As you know, the Obama Administration recently rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, a head-scratcher given that gas is expected to rise upwards of $4 a gallon in the coming months. It’s also odd given the dire need for jobs, and the pipeline would have certainly aided those efforts.
Oddly, however, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said yesterday that his boss, President Barack Obama, wasn’t to blame for the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline. According to the White House, congressional Republicans are to blame:
White House press secretary Jay Carney first says Republicans “forced” President Obama to deny the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. Later in his press briefing, Carney says Obama didn’t turn down the pipeline.
“In terms of Keystone, as you all know, the history here is pretty clear. And the fact is because Republicans decided to play political with Keystone, their action essentially forced the administration to deny the permit process because they insisted on a time frame in which it was impossible to completely approve the pipeline,” Carney said when asked about the pipeline by ABC News’ Jake Tapper.
Later in the briefing, Carney says it is the Republicans’ fault.
Jake Tapper: “How can you say that you have an all the above on approach if the President turned down the Keystone pipeline? And you blame the Republicans for making it political.”
Carney: “But the President didn’t turn down the Keystone pipeline. There was a process in place, with long precedent, run out of the State Department because of the issue of the pipeline crossing an international boundary, that required an amount of time for proper for review after an alternate route was deemed necessary through Nebraska at the request of the Republican Governor of Nebraska and other stakeholders in Nebraska and the region that needed to play out, to be done appropriately. You can’t review and approve a pipeline, the route for which doesn’t even exist.
“The Republicans were the ones who unfortunately decided because they were looking for scalps, I guess, or wins in a situation where they somehow found themselves on the wrong side of cutting taxes for 160 million Americans last December. They decided to play politics with this decision and attack the payroll tax cut extension. Even though it was made clear by the State Department that doing so would make it impossible for them to conduct the review responsibly, they did it anyway knowing what the result would be.”
Sigh. This is, of course, blatantly dishonest. Bob Barr noted recently that the fact of the matter is the State Department reviewed the project and found that that it posed to real environmental threat:
The pipeline project, which has bipartisan support, already has been on the table since 2008! And the “State Department” needs to study it? Is the president serious? Does he even know what the State Department does? It is filled with bureaucrats and diplomats — and they’re qualified to “study” a major pipeline project? Besides, the environmental aspects of the proposed pipeline project already have been studied in great detail — including by the State Department — and found to have only “limited adverse impact.”
Yes, congressional Republicans did mandate that he give an answer on the project by February, I believe, but only because it has been languishing for nearly four years thanks to bureaucracy and Obama trying to appease radical environmentalists.
Even the Washington Post lashed out at Obama for his terrible decision because it does nothing but hurt our economy and strengthen competitive economies:
Without the pipeline, Canada would still export its bitumen — with long-term trends in the global market, it’s far too valuable to keep in the ground — but it would go to China. And, as a State Department report found, U.S. refineries would still import low-quality crude — just from the Middle East. Stopping the pipeline, then, wouldn’t do anything to reduce global warming, but it would almost certainly require more oil to be transported across oceans in tankers.
Environmentalists and Nebraska politicians say that the route TransCanada proposed might threaten the state’s ecologically sensitive Sand Hills region. But TransCanada has been willing to tweak the route, in consultation with Nebraska officials, even though a government analysis last year concluded that the original one would have “limited adverse environmental impacts.” Surely the Obama administration didn’t have to declare the whole project contrary to the national interest — that’s the standard State was supposed to apply — and force the company to start all over again.
The only real reason Obama killed the project was to give a nod to his radical environmentalist supporters, who support policies that would severly cripple our economy. Obama needed to give them something they could get fired up about since he’s been unable to push their job-killing agenda through Congress.