President Obama went on a whirlwind tour this week to remind New Mexico, Oklahoma and Ohio that he’s there for them, whatever they need – as long as it’s oil. On Wednesday, he stopped in at Maljamar, N.M. and proved that yes, America is still drilling for oil on its own soil. On Thursday, he reassured Oklahoma’s population that oil would flow through their great state, creating jobs in the process. Later that same day, he stopped by Columbus, Ohio to reassure Auto Workers that he’d keep gas prices low; so as not to upset their bottom line.
I understand prices at the pumps are special to Americans. Rising prices violate an American’s God given right to burn as much oil as they can every day. In America, there seems only one way to solve high energy prices: find more, refine more, use more. It’s like Wal-Mart: volume means discounts! Unfortunately, natural crude oil is a non-renewable resource. It’s nothing like that Chinese made “I’m with stupid” t-shirt you picked up for $2.99 yesterday. Chinese t-shirts are endless, whereas oil is finite and increasingly difficult to obtain.
Take it from a Canadian. The tar sands in Alberta are the single largest pollution source in Canada. It takes 3.8 barrels of water and 1000 cubic feet of natural gas to process 2 tonnes of tar sand to produce one barrel of oil. It’s a lot easier to pump crude oil from a well, than to separate and refine bitumen from 2 tonnes of sand. Canadians are stripping thousands of square miles of pristine boreal forest and turning our water into sludge so toxic it has to be held in tailings ponds indefinitely. This is prohibitively expensive oil; not just to refine, but think about the environmental costs. And before you brush of environmental costs as an externality, remember that it’s our habitat we’re destroying, and we’re animals too. I don’t care what Jesus said, we still make our bread here on mother earth.
In Canada, we’re more likely to take a different approach: Use less. See, because of our communist, Hitler/Stalin-esque tax rate on gasoline, we Canadians typically pay about a dollar more per U.S. gallon of gasoline we buy at the pumps. And we can’t even buy gallons, we’re forced to buy communist metric liters. Only the commie-est of commies uses the metric system. And because our tyrannical provincial and federal governments take our freedom away by jacking up gas prices, we’re forced into compact sedans, minivans and hatchbacks. Its torture! Forget the fact that you can’t find a toll bridge or toll highway in this country to save your life; we’re getting gouged at the pumps!!!
Over the last two days, President Obama has shown Americans that oil is still coming out of the ground in New Mexico and still needs pipes to be pumped across the country through Oklahoma to fill gas stations that then fill cars made of parts produced by auto workers in Ohio. Way to connect the dots for all of us Barrack! Unfortunately, this ain’t no Etch-a-Sketch; it’s the surface of the earth and the only place we’ll ever have to live. Only a population so thoroughly disgusted by its leaders could ever consider escaping the planet to live elsewhere on life-support. And after this week’s leadership extravaganza, I can see why some do.
“Our experts said that they needed a certain amount of time to review the project. Unfortunately, Congress decided to set their own timeline based on their own politics, and made it impossible for us to make an informed decision,” the president said on Thursday. “Unfortunately, Congress decided they wanted their own timeline…. Not the company, not the experts, but members of Congress who decided this might be a fun political issue decided to try to intervene and make it impossible for us to make an informed decision.”
Yet President Obama is following through with this admittedly political decision and taking credit for it. If this isn’t evidence of the abysmal state Democratic politics in the United States, I don’t know what is. If a Democrat can’t stand up for reasoned assessment and careful, informed debate on environmental issues, who can? When experts, reviews and informed decisions are pushed aside for the sake of political expediency, one might worry; but not Barrack Obama.
“I am directing my administration to cut through red tape, break through bureaucratic hurdles and make this project a priority,” said the President. Only a modern Democrat could enforce regulations one week and call them ‘red tape’ the next. I still think I’m quoting Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum or even Newt Gingrich when I read the words above from President Obama’s speech in Oklahoma on Thursday.
In response to the President’s about-face, a spokesman for Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said; “This is like the governor holding a press conference to renew my driver’s license – except this announcement still leaves American energy and jobs behind.”
Only a modern Republican could underline the absurdity of the president’s policies, even if they are his own.
What we have seen this week reflects the disconnect between reality and American politics. When a Democrat President takes credit for a Republican-backed initiative and acknowledges its shortcomings, while Republicans criticize his doing so and the policy itself, Americans need to ask themselves not just why they vote for one party or another, but why they vote at all.
Did America really get what it wanted this week? Did the President make the right decision regarding the Keystone XL pipeline? The world will never know, much less Americans, because politicians never made the decision. They simply explained the benefits and drawbacks in as little detail as possible while abdicating responsibility for the southern connection of the pipeline and trying to curry favor with the public.
What’s the moral of this story? In America, oil pipelines build themselves, regardless of political processes or environmental reviews.