The furor over fracking aside, the large environmental controversy du jour is the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would carry “dirty” fuel from the Canadian tar sands to waiting markets and refineries in the U.S. The past few months have seen the administration vacillate repeatedly on the issue, and it has just announced that it is putting off any decision until after next year’s election. From the New York Times:
The Obama administration, under sharp pressure from officials in Nebraska and restive environmental activists, announced Thursday that it would review the route of the disputed Keystone XL oil pipeline, effectively delaying any decision about its fate until after the 2012 election. […]
The move is the latest in a series of administration decisions pushing back thorny environmental matters beyond next November’s presidential election to try to avoid the heat from opposing interests — business lobbies or environmental and health advocates — and to find a political middle ground. President Obama delayed a review of the nation’s smog standard until 2013, pushed back offshore oil lease sales in the Arctic until at least 2015 and blocked new regulations for coal ash from power plants.
The President may think he’s dodging a bullet by putting off his decision until after the election, but he has given the GOP a big pre-Christmas present, one that will go on giving as long as unemployment is a major political issue.
Republicans should jump on this with both feet and repeatedly.
This President isn’t interested in doing that which would increase employment in America. This is proof of that. Instead, he’s interested in bowing to a particular constituency in the hopes that they’ll help him get re-elected.
Everything should be done to ensure that interest fails.