Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper released a statement upon learning the Obama Administration had rejected the Keystone XL pipeline permit:
Earlier this afternoon, Prime Minister Stephen Harper received a phone call from Barack Obama, President of the United States. President Obama informed the Prime Minister of his Administration’s decision to turn down TransCanada’s application to build and operate the Keystone XL pipeline.
The President explained that the decision was not a decision on the merits of the project and that it was without prejudice, meaning that TransCanada is free to re-apply. Prime Minister Harper expressed his profound disappointment with the news. He indicated to President Obama that he hoped that this project would continue given the significant contribution it would make to jobs and economic growth both in Canada and the United States of America.
The Prime Minister reiterated to the President that Canada will continue to work to diversify its energy exports.
Congressman Mike Kelly (R-PA) neatly summed up the situation, and threw one of Obama’s dopey slogans right back in his face:
Our friends in organized labor, as well as all Americans, should feel betrayed and outraged by President Obama’s decision to block development of the Keystone pipeline. This project would immediately create more than 20,000 shovel-ready, family-sustaining jobs, and would lead to the creation of 118,000 spin-off jobs, all without spending one taxpayer dime.
Further, as stated in a letter Congressional Democrats sent to the president in support of the project, the Keystone XL Pipeline will inject $20 billion of private sector investment into the American economy, pay out $5 billion in taxes to local counties over the project's lifetime, bolster America's energy security and strengthen our national security.
The president’s decision to block the pipeline, which has endured more than three years of review and scrutiny, is anti-jobs, anti-growth, and, at a time when our nation’s economy is fighting for survival, fundamentally wrong for America. As the president often says, “We can’t wait.”
Which brings up an interesting point: the idea behind Obama’s “We Can’t Wait” initiative is that the Sun King doesn’t have to wait for Congress to “get things done.” He’s using the power of the executive branch, and usurping new powers it never had before, to “create jobs.” He even claims the unprecedented power to decide, on a whim, whether Congress is in recess or not, and further that his whim can change from day to day – if the King needs to stuff some flunkies into bureaucratic posts without Congressional confirmation, they’re in recess, but if he needs legislation rubber-stamped a couple of days later, they’re in session.
And yet, when it comes to Keystone XL, he’s a helpless bystander who couldn’t possibly make a decision in 60 days, on a project that has been in progress for years? A tyrant when it comes to grabbing new power over American industry with his illegally appointed “consumer protection” czar, but a waif shivering cold and alone in the Oval Office when American jobs and energy are on the line? If you’re willing to fall for that, you deserve to be a servant to your betters. You demand less of your representatives than any free man or woman should.
How are those “friends in organized labor” Rep. Kelly mentioned taking the Keystone news? Not well. Laborers’ International Union of North America president Terry O’Sullivan growled, “The score is Job-Killers two, American workers zero.” O’Sullivan continued:
We are completely and totally disappointed. This is politics at its worst. Once again, the President has sided with environmentalists instead of blue collar construction workers, even though environmental concerns were more than adequately addressed. Blue collar construction workers across the U.S. will not forget this.
The Administration and environmentalists have blown the whistle on workers trying to feed their families and keep a roof over their heads. Instead of celebrating their victory by hugging a tree they should hug a jobless construction worker because they're the ones who are going to need it.
Jack Gerard, CEO of the American Petroleum Institute – the trade association for the oil and gas industry – found himself wondering just how serious President Obama could possibly be about “job creation”:
Michigan congressman Fred Upton, who chairs the House Energy and Commerce Committee, wants to bring Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before his committee to testify, perhaps as early as next week. Upton professed himself “outraged” by the President’s decision:
Folks in Michigan are eager for real solutions to create jobs and secure our energy future. This pipeline has been carefully vetted, environmentally scrutinized, and publicly discussed for more than three years. The American people cannot wait any longer. Gasoline prices have nearly doubled over the past three years and they are only expected to go higher moving forward. Canada is our ally and closest trading partner, and it would be foolish to let this pro-jobs, pro-energy project slip through our fingers now.
Canada is developing these resources one way or another. If we don’t work with Canada on this, then China will. I am outraged with the President’s decision to further delay this shovel ready project. Be assured, I will continue to focus my efforts on jobs and our economy.
Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was beside himself, declaring the Administration’s Keystone decision “a stunningly stupid thing to do,” and marveling, “These people are so out of touch with reality, it’s as if they were governing Mars!” Remember, Mars doesn’t actually have canals, so they would need pipelines to move fuel around.
Mitt Romney released a somewhat more temperate statement, citing the Administration for a “lack of seriousness” rather than “stupidity”:
President Obama's decision to reject the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline is as shocking as it is revealing. By declaring that the Keystone pipeline is not in the “national interest,” the president demonstrates a lack of seriousness about bringing down unemployment, restoring economic growth, and achieving energy independence. He seems to have confused the national interest with his own interest in pleasing the environmentalists in his political base.
Rick Santorum called it “a capitulation to the radical environmental fringe”:
Our nation needs energy and this pipeline will provide this much needed resource. In rejecting this responsible project that will create thousands of American jobs, we are simply diverting this energy to our international competitors like China. This announcement is utterly irresponsible and one more reason why Barack Obama is not the right man to lead this country.
On his way out of the presidential campaign, Texas Governor Rick Perry accused Obama of choosing “Chinese energy security over American energy security.”