November 15, 2011
With 14 million Americans unemployed, you’d think President Obama would be open to job creating solutions.
But the opposite seems to be true.
Last week, the Obama administration announced it would delay a decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline until after the 2012 elections–a $7 billion pipeline that would bring more than 700,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta, Canada to the Texas gulf coast.
Over the last several months, President Obama had been feeling the heat from radical environmentalists and Hollywood’s celebrity base to block the construction of the pipeline. As The Heritage Foundation’s Mike Brownfield explains, the administration’s retreat on this issue shows “politics is more important than achieving true energy independence for the United States.”
Still touting his American Jobs Act, a new taxpayer-funded “stimulus,” the President fails to realize the Keystone pipeline would have been a jobs and revenue creator. By some predictions, tens of thousands of jobs would have been created to build the 3,204 miles of pipeline, all while generating $5.2 billion in property tax revenue for Montana, South Dakota, Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas.
And the best part?
Not a single taxpayer dollar would be spent to fund this. The project would be funded by private dollars.
This project should be a no brainer for the administration. Heritage’s Nick Loris explains,
Radical environmentalists act as if this is the first oil pipeline being built in the United States. We have 50,000 miles of oil pipeline in this country that have provided massive economic benefits with minimal environmental harm. In short, building the Keystone XL pipeline is nothing new, and it’s one of the most environmentally sensible ways to transport oil. Even the Obama Administration determined it to be safe when the State Department’s recent Environmental Impact Statement found that the pipeline would pose few environmental risks.
And not taking advantage of this project opens the door for other countries to capitalize on this oil.
Heritage’s David Kreutzer explains that the development of Canada’s oil sands will be slowed, thereby increasing its cost. And the oil will be processed and refined in other countries, like China, rather than in the U.S.
So, block the XL pipeline if you think the environment will be better served by shipping Canadian oil an extra 6,000 miles across the Pacific in oil-consuming super tankers and then refining it in less-regulated Chinese refineries. In addition, be aware that replacing the Canadian oil means the U.S. also must import more oil by tankers, which are less efficient than pipelines.
So while the President tables this job creator until after the 2012 elections, 14 million Americans remain without a job and America is no closer to energy independence.
What do you think? Is the President playing politics with the Keystone pipeline? Do you think the pipeline boosts America’s energy independence?