, Washington Examiner
The application with the U.S. State Department to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline has now been languishing for six years amid political delays by President Obama.
And now that her re-election is in great peril in Louisiana’s Dec. 6 Senate runoff election, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D, finally decided it was time to force a Senate vote on the matter.
Good for her, even though it didn’t work. Hopefully, her new senator (should she decide to go back and live in Louisiana) will continue the effort next year.
Why is Keystone so important? It is just one pipeline, after all. But it has become something much bigger than that — it is an illustration of Obama’s backward energy policy.
Obama was not shy about his green leanings during his 2008 campaign. He promised policies that he acknowledged would put the coal industry out of business. His EPA rose to the challenge both in substance and rhetoric — especially noteworthy was his appointees’ loose talk of wiping out coal towns and “crucifying” coal producers.
But coal is just one variable in the equation from which Obama has worked to subtract. Oil and gas permitting on federal lands has plunged on his watch, with oil production down 16 percent between 2010 and 2013, and natural gas down 24 percent during the same period. The current oil and gas boom on private and state lands has occurred in spite of Obama, not because of him.
Also memorable is the incident in which his non-expert White House staff tampered with a report by scientists to make it seem like they supported a full moratorium on offshore drilling during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Obama has described the use of carbon fuels as “an energy strategy for the last century that traps us in the past.” Keystone has become a symbol of this obsession. With all reasonable environmental and economic objections debunked, Obama continues to delay a genuinely shovel-ready project that immediately create thousands of construction jobs without costing U.S. taxpayers a single dime.
Obama’s animus toward the use of hydrocarbon fuels is not the only explanation— political corruption also plays a role. Radical environmentalists purchased the Democratic Congress in 2014 when hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer pledged to spend $100 million on their party’s behalf in this year’s elections. In exchange, Obama and his fellow Democrats in Congress hardened their resolve.
Landrieu’s desperation to show for once that she can put her state’s interests ahead of her disfavored political party serves as testimony to the power of voter accountability. Senate Democrats, clinging to a majority with a short shelf-life, testified to the contrary last night, circling the wagons around Obama so that he could avoid casting a politically damaging veto.