Thursday, January 19, 2012

Liberal Media Say Obama Wrong to Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline....

Liberal Washington Post says Obama was wrong!!!

The Post’s View
Obama’s Keystone pipeline rejection is hard to accept

By Editorial Board, Published: January 18

ON TUESDAY, President Obama’s Jobs Council reminded the nation that it is still hooked on fossil fuels, and will be for a long time. “Continuing to deliver inexpensive and reliable energy,” the council reported, “is going to require the United States to optimize all of its natural resources and construct pathways (pipelines, transmission and distribution) to deliver electricity and fuel.”

It added that regulatory “and permitting obstacles that could threaten the development of some energy projects, negatively impact jobs and weaken our energy infrastructure need to be addressed.”

Obama should have approved the pipeline.

.Mr. Obama’s Jobs Council could start by calling out . . . the Obama administration.

On Wednesday, the State Department announced that it recommended rejecting the application of TransCanada Corp. to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline, and Mr. Obama concurred. The project would have transported heavy, oil-like bitumen from Alberta — and, potentially, from unconventional oil deposits in states such as Montana — to U.S. refineries on the Gulf of Mexico coast.

Environmentalists have fought Keystone XL furiously. In November, the State Department tried to put off the politically dangerous issue until after this year’s election, saying that the project, which had undergone several years of vetting, required further study. But Republicans in Congress unwisely upped the political gamesmanship by mandating that State make a decision by Feb. 21. Following Wednesday’s rejection, TransCanada promised to reapply — so the administration has again punted the final decision until after the election.

We almost hope this was a political call because, on the substance, there should be no question. Without the pipeline, Canada would still export its bitumen — with long-term trends in the global market, it’s far too valuable to keep in the ground — but it would go to China. And, as a State Department report found, U.S. refineries would still import low-quality crude — just from the Middle East. Stopping the pipeline, then, wouldn’t do anything to reduce global warming, but it would almost certainly require more oil to be transported across oceans in tankers.

Environmentalists and Nebraska politicians say that the route TransCanada proposed might threaten the state’s ecologically sensitive Sand Hills region. But TransCanada has been willing to tweak the route, in consultation with Nebraska officials, even though a government analysis last year concluded that the original one would have “limited adverse environmental impacts.” Surely the Obama administration didn’t have to declare the whole project contrary to the national interest — that’s the standard State was supposed to apply — and force the company to start all over again.

Environmentalists go on to argue that some of the fuel U.S. refineries produce from Canada’s bitumen might be exported elsewhere. But even if that’s true, why force those refineries to obtain their crude from farther away? Anti-Keystone activists insist that building the pipeline will raise gas prices in the Midwest. But shouldn’t environmentalists want that? Finally, pipeline skeptics dispute the estimates of the number of jobs that the project would create. But, clearly, constructing the pipeline would still result in job gains during a sluggish economic recovery.

There are far fairer, far more rational ways to discourage oil use in America, the first of which is establishing higher gasoline taxes. Environmentalists should fight for policies that might actually do substantial good instead of tilting against Keystone XL, and President Obama should have the courage to say so.

USA Today says Obama was wrong to reject the Keyston XL Pipeline...

Editorial: Obama's pipeline decision delays energy security

The Obama administration's kick-the-can decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, at least for now, leaves a confusing muddle that exemplifies the continuing fecklessness of U.S. energy policy.

OBAMA ADMINISTRATION: Republicans killed Keystone pipeline
Is the pipeline, which would bring tar sands oil from Canada to U.S. refineries, dead or alive? Is there a plan for making a final decision sometime this year, next year or ever? Who knows? A telephone briefing with an administration official Wednesday afternoon yielded almost no useful information — except that the permit process, which has been going on since 2008, will have to begin all over again.

The only thing that's clear is that President Obama and congressional Republicans are blaming each other and will continue to do so until the November election. Great politics, perhaps, but as for progress on energy security for the nation, which both sides claim to want? Not this year.

The pipeline should be built because of the steady stream of oil it would bring to refineries in the United States, which still imports almost half its oil. Environmentalists have raised strong objections to tar-sands oil, which is dirtier than ordinary crude and exacts a greater toll on the climate. But until the nation finds a better way to power the quarter-billion cars, trucks, buses and other vehicles on its roads, it needs reliable supplies of oil. And it's not as if the Canadian oil will stay in the ground if Keystone isn't built; the Chinese will be glad to buy it.

The other objection to Keystone has been a not-in-my-backyard furor over the route of the 1,700-mile pipeline through an environmentally sensitive part of Nebraska. In early November, the administration decided — more than three years into the approval process — that it needed to look at alternative routes. Never mind that Nebraska has been crisscrossed by pipelines for decades, including some 2,000 miles of oil pipelines in the area the administration now wants to avoid.

What's really going on here, of course, is the most craven sort of election-year politics. The Obama administration seemed to be on its way to approving Keystone when environmental groups made the pipeline a key test of their support for the president, who suddenly decided the administration couldn't possibly make a decision until sometime after the election.

Congressional Republicans saw an opportunity to put the president in a box: Approve the pipeline and alienate core Democratic environmentalists, or reject it and let Republicans attack him for forgoing the thousands of jobs that pipeline construction would bring. As part of last December's agreement to extend the payroll tax cuts for two months, Republicans required Obama to make a decision on the pipeline within 60 days. On Wednesday, the administration said that timetable didn't give it enough time to evaluate alternate routes for the pipeline in Nebraska, so it would have to say no.

The administration made itself vulnerable to being hogtied on this issue by allowing the approval process to drag on far longer than necessary. But if Republicans' highest priority was the jobs and oil the pipeline would bring, they could have tried to negotiate a mutually acceptable timetable with the president. What they actually wanted was to embarrass Obama, and they succeeded.

The biggest loser in this game of political football is the national interest.

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