Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson has some choice words for President Obama’s rejection of the Keytsone pipeline:
President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico is an act of national insanity. It isn’t often that a president makes a decision that has no redeeming virtues and – beyond the symbolism – won’t even advance the goals of the groups that demanded it. All it tells us is that Obama is so obsessed with his reelection that, through some sort of political calculus, he believes that placating his environmental supporters will improve his chances.
Now consider how Obama’s decision hurts the United States. For starters, it insults and antagonizes a strong ally; getting future Canadian cooperation on other issues will be harder. Next, it threatens a large source of relatively secure oil that, combined with new discoveries in the United States, could reduce (though not eliminate) our dependence on insecure foreign oil.
Finally, Obama’s decision forgoes all the project’s jobs. There’s some dispute over the magnitude. Project sponsor TransCanada claims 20,000, split between construction (13,000) and manufacturing (7,000) of everything from pumps to control equipment. Apparently, this refers to “job years,” meaning one job for one year. If so, the actual number of jobs would be about half that spread over two years. Whatever the figure, it’s in the thousands and thus important in a country hungering for work. And Keystone XL is precisely the sort of infrastructure project that Obama claims to favor.
The big winners are the Chinese. They must be celebrating their good fortune and wondering how the crazy Americans could repudiate such a huge supply of nearby energy. There’s no guarantee that tar-sands oil will go to China; pipelines to the Pacific would have to be built. But it creates the possibility when the oil’s natural market is the United States.
This is the Obama we have come to know and love; piously proclaiming his priority being job creation while taking actions that directly contradict that priority. He says he wants business to thrive — and then throws up roadblock regulations to prevent it. He says he wants the economy to grow — and then advocates policies that stifle growth.
And then he blames his failures on others.
Energy independence, jobs, growth in the economy — all of these would have been affected positively by building the pipeline. Instead, the president decided to pander to his far left base of Luddites.