Stop holding up pipeline projects

An editorial from The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING, W.Va. — Not long after he took office, President Barack Obama set about making good on his pledge to wreck the U.S. coal industry and with it, the reasonably priced electricity on which tens of millions of Americans rely. Within six and one-half years, Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency put together a sweeping package of regulations.

It is possible, then, for the government to tackle a complex environmental issue in less time than it took the nation to fight and win World War II.

Unless the issue is allowing construction of a pipeline that could lessen our dependence on oil from the Middle East and create thousands of new jobs.

Before Obama took office, construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline was proposed to bring Canadian oil to this country. But six and one-half years after he took office, Obama’s administration has not yet cleared the project for construction. The White House claims that has to be done by the State Department, which continues to study the environmental aspects of the plan.

Hogwash. As Obama well knows, a few strokes of his pen would allow Keystone XL to proceed. He also knows his administration has been “slow walking” permits for many other pipelines.

But environmental concerns have to be addressed, right? Perhaps the EPA should be put in charge of reviewing Keystone XL. At least that agency handles complicated issues quickly.

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