The Free Press, Mankato, MN


August 2, 2013

Obama still wrong on Keystone

Why it matters The Keystone pipeline project has been delayed unnecessarily by the Obama administration


Estimates say the project will help add up to 830,000 barrels of oil a day to the market, according to Bloomberg News.

It will also diversify the number of countries supplying the U.S. with oil. Canada is a friendly and stable supplier compared to the volatility that has beset the economies and governments of the Middle East.

As we urged in February, the Obama administration needs to stop dragging its feet and moving the goalposts on this one. While Obama downplayed any concern about greenhouse gases related to the project before the election, he seems to think they are relevant now.

A report in The New York Times called this Obama’s “new litmus test” and quoted Obama saying, “Our national interest will be served only if this pipeline does not significantly exacerbate the climate problem.” Obama is clearly moving the goalposts on this project.

Nebraska officials have signed off on the project. A bipartisan group of senators had written a letter to Obama earlier this year urging him to approve the pipeline as it is in the national interest. A similar pipeline was approved from Canada to Wisconsin just a few years ago. More Democratic senators challenged Obama on the delay again this week.

An in-depth environmental study was done. The pipeline company, TransCanada, has complied with all requirements for its $7 billion investment.

The delays now appear to be strictly political. The environmental lobby continues to put pressure on Obama to stop this project. Large donors to Obama’s campaign, including billionaire Tom Steyer, have urged Obama not to approve the project. Obama is wrong for delaying this project. He’s running out of excuses.

Many in the president’s own party support the project, including Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana. Democrats should think seriously about withholding support for the president’s second term agenda unless he does the right thing and allows the Keystone Xl pipeline to be built.

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