NY Times: Passing Keystone XL To Protect Mary Landrieu Is A Big Mistake

The NY Times Editorial Board is also concerned about the temporary nature of the jobs created to build the pipeline

Playing Politics With Tar Sands Oil

Just when President Obama marches forward on the issue of climate change, Congress scuttles backward.

Last week in Beijing, America and China agreed to significant joint reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Over the weekend, at the G-20 meeting in Brisbane, Australia, Mr. Obama pledged a $3 billion contribution to the Green Climate Fund, a multilateral effort to help vulnerable countries develop clean energy sources and adapt to the impacts of global warming.

And Congress? On Friday, the House voted to order the administration to approve the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline that would run from the tar sands of Alberta to refineries on the gulf coast — a huge undertaking that can only add to the climate problem. The Senate may well do the same this week.

In fact, the pipeline will be better for the environment and “climate change”, because the other option is to ship it on trains and/or tankers, which would release more greenhouse gases and risks crashes.

It is important to understand what these votes are. They are not votes for permanent construction jobs, since most of the construction jobs would evaporate the minute the pipeline was finished. They are not votes for energy independence, since the United States is in the midst of a robust oil boom of its own.

Does anyone remember the NY Times complaining about the temporary nature of the jobs from Obama’s almost a trillion dollar Stimulus? Where are all those jobs now?

They are almost entirely acts of political theater, designed in the House to favor the extractive industries, and in the Senate to prop up the troubled runoff election campaign of Mary Landrieu, a Democrat and co-sponsor of the Senate bill who is desperate to claim credit for getting the pipeline approved. The maneuvering in the Senate is occurring with the tacit endorsement of Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, who has said he personally opposes the pipeline but seems willing to allow this vote to go forward.

It is of particular interest that the NYTEB is taking the side of Obama over Senate Democrats in this fight, particularly since Obama cannot be re-elected. And over the American People, who have supported building the Keystone XL pipeline in every single poll taken. There are more than enough other pipelines being constructed right now that have not gotten noticed like Keystone XL, but they haven’t been turned into the political issues by far left Progressive demagogues. Study after study after study have approved of the pipeline.

The White House has hinted, though not flatly promised, that Mr. Obama will veto any bill that passes. He should. This decision is his to make, not Congress’s, and the State Department review process that will inform that decision is not yet complete.

The State Department was the one doing most of the studies that approved of the pipeline. It is interesting that “the decision is his to make” when it comes to approving Keystone XL, when he is making all sorts of decisions that aren’t his, but Congresses, such as on illegal immigration. It is well within Congresses power to legislatively approve the building of a pipeline that crosses from Canada and through multiple states.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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