The State Department, which has to approve the pipeline, has promised a decision by the end of this year, but Republicans want it sooner. In fact, the administration's tardiness is so extreme, as Newsmax.com reports, that the House Energy and Commerce Committee just passed a bill requiring Obama to speed up the decision. The EPA and assorted environmentalist groups oppose the pipeline, which is a bad sign. Together, they made a formidable combination when green pressure earlier this year persuaded unelected bureaucrats on the EPA appeals board to scotch a massive Shell Oil project in Alaska -- another big energy and job producer, this one made in the United States.
Meanwhile, there's the Chinese angle to consider. Not surprisingly, China has been banging on Canada's door with billions of dollars from Sinopec, a Chinese state-controlled company, for a pipeline of its own to the Pacific coast. At the same time, Chinese companies, Newsmax.com also reports, have been buying up multibillion-dollar stakes in Canadian oil-sands projects. In other words, while the Obama administration lags, China is picking up all the marbles we've left strewn around. This led Upton to pose an excellent question, one all Americans should ask their U.S. representatives: "Why is it that we're not working with Canada, which will be producing more than 3 million or 4 million barrels a day from oil sand, and we've stalled on the application to build a pipeline?
"If we continue to say we may not be interested, Canada is going to turn around and build that pipeline not to the United States but instead to Vancouver, and it's going to be selling it off to China."
And then what will happen?
Our dependence on, in many cases, anti-American oil -- Saudi oil, Nigerian oil, Venezuelan oil and the rest -- will continue to rise, transferring our remaining wealth to the stand-out Shariah states, kleptocracies and Marxist states of the world, further entrenching that "oasis of interdependence and cooperation" Turki al-Faisal was talking about.
It's the Saudi dream come true. But it's an American nightmare.
Diana West is the author of "The Death of the Grown-up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization," and blogs at dianawest.net. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.