February 4, 2014

Keystone Cops Find No Problem

State Dept. says pipeline is fine, but Obama’s political delays are still clogging the works.

Last Friday, the State Department released its final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Keystone pipeline, and – surprise, surprise – the report reiterates the department’s earlier findings that building the pipeline will have little impact on climate change. This buckles yet another leg on which Barack Obama has been trying to stand in his effort interminably to delay approving the pipeline for fear of backlash from the green lobby.

Still, the Obama administration continues to stall its decision, apparently unfazed by the specter of shovel-ready jobs awaiting job-ready Americans. Even Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz explained that our domestic energy boom lacks adequate transportation infrastructure to support it: “The core approach, really, is that our infrastructure needs to build out.”

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough downplayed the State Department report, however, saying other agencies – including the EPA – will weigh in and noting that the president had promised to “insulate this process from politics.” McDonough should try stand-up comedy because that’s a knee-slapper. Indeed, the political calculating behind the delayed approval has become so obvious that even members of the president’s own party are urging action. As the Associated Press accurately put it, “President Obama is running out of reasons to say no to Keystone XL.” Unfortunately, this won’t stop him from trying to come up with some.

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