For weeks environmentalists and Hollywood actors have demonstrated against the XL Keystone Pipeline. Despite the fact that there has already been a review process of 19 months, the Obama Administration issued a statement that the pipeline decision would be delayed due to “national concern” and has determined that it is necessary to examine alternative routes in depth. The decision could delay the pipeline for years. At the earliest a decision could be reached by the first quarter of 2013.
Newt Gingrich has called the decision a non-decision and said that Obama is doing the same thing with the pipeline decision and voted present as he did as a State and U.S. Senator. Charles Krauthammer called it a political decision and quote an article in both the New York Times and Washington Post to support this thesis. The pipeline would have created up to 50,000 part and full time jobs.
So much for shovel ready jobs and the President’s interest in creating jobs. Rather than put Americans to work, the President seems to have been more interested in getting re-elected.
To say that Canadians are disappointed with the American President would be an understatement. Alberta Premier Alison Redford, who was packing to go to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of the U.S. Congress and business leaders, said she was very disappointed with the decision. She said that Alberta would remain steadfast and committed to the $7 billion project.
Prime Minister, who had previously touted the decision as a “no brainer” said he was disappointed with the news that Washington will delay the decision. Prime Minster Stephen Harper said in a statement:
“We are disappointed with today’s decision. We continue to believe the Keystone XL pipeline will create thousands of jobs and billions in economic growth on both sides of the border.”
The pipeline would have contributed the energy independence of the United States, which relies heavily on imports from the Middle East. It appears the U.S. will continue to be held hostage to Middle East oil.
While environmentalists call the decision a small success, it will not stop the development of the oil sands, which has become a target. China has already bought interests in the Alberta Oil Sands and the oil will, no doubt, be transported by pipeline to the West Coast of Canada (Kitimat, British Columbia) and shipped by tankers to Asia.
While environmentalists have been the most vocal on the issue, the environment is not very high as an election issue. Of course environmentalists are Obama’s base. By delaying the pipeline Obama won’t lose a single vote, however he could have potentially lost his left base. Although they would never vote for the GOP, not getting their vote out would have a detrimental effect on an embattled President.
Ideology topped common sense in this case.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper is “disappointed” with news that Washington will delay a decision on whether to approve TransCanada’s controversial Keystone XL pipeline project.
The U.S. State Department announced in a statement on Thursday that due to “national concern … the department has determined it is necessary to examine in-depth alternative routes.”
Under the current proposal, the pipeline would traverse Nebraska’s Sandhills region and an aquifer that’s a source of water for several states — something that has been of particular concern to environmentalists lobbying against the project.
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