After three years and billions of dollars of excruciating review, not to mention an attempt to punt a decision on the project until after the 2012 elections, President Obama today rejected a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline blaming Republicans for passing legislation forcing him to make a decision.
That’s right. Somehow, it’s the fault of Republicans that Obama rejected authorization for the pipeline.
(Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Wednesday blamed his Republican opponents for imposing an “arbitrary” deadline on his review of TransCanada Corp’s plan to build the Keystone XL Canada-to-Texas crude oil pipeline, which led to its rejection.
“This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people,” Obama said in a statement. “I’m disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision.”
Not only is this an undeserved slap at our friendly trading partners to the north in Canada, but it’s a real setback to energy development here in America. The Keystone XL pipeline wasn’t just about bringing Canadian oil to American refineries. It was also about expanding America’s oil infrastructure.
As an example, here in North Dakota the pipeline would take some 100,000 barrels daily from the Bakken oil fields, one of the biggest producing oil plays in the country and probably one of the fastest growing too. That’s an amount of oil equivalent to 500 trucks a day off the state’s roads.
Not only is that good for North Dakota’s overtaxed infrastructure, it’s green too in that pipelines don’t have emissions like trucks. Which is why North Dakota Senator John Hoeven rightly took the lead in the Senate in pushing for approval of the pipeline.
It seems that there are two paths forward for energy in America. We can either embrace a free market for energy resources in this country, and engage in free trade with our allies like Canada, or we can obstruct that free market on the foolish notion that if we hamstring oil and gas development somehow that will push the country into using “green” power from sources like wind and solar.
That sort of policy, as exemplified by Obama’s decision on the Keystone pipeline, will only drive up the cost of energy in this country and drive down our quality of life. All while denying the economy much-needed stimulus and activity.
Obama is putting environmental politics, and pandering to his far-left liberal base, above what’s best for America.