Let’s all be honest with ourselves. Did anyone really believe President Barack Obama would approve the permit for the Keystone Pipeline and allow it to go forward? Even though the preliminaries are finished, the environmental studies have been done, alternate routes through Nebraska have been proposed, etc., President Obama still thinks more time is needed. He originally wanted to put the decision off until 2013. You know, after the 2012 election is out-of-the-way. The Republicans in Congress nixed that plan and tied the permit to the payroll tax cut or holiday issue. From November 30, 2011, the President had 60 days to approve or disapprove the permit. He made his decision yesterday and as is usually the case, he blamed the Republicans for forcing his hand. His excuse? We need more time, at least another 18 months, to do yet another review. As far as I am concerned, that statement ranks right up at the top of the biggest lies the man has told since he took office.
Does anyone want to venture a guess how long the reviews for the pipeline have already been going on? Try three years. That’s right, this project has already been in the works for three years. More than that, if you count the time and effort Canada has expended on its end. Three years, yet our current President thinks that isn’t enough time. He wants another review, mainly about the environmental impact (isn’t that always his excuse), which will take about 18 months. Even though the environment studies have been finished and any concerns addressed, he needs more time.
The President is walking a fine line with this. On the one hand, he has the labor unions, who favor the project. That’s why they call them labor unions. They want the jobs, and I happen to agree. Turn the coin over and you have an issue that is near and dear to Obama’s heart, the environment and clean energy. If he approves the pipeline, he will be facing the wrath of multiple environmental groups, including some that have threatened to stop the flow of donations they are providing to his reelection campaign. As much as he says he wants to create jobs, the environment will always win this fight in the President’s heart. He will always side with the environment, even if their argument is bogus. Once again, this should surprise no one.
Look at the arguments being made against the pipeline. On the side of the environment, there are concerns about the route it would have originally taken through Nebraska, namely the Sandhills region and Ogallala aquifer. Those are valid concerns of Nebraska citizens and they have rightly been addressed, through the use of alternate routes. The other environmental concerns have to do with the impact of a possible oil spill. Admittedly, no one wants to see an oil spill. It doesn’t matter if it is in Canada, Nebraska, or Oklahoma, it wouldn’t be a good thing, but just because a pipeline is built, doesn’t mean an oil spill is imminent. If we use that logic, we shouldn’t have gas stations in populated areas. They might explode, don’t you know.
Some of the other concerns that have been raised have more to do with the clean energy economy the President is so proud of. Those complaints sound something like “we will undermine our commitment to a clean energy economy, if we allow this pipeline to go forward”. Some who are opposed to the pipeline have even suggested it threatens certain “cultural resources”, whatever that means. What it all boils down to is simple. The President and his environmental buddies have no intention of allowing the Keystone Pipeline to come to fruition.
Never mind that the project will create thousands of jobs in America. Never mind that it will supply oil that we can refine and use from a friendly neighbor, instead of us purchasing it from the Middle East. It’s all in the name of clean energy. According to the words of President Obama, his plans to force clean energy upon the American people will necessarily result in the skyrocketing prices of electricity and gasoline. Coal companies will necessarily be driven into bankruptcy, all in the name of a green economy.
That’s why Solyndra is such a big deal to so many of us. Here is a company that was clearly on shaky ground. It’s financial stability was more than just in question, it was nearly nonexistent, yet President Obama approved a government-backed $535 loan guarantee, just to keep them afloat. All in the name of a clean energy economy. That happened on March 20, 2009 and on September 1, 2011, they ceased all activity as a company. Ironically enough, their executives still believe they deserve bonuses. Go figure!
So no, I am not at all surprised to hear that President Obama has denied the permit for the Keystone Pipeline. Some of his reasoning has to do with politics and he is showing every indication of blaming the Republicans, as he does with most of his rhetoric. However, I believe the main reason the permit was denied has to do with his desire to force clean energy down our throats, even if that energy doesn’t even exist. Maybe he thinks he can will it into existence, but all he is doing at the moment is preventing the creation of thousands of jobs in America. His priorities are very plain and we should make sure they are on display for all to see before the election in November.