Home > Frac > Obama’s Indecision is Detrimental to the US…Period

Obama’s Indecision is Detrimental to the US…Period

January 19, 2012

Barack Obama’s full statement concerning the KeystoneXL Pipeline reads like this”

Earlier today, I received the Secretary of State’s recommendation on the pending application for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment. As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree.

This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people. I’m disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision, but it does not change my administration’s commitment to American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on oil. Under my administration, domestic oil and natural gas production is up, while imports of foreign oil are down. In the months ahead, we will continue to look for new ways to partner with the oil and gas industry to increase our energy security—including the potential development of an oil pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico—even as we set higher efficiency standards for cars and trucks and invest in alternatives like biofuels and natural gas. And we will do so in a way that benefits American workers and businesses without risking the health and safety of the American people and the environment.

I can read between the lines.

I want to walk through this statement with you. It may take awhile, but it is entirely necessary that this statement be interpreted.

1.)  As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment.

Would you like to know how long the Keystone XL Pipeline has been being assessed by the State Department?

Three years.

Would anyone care to take a stab at why this “arbitrary deadline” has been insisted upon by Congressional Republicans?

Considering the fact that Canadian Prime Minister Harper’s office said (in response to Obama’s indecisiveness)  “Prime Minister Harper expressed his profound disappointment with the news. He indicated to President Obama that he hoped that this project would continue given the significant contribution it would make to jobs and economic growth both in Canada and the United States of America.” and [the PM’s office] “reiterated to the president that Canada will continue to work to diversify its energy exports.”

This means Canada will move, as they have already stated, to export their resources to China and Asia.

This administration’s attempts to pawn off the blame on Congressional Republicans for applying an “arbitrary deadline” is willfully ignorant. You see, there is a deadline. If the United States does not approve the pipeline, Canada will seek other options. They’ve already said they would. And, there is no guarantee that they will re-apply for the permit. So, it is ridiculous to throw blame on Republicans when Canada is waiting on approval to move forward with us.

The deadline is anything but arbitrary. The deadline recognizes Canada’s desire to improve their own economy through exporting their resources. We don’t have the authority to force them to wait indefinitely. They will not.

The decision was not “rushed” either.

If the State Department can’t make a “full assessment of the pipeline’s impact” in three years, what does that say about their competency. Barack Obama has been in office for three years.

What this means is that after three years of assessment, or Obama’s entire term so far, he was unwilling to make a decision on a project that has been sitting on his desk since he was sworn in.

As far as his concern with the “health and safety of the American people…as well as our environment.” is concerned, this apparently does not consider employment as a related factor to the health of the American people. I guess those unemployed folks marching toward bankruptcy is a concept rather than a realized statistic worthy of consideration. Employment is directly related to the health of the American people. It’s how they pay for their lives.

2.) This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people. I’m disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision, but it does not change my administration’s commitment to American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on oil.

This is the most damning thing the Obama Administration could have said because it tips his hand.

Saying that his decision is “not a judgement on the merits of the pipeline” acknowledges the merits of the pipeline, and it then ignores them. It’s not a judgement on the merits of the pipeline because it casts the known merits aside. It’s a judgement based on a political agenda that (at all costs to the American people) refuses to alienate his constituency in an election year.

The alternative to Obama’s decision can be summed up in a statement delivered by TransCanada:

“Until this pipeline is constructed, the U.S. will continue to import millions of barrels of conflict oil from the Middle East and Venezuela and other foreign countries…”

“Thousands of jobs continue to hang in the balance if this project does not go forward.” 

Not only does this decision force the United States to continue it’s absurd practice of importing “conflict oil” from unfriendly nations, it kills jobs at the same time.
How can the Obama administration say “…it does not change my administration’s commitment to American-made energy that creates jobs 
and reduces our dependence on oil. when his decision to punt this pipeline accomplishes the opposite. It is a commitment to perpetuate our buying oil from unfriendly nations. How is that a commitment to American made energy? The pipeline creates American jobs through refineries and construction while buying an energy source from an ally. It also cuts down on import costs by using a cost effective method for moving product.
He then had the audacity to say “Under my administration, domestic oil and natural gas production is up, while imports of foreign oil are down.” It as though he feels he has the right to take credit for improved production and an improving import/export ratio. The men and women who work for the O&G companies did that. He certainly didn’t/isn’t greasing the skids for them.
This happened in spite of his administration. He recognizes the benefit of home-grown energy and the relief it provides from over import as a good thing while stifling a pipeline that could only grow the potential for this to expediently continue.

3.) In the months ahead, we will continue to look for new ways to partner with the oil and gas industry to increase our energy security…

In what ways does Obama intend to partner with an industry he just ran the risk of alienating? Whom he regularly alienates through the EPA and his blind, money losing commitment to Green Energy? How can Obama partner with an industry, who for the most part, stands across the protestor line from those whom he wishes to keep in the voting stable?

Contrary to this report, the Obama administration is not committed to “American made energy (unless it’s guaranteeing loans to floundering solar companies) that creates jobs…” Unless, of course, they get to define what that energy is. Why is there a refusal to acknowledge that the world runs on fossil fuels?

Only can this man laud increased oil production while fighting to decrease our dependence on oil while burning tax dollars on failed Green projects.

If only the O&G Industry could gain this kind of faith.

We should. We are responsible for the largest influx of money and jobs in the country. We are responsible for the increased production and exports, for reducing the imports.

We’ve proven that we can create jobs. We’ve proven that we can create money. With over 2.3 million miles of pipeline already in this country, we’ve proved we can do it safely.

I am going to close this with a quote I quoted yesterday, a quote from the US Dept. of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration:

The nation’s pipelines are a transportation system. Pipelines enable the safe movement of extraordinary quantities of energy products to industry and consumers, literally fueling our economy and way of life. The arteries of the Nation’s energy infrastructure, as well as the safest and least costly ways to transport energy products, our oil and gas pipelines provide the resources needed for national defense, heat and cool our homes, generate power for business and fuel an unparalleled transportation system.

The nation’s more than two million miles of pipelines safely deliver trillions of cubic feet of natural gas and hundreds of billions of ton/miles of liquid petroleum products each year. They are essential: the volumes of energy products they move are well beyond the capacity of other forms of transportation. It would take a constant line of tanker trucks, about 750 per day, loading up and moving out every two minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to move the volume of even a modest pipeline. The railroad-equivalent of this single pipeline would be a train of 75 2,000-barrel tank rail cars everyday. These alternatives would require many times the people, clog the air with engine pollutants, be prohibitively expensive and — with many more vehicles on roads and rails carrying hazardous materials — unacceptably dangerous.

Pipeline systems are the safest means to move these products. The federal government rededicated itself to pipeline safety in 2006 when the PIPES Act was signed. It mandates new methods and makes commitments for new technologies to manage the integrity of the nation’s pipelines and raise the bar on pipeline safety.

I can only wonder if the current administration knows that this agency exists.

In addition to this, Exxon-Mobil provides a thorough review of Obama’s “rushed” and “arbitrary” deadline language here.

They also include the transcripts from the nine Keystone XL public comment meetings here.

This current administration needs to take note that the American people will not have the wool pulled over their eyes. If the administration has already said that they believe Canada is “a stable and steady and reliable source” of energy for the US, then they need to act as if they believe that rather than acting like they can’t hear the voices of those who disagree with them.

This is a democracy, isn’t it?

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