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KNIGHT: Many to benefit from president’s ruling, but not us

- - Friday, January 20, 2012

Checking his sundial and solar-powered calendar, Barack Obama has decided that he did not have enough time to study the impact of the $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, so he killed it.

Seriously. That was the excuse for halting a project that could have created 20,000 jobs, brought 830,000 barrels of oil a day to Texas refineries and helped free America from unstable dictators' stranglehold on our energy supply.

This from the man who had to hurry, hurry, hurry and jam the 2,700-page Obamacare bill down America's throat so, as then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, "you can, uh, find out what is in it." He's also the same guy who, in March, went to Brazil, cup in hand, asking the Brazilians to hurry up and develop their offshore oil so we could buy some.

The State Department said this about the Keystone XL pipeline, which has been on the drawing board for three years: The decision was "predicated on the fact that the department does not have sufficient time to obtain the information necessary to assess whether the project, in its current state, is in the national interest."

Heck no. We all want gasoline to hit $8 a gallon before we do something constructive. We're always being told we don't pay as much per gallon as the Europeans do and that this should somehow bother us. Well, perhaps it does bother some people (not me), but not enough for them to go out and buy a self-igniting Chevy Volt for 40 grand from Government Motors.

Mr. Obama naturally blamed Republicans in the House, who, having learned that Mr. Obama planned to put off a decision on the pipeline until 2013 - after the election - tucked a 60-day deadline into a bill.

It's clear that killing the pipeline isn't remotely in the interests of the United States of America, or Canada. But the question is, who benefits?

Could it be the red Chinese, who are itching to see the Canadians reroute the pipeline to the West Coast for massive shipments to China's oil-hungry economy?

Apprised of Mr. Obama's threat in December to put a wet sock in the whole thing, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper warned, "I am very serious about selling our oil off this continent, selling our energy products off to Asia. I think we have to do that." Mr. Harper has reason to hurry, too, given that Brazil has signed contracts with China for some of the 4.9 million barrels a day that Brazil expects to pump by 2020.

How about the Muslim nations in the Gulf, which still provide the United States with a critical amount of oil despite the U.S. Department of Energy's steroidal growth since Jimmy Carter created it in 1977 to, among other things, free us from oil dependence? That was its job, remember? Billions and billions of dollars later (2011 budget: $28.4 billion, plus billions from the Recovery Act), we are still terrified by talk of the Iranians blockading the Strait of Hormuz.

Let's not forget the environmental extremists who lobbied hard to kill the pipeline and threatened to leave their Green Savior in the dust come November if he bucked them. Those Earth Firsters' and Sierra Clubbers' donations will continue flowing into Mr. Obama's already-fat coffers. Meanwhile, it may not be so good for the environment.

Apprised of the decision on Wednesday, Alberta Premier Alison Redford summed things up nicely: "Today's decision does not mean that America will consume one less barrel of oil. What it means is this: America will continue to import oil from jurisdictions with much weaker environmental policies and who do not share the same values as Canadians and Americans."

I've thought of only one good thing so far that could result from killing the pipeline: Legions of Occupy Wall Street protesters just might leave their filthy squatter encampments in our cities and gather in coastal areas to watch the seas subside as Mr. Obama promised. Sorry about you coastal home dwellers. Welcome to our world.

Mr. Obama's reckless disregard for America's needs particularly pleases his socialist friends in Europe, who have long thought that America needs a comeuppance. They've been cheering his every treacherous action against his own country, and this one's a doozy. It might not please the Russians, however, whose own burgeoning oil and gas industries will face competition from Canada. But you can't please everyone. Maybe it will be enough for the Russians that Mr. Obama is dismantling our military before our very eyes.

By the way, if you criticize Mr. Obama for any of this, you must be a racist.

I prefer being an optimist and thinking that things will turn out OK - even while watching pipelines being killed, gasoline prices rising and Republican presidential hopefuls providing enough sound bites to fill 1,000 Obama campaign ads in November.

Actually, we've been getting used to watching horrors for three years as the Obama administration has manfully undertaken the task of turning America into a Constitution-free Third World country in need of international adult guidance.

What's next - banning shipping on the Great Lakes to save a rare species of lichen that grows on the underside of littered Dr Pepper cans? Closing the nation's airports to let muskrats and prairie dogs cross the runways in peace? How about blowing up Hoover Dam to "liberate" the Colorado River?

One thing's for sure. Energy is not going to get cheaper anytime soon. That must put a smile on the faces of leaders in certain places where women can't drive, Jews are demonized and converts to Christianity are beheaded.

Robert Knight is senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a columnist for The Washington Times.