Newspapers Blast POTUS’s Political Punt on Keystone Pipeline


From coast to coast, newspapers are blasting the President’s decision to punt on an energy pipeline that would have created more than 20,000 American jobs.  As Speaker Boehner noted last week, it’s clear that the Administration has put campaign politics in the driver’s seat.

Here's a sampling of what editorial boards around America are saying about the President’s pipeline punt: 
>> DETROIT NEWS SAYS DECISION REAFFIRMS “THE PRESIDENT IS NOW IN CAMPAIGN MODE”: “More evidence that the president is now in campaign mode comes from his announcement last week that he won't make a decision on the pipeline that will carry crude oil from the Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries until after his re-election bid is over. Keystone XL is a major infrastructure project of the sort Obama said he wanted for America when he proposed the $450 billion Stimulus II. The only difference is that the jobs will be entirely funded by private investment, and not taxpayer dollars....Obama's waffling may appease the president's base. But it's not likely to help him with the hundreds of thousands of Americans who want jobs, and want them now.” (Detroit News, 11/14/11)
>> HOUSTON CHRONICLE CALLS IT A “POORLY DISGUISED POLITICAL PUNT”: “The Obama administration's decision to postpone a ruling on the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline till 2013 is a poorly disguised political punt. The ruling has 2012 presidential politics written all over it, despite the environmental reasons given. By delaying a decision on the $7 billion project, which is 'shovel-ready' and would immediately produce an estimated 20,000 well-paying jobs in this country, Obama has avoided offending environmentalists on his party's left, a key fund-raising and voting bloc. ...Eventually, the completed pipeline was expected to result in as many as 130,000 jobs, many of them on the upper Texas Coast, where the heavy oil would be refined into 700,000 barrels of oil daily. Postponement of a decision on Keystone is an opportunity missed for this administration to create needed jobs and enhance energy security. It is a shortsighted call.” (Houston Chronicle, 11/11/11)
>> LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL WRITES THAT IT’S “HARD TO ENVISION A MORE ‘SHOVEL-READY’ PROJECT”: “It's a private project. Unlike solar and wind farm boondoggles, no federal subsidy would have been sought. Much of the pipe is already sitting in warehouses. It would be hard to envision a more ‘shovel-ready’ project -- nor one better suited to reduce America's dependence on far more expensive oil imported from hostile foreign lands....Terry O'Sullivan, general president of the Laborers' International Union of North America, noted: ‘The administration chose to support environmentalists over jobs -- job-killers win, American workers lose.’” (Las Vegas Review-Journal: 11/13/11)
>> WASHINGTON POST NOTES THE DECISION WILL “COST INFRASTRUCTURE JOBS IN THE UNITED STATES AND OFFEND A RELIABLE ALLY”: “The United States must reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, from any source, and it should encourage nations such as China to lower the carbon intensity of their economies, too. Even if that happens, though, the world will continue to use oil, with all the dirty realities that entails. Rejecting Keystone XL would not change that fact. But it would help China lock up more of the world’s oil production, cost infrastructure jobs in the United States and offend a reliable ally. More delay after three years of review is insult enough.” (The Washington Post, 11/13/11
>> RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH: “OBAMA'S PUNT DOES NOT REFLECT LEADERSHIP”: “America will need a lot of energy in the coming years, so it will need to rise above the petty carbon/non-carbon debate and embrace every realistic source of power. The Keystone pipeline should be part of that multi-pronged approach. Obama's punt does not reflect leadership.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch, 11/12/11
>> WALL STREET JOURNAL CALLS POTUS THE “PRESIDENT OF THE 1%”: “We're guessing this decision to abdicate was really made by President Plouffe, as in David Plouffe, the White House political aide who seems to be running most of the executive branch these days. The Keystone cop-out couldn't be a clearer expression that this Administration puts its anticarbon obsessions—and Big Green campaign donors—above job creation and blue-collar construction workers. He's President of the 1%.” (Wall Street Journal, 11/14/11
Tags: Energy