(Washington Post Editorial) Obama’s Keystone pipeline rejection is hard to accept

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We almost hope this was a political call because, on the substance, there should be no question. 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.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketThe U.S. GovernmentEnergy, Natural ResourcesForeign RelationsPolitics in GeneralHouse of RepresentativesOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack ObamaSenate* International News & CommentaryCanada

Posted January 19, 2012 at 6:27 am

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The URL for this article is http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/40731/

1. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

What part of this decision is a surprise to anyone?

January 19, 9:30 am | [comment link]
2. BlueOntario wrote:

It would probably happen in some form all by itself if it hadn’t become Washington’s version of a cat toy.

January 19, 9:34 am | [comment link]
3. Second Citizen wrote:

Yet more proof that this POTUS truly hates this country. No surprise at all.

January 19, 9:59 am | [comment link]
4. Katherine wrote:

The fact that this is a Washington Post editorial, not just a published op-ed, says that Obama is losing even some of his strongest supporters over this.

January 19, 10:07 am | [comment link]
5. francis wrote:

This decision is Obama at his best: shovel ready jobs, bi-lateral relations, strategic defense, strategic energy, even long-term environmental impact, are not really his interests.  How long, Oh Lord?!

January 19, 10:18 am | [comment link]
6. In Texas wrote:

Of course the NYT is still firmly in the Obama camp.  Their editorial is exactly in the Obama narrative:  too environmentally senstive to rush this, it must have more study.  The bad Republicans did not give me enough time, so I had to say no.  Strange how Obama’s decisions seem to be “he made me do it”.

January 19, 10:47 am | [comment link]
7. Mike L wrote:

Opposing opinion if anyone is interested.

January 19, 12:37 pm | [comment link]
8. GB46 wrote:

Another interesting read is Sen Mike Johanns’ (R-Neb) press releases on the Keystone XL pipeline from July 2011 through yesterday:


August and November releases are particularly relevant.

January 19, 2:06 pm | [comment link]
9. Tomb01 wrote:

So his administration has been studying this for several years, but now it is ‘too fast’?  Amazing.  What an incredible politician he is….

January 19, 4:25 pm | [comment link]
10. Mike L wrote:

Ummm, route change maybe means there needs to be new considerations rather than just shoving it thru as an attachment to a tax bill?

January 19, 4:40 pm | [comment link]
11. Deep Freeze wrote:

As a Canadian, I’ll admit to being a little confused.  Comments on another recent post to this site regarding a drop in natural gas prices seem to mostly cheer the corresponding “reduced investment in costlier sources of energy”.  The cynical part of me wonders about a seeming negative attitude towards investments in clean energy combined with a desire to see the rapid exploitation of foreign energy sources that are very damaging to enormous tracts of land in a part of the world where natural restoration of land is measured in decades or centuries.  I applaud Obama’s decision.  If the price I’m paying for a gallon of gas jumps from $4.50 to $7.00, so be it.

January 19, 9:32 pm | [comment link]
12. Paul PA wrote:

One constant in President Obama’s foreign policy approach has been that he has tried to treat our “enemies” well and this often results in our “friends” getting the short end of the stick. While in the short term it may be hard for us mere mortals to understand - dissing Canada, sending their oil to China and instead supporting middle eastern countries by purchasing their oil instead really does make sense.

January 20, 7:50 am | [comment link]
13. Deep Freeze wrote:

Paul, I’m not concerned about the US “dissing” Canada.  All nations generally act in their own self interest.  I’m also not supportive of a pipeline to the Pacific and would rather see the oil stay in the ground.  If it is going to be extracted regardless, I would prefer to see a refinery built in Canada to preserve jobs and increase the benefits to Canadians.

January 20, 9:27 pm | [comment link]

© 2014 Kendall S. Harmon. All rights reserved.

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