A job-harming delay

A job-harming delay

November 16th, 2011 in Opinion Free Press

In a decision that will certainly delay -- and may kill -- jobs for the American people, the Obama administration has decided to put off until after next year's election a decision on the proposed construction of a 1,700-mile-long oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast of Texas.

The U.S. State Department says new routes for the pipeline should be considered that would avoid "environmentally sensitive" areas of rural Nebraska. In case you are wondering what the State Department's role is in such a matter, it has a say because the pipeline would cross the U.S. border from Canada.

At any rate, the department plans to require an environmental review that likely would not be completed until early 2013. That means the potentially 20,000 construction and other jobs expected to be created by the building of the $7 billion pipeline will be delayed.

The pipeline would bring oil from Alberta, Canada, to Texas refineries, crossing Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma in the process.

In addition to lots of job creation, it would provide much-needed energy for our country -- energy from Canada rather than from hostile regimes in the Middle East.

It is probably not entirely coincidental that the president's delay of the decision on the pipeline comes as some of his environmental activist supporters are threatening to end their contributions to his re-election campaign if he allows the pipeline to be built.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, called the needless delay of the project by the president a "failure of leadership" and said it was designed "solely to appease his liberal base."

In a time of 9 percent nationwide unemployment, pleasing a particular segment of campaign contributors should not be a reason for postponement of a project that holds the promise of creating thousands of jobs.