On the same day Obama kills the Keystone pipeline, the Saudis announce plans to boost price of oil. Irwin Stelzer of the Weekly Standard explains how America's strategic energy position is weak. Almost literally, Middle Eastern producers have us over a barrel.
It probably is more than mere coincidence that the Saudis decided to raise their benchmark price on the same day as President Obama decided not to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline that would have brought oil from the oil sands of landlocked Alberta, Canada, 1,700 miles to refineries in Texas. After three years of intensive study by the State Department, which has jurisdiction over this international project, the president says further study is required, study that will make a final decision impossible before the November elections. Green groups say the production of tar sands oil pollutes the environment, but that oil will be produced and sold elsewhere if the U.S. won't take it. They also contend that Keystone XL would endanger the giant Ogallala Aquifer, which supplies the ten states of the Great Plains. Never mind that 25,000 miles of pipeline already traverse that aquifer, with no harm to water supplies.
The pipeline's promoters say they will file a new application to traverse a less sensitive route, but that will trigger a new review that former State Department officials reckon could take up to two years. Meanwhile, Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper will visit China next month with energy deals top of the agenda.
Will American voters re-elect a man who is torpedoing American strategic power in the world, impoverishing us as his energy policy makes us beholden to Islamic tyrants?