Last week, on the Friday before a holiday weekend, the Obama Administration announced that once again they would be delaying a decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline:
Whenever businesses and bureaucrats don’t have the guts to stand behind a decision they’ve made, they release the news late on a Friday. In the case of the Obama administration’s move to delay indefinitely a decision to approve or deny the Keystone XL pipeline, it speaks volumes that the announcement was made not just on any Friday, but on the convergence of Good Friday and Passover.
Got to be just coincidence, right? The cover story is that another delay in the five-year Keystone saga couldn’t be avoided because of unresolved legal issues over land seizures in Nebraska. Mmm-hmmm.
In what must be in the running for the week’s biggest load of baloney, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said on “Meet The Press” yesterday that “I want to make sure the right decision is arrived at and that the president makes that decision carefully and doesn’t factor politics into his decision, which I don’t think he is.”
It’s hard to say whether or not this delay sheds light on the fate of the pipeline. Arguments could be made both ways. It does say, however, that the benefits of delaying the decision — not really angering anyone — outweigh the cost of either annoying environmental voters or moderate Democratic supporters of the pipeline.
Of course, the Obama Administration insisted that there was no political posturing here and that they are merely following a process. This statement apparently wasn’t too convincing to some Members of Congress, who appear to be quite annoyed at all the delays:
But what is most interesting is that even Obama’s erstwhile political allies are sick of the delays. The best quote came from Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America. “Once again, the administration in making a political calculation instead of doing what is right for the country,” said O’Sullivan, according to Bloomberg. “It’s clear the administration needs to grow a set of antlers, or perhaps take a lesson from Popeye and eat some spinach.”
And as the Washington Post’s Jaime Fuller pointed out, even Democrats are calling Obama a coward:
Sen. Mary Landrieu (Louisiana), the chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee called the delay “irresponsible, unnecessary and unacceptable.”
Sen. Mark Pryor (Arkansas) said in a statement “there’s no excuse for another delay.”While Sen. Mark Begich (Alaska) said, “I am frankly appalled at the continued foot-dragging by this administration on the Keystone project.”
All three of those senators are up for re-election this fall, and have been taking pains to distance themselves from the president on constituent-unfriendly issues like Obamacare and Keystone.
If Obama insists that there is no political calculations that are influencing the delay of the pipeline, it would be nice of him to explain why it is reasonable for the United States to take over five years to make a simple decision on approval for an oil pipeline.