Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Eff' Yo' Pipeline!

Score one for Obama.
The Obama administration is expected to reject TransCanada's controversial $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline later Wednesday, a source familiar with the decision told CBS News Monday, adding that a formal announcement is expected from the State Department. Multiple media outlets have reported that the decision is imminent, citing unnamed sources, but the White House and the State Department have not confirmed the announcement.

As part of deal last December extending the payroll tax cut for two months, Congress imposed a Feb. 21 decision on President Obama to issue or reject the permit. Language in the deal mandates that only the president can block the Keystone Pipeline project, and the impact of an expected State Department announcement is not clear. Shares in TransCanada Corp fell following initial reports about a decision.

According to one source, the administration plans to cite the environmental dangers posed by the pipeline's proposed route through Nebraska. While the administration plans to reject a permit for TransCanada to build the pipeline under the current proposal, the company could pitch an alternate route for the planned 1,700 mile underground oil pipeline linking the tar sands fields of northern Alberta to oil refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast.
Personally, I'm gonna hand Obama a couple of points for this one. Sure, he could have just as easily said "no" months ago before it became a political football the GOP (momentarily) used to hold up a payroll tax extension they were gonna agree to anyway. But hey, better late than never, right?

In the grander scheme of things, I'm just happy to see the President make a decisive move, even though his opponents will certainly use it against him. The actual number of jobs this line could potentially create has been so inflated and riddled with fuzzy math, it's almost comical. And yeah, lots of those permanent jobs are going to go to Canada. Don't be fooled, folks. I'm hardly a NIMBY, tree hugging conservationist myself, but if the energy output doesn't outweigh the possible environmental impact, then the point is moot.

Kudos to the President for stating the obvious here, even though he will likely face some scrutiny from the left because of the union jobs lost.

Question: Was this the right move by the Obama administration?

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