Obama’s Keystone cop-out – by Charles Krauthammer (National Post – November 21, 2011)

The National Post is Canada’s second largest national paper.

In 2008, the slogan was “Yes We Can.” For 2011-12, it’s “We Can’t Wait.” What happened in between? Candidate Barack Obama, the vessel into which myriad dreams were poured, met the reality of governance.

His near-$1-trillion stimulus begat a stagnant economy with 9% unemployment. His attempt at Wall Street reform left in place a still too-big-to-fail financial system as vulnerable today as when he came into office. His green energy fantasies yielded Solyndra cronyism and a cap-and-trade regime not even a Democratic Congress would pass.

And now his signature achievement, Obamacare, is headed to the Supreme Court, where it could very well be struck down, just a week after its central element was overwhelmingly repudiated (2-1) by the good burghers of Ohio.

So what do you do when you say you can, but, it turns out, you can’t? Blame the other guy. Charge the Republicans with making governing impossible. Never mind that you had control of the Congress for two-thirds of your current tenure. It’s all the fault of Republican rejectionism.

Hence: “We Can’t Wait.” We can’t wait while they obstruct. We can’t wait while they dither with my jobs bill. Write Congress today! Vote Democratic tomorrow!

We can’t wait. Except for certain exceptions, such as the 1,700-mile transUSA Keystone XL pipeline, carrying Alberta oil to Texas refineries, that would have created thousands of American jobs and increased our energy independence.

For that, we can wait, it seems. President Obama decreed that any decision must wait 12 to 18 months – postponed, by amazing coincidence, until after next year’s election.

Why? Because the pipeline angered Obama’s environmental constituency. But their complaints are risible. Global warming from the extraction of the Alberta oil sands? Canada will extract the oil anyway. If it doesn’t go to us, it will go to China. Net effect on the climate if we don’t take that oil? Zero.

Danger to a major aquifer, which the pipeline traverses? It is already crisscrossed by 25,000 miles of pipeline, enough to circle the Earth. Moreover, the State Department had subjected Keystone to three years of review – the most exhaustive study of any oil pipeline in U.S. history – and twice concluded in voluminous studies that there would be no significant environmental harm.

For the rest of this column, please go to the National Post website: http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/Obama+Keystone/5742031/story.html

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