TransCanada and its allies have reached the "begging" stage of their lobbying for the Keystone XL pipeline. (The preceding stage was "obfuscation"; the final stage is "giving up and moving to space.")
This morning, the CEO of the company met with a key State Department official. From The Hill:
CEO Russ Girling is scheduled to meet in the afternoon with Kerri-Ann Jones, who is the department's assistant secretary for oceans and international environmental and scientific affairs. …
Secretary of State John Kerry, at his recent Senate confirmation hearing, kept his cards close to the vest when asked about his views on the pipeline.
Girling told Bloomberg Wednesday that he expects the project will be approved “very soon” and that he suspects "we’re looking at anything from a few weeks to a couple of months.”
The mention of Kerry there is important. It's a reminder that Jones isn't the decision-maker. And that Kerry's not either. Ultimately, approval comes down to the president, who I suspect won't spend a lot of time reviewing Jones' notes from this meeting. And what's Girling going to say in this confab anyway? "Hey, come on. Pleeeeeease? Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease?" It's not a great argument, but at this point it's probably the best he's got.