Well, this is not exactly a profile in courage:

The Obama administration is announcing today that it will delay a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline until after the 2012 election.

Although the project has the potential to create jobs and begin to reduce our dependence on oil from countries that don't like us (this oil would come from Canadian oil sands), the administration is voting present. IWF supports the project.

So why didn’t the administration jump at the chance to approve a project that might help people find jobs? Well, unfortunately two key parts of the Obama coalition are at loggerheads over Keystone: the unions want it (for obvious reasons) and the environmentalists don’t want it, even though the project can be done with care for the environment. Punting on this shows a real lack of leadership.

The Wall Street Journal calls the delay “a temporary win for environmental groups,” but it is a huge loss for the economy.

If the administration really wanted to pivot to jobs, approving Keystone was the place to start. We explained in October why this project is so crucial:  

The American economy is suffering. Unemployment remains above nine percent, long-term unemployment is at a historic high, and job creation remains sluggish. The Administration has emphasized that facilitating private sector job creation is a top national priority, and has been expending tremendous taxpayer resources in that goal's name, in spite of our rapidly growing national debt.

The Keystone Pipeline will represent real private sector job creation, that is not dependent on taxpayer largess. The $7 billion private-sector investment in the pipeline will create an estimated 20,000 construction jobs, and support hundreds of thousands of other jobs throughout our economy.

The Keystone Pipeline will also increase the amount of oil that comes from Canada and can be refined into usable fuel here in the United States. As such, this project will become an important, reliable source of energy for our country. Ultimately, this will help relieve pressure on our rising gas and energy prices, which is a burden on already cash-strapped American families, as well as a drag on economic growth and job creation.

The economic benefits of the Keystone Pipeline are clear….

Several commentators have already connected the president’s dithering over Keystone to his famous remark that America has lost its edge and become “a little soft.”

One reason we have lost some of our competitive edge is that it takes so long to approve projects such as this one.