Apparently, the Obama administration has decided that shooting ourselves in both national feet is a winning economic strategy. For understandable reasons, José Cárdenas begs to differ:
The president’s decision today to reject a Canadian company’s application for a permit to build the Keystone-XL oil pipeline across the U.S.-Canada border once again represents a capitulation to a narrow public interest group — the Green Lobby — at the expense of the national welfare.
The split-the-baby decision that the Canadian company, TransCanada, can reapply for the permit after it has conducted yet another study of an alternative route (the process has been going on for three years) does not arrest the gravity of this misguided decision.
U.S. dithering has already cost TransCanada millions and China continues to lobby the Canadians hard for access to the same oil deposits that would be coming to the United States. (In a bitter irony, shipping Canadian oil to China would prove even more environmentally harmful than sending the oil across the U.S. border.)
According to the plan, the 36-inch pipeline would carry oil derived from sands in Alberta to refineries in the U.S. Gulf Coast, as much as 800,000 barrels of oil a day, doubling the capacity of an existing pipeline operated by the same Canadian company in the upper Midwest. The project would also create about 20,000 construction and manufacturing jobs that will mean about $6.5 billion to American workers.
With their anti-pipeline activism, the Green Lobby continues trying to force upon the American people a day that hasn’t arrived yet: when renewable energy sources can effectively (read: profitably) compete against fossil fuels as the primary energy source that drives the U.S. economy. Not only is it the height of folly to believe that the American people can be coerced into using unprofitable technologies to warm and cool their homes or travel for work and leisure, it would effectively the mean the economic suicide of America.
No matter how much wishes for something different, fossil fuels are here to stay for the foreseeable future. And in our complicated world, where U.S. prosperity is impacted by wars, revolutions, and natural and man-made disasters that continuously roil global oil prices — and where arbitrary and capricious governments control a significant amount of known reserves — having dependable, friendly, and nearby suppliers is of incalculable benefit to the United States and a national security imperative.
And of course, the hilarious thing is that despite the importance of this issue to the American economy, and to the American employment market in particular, we are told that we ought to focus like a laser beam on what tax bracket Mitt Romney falls into.