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The Cost of Obama's Green Appeasement

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

This weekend’s Boston Globe Magazine will feature a gargantuan, 3600 word homage to rabid environmentalism in the form of a profile on founder Bill McKibben. The piece and President Obama’s disastrously short-sighted decision Wednesday to reject permitting for Transcanada’s Keystone XL pipeline are both symptomatic of a much larger ailment plaguing liberal politicking in general and the Obama administration in particular: a continual willingness to sacrifice the well-being of the majority for an elite, hypocritical minority.

The Keystone project, a 1,700-mile pipeline that would bring crude from Alberta’s oil sands to U.S. refineries on the Gulf Coast, has the potential to create hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect decent-paying American jobs and reduce our dependency on the oil of despotic, anti-western nations with questionably sane leaders. But radical environmentalists like McKibben – a second generation jailed protestor and disciple of John Kerry – seem either not to know or else don’t care what real poverty looks like. And he is among the leaders of the voting contingent to which our president is pandering – purely for political reasons.

The Harvard-educated McKibben, who was among the 1,252 people arrested during protests against the pipeline outside the White House last year, is on a mission to “end the tyranny of oil” and coal. Along with his worship of the false god of climate change, McGibben like many leftist elitists is committed to “social justice” according to the Globe.  What McGibben and his ilk overlook is that real social justice begins with a job, the dignity of work, and the ability to care for and feed one’s own family. McGibben & Company’s quest is anti-jobs and therefore anti true social justice.   

According to analysis released just this week by the Brookings Institution, child poverty has risen 4% in the past five years – an addition of 3 million impoverished kids, most of them added in the time Obama has been in office. The state with the highest rate? Mississippi, in the Gulf Coast – the very region in which many of the Keystone XL’s quarter-million jobs would have been created, and where the Obama administration’s six-month deepwater drilling moratorium cost Americans tens of thousands of jobs. T.V. talk show host – and Obama supporter – Tavis Smiley said recently, “Many of the ‘new poor’ are the former middle class.”

Obama claims to be “all in” for domestic energy production and job creation, but when handed a no-brainer like Keystone, he choose to side with a radical minority of his base.  Why?  As Michael Brune, the head of the Sierra Club said, “it shores up the base, definitely.”  

On Capitol Hill there has been almost universal silence from Congressional Democrats who apparently are listening to that same “base.”  So, what does that say about what agenda really drives the Democratic Party? says that according to a “top Democratic fundraiser” the issues driving the party donors are “Keystone and gay marriage.” 

Obama and the Democrats may soon grow to regret the Keystone decision. There are about 25 million Americans unemployed, under employed, or that have given up even trying to find a job.  If you’re out of work or struggling to get by, a politician focused on killing jobs and promoting gay marriage probably doesn’t sound like one that has your best interests at heart.

Besides all jobs we now stand to lose out on, we also face a considerable new security challenge in the form of a bolstered China. As Rep. Steve King of Iowa said this week: “If we block [the pipeline] that oil will certainly go to China. It will enrich their economy.” Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper has no intention of waiting for the United States to reverse this wrongheaded move; his goal is to see Canada at the forefront of the energy game. Harper will travel to Beijing next month, where he will likely take part in talks on selling his country’s vast oil supplies to the Chinese government. And China is serious about quenching its thirst for oil.

“Chinese firms aren’t just buying stakes, they’re buying whole operations,” reads a piece this month in Canada’s daily Globe and Mail. “It’s a new phase of China’s step-by-step Canada strategy. It will change not just the oil patch but Canada’s foreign policy. And a game of international energy politics is afoot in Canada’s West.”

 When Obama finally turns around for a gander at his fellow Washington backers on this latest political choice, he will see he has precious few.

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