In a New York Times interview published Saturday, President Obama came out foursquare against the Keystone XL pipeline, claiming that it would not create jobs. “Republicans have said that this would be a big jobs generator,” Obama said. “There is no evidence that that’s true.” He then blamed Canada for not “doing more” to prevent carbon emissions from oil sands. Obama continued, “I meant what I said; I’m going to evaluate this based on whether or not this is going to significantly contribute to carbon in our atmosphere. And there is no doubt that Canada at the source in those tar sands could potentially be doing more to mitigate carbon release.”
Obama also blasted reports that job creation would be significant: “”[M]y hope would be that any reporter who is looking at the facts would take the time to confirm that the most realistic estimates are this might create maybe 2,000 jobs during the construction of the pipeline – which might take a year or two – and then after that we’re talking about somewhere between 50 and 100 [chuckles] jobs in a economy of 150 million working people.” He stated that gas prices would go up in parts of the United States thanks to Keystone XL: “So what we also know is, is that that oil is going to be piped down to the Gulf to be sold on the world oil markets, so it does not bring down gas prices here in the United States. In fact, it might actually cause some gas prices in the Midwest to go up where currently they can’t ship some of that oil to world markets.”
On Sunday, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told Fox News Sunday that Keystone’s failure to move forward was somehow Republicans’ fault: “There were some political games that were played, that took it off the trail and path to completion, where Republicans put it out there as something that was put on a timetable that it could not be resolved. It caused a delay. Playing political games with something like this was a mistake.”
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).