More than seven years ago, the federal government signed off on a massive cross-border pipeline that would ultimately deliver over a billion barrels of crude from oil sands in western Canada to refineries in Wood River and Patoka, Illinois. Hardly anyone noticed.
The Keystone Pipeline or Keystone XL, as its commonly known, would put 9,000 laborers to work and support over 42,100 jobs on a project designed to strengthen Americas energy independence as well as provide a way to move Bakken Shale oil from North Dakota to refineries located on the Gulf Coast.
If there were any doubt about the importance of pipelines to national security, it ought to have been erased by recent events in Crimea and Ukraine as the Russian Bear has pawed away the former from the latter.
Just last month the International Energy Administration predicted the United States will become the world’s largest oil producer by 2015. That same week, White House officials noted that U.S. oil production outpaced imports for the first time in twenty years.
No one expects the wheels of government to move fast. Washington’s pace can easily be compared to Beltway traffic in the morning: gridlock that is intermittently interrupted by small bursts of movement.
The election was more than a month ago and many in Washington and around the country are still scrambling to break out their divining rods and polish off their crystal balls. There are still many unanswered questions about the direction of President Obama’s next term, particularly how it will govern on energy policy. Will the President embrace the economic engine of energy production, or will he side with the climate change lobby and move to support a cap and trade program like the one California just put into place? Based on the campaign rhetoric of the last year, it’s hard to tell.
It’s no wonder most Americans don’t trust politicians and government agencies in Washington, D.C. Too often the city’s power brokers offer talking points that seem to fly in the face of logic.
With gas prices at record highs for this time of the year, it’s no wonder there’s been rhetoric from politicians on both sides of the aisle on how to reduce fuel prices. It seems the right and the left have been scrambling to find a silver bullet solution, simultaneously pointing fingers and deflecting blame.
Energy has become an increasingly important topic during the 2012 election cycle with gasoline prices rising to historically high levels and threatening to send the U.S. economy into a double-dip recession.
By now, anyone watching the political debates over the Keystone XL pipeline is aware of the massive misinformation campaign that opponents of the project have used to delay that critical project.
Last month the Obama Administration announced it would delay a decision on whether to permit the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline – a 1,700 mile long proposed pipeline that will connect the Alberta oil sands and Bakken crude oil reserves to Gulf Coast refineries – until after the 2012 election.
During a recent interview, President Obama said: "We need to encourage domestic natural gas and oil production. We need to make sure that we have energy security and aren't just relying on Middle East sources."