Senate Minority Leader has urged President Barack Obama to “pick up that pen you’ve been talking so much about” and approve the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, after a State Department review found that the project would have no real impact on climate change. The oil from Canada’s oil sands would likely be burnt regardless of whether the pipeline brought fuel to the U.S. or to customers elsewhere, the report concluded.
There will now be further reviews by the State Department–as well as protest by environmental groups, who feel the U.S. should lead by example in eliminating the use of fossil fuels. Yet the long-delayed project–much favored by President Obama’s union allies–could be approved quickly if the president would apply his legal authority under the Constitution and prevent further delays in the thicket of stonewalling federal bureaucracy.
“The Keystone XL Pipeline is the single largest shovel-ready project in America, ready to go, but for years President Obama and his hard-left allies have stalled these jobs in a maze of red tape,” McConnell said.
“But if the President meant what he said this week about ‘a year of action,’ he’ll act now on this important project that won’t cost taxpayers a dime to build but will bring thousands of private sector jobs to Americans who desperately need them. There is overwhelming bipartisan support for these jobs,” he added.
Other supporters are also calling on the president to take action–or, more precisely, to end his deliberate inaction. “After over five years, President Obama is out of excuses,” said Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE). “There is no question that moving forward with Keystone XL is in our ‘national interest.’ This is an opportunity for the President to do more than just talk about ‘an all-of-the-above energy strategy’. It’s an opportunity for him to show leadership by using his pen to take meaningful action that is long overdue.”
The president has not indicated whether he will make a decision. Already, Senate Democrats have blocked his efforts to seek fast-track authority to negotiate free trade agreements, and they may block Keystone as well.