Pugliaresi: The Keystone Debacle

Does Obama’s Keystone XL decision threaten a potential oil shale boom in the crucial swing state of Ohio?

Lucian Pugliaresi comments in the Wall Street Journal that,

The U.S. decision to allow the Keystone XL pipeline to go forward should have been easy.

The pipeline would mean at least 20,000 new construction jobs. It would provide lower cost and reliable shipping opportunities for surging North Dakota oil production. Shipping petroleum from Canada’s oil sands to the Gulf of Mexico means refiners there would gain a ready replacement for declining supplies of Mexican and Venezuelan crude. Most importantly, it would reinforce expectations that massive and long-term North American infrastructure investments could proceed free of political risk…

For Canadians, it was unthinkable that a U.S. president would pull the plug after extensive reviews and 57 project-specific requirements exceeding all U.S. pipeline safety standards, including satellite-linked, computerized leak-detection systems and puncture-resistant steel pipe…

Should we then at least give Mr. Obama credit for a shrewd political strategy? The decision to punt on the project may indeed energize the president’s environmental base for the November 2012 presidential election. But that’s not the only political effect it could have.

Consider the crucial swing state of Ohio. The Buckeye State’s vast Utica oil shale deposit, which now has well over one million acres under lease to companies such as Chesapeake, Hess and Devon, is likely to see some positive results in crude oil production over the next 12 months. On the eve of the presidential election, we may very well be in the early stages of an Ohio oil boom and the promise of coming prosperity.

Which candidate can make the promise that this opportunity will not be brought to a halt by the vast array of job-killing federal agencies? The one who visibly shut down the Keystone XL pipeline and remains engaged in promoting federal initiatives to curtail domestic oil and gas production, or his Republican opponent?

Read Pugliaresi’s WSJ column (subscription required).

2 thoughts on “Pugliaresi: The Keystone Debacle”

  1. More jobs come from the Keystone XL pipeline than meets the eye. Caterpillar makes the 797B mining truck that hold 100 tons and is used in Alberta oil shale mining. More of these trucks will be sold to TransCanada as they ramp up production. Heaven knows how many more jobs were lost in the U. S. due to this delay.

    Obama has stated he wants to eliminate fossil fuel use because they make carbon dioxide, airborne fertilizer, that he thinks will overwarm the world. He will kill Keystone XL after November 2012 no matter the outcome of the election.

    This is sad because this project is shovel-ready for creating jobs and won’t cost the government anything and will make money for the government at least through payroll taxes. The trillions Obama wasted on alleged job creation were for projects that haven’t been started, poorly done, or uneconomical.

    James Rust

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