Obama takes ownership of Keystone XL pipeline decision
A day after the White House said that the State Department would make the call, President Obama has decided he’ll make the ultimate decision on the Keystone XL pipeline which would bring petroleum product from the tar sands of Canada to the US.
This has become a cause the “climate change” crowd has embraced and have tried to paint as one which would supposedly increase “global warming”. Of course the actual science of “global warming” doesn’t support the contention that the earth is warming, however that is a part of the science that these folks have decided to ignore.
The fact that Obama has chosen to make the decision himself may confuse some – why not let the State Department, who makes decisions such as this when a foreign nation is involved? Well that’s what makes me uneasy. There’s an election coming and his environmental base has been very disappointed in him. Read between the lines of the statement he made and the answer he provided to a question:
“We need to encourage domestic oil and natural gas production,” Obama added. “We need to make sure that we have energy security and aren’t just relying on Middle East sources. But there’s a way of doing that and still making sure that the health and safety of the American people and folks in Nebraska are protected, and that’s how I’ll be measuring these recommendations when they come to me.”
The “but” is rather pregnant isn’t it?
Then the question concerning jobs and the promise of thousands of jobs if the pipeline is approved. Will that have an effect on his decision?
“It does, but I think folks in Nebraska like all across the country aren’t going to say to themselves, ‘We’ll take a few thousand jobs if it means that our kids are potentially drinking water that would damage their health or rich land that’s so important to agriculture in Nebraska are being adversely affected,’” Obama said, adding, “because those create jobs, and you know when somebody gets sick that’s a cost that the society has to bear as well. So these are all things that you have to take a look at when you make these decisions.”
For your information, petroleum pipelines crisscross this country. In fact, more than 168,000 miles of petroleum pipelines have been in operation, safely, for decades. 85% of all petroleum product is moved by pipeline.
So this isn’t about “safety” – the product has been moved in safety for years. It’s much like the fracking argument. It is unfounded and based in fear of something that isn’t true. And like the fracking argument, the opposition likes to try to frame the procedure as something new and dangerous. Well it isn’t new. Fracking has been in use since 1948 very safely and over a million wells have been developed using it.
The argument used by opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline is that the petroleum shipped in that pipeline is more corrosive and dangerous than regular petroleum product. The Association of Oil Pipelines answers that question:
Opponents have also wrongly suggested that crude from the Canadian oil sands is somehow more corrosive than other heavy crudes, which have been moved safely for decades. It is not. The oil sands may be produced differently, but the product readied for pipeline transportation will be behave like any other heavy crude oil. There is simply no evidence pipelines carrying diluted bitumen behave any differently than a pipeline carrying conventional crude oil, or that diluted bitumen is more corrosive than other crude oils. Pipeline operators don’t build multi-billion dollar assets to then destroy them with a corrosive product.
So Obama gets to decide between jobs and increased energy security and politics. We currently get 400,000 barrels a day from the oil sands in Alberta. This pipeline promises to add another 700,000 barrels a day from a secure source. Or will Canada be forced to build a pipeline to the west coast and ship it to China?
This should be a no brainer. Jobs along with safe transportation of a vital commodity which powers our economy is a winner for the nation. But this is a president in political trouble and desperately trying to shore up his eroding base.
Will he put the well being and energy security of America and Americans first?
Or will he play the politics card?
Unfortunately, the latter is much more probable than the former, given how political Obama is. Don’t be surprised if he turns down jobs and energy security for the promise of increased political support from his base.