Decision time for a real energy policy is near for a president whose critics on both the left and the right have declared him “timid.”
The State Department gave a thumbs-up on late Friday to the Keystone Pipeline project designed to help bring up to 3 million barrels of oil per day to the US from Canada. The State Department was required to evaluate the project for environmental impact.
"There would be no significant impacts to most resources along the proposed pipeline corridor," Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OES) Assistant Secretary Kerri-Ann Jones told reporters according to CNN.
The decision by the State Department puts Obama in a bind.
The decision to approve the pipeline now rests on the desk of the president, who likely doesn’t relish approving the pet project of then-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Expect him to use every day of the 90-day waiting period.
He is timid after all.
He can approve the pipeline easily on economic grounds- the project will create 20,000 construction jobs, plus another 350,000 ancillary jobs- but he’s being bullied by his friends on the left to stop the project in its tracks. The green meanies want him to put their anti-growth, anti-development, anti-job, misanthropic agenda above the welfare and prosperity of US citizens…again. .
Environmental whackos have been getting arrested by appointment at the White House for the last two weeks hoping to put pressure on Obama to scuttle the most significant development in energy for our country in the last 50 years.
If successful, they Keystone pipeline will not only significantly reduce US imports of oil from place like the Middle East and Latin America, but it will also help open up huge new oil resources in the United States by providing the confidence to develop oil reserves in the Rocky Mountain region.
While it’s estimated that Canada may have as much as 2 trillion barrels of oil in reserves, “the U.S. Geological Survey estimates the [US] has 4.3 trillion barrels of in-place oil shale resources centered in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, said Helen Hankins, Colorado director for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management” according to the Associated Press.
4.3 trillion barrels is 16 times the reserves of Saudi Arabia or enough oil to supply the US for 600 years.
"The road to viability for the oil shale industry is reliant on a predictable regulatory structure and an environment in which companies can invest in research and development and create jobs," said Congressman Scott Tipton (R-CO), who accuses Obama of delaying the commercial extraction of shale oil by adding regulatory obstacles.
"The proper implementation of our environmental and safety regulations already on the books is a far better strategy than adding additional layers of bureaucracy to the process," said Tipton who held hearings recently on the subject in Colorado.
Earlier this summer the high priest of climate change, Nobel Prize winner, Al Gore blasted Obama for being timid on environmental matters, perhaps because he senses a sell-out coming.
It will be a tough sell to the American people struggling under massive unemployment that the 400,000 jobs that will be created by Keystone aren’t more important than the worries of environmentalists who think that a grouse has more value than a baby.
After all, the oil shipped through Keystone will replace oil that is being purchased from countries that don’t like us very much.
OK Obama; this is an easy one.
And you’re timid.