President Obama has failed to make a decision on the Keystone Pipeline for over four years. Even after numerous environmental studies, changes in the route of the pipeline, acceptance by the Nebraska governor and numerous other government agencies the president continues to avoid a decision. This despite the fact independent polls show a 70 percent approval for the pipeline by the general public.
The reason for this lack of a decision seems to be politics with two of his major financial backers on opposite sides. On one side we have the environmentalists who want him to abandon building the pipeline and on the other side we have the unions who want the jobs (and possible union members) the pipeline will create. He has already deferred making a decision until after the 2012 presidential election and it is starting to look like he might wait until after the mid-term elections in 2014.
Since the gas crisis in 1973, we Americans have stated a desire to become energy independent. Yet it seems we keep trying to ensure the status quo by over-regulating the energy industry, anger our friends (Canada) by failing to make a decision on the pipeline and a failure to take advantage of the abundance of natural gas, coal and oil available within our borders.
Everyone is for a clean environment and most everyone wants to become energy independent, so there has to be a way that we can accomplish both these goals. It will take strong leadership in the White House with a leader who will put the country’s interest ahead of politics. Unfortunately, our current president, the Democratic Senate and the Republican House seem to base many of their decisions on politics and not the best interest of the country. We seem to have very few, if any, politicians who have the courage to make a decision based on what is good for the country.
The writer lives in Murrells Inlet.