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here seems to be a revival of incompetence as it applies to the proposed Keystone pipeline.
And just like their fictional counterparts of the silent film comedies in the early 20th century, those who seek to police this issue operate in a state of confusion, uncertain of what to do but determined to do it anyway.
The problem with these Kops, however, is that the stakes are real. And the consequences of their actions, if followed, will have long-lasting destructive effects for our country.
Last week the head of the new version of this Keystone Kop patrol, President Obama, announced he was denying a permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would have been used to transport oil-like bitumen from Canada to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico coast. If built, the pipeline could reduce our nation's dependence on oil from the Middle East. Without it, that product will still be shipped, but to Asia and China instead.
What was the President thinking?
A day before making his announcement, the President's own Jobs Council noted that this nation will be dependent upon fossil fuels for years to come. In fact, it even stated that the United States needs to construct pipelines for the delivery of such fuel and regulations impacting such proposals threaten jobs and our nation's energy infrastructure. The Jobs Council fell short of stating the pipeline by name, but its intent was clear—support the pipeline.
So what does President Obama do? He chooses to ignore such warnings and weaken our nation. So thousands of potential jobs are lost and our ability to produce energy apart from dependence on the Middle East is diminished.
Politics, of course.
It's an election year and the President must play to his environmental base, which has been a vocal opponent of the pipeline.
The President has said TransCanada can reapply for the permit—after the election, of course. The company does plan to do just that, but in the meantime the jobs that could have been created won't be and our energy security is forfeited.
The President said more time is needed for study, to see if the pipeline is environmentally safe. The fact is, the proposal has been under review for three years by the State Department. And the response from Canada's prime minister to the decision of President Obama: his country will look to team up with China.
The interesting aspect is that all those who oppose the pipeline on environmental grounds, fail to admit that the alternative could even be worse. If the pipeline isn't constructed, the oil could be transported to the United States via rail services. And if Canada teams up with China, that means a pipeline to the Canadian West Coast would have to be constructed. Meanwhile, the United States would have to continue to buy more oil from the Middle East.
As a story in Bloomberg stated: “The overall result—more oil shipped longer distances and greater chances of an oil spill.”
By refusing the pipeline application, the President has failed to act responsibly. Unlike the fictional antics of the Keystone Kops on the big screen, these actions have real consequences. And the results aren't funny—not one bit.