Sunday, January 22, 2012

it's all politics...

Most people still assume that resource management and environmental decisions depend upon sound science, rational policy making and human values of progress.  In fact, they reflect a fixation on political winds of convenience and contrivance.  Too often, the results are an act of "national insanity".  The latest example is the delay and apparent "rejection" of the Keystone pipeline by the Obama Administration, which even the mainstream media recognizes as stupid and ideological from a policy perspective, perhaps the worst political mistake of his entire presidency.

  • It isn’t often that a president makes a decision that has no redeeming virtues and — beyond the symbolism — won’t even advance the goals of the groups that demanded it. All it tells us is that Obama is so obsessed with his reelection that, through some sort of political calculus, he believes that placating his environmental supporters will improve his chances.
  • This seems like a truly simple determination. Iran is threatening to blockade the 20 percent of the world’s oil supply that flows through the Strait of Hormuz. The American economy is struggling from high unemployment. The volatility of oil prices, reflected in periodic spikes at the gas pump, is a threat to productivity. A privately funded pipeline project that would create tens of thousands of jobs while helping stabilize America’s energy supply clearly seems to be in the national interest.
  •  The Keystone XL pipeline would have single-handedly carried more energy to the United States than the sum of all the green energy projects funded by the Obama Administration.  And it would have done so entirely with private  funds rather than the Administrations increasingly ill-fated and ham-handed attempts at venture capitalism with taxpayer funds.
Stupid is, as stupid does.  Perhaps this will be the re-election slogan for the Obama Administration.