Keystone: Putting politics before the American people

Translation: Relying on the Middle East for oil is both unsafe from a financial and national security standpoint, and working with Canada to satisfy our energy needs is a much more attractive alternative.

The release went on to say: “…And in the immediate term, this shovel-ready project will provide construction jobs for workers in the United States.”

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Translation: Jobs. Jobs. Jobs.

Why the change of heart? How has a pipeline from Canada to the US gone from a project that would strengthen the American economy to one that is no longer in her national interest?

One could – very rightly – conclude that it’s a political decision. After all, the president guaranteed that a ruling would be made by December 31, 2011, only to then announce that a decision would be delayed until after the 2012 elections.

Politically convenient for the administration. Not so convenient for the millions of Americans who remain out of work and a nation that sends billions of dollars a year to OPEC countries that don’t like us.

The only question I have for the administration is this: What is this missing information, and what are you doing to find it?

What questions remain unanswered after TransCanada submitted its application on September 19, 2008?

Or since Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, when asked about approval for the Keystone XL Pipeline, responded that the State Department was “inclined to do so”?

Or when the administration announced on July 25, 2011 that it would issue a ruling by December 31, 2011?

Or on December 26, 2011, when Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said “I am very serious about selling our oil off this continent, selling our energy products off to Asia”?

If the only thing keeping the Keystone XL Pipeline from being constructed is the answer to a few lingering questions, why is the State Department simply denying TransCanada’s permit instead of giving itself more time to gather this information?

As a consolation prize of sorts, the Administration has extended the offer for TransCanada to resubmit an application. Assistant Secretary Jones has said that this will “trigger a new process”. The first one took more than three years to reach its conclusion.

At this point, it seems that a project that will ensure our energy security and put Americans back to work is just a pipedream.

Rep. Myrick (R-N.C.) is a vice-chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.