Obama bad faith and bending to will of anti energy left blocks Keystone XL completion

David Holt:
In March 2012, President Obama visited the Pipe Yard in Cushing, OK where he announced his support for the Gulf Coast Project and directed his administration “to cut through the red tape, break through the bureaucratic hurdles, and make this project a priority, to go ahead and get it done.”

Today – almost two years later – the Keystone Gulf Coast Project has begun shipping about 830,000 barrels of oil a day across the 485 miles from Cushing, OK south to state-of-the-art refineries down on the Gulf Coast in Nederland, TX. The project took 4,000 tradesman and construction workers 16 months to complete. Additional vendors and local businesses also benefited including the Read Ice Company in Kountze, Texas, 25 miles northwest of Beaumont which contracted with TransCanada to provide ice cold water to construction workers.

America’s energy consumers have reason to celebrate these jobs and the economic benefits resulting from the start of service for the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline project. But even as it launches today, delay pervades the remainder of the Keystone XL pipeline. Why more than five years after the initial filing are we still waiting for a final decision from the Obama Administration?

The Keystone XL pipeline project could be so much more. The next phase of the Keystone XL Pipeline project includes building a new pipeline from Hardisty, AB to Steele City, NE, where will it will connect with an existing pipeline that runs to Cushing. This final leg will require 9,000 more tradesman and construction workers. It could provide a $5 billion investment boost into the U.S. economy – not to mention the millions in tax revenue for cities and towns along the route.

Why is building energy pipelines to Cushing, OK so important? It is the epicenter for storing crude oil in the United States. From Cushing, crude oil is sent to Gulf Coast refiners where it is made into gasoline, jet fuel, diesel fuel and several other products which the U.S. economy uses to power businesses, manufacturing facilities, automobiles, truck fleets and airplanes.

Building the final leg of Keystone XL will connect landlocked crude oil being produced in the Bakken formation in North Dakota to Gulf Coast refiners. In turn, there will be downward pressure on prices and a more reliable stream of crude into and out of America’s energy producing network. This new found reliability will make the U.S. less dependent on crude oil imports from regimes like Venezuela or Persian Gulf countries (link to other op-ed).

With all of these tremendous benefits available to the United States through the Keystone XL pipeline, why are we still waiting for a decision?
Obama knows that what he wants to do is politically impossible so he has adopted a passive aggressive approach to killing it through regulation and analysis.  The continuous reviews are in total bad faith in hopes that he can find another excuse for delaying something the anti energy left does not want.  But it is becoming harder to explain why its OK to build the southern leg and not the northern leg which would connect the Bakken shale in North Dakota to refineries on the Gulf Coast.  But the answer should be obvious.  He could not stop the building of the pipeline within the US and he only controls the norther leg because of its cross border build needs an OK for his corrupt State Department.


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