President Obama decreed that any decision must wait 12 to 18 months — postponed, by amazing coincidence, until after next year’s election.
Why? Because the pipeline angered Obama’s environmental constituency. But their complaints are risible. Global warming from the extraction of the Alberta tar sands? Canada will extract the oil anyway. If it doesn’t go to us, it will go to China. Net effect on the climate if we don’t take that oil? Zero.
Danger to a major aquifer, which the pipeline traverses? It is already crisscrossed by 25,000 miles of pipeline, enough to circle the Earth. Moreover, the State Department had subjected Keystone to three years of review — the most exhaustive of any oil pipeline in U.S. history — and twice concluded in voluminous studies that there would be no significant environmental harm.
So what happened? “The administration,” reported the New York Times, “had in recent days been exploring ways to put off the decision until after the presidential election.”
Exploring ways to improve the ? Hardly. Exploring ways to get past the election.If there's any justice/sanity in the joint, that calculated sell-out will be the tipping point that will compel the electorate to give him the old heave-ho.
Obama’s decision was meant to appease his environmentalists. It’s already working. The president of the National Wildlife Federation told the Washington Post (online edition, November 10) that thousands of environmentalists who were galvanized to protest the pipeline would now support Obama in 2012. Moreover, a source told the Post, Obama campaign officials had concluded that “they do not pick up one vote from approving this project.”
Sure, the pipeline would have produced thousands of truly shovel-ready jobs. Sure, delay could forfeit to China a supremely important strategic asset — a nearby, highly reliable source of energy. But approval was calculated to be a political loss for the president. Easy choice..
Update: The years--and one or more bad Hollywood plastic surgeons--have not been kind to Daryl Hannah: