Tags: obama | oil | keystone | pipeline

Economist Morici: Environmentalists Not Sincere on Keystone

Friday, 31 Jan 2014 06:16 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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President Barack Obama has two Democratic forces tugging at him as he weighs the Keystone oil pipeline project, according to Peter Morici, an economist and professor at the University of Maryland.

"[There's] the environmentalists who basically want no energy projects at all … and the labor people who want the construction jobs," Morici told John Bachman, guest host of "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

Editor’s Note: Billionaires Dump Stocks (See Video)

"In addition to the construction jobs, which go away when the pipeline's done, operating the pipeline doesn't require many people."

On Friday, the State Department issued an environmental report concluding that the life or death of the project is unlikely to spur oil companies to change the rate of their extraction of tar sands oil, which produces carbon pollution.

"You have to look at this from the point of view of are the environmentalists in the Democratic Party sincere because this oil's going to get developed anyway and it's just a matter of whether it's sold to China and, in turn, we then have to buy Saudi Arabian oil or Nigerian oil that the Chinese don't buy," Morici said.

"So it's not going to have any impact on how much fossil fuel is used, on global warming, or anything like that. The real issue here isn't the Keystone pipeline. It's whether we build pipelines.

"Already we have a shortage of pipeline capacity east to west and if the president has said that we're not going to build pipelines at all because environmentalists complain while the people in Nebraska vote this way or that way, then what's going to happen?

He said the answer is "we're going to transport oil the way we increasingly do now on Munich trains east to west, north to south, which is a far more dangerous way to transport oil.''

Editor’s Note: Billionaires Dump Stocks (See Video)

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