Guest Editorial


Obama’s closing of America: Keystone’s fifth birthday

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rick manningMore than five years ago, the application to build the Keystone XL pipeline to transfer oil from a fertile Canadian field to American refineries was filed with the U.S. State Department.

The application still languishes in the Obama Administration.

Obama supporters in Big Labor have spoken out, testified, begged and cajoled the Administration to act, but nothing.

Even with a State Department estimated ten thousand jobs at stake, Obama remains paralyzed, unable to say yes to a safe old technology project.  An oil delivery project that should have already have been completed rather than sitting on a politician’s desk, contributing greatly toward eliminating our national dependence upon insecure Middle East oil sources.

Instead, Obama cowers in his D.C. public housing afraid of offending the grown up 1960 hippies and their progeny by signing off on one of the most common sense projects in history.

Obama and the green purveyors of economic doom and environmental cataclysm are in league together in their determination to transform America by destroying our nation’s industrial base through driving energy costs higher to create viable markets for less efficient and more costly technologies like solar, bio-mass and even unreliable wind.

On the same day that the Keystone XL pipeline’s five year anniversary was marked, the Obama Administration rolled out the first of four upcoming regulations designed to cripple domestic energy production and reliable electricity generation.

The anti-coal fired utility plants plan will stop the building of any new coal fired utilities and impose billions of dollars of costs on existing plants in an attempt to end electricity generation using coal.

Gina McCarthy, the new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator who John McCain and a band of renegade Republican Senators shamefully allowed to take office, revealed her determination to use the vast powers of the EPA to destroy the U.S. economy saying, “If our changing climate goes unchecked, it will have devastating impacts on the United States and the planet. Reducing carbon pollution is critically important to the protection of Americans’ health and the environment upon which our economy depends,” she said.  However, she added, “we have to be sensitive to economic consequences of our action.”

Her “sensitivity” will be appreciated by coal miners in Kentucky, Illinois, Wyoming, Colorado and West Virginia whose jobs she is trying to kill along with the towns that they support.

Her “sensitivity” will be felt by those who suffer from brownouts and blackouts due to the closure of 32 coal fired electricity generating utilities in the wake of the new regulations.  Not to mention the manufacturers and other job creators who choose to do business elsewhere around the world due to the U.S. reverting to a country that has unreliable electricity generating capacity.

However, the Obama Administration is not content to just regulate existing and future coal production out of existence, as it was announced that a major international mining company is going to drop out of efforts to extract almost a trillion dollars of copper and other metals out of a desolate area of Alaska due to the high cost of attempting to mine in America.

The land where the deposit was found was originally federally owned.  Traded to the state of Alaska, in exchange for more environmentally valuable land that became Lake Clark National Park, it was designated for mining by the state.  That all changed, when what was formerly vast wasteland became valuable due to the copper discovery.

After investing half a billion dollars in quantifying the find and developing the most environmentally sensitive mining process in history, the miners were not even allowed to go through the extremely onerous mine permitting process, as the EPA preemptively declared the mine not viable.

Obama has put a giant, “Not Open” sign to anyone who wants to develop resources in America.  Obama believes in shovel ready jobs, as long as you don’t turn dirt.  He wants the lights to go on when you flip the switch so long as it doesn’t require the U.S. to use our more than 200 year supply of coal to make it happen.  He would rather have western landscapes blighted by seas of 500 year old technology windmills that barely produce more energy than they consume than to allow a simple pipeline, like hundreds of others, to cross the U.S./Canadian border that brings a secure oil supply to America.

Five years ago, the company attempting to transport oil from Alberta, Canada to U.S. oil refineries foolishly relied upon the U.S. government to follow the law and act rationally.  You can bet they won’t be fooled again, and the next pipeline will be built to western ports allowing the same oil to be exported to China.

Obama’s America has become a bad business partner, and that will have negative ramifications for decades after he has taken his place next to Jimmy Carter as the worse president since the turn of the 20th Century.

Five years for a simple pipeline approval– it would not have been believable before Obama transformed America; now no one would be foolish enough to even apply.

Rick Manning is vice president of public policy and communications at Americans for Limited Government. Read more at