And Unsurprisingly…

The President has pulled the plug on the Keystone XL pipeline “on advice of the State Department” (read that Environmentalists and Saudi Arabia), kissing off roughly 200,000 jobs and a source of oil not purchased from despots and tyrants.

This alone would be enough for me to move from “I may vote for Romney” to “I WILL vote against President Obama.”

It surprises me I’m so angry about this because I knew without a doubt this was what he would choose to do.

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  • Sandi

    A move to hang onto more of Obama’s base, and will be approved after the November elections regardless of who wins.

  • Physics Geek

    Dean, that comment is raaaaaacist.

    Of course, I agree with you completely, but I’m just getting ahead of the predictable curve of responses. Besides, I too knew that he would spike the deal.

  • Dean Esmay

    That was posted by John Eddy, not me. :-)

    It is not clear that the administration has “pulled the plug” on this pipeline. According to multiple sources (including here and here), the administration denies having done any such thing.

    Apparently, according to the administration anyway, the review process was supposed to be done over the course of this year and a final decision was supposed to be made in 2013–next year–and instead Republicans attempted to strongarm approval before the review was finished.

    A close reading of these stories makes it appear that the administration wanted to take this out of an election year, and Republicans forced the issue onto the table now so they could make it an election-year issue.

    I find this all annoying because I very much favor further oil development within the United States, which environmentalists routinely block–there was even a plan to do slant-oil drilling under the Great Lakes in Michigan that tragically got shot down some five or six years ago by environmental activists which could have hugely helped the Michigan economy, a place where we badly need help. I am all in favor of a pipeline like this (although it won’t help Michigan, it will help the country). Yet I do not object to careful and thorough review before going through with it; not only are environmental concerns legitimate, but also, a disaster caused by poor planning could do further damage to the domestic oil industry, which we don’t need either.

    Here’s what I predict: If, as his opponents claim, the President has only stopped this measure to appease the environmental extremists, you can expect him to spend his time talking about how awful the pipeline would have been. If the President sticks to his guns and says the only problem is insufficient planning and review and he’s still open to it, it will indicate he’s telling the truth.

    I would also watch carefully what Romney says about it (I am assuming he is to be the Republican nominee). If he promises to open it come hell or high water, that will be one thing. But if he bashes the President but admits that he wants careful review done before final approval, it will indicate, still, that the President was telling the truth all along.

  • John Eddy

    My bet is the Canadians go ahead with the western pipeline and sell the oil to china and SE Asia rather than wait around for the US to change its mind. the President had the opportunity to go ahead with this project back in November of 2011. environmentalists objected and he punted the decision until after the election simply to avoid having to deal with it. When his hand was forced he elected to firm up his base.

    It is all well and fine to talk about the spin being presented by the White House and the LA Times, but the reality is this had already been studied- it was the alternate, much longer route that was just in the opening stages.

    Oh, and a minor correction to myself- we’re talking 20,000+ jobs according to industry experts, not the 200,000 I posted originally.

    So I guess that makes it okay.

  • Dean Esmay

    Long-term, it would probably amount to far more than just the construction jobs anyway (the State Department claims it would be only 6,000 jobs, you decide who to believe). It would result in all sorts of jobs associated with the pipeline’s very existence and I think do good things for our foreign policy. As I say, I favor the pipeline, and I favor a good deal more domestic drilling for that matter, for all the same reasons you do most likely.

    I would not, however, presume that the pipeline is more likely to happen under a Republican administration; not only is Romney a centrist but, far more important, Democrats in Congress are far more likely to hold up approval if they have a Republican in the White House to fight.

  • jaymaster

    I would respond that we (actually, a US based corporation) should build a freaking state of the art refinery in or near Detroit, and then make a very short pipeline. A great compromise.

    Many of the refineries down south are nearing the end of their productive lives. So new ones need to be built somewhere.

    I see no downsides to that approach. But I bet it ain’t going to happen because of the regulatory environment in Michigan.