In February, President Obama vetoed a bipartisan jobs bill that would have approved construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. It’s an energy infrastructure improvement project supported by labor unions that the Obama administration has blocked for nearly seven years, purely for political reasons.
The Obama administration’s official excuse is that its bureaucrats are still evaluating the merits of the project. But everyone knows that is bogus, and that the pipeline would help create good-paying jobs and pose virtually no threat to the environment. Everyone also knows that President Obama has gone to absurd lengths and several Pinocchios to avoid approving it, just to satisfy the science-denying environmental extremists at the fringe of his party.
This week, he’ll make a pilgrimage to San Francisco that he’s made several times before, to raise cash at the mansion of one of those anti-affordable energy extremists: Tom Steyer, a hedge fund billionaire and major donor to the Democratic party who has made stopping Keystone his personal hobby. He’s a big component of President Obama’s other green agenda.
So that’s why his State Department – which is stocked with plenty of stonewalling specialists – has indefinitely delayed the review of Keystone. Back in February, Speaker Boehner called on Secretary of State John Kerry to “address this issue, and immediately deliver the transparency and accountability that he promised the American people.” Now, because the Obama administration has refused, the House Oversight Committee is threatening to use the power of subpoena:
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the panel’s chairman, said in a Monday letter that State has been unnecessarily secretive about the review and flat-out refused in March to provide communications, reports and other materials related to the process, including comments from the agencies.
Chaffetz threatened to compel State to send the documents, and asked for the agency to engage in “dynamic compromise” with the Oversight Committee to reach a deal about the request. …
“If the department remains unwilling to work with the committee on a voluntary basis, we are left with no alternative but to consider the use of compulsory process to obtain the materials,” he said.
Of course, these delays are all part of President Obama’s ideological effort to stand in the way of American energy production, which, despite his opposition, recently surpassed Russia’s, helped lower prices at the pump and ease the squeeze on workers and families. And while liberal extremists indulge their quixotic obsession with Keystone (which requires a presidential permit because it crosses our border with Canada), roughly 12,000 miles of pipeline have been built elsewhere within the U.S.:
Overall, the network has increased by almost a quarter in the last decade. And the work dwarfs Keystone. About 3.3 million barrels per day of capacity have been added since 2012 alone — five times more oil than the Canada-to-Texas Keystone line could carry if it's ever built.
The pipeline build-out provides a little noticed counterpoint to the fierce political battle being waged over the 1,179-mile TransCanada project, which is still in limbo seven years after it was proposed. During the long wait for Keystone, the petroleum industry has pushed relentlessly everywhere else to get oil to market more efficiently, and its adversaries have been unable to stop other major pipelines. …
Since 2012, more than 50 pipeline projects have been approved, completed or are under development, including the just finished 600-mile Enbridge Flanagan South line, which runs through four states.
Canada, which would like to transport its oil to American refineries via Keystone, has also been busy building pipelines – to the Pacific, so it can sell its product to China. President Obama’s favorite California billionaire may not mind America losing out while Keystone remains stalled, but then again, he’s not in need of a paycheck to begin with.