Saturday, January 21, 2012

Another clueless defense...

...of a clueless decision.

With the Keystone XL Pipeline project now all but dead for the remainder of the year, the punditry world is busy defending and criticizing the President's decision in this regard. I recently noted a particularly egregious defense by the actor, Robert Redford. I didn't think it could any worse than that, but I was wrong. An op-ed in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has set a new standard for clueless.

The article cites zero evidence for it's various claims, like this one:
The construction of the pipeline would certainly create jobs at a time when the economy needs them, although most of the jobs will last only two years and may not reach the 20,000 touted by backers.
TransCanada claims the 20,000 jobs would be a minimum, as there would be thousands of ancillary jobs and increased economic activity in the areas of construction. As to how long some of these jobs would last, that's the way the construction industry works: from one project to the next.

The article then makes this ludicrous statement:
Another consideration is that the United States is trying to wean itself gradually off fossil fuels in the interest of reducing the gases that contribute to climate change. How does this project serve that end?
We are? Says who? Perhaps dumping a few more billion into some of those Solyndra-like companies might make more sense. While ending our dependence on fossil fuels might be a good thing, it's not happening right now. And nothing helps an economy grow more effectively than cheap energy. Right now, gasoline is hardly cheap. While this project won't necessarily lead to lower gas prices, it can't hurt.

The author(s) of the piece, attempting to appear objective, concludes with this:
Mr. Obama should not be faulted for seeking more time, but the added deliberation shouldn't turn into political stalling. If the administration is really interested in a better business climate, it should make a decision soon, one way or another, and not jerk the developers around. For that matter, the American people, too, are owed a decision, preferably before the November election.
The fact of the matter is that the President has had since at least last August to deliberate on this. And given that he has claimed to be focused on job creation--something that everyone must admit this project will do--there has been plenty of time for him to reach a decision. But he's making it a political calculation, attempting to appease an environmentalist base, while stringing along Big Labor for as long as possible to keep the votes of both groups in the upcoming election.

He has the reports, he has the information, he could make a decision today, if he really wanted to. But he clearly doesn't.

Cheers, all.

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