Opinion

Pipeline rejection no service to U.S.

An editorial from The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING, W.Va. — It was bad enough when President Barack Obama used the proposed Keystone XL pipeline for domestic political reasons, to placate his radical environmentalist base. But when he finally killed the project – at least for now – he admitted international politics was his reason.

Throughout the nearly seven years of his tenure, Obama has stalled on making any decision about the proposal, claiming over and over again that more studies of its impact were needed. Clearly, he spent much of that period waiting for the most advantageous time to say no.

He found it on Friday.

Allowing the pipeline to proceed would damage U.S. credibility in international climate change talks, Obama said in announcing he will not allow construction. “Frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership,” he said of the U.S. position.

Sit down for this: Obama added Keystone XL would not advance U.S. national interests.

It may help in understanding that comment to reflect that Obama wants Americans to stop using fossil fuels – oil, natural gas and coal – on a radical environmentalist timetable, rather than when that can be done without damaging the economy and the quality of life of nearly all Americans. That is how he defines “national interests.”

Many people probably would disagree. Keystone XL is intended to bring 800,000 barrels of Canadian crude oil daily to U.S. refineries. In the context of our consumption, about 19.1 million barrels a day, that is not much – but it is petroleum we could be obtaining from a friendly neighbor rather than a potential overseas enemy.

In fact, much of that Canadian oil already is coming into the United States, by truck or rail. Clearly, a pipeline would be both cheaper and safer.

Obama’s decision ought to be upsetting on its face – and because of his reason for making it. What is good for Americans is not good for Obama’s global anti-fossil fuels agenda.

Who wins in that case?

Not the people Obama is supposed to be serving.

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