Tuesday, May 01, 2012
We know the president is to the left of the American center, because on one of the totemic regulatory questions of the year he is to the left of the editors of the Washington Post, who are themselves to the left of center. A fortiori leftyness, as it were. Anyway, the political argument appears in the excerpt below; the economic and technical arguments are behind the link.
Even if environmentalists manage to stop one pipeline or another, given high world oil prices, the enthusiastic support of the Canadian government, the many transport options and the years available to develop infrastructure, it’s beyond quixotic to believe that enough of the affordable paths out will be blocked. Environmentalists might succeed, however, in relocating some construction jobs outside the United States.Barack Obama's obstinacy is irrational as a matter of public and economic policy, perhaps, but if the people who oppose the pipeline are more passionate and organized than its supporters, it may be very rational politics. And the WaPo editors know that, even if they do not say so.
So President Obama’s refusal so far to authorize Keystone XL has little rational basis. (emphasis added)
For those of you watching from home, the Post is essentially saying that Barack Obama is either irrational or a cynic. The former is not hopeful, and the latter is not a change.
Last Friday, the weekly White House document dump included an Executive Order establishing a cross-agency "commission", chaired by an anti-fracking EPA political appointee, that officially launched an administration study of how to involve the Feds in regulating fracking.
I mention this because between the refusal to build the pipeline you discuss, the refusal of the administration to issue drilling permits and the attack on fracking to come, the President has been consistent in his assault on energy production. We can speculate as to why he is so obstinate in fighting against energy production and a healthy economy, but when even the WaPo can't avoid the subject then we know all but the most partisan leftists are fair game for Romney this election season.