President Barack Obama has no more excuses to delay the building of the pipeline that would take oil from western Canada for processing in Texas, The Wall Street Journal said in an editorial Monday.
Proponents of the Keystone XL oil pipeline are calling on Obama to approve the $5.3 billion project, saying it would provide 16,000 jobs immediately at no cost to taxpayers.
The Journal said Friday’s State Department study, which found the 2,150-mile project would cause no significant environmental damage nor impact climate change, means there is now no reason not to give the project the green light.
“The Alberta tar sands are the world's third largest reservoir of oil, and Canada is going to develop them one way or another,” the editorial points out.
“If the Alberta oil doesn't flow south to America via the Keystone XL, it will flow west to China via other pipelines or rail.”
The Journal says even if production of the tar sands did not go ahead, similar oil from Venezuela would be shipped to Texas – with a higher likelihood of spills than from the high-tech pipeline.
Now, the paper says, Obama has to choose between two groups of supporters: “His labor supporters favor the pipeline, which will provide thousands of union jobs. His green supporters don't much care about jobs because they are already rich. They are also impervious to evidence like that in the State Department report because global warming is their religion.”
But a larger issue is “whether the United States wants to continue to be considered a serious economic nation with rising living standards and a modern energy supply,” the paper says.
“If Mr. Obama turns down Keystone XL, the Chinese will be laughing at us as they buy Canadian oil and build their economic power, while America adapts to the Sierra Club's preferred future of the world as Walden Pond.”
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