Katie Kieffer

Like a good neighbor, Canada is there—offering America tens of thousands of jobs, protection against soaring gas prices and up to 700,000 barrels of crude oil a day for Oklahoma and Gulf Coast refineries to process—if America accepts TransCanada’s proposal to build the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta’s tar sands to the Gulf Coast.

Let’s say your neighbor invites you over to her holiday party and you respond: “No way, you’re an animal killer. Last year, you served meatballs at your party and I’m against animal cruelty.” Don’t expect your neighbor to ever talk to you again.

Likewise, Canada has offered America an invitation to create jobs and slash her dependence on Middle Eastern oil. The U.S. State Department released in-depth economic and environmental reports stating that it would be in America’s “national interest” to accept Canada’s offer. Yet, the Obama administration ignored the State Department and snubbed our northern neighbor by delaying the project on the basis of alleged environmental concerns.

Practically speaking, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 is around the corner and President Obama’s key contingents like the Sierra Club, the Friends of the Earth, the EPA and Occupy Wall Street protesters believe that humans should irrationally worship the earth rather than responsibly exploit it for their benefit and survival.

Environmental groups oppose Keystone XL in large part because extracting oil from tar sands expends more energy and water and releases significantly more greenhouse gas emissions than other methods of extracting crude oil.

This month, Occupy Wall Street greenies shouted their desire to “Burn that mother [the City of New York] down!” Meanwhile, 8,000 tree huggers formed an “O-shaped hug” around the White House to protest Keystone XL. Basically, radical environmentalists want to save the earth by burning down a highly populated city like New York while preventing Keystone XL from passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas with negligible environmental impact and maximal human benefit.

Keystone XL poses virtually no threat to the environment. U.S. Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow for energy and the environment Michael A. Levi told the Associated Press: “A lot of people have been convinced that this is the cutting edge of the climate change fight. In the end this is the equivalent to half a percent of U.S. emissions.”

Environmental outfits like the EPA lack credibility. In September, the Associated Press discussed an internal government watchdog report: “The Obama administration cut corners…” because the EPA issued “controversial and expensive regulations to control greenhouse gases for the first time” despite the fact that the EPA did not conduct sufficient scientific studies to determine whether greenhouse gas emissions do in fact “pose dangers to human health and welfare.”

TransCanada is willing to bend over backwards to give the U.S. first dibs on Alberta’s supply of crude oil by “collaborating with the state of Nebraska” to find a new pipeline route outside of the controversial Sandhills region. Still, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has warned that if the U.S. continues to delay and push back, Canada may kill the project and work exclusively with Asia.

If the U.S. turns Canada down, greenhouse gasses will still enter the atmosphere because China will buy Canada’s oil; the extraction process will occur with or without America. So, from a purely environmental perspective, it is pointless for America to boycott Keystone XL.

Earlier this year, I met the Right Honorable Brian Mulroney who served as Prime Minister of Canada during the Reagan years. He and Reagan were good friends and Reagan treated Canada as an important and peaceful trading partner.

Unlike President Reagan, President Obama has a strained relationship with Canada’s Prime Minister. Inexplicably, Obama snubs Canada’s offer while continuing to buy oil from America’s “frenemies” in the Middle East (Saudi Arabia supplies 10.4 percent of America’s oil). He also imports thousands of barrels of crude oil a day from his incompetent buddy in the war on drug cartels, Mexican President Felipe Calderón.

Mr. "I'd rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president" should stop pandering to environmentalists and start focusing on America’s diplomatic, economic and security interests.

I say President Obama should immediately collaborate with Canada to build Keystone XL. Additionally, I think the President needs to aggressively adopt a comprehensive oil program that includes exploring and drilling for America’s crude oil offshore, in ANWR and within Utah's oil sands.

Let’s bring selfish back. Who cares about the flawed and corrupt opinions of the EPA? Why should OWS socialist thugs get to attack property rights and capitalism by raping, burning and pillaging in the name of Mother Earth or the dunes sagebrush lizard? As humans, the earth is ours to responsibly exploit for our benefit. Let’s tell President Obama to promptly approve Keystone XL. As he likes to say, we want “shovel-ready jobs” and “we can’t wait.”


Katie Kieffer

Katie Kieffer is the author of a new book published by Random House, LET ME BE CLEAR: Barack Obama’s War on Millennials and One Woman’s Case for Hope.” She writes a weekly column for Townhall.com. She also runs KatieKieffer.com.