A few weeks ago the Obama administration announced that they had rejected a previous agreement to begin work on the Keystone Pipeline project. The project was to run from Northeast Canada to Texas and through a number of refineries along the way. Because of threats from the powerful environmentalist lobby as well as tree huggers at the Sierra Club and other groups, Obama decided to cave into pressure and cede yet another worthwhile project that would have had major economic, energy and national security implications for our nation.
According to TransCanada, the energy company looking to build the pipeline, and John Boehner, the Speaker of the House, the project would have created 20,000 jobs for our nation alone. Most of these would have been blue-collar construction jobs at refineries in need of renovation as well as on the ground laying pipe and drilling. Indirectly, it is estimated that the plan could have resulted in over 100,000 jobs.
It could also prepare refineries for the task of handling the flow of natural gas, a kind of fuel that it is speculated will be very important in our nation’s future. America would have eased its dependence on oil from the Middle East, Nigeria and Venezuela while opening the door to doing more business with Mexico and Canada. The pipeline, ergo, would’ve taken not only the national economy, but also the North American economy to new heights.
One must wonder how the War on Terrorism will ever be won if America, Europe and the rest of the world continue relying on oil from the Middle East. Iran and Iraq are good examples of how this dilemma effects current international politics.
For the past few years, the Iranians have been attempting to build a nuclear program to facilitate the production of dangerous weapons. The tough economic sanctions put on Iran in response to their continued pursuance of this path are crippling their central bank’s ability to properly manage their monetary policy, imports and foreign exchange. The Iranian economy is, therefore, even more dependent on selling oil now that it has been in years past.
At the same time, the withdrawal of troops from Iraq has taken that country to the brink of a civil war. If these two major OPEC oil producers descend into further chaos, the price of a barrel of oil might very well shoot up to over $200, leaving consumers paying well over $5 a gallon. This sudden price increase could be catastrophic for our fragile economy.
The Keystone deal would have curbed tensions surrounding the world’s oil markets and helped to stabilize prices. The mere prospect of Canada stepping up to do more business with America would have had an immensely positive effect on the oil market all over the world.
The Keystone project is good for America, in the present and the near future, at a time when many people are suffering. Let’s hope Democrats change their minds soon.