There was a point in the latter half of President Jimmy Carter’s one term in office when he had become so ineffectual and clueless that I found it painfully embarrassing to watch him on television. Luckily, I lived in England for most of the Carter presidency and didn’t own a television, so I didn’t have to cringe that often during the last year or so he was in office.
I remembered these feelings of embarrassment for our President and our country when I watched clips of President Barack Obama’s speech on energy policy in Cushing Oklahoma on Thursday, 22nd March, and saw the AP photos of the President walking and speaking in front of a large stack of what look to be three-foot diameter pipes used for building oil pipelines. It seems to me that our President is on the verge of becoming ridiculous and irrelevant in much the same way that Jimmy Carter did in 1979 and 1980.
President Obama keeps repeating the same misleading and inadequate defenses of his energy policies. The only difference this week compared to the weekly speeches he gave over the past four weeks is that he gave four in one week this week—in Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Ohio. He continues to insist that he has approved new pipelines everywhere. This is simply false. Those decisions have been made without any involvement by the President.
President Obama also said that the strong bipartisan majorities in the House and the Senate that have voted to permit the 1700-mile Keystone XL Pipeline from Alberta’s oil sands to refineries in Texas and Louisiana “…decided that this might be a fun political issue, decided to try to intervene and make it impossible for us to make an informed decision.” This is truly pathetic. The President decided to make it a political issue when he over-rode the recommendations of the State Department and the EPA (after reviewing the application for three years) to permit the pipeline in order to placate his environmental pressure group allies.
The President also discussed in his speech at TransCanada’s pipe yard in Cushing, Oklahoma, TransCanada’s plan to go ahead and build the 485-mile section of the Keystone XL Pipeline from the hub at Cushing to the Gulf. He then claimed: “And today, I’m directing my administration to cut through the red tape, break through the bureaucratic hurdles, and make this project a priority, to go ahead and get it done.”
The reason that TransCanada has gone ahead with this southern section of the pipeline is because it doesn’t cross an international boundary and therefore doesn’t require approval by the President. Any red tape and bureaucratic hurdles that may exist within the federal government to building the southern section of the pipeline have been created by the Obama Administration.
President Obama has thus blamed someone else for his decision to block the Keystone XL permit and taken credit for approving a short section of it within the U. S. that is being built without his approval. His words have lost all relation to his deeds.