United Association of Plumbers and Pipe Fitters

Post image for Obama Punts on Keystone Pipeline: Political Cynicism in the Guise of Energy Policy

For President Obama, approving the Keystone XL Pipeline should have been a no-brainer. All the State Department had to do was conclude the obvious — the pipeline is in the U.S. national interest.

What other reasonable conclusion is possible? Building the 1,700-mile, shovel-ready project would create thousands of construction jobs, stimulate tens of billions of dollars in business spending, and generate billions of dollars in tax revenues. Once operational, the pipeline would enhance U.S. energy security, displacing oil imported from unsavory regimes with up to 830,000 barrels a day of tar sands oil from friendly, stable, environmentally fastidious, democratic Canada. Canada already ships us more oil than all Persian Gulf states combined, and Keystone would significantly expand our self-reliance on North American energy.

Obama had only two policy choices. He could either disapprove the pipeline on the grounds that environmental concerns over incremental greenhouse gas emissions and oil spill risk outweigh the substantial economic, fiscal, and energy security benefits of the pipeline. Or he could approve the pipeline on the grounds that its benefits outweigh potential environmental impacts.

[click to continue…]