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Keystone Pipeline Veto

Once again, we see the Obama Administration’s abject geopolitical and energy policy incompetence demonstrated with today’s veto of the Keystone Pipeline legislation recently enacted by Congress. This legislation would have authorized the completion of a pipeline from Alberta, Canada to Steele City, NE where it would then continue to Nederland, TX adjacent to the Texas Gulf Coast. If Obama had been wise enough to sign this legislation it would have created numerous well-paying jobs and enhanced North American energy independence.

Instead, since Obama is a captive to environmental zealots like Tom Steyer and their visceral hostility to fossil fuels, coupled with their talismanic devotion to “green energy,” he chose to veto this legislation. North Dakota Senator John Hoeven, who has been a stalwart supporter of this legislation, was quoted on Fox News tonight as saying this common sense bipartisan legislation was 4 votes short of a Senate override and 11 votes short of a House override. I encourage the House and Senate leadership to do use what persuasive techniques they on their recalcitrant colleagues to get them to see the benefits of this legislation and show Obama how out of touch he is with domestic employment aspirations and energy policy realities.

The State Department, over a multiyear period, has prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) consisting of over ten volumes and thousands of pages saying Keystone would have no significant adverse environmental impact. Critics of the pipeline bleat that there are dangers of oil spills. That is true, but such critics forget that Title 49 Parts 178-180, and 190-199 of the Code of Federal Regulations contain 633 pages (as of 2014) of pipeline safety regulations administered and enforced by the Transportation Department’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). In addition, state energy and environmental protection agencies also have additional regulatory authority over pipelines within their state. The Keystone Pipeline will be closely scrutinized by PHMSA, congressional energy committees, energy and environmental organizations, the media, and state governments to ensure its production and maintenance meet the highest possible safety standards. In addition, the companies involved in constructing the pipeline no that it is in their highest corporate financial interests to make sure this project is completed successfully and maintained with the highest possible standards due to the glare of scrutiny it will receive.

This decision is also a slap in the face to Canada. God has blessed Canada with immense fossil fuel resources well beyond its domestic needs. Under the strong leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, from the oil rich province of Alberta, Canada has been a stalwart ally to the U.S. in promoting human freedom and seeking to enhance North American energy independence. Americans should be aware that this decision may cause Canada to seek to export more of its oil to China and other nations in the Pacific Rim market which is becoming the world’s leading consumer of petroleum and its by products. This is another example of the terrible mistake Americans have made in entrusting national leadership and energy policies to a President and administration seduced by the chimera of green energy as a source of national environmental salvation and by the counterpart chimera of cult like devotion to the dubious construct of exclusively human caused climate change. It is highly ironic this fallacious and short-sighted decision occurs at a time when many areas of the U.S. are experiencing subzero Fahrenheit temperatures, record snowfalls, and among the coldest winters in recorded history.

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