April 19 2014

Deja Vu Alert: President Obama Delays Keystone XL Decision Again

Charlotte Hays

The Obama administration has taken the Friday afternoon news dump for stories it wants buried to a new level.  But yesterday we got a Good Friday afternoon news dump of a story the administration definitely wants to soft pedal—and with good reason.

The Obama administration announced yesterday that the Keystone XL Pipeline is being delayed. Again.  Time reports:

A decision to give executive agencies more time to review plans for the Keystone XL pipeline could push a final decision to after the midterm elections.

The Obama Administration is extending its review of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline that has become an election-year minefield.

“The déjà vu is smacking me in the face right now,” writes Erika Johnsen of Hotair, who prints a strikingly similar New York Times Friday story announcing a Keystone delay in 2011(“U. S. Delays Decision on Pipeline until after Election”).

The Keystone Pipeline XL may be one of the most studied projects in American history. It has repeatedly received a clean bill of health on environmental impact (technology is able to do all sorts of things to protect the environment). But this isn’t enough for environmental extremists, who will be mollified by nothing less than killing the Keystone.

In January, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said at an energy policy forum put on by Real Clear Politics that the president’s delay on the pipeline, which along with not harming the environment would create jobs and brings us energy from a friendly country, was puzzling. I wrote at the time:

Senator Joe Manchin, the conservative Democrat from West Virginia and the keynoter, said that the president’s refusal to deal with Keystone “just doesn’t make any sense—none at all.”

Manchin asked, “Do you buy from your friends or your enemies? We have no better friend than Canada. That oil is going somewhere. Somebody is going to get it.” Although the Keystone pipeline has been cleared in numerous environmental reviews, the Environmental Protection Agency recently weighed in saying that State Department reviews were insufficient. “It’s all the president. It’s all the administration,” Manchin said, adding the EPA takes its “marching orders” from the administration.

In a way, though, President Obama’s stalling makes perfect sense: the president likely doesn’t want to come right out and nix a project that has enormous bipartisan support and would create jobs for Americans. On the other hand, the president is a man whose heart belongs to the left, and that includes the environmentalists, who are adamantly opposed to the Keystone project.  

I just saw a headline that says, “A San Francisco Just Bought Obama and Delayed the Keystone Pipeline.”  The brief article is about Tom Steyer, who has promised $100 million to Democrats who will fight the pipeline. Mr. Steyer has every right to put his money into defeating the Keystone Pipeline. It is the president who won’t make a decision one way or the other who is behaving disgracefully. But this is pretty politically transparent, no? (I don't think this is what  we thought the president meant when he promised the "most transparent" administration in history.)  

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