Today the U.S. President’s State Department issued its decision denying the Keystone XL Pipeline application.

Your shocked, humbled and deeply embarrassed writer apologizes to the whole of Canada, in particular those who have risked and worked, invested and managed the development of their resources and willingness to work with us to benefit from them.

The President’s act is another and fundamentally flawed move to put his own political career ahead of the welfare of the nation’s citizens and our great neighbor to the north.  The calculation can only be to choose the campaign contributions and votes of the extreme environmentalists ahead of everyone else quickly in the plot to get the issue out of the news.

One wonders though, can the labor organizations who stand to lose billions of dollars in payroll and product sales forgive this?  There will be added costs to already record high gasoline, diesel and jet fuel for consumers, can they forget the betrayal?  Home foreclosures are in the millions – can any politician cuckold an economy any more directly?  By any responsible standard the President’s move was wholly political and in his own perceived self-interest.  It is an insolent act against hundreds of millions of people and betrayal of the responsibility of the office.

It might seem odd that the political calculation involved didn’t even use the 34 days remaining from the Congressional mandate to attempt to come up with a better solution.  Clearly, it’s a gamble, in that pushing the application off the table and into the wastebasket – the oil people can very well reapply, and should as well as go straight to court, as soon as possible – that the one major economic project that is “shovel ready” will be forgotten by November.

The announcement was simply an attempt to save the President from the ogres of the environmentalists.  When you read the press release its plain the decision is not final nor do the merits of the project involve doubts.  Instead its looks like cowardice, the project has been through the whole of the now three year process, made peace with the states through which it would pass and would have been approved by the Department of State if the President had simply kept hands off.

The question before the citizens and the media, if they can be the fifth estate again and not in the thrall of the President, is reconciling the astonishing news yesterday from the President’s own Council on Jobs and Competitiveness when presenting its 72-page report prescribing how the U.S. can recover by recommending moving forward on projects like the XL Pipeline.

Now before anyone gets anti democrat, Ms Clinton runs the Department of State and the Department long ago stated the Keystone XL pipeline is the preferred option.  Some might recall that the Environmental Protection Agency was objecting again, but that was brushed off by the administration, leaving the decision up to the President.

And Ms. Clinton has her head down today.

The flip side is the OPEC folks have to be thrilled.  It offers Iran another actual example of the character of the U.S. President.  Ratcheting up the venom looks like a sure thing now and the threat measure for our military will have to be adjusted upward – we have just been exposed to more risk.

Meanwhile . . . the oil will get moved to someone eventually.  Much will come this way with pipeline upgrades, tighter management and – more risk.  Much more will go to Asia, the long way to a market and we’ll be getting more from much further away from much less reliable sources.

What do the environmentalists think? There will be oil recovered, moved by pipeline and now very likely by rail, trucks and by seagoing tankers.  That’s somehow better?

Oddly for many observers, “Big Oil” who weren’t all that into the fray, have been handed a major loss.  They were topped by the radical environmentalists at the Whitehouse.  Now even if you lean toward a safe and wonderful planet like your humble writer, environmentalists aren’t much on keeping up the mortgage payment, feeding and clothing the kids or saving for old age.  Their reality has a strong case of tunnel vision.  We do need them for the squeaks, but lets not let them wreak our lives or the country.

If energy security, building up an economy, making sure products like petroleum are handled the safest way and showing the world responsible conduct are sensible expectations of a president, we’ve been badly let down.

The hardest part is the 20,000 who’ve been waiting for months for the call back to work that went home last night to tell families it “ain’t gonna happen”.

Sometimes shame can be gut wrenching.  I’m Sorry.  But the support for the project has just been reinforced.


4 Comments so far

  1. Matt Musson on January 19, 2012 7:32 AM

    I don’t believe this was a political move as much as a deeply held fundamental belief the President holds that petroleum is bad. He truly believes that anything that might increase the production of oil in the United States is a bad thing. So, he pursues his anti oil agenda – not caring that the working poor are collateral damage in his War on Cars. His holy grail of $5 a gallon gasoline has never been closer.

    The oil sands will still be exploited and the pipeline will still get built. But, now it will go west to British Columbia – and the oil will go to China and Japan.

  2. jerry on January 19, 2012 8:05 AM

    Bravo! Couldn’t have said it better.
    This could have been a major step to getting out of middle east oil and supporting, through the back door, regimes that hate America. But, noooooo, we have a President that panders to the groups that gave him large campaign contributions! This is a total slap in the face to the American and Canadian people.

  3. Steve on January 19, 2012 8:06 PM

    Just wow.

    The Republicans played political games and forced the President to make a decision on the pipeline before the plans of rerouting away from Sand Hills area of Nebraska could be completed and you blame the President?

    Well the farmers and citizens of Nebraska are thanking the President. And Oh yeah once the Canadians submit a plan which bypasses the Sand Hills they reapply for the pipeline.

  4. Musson on January 21, 2012 9:15 AM

    Oh grow up. The scary old Republicans did not do anything but call the President on his plan to stall until after the election. Obama was never going to approve the pipeline – but he intended to take campaign contributions from both sides in the mean time. Note that the Construction Unions are saying they were betrayed because they had been solicited with assurances that the President was going to approve the pipeline.

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