- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 19, 2012

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The Keystone XL pipeline would have brought Canada’s crude directly down to U.S. refineries, helping our country become less dependent on hostile foreign sources of oil (“Republicans fume as Obama rejects Keystone pipeline,” Web, Wednesday).

This new, proposed route would have bypassed the freshwater Ogallala aquifer, which had been one of the main objections to the pipeline in the first place. Foes of the project had said the chances of leakage by the pipeline could have tainted water supplies for millions. Proponents of the pipeline rightly countered that there would be safeguards in place to prevent such an occurrence, and there are hundreds of thousands of miles of pipeline already in place that will attest to that safety record.

Responsibility for the rejection of the pipeline falls firmly on the State Department’s shoulders. If any federal agency should know how vulnerable we are to terrorism and blackmail by outside providers of oil, it should be they. Witness how Iran is pursuing its quest for nuclear weapons by threatening the Strait of Hormuz, the most important oil-shipping lane in the world.

It seems to many observers that the rejection of the Keystone pipeline by the Obama administration via the Clinton State Department is politically driven, not inspired by interest in our country’s security. If the house of foreign cards upon which our country’s energy dependency is built collapses, there will be more than finger-pointing when November comes. Those who had a hand in forcing the United States to continue to depend on foreign sources of oil will carry that decision around for the rest of their political careers.

ED FARNAN

San Francisco

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