Just days after President's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness called for an "all-in approach" to the nation's energy policy, including expanded production and pipelines, the Obama Administration announced that it would block the long-anticipated Keystone XL pipeline.
The 1,700 mile pipeline would represent a $7 billion private infrastructure investment in the United States, directly supporting 20,000 American jobs and as many as 100,000 additional jobs without any new government spending.
Citing those jobs and the projects potential impact on energy prices, Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) urged President Obama to reconsider the decision.
"The President's misguided decision on Keystone XL puts politics above policy," said Kingston. "This is the kind of "shovel-ready' project promised but never delivered in the President's failed stimulus. Not only would it create a hundred thousand jobs, it would help bring down the price at the pump and provide much-needed relief to working families across the country."
The Keystone XL pipeline has been under review by the Obama Administration for 1,204 days, much longer than other pipelines of this magnitude. During this extended review period, more than 10,000 pages of environmental analysis have concluded the pipeline will not adversely impact the environment.
At full capacity, it would deliver 700,000 barrels of oil per day to the United States from Canada, the nation's largest trading partner. The new imports would offset those from some more hostile countries in the Middle East. The Department of Energy also found that the pipeline's infrastructure would actually enhance the value of domestically-produced oil more than oil produced in Canada.
The project enjoys broad, bipartisan support and has the backing of 53 percent of Americans according to a recent Rasmussen Reports poll. Every state on the pipeline route has approved the project with the exception of Nebraska which is in the process of rerouting the pipeline's route through its territory. Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman has endorsed expediting federal approval of the project.
Kingston worries that delaying the project could lead Canada to pursue alternatives. In recent weeks, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has increased his communications with China and other Asian nations about routing the pipeline's resources their way.
"Canada is not going to wait," Kingston said. "With increasing uncertainty in the world's oil supply, there is no shortage of eager customers."