Tuesday, December 13, 2011

When Shovel Ready Doesn't Mean Squat

Seriously, what's one more pipeline?
Obama has refused to lead again.  Now that a shovel-ready infrastructure project is ready to go, can actually provide badly needed construction jobs (which he constantly crows about) and could increase the nation's independence of foreign oil - well, he's punting.  And I'm talking about the Keystone XL pipeline which would bring friendly oil from Canada down to US refineries in the Gulf Coast.  Jobs for the pipeline construction, jobs for the pipeline transmission, and increased jobs at the refinery. He has repeatedly stalled on a decision, but just today the House voted to extend the payroll tax cut - as long as Obama approved the Keystone project.

I find the opposition to this project somewhat startling.  Celebrities such as Julia Louis Dreyfus of Seinfeld fame (thanks for screwing that up for me Julia) have actually published ads exhorting Obama to oppose the pipeline.  Recent articles in the press (this one from CNN) actually try to claim that the project could decrease jobs in the US!  And, of course we have the requisite environmentalist groups that claim construction of a pipeline will create all sorts of environmental hazards (not as if construction a high speed rail project wouldn't?)  And, just for the record, we already have plenty of pipelines in the ground (see map above).

It is such a joke of an argument.  Obama says they need more time, but only because he doesn't want to offend any part of his small-mided base before election time.  Of course, all of this fine high-level analysis of the infrastructure industry comes from the same man who rushed through a failed stimulus that squandered taxpayer money.

Update:  Jan 15, 2012 -  Canada to start talks with China to sell energy.  See?  It didn't take that long.

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