Gas prices have spiked for 32 consecutive days, increasing “more than 13% over that period to $3.73,” CNNMoney reports. Despite the toll skyrocketing gas prices is having on families and small businesses, President Obama has continued to block the Keystone pipeline – which was approved by Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman on January 22 – and the 20,000 jobs and nearly one million barrels of oil that come with it. An editorial in USA Today underscores the need for the Keystone pipeline to increase America’s access to secure, North American energy:
“For Canada, whose government badly wants the pipeline to go forward, the decision is an equally crucial test of the two neighbors' relationship. And for the United States, the project offers a rare opportunity to create jobs and lessen the nation's decades-long dependence on oil from unstable or unfriendly suppliers.
“Both sides make strong arguments, but after more than four years of exhaustive study, the right answer on Keystone remains: Build it.
“At a time of rising global competition for energy resources, the pipeline would bring reliable new oil supplies to a U.S. that still imports 40% of its crude, 7.6 million barrels a day last year. And 40% of those imports come from OPEC nations such as Venezuela, Iraq and Nigeria. Keystone is expected to supply 830,000 million barrels a day, a key step toward the long-sought goal of North American energy independence, which suddenly seems attainable.”
Bowing to political pressure from his liberal allies, the president is allowing a decision on the Keystone pipeline “to languish until mid-June,” despite the fact that “unions back the idea because of the construction and refining jobs it could create, and nine Democratic senators have joined 44 Republicans in a letter asking for approval,” today’s Wall Street Journal notes. The Keystone pipeline is also backed by a majority of the American people, who are spending more of their hard-earned dollars on gas than they have in the past three decades. And the longer the president delays, the more likely Canada will be to look to other markets in China – shipping what could be American jobs and energy overseas.
After more than four years of delaying, rejecting and personally lobbying against the Keystone pipeline – and with gas prices nearly doubling on his watch - the president is out of excuses. As Speaker Boehner has said, “I recognize all the political pressure the president faces, but with our energy security at stake and many jobs in limbo, he should find a way to say yes.”