Keystone Pipeline: Obama Putting Off Decision Again?

For practically any other president, this would be a no-brainer. America needs jobs and a reliable source of oil, both of which the Keystone Pipeline will provide. The pipeline will link Alberta’s vast Athabasca Oil Sands to American oil refineries in the nation’s heartland and, eventually, the gulf coast.  If allowed to go forward, an additional half million barrels per day will flow into the country via pipeline from Canada.  That’s a half million barrels per day we won’t need to purchase from volatile and often hostile regimes in the rest of the world who most certainly don’t have America’s best interests in mind.   Obama should be jumping at the chance to push this project forward, right?

Er…wrong.  His decision on the project, and it is his decision, was supposed to come by the end of this year.  Even if it does, it would still be a textbook example of the former community organizer’s inability to make a timely decision. Perhaps it he had any executive experience at all, even running a lemonade stand, he’d understand that executives are paid to make correct and timely decisions.  But alas, last week through a State Department spokesman, the Obama Administration hinted that their self-imposed deadline will likely slip yet further into the future, via The Hill:

The State Department is heading the federal review of the proposed $7 billion pipeline, and hopes to make a decision by the end of the year. A department spokeswoman said last week, however, that the timeline may slip.

The reason for the delay? Obama’s re-election strategery, of course.  Obama needs to get the Left excited about his re-election, and a lot of them simply aren’t.  Today outside the the White House, one such block of Lefties he desperately needs, so-called green energy activists who, for one reason or another, oppose the production of reliable energy, are planning a demonstration in the hopes of gettting Obama to kill the pipeline:

Activists calling on Obama to scuttle the project expect thousands of people at a major demonstration outside the White House Sunday afternoon.

They’re arriving with a warning: Environmentalists say a federal permit for TransCanada would sap their appetites for door-knocking, political giving and other work on behalf of Obama next year.

For the geniuses who make up this movement, call them the “rainbow and unicorn energy lobby”, we can’t transport oil by boat or pipeline, nor can we drill for it in deep water, shallow water, or on land. How we’re supposed to extract it and transport it to market is anyone’s guess.  Perhaps they think we can “beam it” out of the ground and into refineries ala Star Trek.  Who knows.  What we do know, though, is that there’s no logical argument against granting TransCanada the permit to build the pipeline.  It’s a certainty that the oil in the Canadian Oil Sands will be extracted from the ground.  The only question is this: To whom will it be sold?  TransCanada can easily pipe it to the west coast for shipment in oil tankers to increasingly thirsty Asian markets.

How that would assuage America’s energy and unemployment problem is impossible to ascertain. But for Obama, such concerns are trivial.  This is all about the short-term politics of his re-election, as Larry Sabato explains in The Hill:

The pipeline is politically tricky terrain for Obama heading into 2012.

Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, notes that a president facing a difficult campaign typically seeks to “broaden his coalition” by wooing independents and moderates.

“But Obama is so shaky because of a bad economy he may have to focus more on energizing his own base for a big turnout, and his base certainly includes environmental groups,” he said in an email.

“However, this is a complicated decision. Many labor unions, which are also part of Obama’s base, back the pipeline because of the jobs created,” he added.

A slew of unions are backing the project, including the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the International Union of Operating Engineers, the Teamsters, the Laborers’ International Union, and the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO.

Sabato’s correct that Obama needs at least some groups who make up the far left to be energized if he’s to have a chance at re-election.  Right now the only part of Obama’s base that’s really excited is the Occupy Wall Street parasites, but that could easily backfire on him and he knows it.  He needs more of the Left’s true believers on board, and the anti-energy lunatics are one such option.  And the fact that he actually believes, as they do, that we can replace fossil fuels with solar shingles and windmills makes this a logical fit.

Obama, however, would like to keep the labor unions who would benefit from the Keystone project on board too.  This, I think, explains his dithering on making a decision.  When and if he actually decides, he’ll alienate one of these two groups.  For that reason it’s in his political interest, which is all that matters to this President, to delay this decision as long as possible.  Whether it’s pure politics, incompetence, or both, Obama’s suicidal energy policy is killing the economy.  If it’s any consolation, though, we can’t say we weren’t warned more than three years ago that this is exactly what we could expect from an Obama Administration.

 America needs more energy … our opponent is against producing it.

Does anyone think a President Palin would hold America’s energy needs hostage to electoral politics, or that she’d even consider turning down an additional 500,000 barrels of oil per day from our friend and ally to the north?



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