Chamber boss decries ‘shallow' politics in Keystone delay

Cumbersome regulations and political considerations are tempering the nation’s domestic energy boom, U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Tom Donohue charged Wednesday.


During a speech at the powerful business group’s Washington headquarters, Donohue pressed President Obama to clear the way for increased energy production, specifically calling on him to approve the contentious Keystone XL pipeline.

“We must remove and guard against unnecessary restrictions, delays, and regulations,” Donohue said during his annual “state of American business” address.

“There’s no better example than the Keystone XL pipeline,” he continued. “We have idled American workers and deeply offended our most important ally for the purpose of shallow domestic politics.”

Obama is mulling whether to approve northern leg of the TransCanada pipeline, which would carry crude from oil sands in Alberta, Canada, to Gulf refineries.
The State Department is expected in the coming weeks to issue a final environmental impact statement for the project, which also got a nod Wednesday from Obama's former National Security Council director.

Meanwhile, current policies have locked up 87 percent oil and gas reserves sitting off American shores, Donohue said.

“We have enough recoverable coal to power our economy for more than 200 years,” he said. “We must tap this vital resource—prudently, safely, and vigorously.”