Keystone cancellation hurts U.S.

Wednesday morning millions of Chinese people awoke to hail President Obama for helping them control the growing cost of petroleum products in the People’s Republic. On January 17, 2012 the Obama administration denied a permit for TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL. The pipeline would have carried tar sands oil to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries.

Keystone XL

Two phases of the three phase Keystone XL project have already been completed. Failing to get a permit to finish the pipeline has caused the Canadian government to state that if they cannot get their products to refineries in the U.S. south they will build the pipeline to the west coast of Canada to sell to China. The Keystone XL would not have only created tens of thousands of U.S. jobs, but would have also helped the U.S. achieve independence from Middle East oil and the OPEC-manipulated crude oil market.

In November 2011 the Obama Administration announced they would delay a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline until after the 2012 election, but just a month ago House Republicans were hailing their success in forcing a decision on Keystone by February 21, 2012 as part of the payroll tax cut extension. Obama called their bluff.

A small fraction of Obama’s base, primarily the most extreme environmentalists, have implored the president to deny the Keystone permits; but supporting the environmentalists meant turning away from his union allies which have broadly favored Keystone. Delaying the decision allowed Obama to keep both the environmental radicals and the unions in his back pocket.   Republicans believed that if forced to choose Obama would choose the the unions which provide him and his party with millions of dollars and thousands of foot soldiers.  They were wrong.

Both Republicans and Democrats support Keystone

The Keystone XL project is very popular in America and has strong support on Capitol Hill; a majority of Republicans and Democrats have agreed that the project is good for the country, but Obama decided that catering to the most radical of his base is the lesser of two evils; but is it?

With the current economic difficulties and heading into a re-election bid the last thing the president needed to do was add another arrow to the Republican’s quiver. Cancelling the Keystone XL project is likely to cost Mr. Obama far more votes than he will gain. While the president’s “shovel ready” projects from his stimulus programs turned out to be not-so-shovel-ready, the Keystone XL project is truly shovel-ready. With the true unemployment rate being somewhere in excess of 10 percent (when you actually factor in those that have given up looking,) casting away a minimum of 20,000 well-paying jobs will now be front-and-center in the fall election. What is this man thinking?

If the Canadians go forward with their threat to the Keystone cancellation gasoline prices in the U.S. will continue to head higher.  Higher fuel prices will further slow economic growth which is Obama’s greatest weakness.  You must assume the president is more concerned about his liberal agenda than re-election or he’s completely politically deaf-and-dumb and his advisors are not serving him well.