' Essentially admitting there is a quid pro quo. In fact, there are many quid pro quos."

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Trump campaign has 12-person ‘War Room’ toiling to fight the impeachment inquiry: report

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While the White House has bragged about refusing to start a "war room" to deal with the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump's administration, his campaign is footing the bill for a 12-person operation, the LA Times reported Friday.

“Some of you have criticized us for not having a war room — OK? — which we don’t by the way,” acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told reporters.

“You don’t have a war room when you haven’t done anything wrong," he added.

By that logic, Trump's 2020 re-election campaign may fear the president did something wrong.

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‘I don’t think he knows what he’s doing’: Ex-Trump advisor rips the ‘cascading crisis’ of his ‘strategic disaster’

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President Donald Trump received harsh criticism from a former top Middle East advisor for the ethnic cleansing campaign Turkey is waging against the Kurds in Syria.

MSNBC's Chuck Todd interviewed Brett McGurk, the former special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL.

"The truth of the matter is when President Trump announced to the world last December that we were leaving Syria and he arbitrarily cut our force reportedly in half, which is already a small force, we lost all of our leverage and influence," McGurk argued. "And he really threw it out the window on this call on October 6th."

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