When President Obama announced that a final decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline would be indefinitely delayed, he received significant criticism. In this politically polarized time, it’s notable that this criticism crossed party lines. It’s clear that the Keystone XL Pipeline is popular with the American people. One thing that Democrats and Republicans can agree on is that it’s time to build the Keystone XL.
President Obama may have known that this decision would have been unpopular. As Christopher Helman of Forbes points out, the announcement was timed for minimal publicity:
“Whenever businesses and bureaucrats don’t have the guts to stand behind a decision they’ve made, they release the news late on a Friday. In the case of the Obama administration’s move to delay indefinitely a decision to approve or deny the Keystone XL pipeline, it speaks volumes that the announcement was made not just on any Friday, but on the convergence of Good Friday and Passover.”
Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska, said the decision was “nothing short of a stunning act of political cowardice.”
Terry O’Sullivan, president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, said, “Once again, the administration in making a political calculation instead of doing what is right for the country. It’s clear the administration needs to grow a set of antlers, or perhaps take a lesson from Popeye and eat some spinach.”
Senator Mary Landrieu, a Democrat from Louisiana, called the delay “irresponsible, unnecessary and unacceptable.”
This pipeline is good for America’s economy and it’s vital for our energy security. That’s why it has such strong bipartisan support in Washington. President Obama should reconsider his decision to delay approval for the Keystone XL Pipeline.