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Emerson Report 1.26.2012

“No” Is Still Not an

Energy Policy

Not many of the policies coming out of the White House make a whole lot of sense these days, but the Obama Administration’s decision to block a major new pipeline of oil from Canada to the United States runs counter to our economic interests, our energy policy and our national security.

The Keystone XL pipeline would supply crude oil from the Alberta tar sands to American refineries in Port Arthur, Texas. Construction of the pipeline would be a $7 billion boon to the Midwest economy, creating 18,000 jobs or more.  And the steady supply of oil would mean millions of barrels less in imports from OPEC countries in the Mid-East, where political tensions send shock waves through the energy markets every single year.

If we are going to put an end to the annual price spikes in gasoline and everything else on the store shelves in America, we must find stable supplies from our own continent.  This administration has made no secret of its ambitions to move to a clean, green energy economy.  By denying the application for the Keystone XL pipeline, however, the president is adopting a policy that will cost manufacturing, agriculture and consumers dearly in the years to come.  When given the opportunity to capture more of the world’s oil supply, President Obama is saying “no,” and “no” is not an energy policy.

His decision goes against the advice of the president’s own Jobs Council.  Days before the decision to put an end to the Keystone XL pipeline, the Jobs Council reported that denying permits for energy projects “could threaten the development of some energy projects, negatively impact jobs and weaken our energy infrastructure need to be addressed.”

By ignoring his own Jobs Council, President Obama is siding with a community of environmental extremists who want to put an end to the energy economy in the United States – and he is siding against American users of energy: factories in Southern Missouri, truckers throughout the Midwest, farmers and ranchers who supply our nation with safe and affordable food, and families in rural America who travel miles more to work and to school each day than our counterparts in urban areas.

Our economy will not always run on oil, and I hope one day we can say we have completely broken our oil dependence, but it will take years of planning and smart policies to get there.  Stopping a major infusion of oil and energy jobs into the American economy is a foolhardy wager that American energy independence is just around the corner, requiring no extra effort, no planning and no investment.  Again, “no” will not get the job done.

Permitting the Keystone XL pipeline was an important opportunity for President Obama to prove he is working in the national economic interest. As demonstrated by the regulations coming out of the EPA, the effort to implement a Cap-and-Trade carbon tax and the Affordable Care Act, we do not have the leadership necessary to provide the basic infrastructure we need in our national economy.

To the small businesses, producers and families throughout southern Missouri, setting priorities is not a complicated task.  We need good jobs, strong transportation corridors, opportunity to innovate and the individual freedom to create new prosperity with our own hard work.  All these things depend on energy.  I wish our president could see things so clearly.