Just about everyone, including the media, labor leaders, and the Canadian Prime Minister, understands that President Obama has delayed and blocked construction of the Keystone XL pipeline for more than five years for political reasons. As part of Republicans’ focus on expanding American energy and growing jobs, the House passed legislation this week that would ensure this president can’t disrupt future infrastructure modernization projects simply to satisfy the extreme anti-energy activists who fund his political campaigns.
It just so happens that one such billionaire Democratic donor received a special invitation to visit the White House yesterday. Tom Steyer, who’s focused on killing the Keystone pipeline and using government green energy policies to “make a lot of money” for himself, has spent a significant amount of time with President Obama – and Democrats in Washington are starting to get irritated by the poor optics.
Yesterday’s private meeting came one year after President Obama said he’d only allow Keystone to move forward if it wouldn’t “significantly” increase carbon emissions. Politico noted then that “His own State Department has already indicated that the pipeline can meet that standard,” but reported this week that “It is still unclear what Obama will decide on Keystone, despite a [new] January State Department analysis that said the project was unlikely to significantly exacerbate climate change.” The donors who have the president’s ear don’t accept those conclusions, and President Obama continues to hide his intentions on Keystone.
In April, a Rolling Stone reporter said he was “told recently by members of the [Obama] administration that the pipeline would, in fact, be rejected.” His source also said “The only question now is the timing of the announcement.” Former Vice President Al Gore recently wrote that the president has “signaled” he will reject Keystone. What was Tom Steyer told at the White House yesterday?
And what’s with all the suspense? If the President is going to obstruct Keystone forever, shouldn’t he be honest with the American people? Instead, workers and families just get more secrecy and endless political games. “First this administration makes the wrong decisions, then it won’t give the American people the straight answers,” Speaker Boehner said.
“America has the resources to become an energy superpower, but we need the right infrastructure in place to get there. … Advancing our energy independence is imperative for our economic and national security, and for that of our allies,” wrote the Speaker in an op-ed this week. “The president has no more elections to win, yet he allows the narrow interests of his most extreme political allies to dictate an agenda that puts jobs and opportunity out of reach for middle-class families. While he's writing America's energy workers off, we're trying to give them the tools they need to succeed.”
American energy independence and jobs are serious issues, but President Obama’s busy playing “mocker-in-chief” and giving special access to an extreme left-wing billionaire – all while keeping everyday Americans in the dark.