If you needed any further evidence Barack Obama is intent on destroying American jobs, look no further. It was expected in some circles he would buck the environmental extremists in his party and proceed with Keystone, but apparently not.
The Obama administration has decided that it will not issue a permit before Feb. 21 for the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada, according to people with knowledge of the decision.
Controversial only among the Luddites that rule with an iron fist of drilling policy.
Today’s decision, expected from the State Department, would make official what the administration has said from the outset: that under current law, it cannot accelerate the permitting process, especially in light of the need for additional environmental reviews of a new path for the pipeline through Nebraska.
Nebraska hasn’t identified possible alternate routes that would allow the pipeline to circumvent a key aquifer.
“It’s a fallacy to suggest that the president should sign into law something when there isn’t even an alternate route identified in Nebraska and when the review process is” not yet done, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday. “There was an attempt to short-circuit the review process in a way that does not allow the kind of careful consideration of all the competing criteria here that needs to be done.”
It’s unclear whether the administration will reject the pipeline project outright or will revert to the longer time line that it announced in November, which calls for a final decision to be made in early 2013, the people familiar with the decision said.
That conveniently puts it off until after the election. Such clear, decisive leadership.
Always one to enjoy having it both ways, Obama’s own so-called “Jobs Council” said it’s time to go all-in on drilling and pipeline expansion.
President Obama’s jobs council called Tuesday for an “all-in approach” to energy policy that includes expanded oil-and-gas drilling as well as expediting energy projects like pipelines.
“[W]e should allow more access to oil, natural gas and coal opportunities on federal lands,” states the year-end report released Tuesday by the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
The report does not specifically mention the Keystone XL oil pipeline, but it endorses moving forward quickly with projects that “deliver electricity and fuel,” including pipelines.
Drill here, drill now, but, uh, let’s just do it some other time.