Obama pleases environmental lobby by killing 20,000-job Keystone XL pipeline

Obama Economic Record November 2011
Obama Economic Record November 2011

From the Daily Caller.


Roughly 20,000 oil industry construction jobs are being thrown under Obama’s 2012 campaign bus, largely because the president needs to pump up his sagging support among the environmentalists.

The pitch came Thursday when President Barack Obama put his leadership behind a State Department plan to study alternative routes for the pipeline, which is intended to bring oil from Alberta in Canada to oil refineries along the Gulf Coast.

“We should take the time to ensure that all questions are properly addressed and all the potential impacts are properly understood,” said Obama’s afternoon statement.

The construction jobs, and the revenue from operating the Keystone XL pipeline, may now go to Canadian workers.

That’s because Canadian government officials are already planning to help build a competing pipeline from Alberta’s oil fields to new West Coast ports near Vancouver. The likely destination point is the port of Kitimat in British Columbia.

The U.S. Department of State will begun studying an alternative route for the Keystone pipeline, even though an earlier department study had concluded the proposed route is the best of several alternatives. The new study will delay any final approval until after the 2012 election, allowing Obama to boost his support among environmentalist groups, activists and voters.

But the delay may kill the U.S. segment of any pipeline, because the decision increases the environmentalist movement’s clout during any future round of approval disputes, and also spurs the development of a pipeline through Canada.

The job-killing decision was panned by GOP legislators and business groups.

“More than 20,000 new American jobs have just been sacrificed in the name of political expediency,” said a statement from Ohio Rep. John Boehner, the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

“This is clearly a political decision and everyone knows it… Politics has trumped jobs in this decision and we can only wonder if the Administration’s delay will cause Canada to turn their pipeline west and ship their energy and American jobs elsewhere,” said  statement from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

But the decision helps the Democratic-allied green-energy industry, which is now reliant on government subsidies to compete against the oil energy industry.

The oil that would be pumped through the Keystone XL pipeline would make gas cheaper for drivers, and worsen the competitiveness of the green-tech companies.

The stock value of green-energy companies, and their supply of commercial investment, has already dropped in the last several months because investment analysts believe an Obama loss in 2012 will prompt GOP legislators to cut federal subsidies.

Before his 2008 election, Obama predicted he would raise oil-energy prices to spur the green-energy industry.

The Wall Street Journal explains more.


In April 2010 and again this August, State produced multivolume environmental impact statements that concluded the pipeline would have “no significant impacts” on the environment. That should have ended the matter.

But the President’s environmentalist friends have decided to make Keystone a test of his green virtue. “We’ll see if [Mr. Obama] is an oil guy or a people guy,” eco-agitator Bill McKibben recently warned at an Occupy Wall Street event, and the Sierra Club has threatened that it won’t “mobilize the environmental base” in 2012 if he approves the project. Various Hollywood worthies have marched in front of the White House in protest.

[…]We’re guessing this decision to abdicate was really made by President Plouffe, as in David Plouffe, the White House political aide who seems to be running most of the executive branch these days. The Keystone cop-out couldn’t be a clearer expression that this Administration puts its anticarbon obsessions—and Big Green campaign donors—above job creation and blue-collar construction workers. He’s President of the 1%.

This reminds me of the way that Obama hurt the economy by delaying three free trade deals for three years, in order to appease his union supporters.

When Obama tries to create jobs, he ends up doing thinks like giving $535 million taxpayer dollars to Solyndra – to repay his Democrat fundraisers. And then they go bankrupt, because green energy is a hoax. The right way to create jobs is by letting businesses keep the money they earn, and keeping government out of their operations. Unfortunately, Obama doesn’t like it when people earn money by selling services and products, and he thinks that government needs to regulate businesses. So, we are stuck with high unemployment.

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