Liberal Washington Post Thinks Keystone XL Decision A Bad One

Rather a surprising editorial from the Washington Post. After discussing the background of Keystone XL and Obama’s decision, we get

We almost hope this was a political call because, on the substance, there should be no question. Without the pipeline, Canada would still export its bitumen – with long-term trends in the global market, it’s far too valuable to keep in the ground – but it would go to China. And, as a State Department report found, U.S. refineries would still import low-quality crude – just from the Middle East. Stopping the pipeline, then, wouldn’t do anything to reduce global warming, but it would almost certainly require more oil to be transported across oceans in tankers.

Environmentalists and Nebraska politicians say that the route TransCanada proposed might threaten the state’s ecologically sensitive Sand Hills region. But TransCanada has been willing to tweak the route, in consultation with Nebraska officials, even though a government analysis last year concluded that the original one would have “limited adverse environmental impacts.” Surely the Obama administration didn’t have to declare the whole project contrary to the national interest – that’s the standard State was supposed to apply – and force the company to start all over again.

Environmentalists go on to argue that some of the fuel U.S. refineries produce from Canada’s bitumen might be exported elsewhere. But even if that’s true, why force those refineries to obtain their crude from farther away? Anti-Keystone activists insist that building the pipeline will raise gas prices in the Midwest. But shouldn’t environmentalists want that? Finally, pipeline skeptics dispute the estimates of the number of jobs that the project would create. But, clearly, constructing the pipeline would still result in job gains during a sluggish economic recovery.

Interesting. The WP takes a liberal view and still finds that this was a Bad Decision. Jobs are jobs, and getting oil from Canada is much better than getting it from the Middle East. But, this was purely a political decision. The cost-risk analysis clearly shows that Keystone XL is good the for the US national interest – does anyone else find it weird that bureaucrats involved with international diplomacy are in charge of making the recommendation for Keystone XL? – and would provide the country with inexpensive oil and good paying jobs. Obama had to punt on this because his liberal base was up in arms over the issue (despite refusing to give up their fossil fuel burning automobiles) because he needs the re-election money. He knows his unhinged and hypocritical base will still vote for him, regardless, but, if they are mad, the might not give him that $3 he always asks for many, many times.

The WP has a better idea to reduce America’s fossil fuel addiction: “establishing higher gas prices.” Which would substantially increase the cost of goods and cost of living at the same time, something they forgot to mention.

Of course, the NY Times (hearts) the Obama decision, and dives into La La Land

The foolish requirement that Mr. Obama issue a decision on the pipeline by Feb. 21 – cynically inserted into the payroll tax bill passed in December – could never be met given the need for a thorough environmental study before any judgment is made.

Except, there have already been plenty of environmental studies, which, if you refer back to the WP excerpt, 2nd paragraph, we learn that Keystone XL would have “limited adverse environmental impacts.” How many studies need to be done?

Republicans intent on scoring campaign points immediately repeated their fallacious cries that “tens of thousands of jobs” would be lost by not instantly approving the project. They made no mention of the risks inherent in the project: harm to the Canadian boreal forests and threats to water supplies in the Midwest. Bipartisan opposition to the pipeline has notably been led by Gov. Dave Heineman of Nebraska, a Republican.

Except, that oil and some pipeline will be built. Either America will get it, or China will get it.

The Calgary Sun, no exactly a bastion of Conservative thought, understands that Obama’s decision is all about one job: Obama’s.

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

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