On Friday, November 7, 2015, the United States government sacrificed America to the world’s climate. Put another way, President Obama rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Obama gave no practical reason for killing this major industrial project that would have delivered crude oil from Canada to U.S Gulf Coast refineries, in the most safe and economical manner available, for years and decades to come. “[T]his pipeline would neither be a silver bullet for the economy, as was promised by some, nor the express lane to climate disaster proclaimed by others,” Obama said, reports Sean Cockerham.
So why did Obama reject it? Obama didn’t even pretend that stopping the pipeline would do anything to alter climate change, even breaking a 2013 promise that he would reject the Keystone pipeline only if it would "significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution." Obama’s own State Department “concluded that the 800,000-barrel-a-day pipeline would have little impact on greenhouse gas emissions. . .” He even implied that fossil fuels are still necessary. “[W]e’re going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground rather than burn them and release more dangerous pollution into the sky.” [my emphasis added] And it’s not like the Obama Administration is part of the radical environmentalists’ nationwide jihad against pipelines. After all, reports Cockerham, “Other pipelines have been approved [by the Obama Administration] in the seven years since the pipeline was first proposed.” No. It’s about something far more disturbing:
Obama’s decision represents a singular moment for the nation’s environmental movement, as what began as a fringe effort to stop a little-known project seized the international stage.
Obama rejected the Keystone Pipeline because, from Cockerham’s article:
- To “bolster his environmental legacy.”
- The decision was largely based on international politics, coming less than a month before the president goes to Paris for global climate talks. Obama has been pressing other nations to act on climate change and said approving the pipeline “would have undercut that global leadership.”
- concern for “international perception [about] U.S. leadership on climate change.”
- [Secretary of State John] Kerry said the critical factor in his determination that allowing the pipeline was not in the national interest was the consideration that “moving forward with this project would significantly undermine our ability to continue leading the world in combating climate change.”
- “[Obama’s announcement] gives him new stature as an environmental leader,” said Bill McKibben, [the anti-energy] founder of the climate group 350.org.
[All above emphasis was added.]
Obama’s “legacy.” “International politics” and “perception.” “U.S. Leadership” in “combating climate change.” Obama’s “stature” in the eyes radical anti-energy environmentalists. No mention of Americans’ interests—not even a nod to a very valid objection to the pipeline; that approval carries with it the power of eminent domain. No. In what must be considered an extraordinarily ominous precedent, Chief Obama has killed a major industrial project before the altar of personal and national “greatness.” How much more of America’s economic progress will be sacrificed to Obama’s (or the next president’s) grand utopian vision? Somewhere, Russia’s Vladimir Putin must be celebrating.
Russ Girling, the disappointed CEO of TransCanada, the company seeking the permit to build the pipeline, put it well in a statement, “Today, misplaced symbolism was chosen over merit and science – rhetoric won out over reason.”
Ancient witch doctors killed human beings as sacrifices during religious rituals to appease the gods, spirits, or other supernatural entities. To modern environmentalist witch doctors, that god is “climate change”—a stand-in for their moral standard that holds that any man-made alteration to the natural environment, no matter how benign or beneficial to human life such alterations may be, is wrong. On the environmentalists’ standard of value, “living in harmony with nature” like an animal, rather than mastering nature through reason and productive work, is the ideal. Obama bowed to the modern environmentalist witchdoctors who believe that the investors, builders, and future customers of the Keystone XL Pipeline must be sacrificed to the climate gods.
Fossil Fuels Are the Lifeblood of Civilization—FEE’s Review of Epstein’s The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels
The Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution—Ayn Rand
We Are Doomed Without, Not Because of, Fossil Fuel Use