Here, Andersen is nothing if not cleverly disingenuous. The October 7, 2011 New York Times reported that the "research team [Cardno Entrix] retained by the State Department," as Andersen phrased it, was "retained" because TransCanada recommended the firm, which was because the State Department allowed TransCanada to screen applicants. Apart from Harold Andersen, some people (like those at the New York Times) would find the blatant conflict of interest and the co-opting of the integrity of the US State Department by a foreign corporation much more troubling than a cost increase of 25% to that corporation.Kleeb, incidentally, is opposed to construction of the pipeline across the Sand Hills or anywhere else. Some other opponents, including Governor Heineman, say they approve of a pipeline which would bring Canadian crude oil into this country for processing. But a research team retained by the State Department (a team which concluded that the Sand Hills route was environmentally safe) said that to try to switch to an alternate route at this late date would kill the project because it would increase the $7 billion cost by 25%.
Anderson blithely bashed on, trying to scare his readers a bit for Halloween:
It has been suggested that a likely alternative would be to pump the crude oil to a West Coast refinery and put it on tankers bound for China, which has indicated great interest in importing oil from Canada.Right. Because if the current route is chosen, the oil would go to Houston refineries to be sold on the world petroleum spot market where China, of course, couldn't pursue its "great interest in importing" Canadian oil because... Oh wait, they could.