The Administration may talk about wanting immediate action on job creation, but it continues to drag its bureaucratic feet on approving the Keystone Pipeline which would be an actual boon to private sector job creation, and help bring down energy costs to the benefit to American families and companies everywhere.
Reuters has been told by one of those many “anonymous officials” in government that the State Department may miss the year-end deadline for making a decision, suggesting that ultimately an approval of the pipeline seems likely but that a “thorough, rigorous review” was top priority (too bad “rigorous review” wasn't paramount with Solyandra).
It's certainly good news that the pipeline looks like it will ultimately get a green light, but the delay is not without costs. Reuters explains:
A further delay would not only be a blow to TransCanada, it could also prolong a massive gap between U.S. and global oil prices because oil traders are counting on Keystone's 700,000 barrel-per-day capacity to relieve a build-up of crude in the Midwest, which doesn't have enough pipelines to ship growing Canadian output to Gulf Coast refineries for use around the United States.
In other words, businesses actually want to do something with the oil that would be transferred on the pipeline, and the delay in moving the oil through the refining process and to market will impact those businesses, the energy supply, and ultimately energy prices and the broader economy.
Reuters describes the Administration's dilemma in ruling on the Keystone pipeline as pitting “environmental safety against job creation and energy security.” That may be how some environmental extremists are trying to frame it, but it's really a false choice. As I wrote before, Canada's oil sands are going to be developed one way or another. The State Department's decision is whether the U.S.—with our many environmental regulations—will being doing the job or if Canada will find another, much less environmentally-friendly, partner.
The State Department has to follow protocol and to the extend that they are now trying to shield the country from the gusher of lawsuits that's sure to follow the ruling, they have my sympathies. But the Administration should be looking for ways to minimizes government acting as an impediment to job creation and allow this project to move forward as soon as possible.