On Wednesday Obama denied the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline Project. His excuse, a sorry one at that, was that the officials did not have enough time to review the environmental impact. The State Department made the initial recommendation to Obama on the grounds that there wasn’t enough time to review the details. Obama agreed with that recommendation, even though Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State, gave her blessing just 16 months ago.
Truth be told, the State Department has been reviewing the initial proposal to run the pipeline for three years. Over that period of time the pipeline has been subjected to scrutiny by government officials at all levels. Nonetheless, the Obama Administration rejected the project after the environmentalist lobby and local lawmakers in Nebraska protested the pipeline on grounds that the project might be unsafe.
According to William P. Hite, President of the United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters, the dangers anticipated are “wholly unfounded.” The real danger lies in neglecting our current infrastructure. Hite acknowledged that . . .
“The State Department’s decision to delay the project for purported health and safety concerns is wholly unfounded. Tons of evidence accumulated to date shows it will be the safest pipeline in the world. It will use the safest, most advanced materials, be constructed by the highest skilled, best trained craftsmen in the industry and monitored by the most sophisticated electronic-video safety system ever designed. The bottom line is that the environmental groups are way off base on this project.
On the other hand, we can tell you where there are serious, legitimate public health and safety concerns in the pipeline industry that should be the focus of both government and environmental groups — literally thousands of miles of antiquated pipelines all across this country that are in critical need of replacement. The vast majority of these pipelines, which include oil, gas and water, are 40 or 50 years old or older and pose serious public health risks.
We’ve already seen recent explosions in old gas lines that have taken lives and evidence of dangerous toxins leaching into our water systems due to worn out pipes. These are virtual time bombs waiting to happen and should be addressed by government and those who truly care about the environment. Pipeline[s] [are an] integral part of U.S. infrastructure that is in desperate need of investment and many times overlooked. This is an area where we need to act immediately to prevent real and imminent public health disasters and we can create tens of thousands of jobs for Americans in the process.”
Not only has Obama neglected to seek the advice of his supporters in “Big Labor” regarding the perceived dangers of the project, but he also failed to heed the advice by those on his own Presidential Job Council. The report, Roadmap to Renewal, compiled by the panel of business leaders advised Obama on the creation of jobs. The report essentially recommended that the Obama administration should hasten the development of our energy infrastructure, including pipelines and electrical transmission lines, by relaxing the permit standards. Inevitably, those actions would help to create jobs and strengthen our energy security. The Jobs Council proposed an “all-in energy strategy” claiming it would “create significant economic growths and significant job creation.” Experience dictates that advisory panels implemented by government officials are formed to pacify the public; but their suggestions are rarely taken seriously.
To clear it up, the logic behind the “all-in energy strategy” was succinctly summarized by Phil Taylor in an article written for Environment & Energy Publishing as per the report by the Jobs Council. According to Taylor and the report . . .
“The report urges continued expansion of renewable energy but warns of a rising global demand for fossil fuels as billions of people in developing countries rise to middle-class lifestyles.
Until then, the administration must do all it can to reduce the country’s current imports of more than 300 million barrels of oil a month, which cost $1 billion per day, the report said.
Over the long term, we expect that innovation and technological advancements will greatly reduce America’s reliance on fossil fuels,” the report says. “Until then, however, we need to be all in.”
Obama doesn’t just ignore the advice of others; he ignores his own promises and statements as well. Just last week in his speech on government reform, Obama addressed a select crowd of small business owners who were a part of the group who met in the in the East Room of the White House for his speech. In his speech Obama told them that . . .
“if you are willing to keep asking yourselves what you can do to bring jobs back, then I’ll make sure that you’ve got a government that helps you succeed.”
Are you flabbergasted to see that he would go back on his word so soon by rejecting the XL pipeline project? You shouldn’t be; according to the truth-o-meter at politifact.com, Obama has broken 56 of his campaign promises, and told a slew of other lies, both flat out and through omission.
In our current economic slump, only a sociopath would delay a project that would create the amount of jobs projected for the Keystone XL pipeline. Unbeknownst to Obama, his decision to reject the pipeline instantly affected close to 60 U.S. Workers. Welspun Tubular, an Arkansas pipe manufacturing company, had hundreds of miles of pipe at its facility awaiting shipment for the Keystone XL Pipeline Product; right after Obama announced his decision to delay the authorization for the project, Welspun Tubular laid off some of its employees
The owners stated that the supply of pipe they had already produced would outweigh the demand, which in turn would lower the market price possibly causing them to lay off even more employees.
At this point, the pressure is creeping in from all fronts, both democratic and republican, as well as many labor and special interest groups. TransCanada has already begun the process of seeking out another permit. The passage through the State of Nebraska is the only segment yet to be negotiated. As naïve as he is, Obama put the kibosh on the plan, when it could have been put into action without nailing down the official path through Nebraska; at minimum, the segments in Texas and Montana could have been started.
It is increasingly getting harder to believe that Obama has any regard for those Americans who are out of work. Many union workers who supported his initial bid for the White House so fervently, are dissapointed by this decision.
Anyone that would argue that the Obama administration is not using the pipeline as a political football has their work cut out for them. The obvious argument is that Obama is delaying the Keystone XL Pipeline to court the environmentalist’s vote in his upcoming bid for re-election.
Eventually Obama is going to succumb to the bilateral pressure and sign off on the pipeline. Still, more and more, it is beginning to look as though he is more concerned with keeping his seat in the oval office than he is about providing the people with sorely needed jobs; and that is absolutely indefensible.