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Obama's Pipeline to Nowhere

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

The Democrats under Obama are bankrupt of ideas.

And Obama’s latest ineffectual shot at having it both ways on energy is the moral equivalent of declaring Chapter 13 bankruptcy on energy-policy.

You see, Obama’s newest, bestest commitment to energy security for the US is in touring the half of the Keystone pipeline that’s being built without his permission. That’s because the part of the pipeline under his control isn’t being built because it was denied a building permit by none other than BHO himself

“The Obama administration denied a permit for the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada,” reported the LA Times in January, “leaving the door open for the builder to reapply this year but prolonging a bitter political fight that has raged for months and energized each party's political base.”  

That’s right. He denied the part of the pipeline he controlled, but wants credit for the part he can’t kill off.

Geez: It sounds a lot like his Middle East policy.   

“The president stages a photo-op in Oklahoma to take credit for the portion of the Keystone XL pipeline that doesn't need his approval,” writes Investors Business Daily “and for oil production on private and state lands beyond his jurisdiction.”

IBD calls it a Potemkin Village photo-op.

It’s more like a Potemkin Village president.

The façade looked great, but as we now know, there’s nothing behind the cardboard cutout that's Obama, but a vast, arid wasteland.  

Somewhere in Russia, a village is missing a president. 

“This is like a governor personally issuing a fishing license,” Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said according to BusinessWeek. “This portion of the pipeline is being built in spite of the president, not because of him.”

Now being fair to Obama, he wants you to know that he has no problem with the portion that’s half a pipeline. No; it’s just the whole pipeline that’s he has a problem with.  

As long as the pipeline, like Solyndra and the Chevy Volt, doesn’t actually produce anything useful, Obama will be just fine with it.

We can confidently look forward to the day when Obama gets to announce that work on the pipeline will be temporarily suspended permanently pending “free and fair elections” in the United States, just as the Chevy Volt suspended production due to lack of suckers, and Solyndra suspended production due to lack of government guaranteed dollars.

Then we’ll be able to add the pipeline to the long list of Obama initiatives that didn’t actually accomplish anything: a stimulus program that worked only when Congress made the president stop spending money; healthcare reform that raised prices rather than lowered them; energy policy that made energy supply more volatile and cost more; jobs bills that produced no jobs; loan guarantees that ended up being all guarantee and no loan repayment.

Since late summer Obama has been trapped in the box Hillary Clinton made for him when her State Department gave the initial approval for the pipeline. Because the pipeline stretches between Canada and the US- some still consider Canada a separate country and not the 57th state (I’m looking at you Barack)- the State Department needed to give the first A-O.K.

And A-O.K. they did: “The State Department gave a crucial green light on Friday to a proposed 1,711-mile pipeline that would carry heavy oil from oil sands in Canada across the Great Plains” reported the New York Times last summer, “to terminals in Oklahoma and the Gulf Coast.”

The State Department then tossed the hot potato into Obama’s lap, who then  tossed it back to Hillary Clinton, who then tossed it back to Obama, who then- surprise!- blamed Republicans for rushing him into a decision.

“Well, we fought and won World War II in less time than it’s taken so far to evaluate this project,” said Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, according to CNSNews about the 40 month delay in approving the pipeline. “I mean, with all due respect, it is an insult to the American people to say that you need more time.”

Well, yeah. That’s because the war was fought with the object of winning.

What Obama’s object is, only he knows.

The GOP will surely see the pipeline as half empty, while the enviros will surely see the pipeline as half full.

And Obama will do what he does best: nothing.

May he get full credit for it.

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