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Pipeline Politics Derails More than Jobs

By killing the Keystone project, Obama has delivered a blow to the entire economy.

by
Patrick Richardson

Bio

January 28, 2012 - 12:00 am
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One of the major complaints of environmentalists has been increased carbon emissions because of the pipeline, a complaint Dougher says is unfounded. She says there have been two environmental impact supplementary reviews and 14 federal agencies concluded carbon emissions would be greater if the Canadians build the pipeline to the west and put the oil on tankers to China, which Canada has said it will do if the pipeline is not ultimately approved.

Moreover, from the national interest standpoint, Canada is our single largest trading partner. For every dollar we spend in Canada, they spend about $.90 here. For every dollar we spend in the Mideast, they spend $.33 here. It’s hard to comprehend that doing more business with a country that wants to do business with us is “not in the national interest.”

U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kansas) agrees that the entire debacle was political from start to finish:

President Obama’s decision to block the Keystone Pipeline is simply another example of this White House putting election politics before economic recovery.  While the President’s friends in the environmental lobby may be cheering, the tens of thousands of hard working Americans who won’t have a job because of this decision are certainly not.

The Keystone Pipeline is an environmentally safe project that has adopted safety standards which go far beyond anything required of any pipeline in existence today. Additionally, the Keystone Pipeline will help lessen our dependence on Middle Eastern oil, while creating 20,000 direct American jobs and over 100,000 indirect American jobs.  The President has had more than three years to make a decision on the pipeline as it has been studied and developed, and blaming his decision on a 60 day deadline put in place after three years of study is nothing but a political farce.  We should move forward on final construction of this immensely important project immediately.  But as the President told his Jobs council … “Obviously this is an election year,” so we clearly shouldn’t expect much from the Obama White House.

Glendening also noted this would make it more difficult to secure future investments:

It dampens future projects when you have a runaway EPA or a State Department who look to the EPA for guidance.

Dougher also noted the oil companies have invested nearly double what the government has in searching for renewable sources of energy, and nearly as much as all the other industries in the U.S. have combined. Exxon Mobil, for instance, has poured more than half a billion dollars into making fuel from algae.

In the end Obama has himself in a cleft stick. It’s an election year, and he doesn’t need to be seen as killing jobs. But the last thing he can afford, given his approval numbers, is to lose the support of the radical environmental movement which helped get him elected.

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Patrick Richardson has been a journalist for almost 15 years and an inveterate geek all his life. He blogs regularly at www.otherwheregazette.com, which aims to be like another SF magazine, just not so serious.
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