Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
Latest posts by Jim Lakely (see all)
The Obama administration today decided to block construction of the Keystone XL pipeline that would deliver close to 1 million barrels of oil per day from neighboring Canada to U.S. refineries. He has cited environmental concerns — particularly the risk to the Ogallala Aquifer.
Yet the map at left (click to enlarge; PDF) depicts the underlying Ogallala Aquifer (lavender background) and the overlying existing oil and gas pipelines, as well as the proposed Keystone XL. The Heartland Institute received this from a petroleum engineer from the Amarillo, Texas area. Note the extensive network of existing pipelines in the area deemed too “risky” for the Keystone XL pipeline (the colored lines).
The following statements from energy and environment experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. (And listen to a brief story by CKUA radio news in Alberta, Canada, that quotes Heartland’s James M. Taylor in the player below.)
“The Obama administration has confirmed the fears of everyday Americans that it is more interested in paying off environmental extremists and other far-left groups than it is in laying the foundation for a growing economy. America needs to increase the amount of energy we produce ourselves and import from friendly neighbors. America needs the tens of thousands of jobs that construction of the Keystone XL pipeline would provide during the worst economic conditions of the past 70 years.
“The Obama administration’s decision to block construction of the Keystone XL pipeline demonstrates as poignantly as a slap in the face that President Obama is either completely out of touch with the American people or is callously indifferent about our ongoing economic woes. I suspect that in the November elections voters will severely punish President Obama for this foolish decision.”
“This is a shockingly short-sighted, foolish decision that’s bad for the economy and will yield no environmental benefits. It continues to amaze me that a fellow as supposedly intelligent as President Obama repeatedly puts his faith in the fanciful dreams of radical green utopians. But then this is another example of how disconnected this administration is from scientific and economic reality. The president’s energy policy is akin to a skydiver leaping out of a plane without a parachute in the expectation that he will find one on the way down.”
“The Keystone pipeline is nothing more than an infrastructure project that should have been approved months ago. It will create shovel-ready jobs with minimal environmental impact but will not be a panacea for all of our nation’s woes … or the end of life as we know it on Planet Earth. What Keystone is indicative of is a burdensome regulatory culture enabled by a complacent executive branch. Projects such as these should be properly reviewed, but at the end of the day somebody needs to make a decision. The Obama administration has abdicated any sense of leadership on this issue and deserves the avalanche of criticism that is about to come its way.”