January 18 2012

Keystone Rejection is an XL Mistake

Hadley Heath

A handful of news outlets are reporting that President Obama will deny TransCanada's permit application for the Keystone XL project.

This is sad news for TransCanada, but even sadder news for the 8.5 percent of Americans without work.  Proponents of the pipeline project say it will create 20,000 jobs.  Critics put that number closer to 6,000.  Either way, we are talked about thousands of jobs here.

The pipeline proposal has had President Obama in a bad spot for some time now, as clearly he's pulled out all stops to altogether avoide a decision.  Approval of the pipeline would've scorned his environmentalist lobby; disapproval will surely disappoint his union allies.  

In December, as a part of the payroll tax package, Republicans added a 60-day deadline for the President's decision.  Today it's becoming clear that no permit will be issued by Feb. 21.  But the administration is doing what it can to blame incomplete information about environmental effects, and continue to flirt with the possibility of a longer timeline.

The Hill reports Press Secretary Jay Carney saying:

“[I]t is a fallacy to suggest that the president should sign into law something when there isn’t even an alternate route identified in Nebraska and when ... there was an attempt to short-circuit the review process in a way that does not allow the kind of careful consideration of all the competing criteria here that needs to be done.” 

The White House last November delayed a final decision until after the 2012 election, citing the need for more review.

Oh yes, more review.  That's why Obama wanted to wait to decide after the election.  Couldn't have anything to do with politics.

And even worse, the expected rejection of the Keystone XL would be a missed opportunity for the U.S. to gain energy security.  

As IWF wrote in our comment to the State Department:

The Keystone Pipeline will also increase the amount of oil that comes from Canada and can be refined into usable fuel here in the United States. As such, this project will become an important, reliable source of energy for our country. Ultimately, this will help relieve pressure on our rising gas and energy prices, which is a burden on already cash-strapped American families, as well as a drag on economic growth and job creation.

Rejecting the Keystone permit request will be an extra-large mistake for the administration.

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