In an official statement made today, President Barack Obama rejected the permit for the Keystone Pipeline, emphasizing that the imposed deadline did not leave enough time for sufficient review of the proposal.
As Obama wrote in his official statement:
Earlier today, I received the Secretary of State’s recommendation on the pending application for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment. As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree.
Today’s decision, made just as we enter 2012, could certainly be seen as an election year maneuver as Obama attempts to accumulate Liberal bona fides following a first term marked by ineptitude or unwillingness in prosecuting Wall Street brigands over the sub-prime mortgage crisis, which precipitated the 2008 recession.
Lending credence to this political maneuvering is the fact that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has sat on the Keystone XL permit decision since at least May of 2011, although the permit was filed in 2008. Making the decision now, as opposed to 2011 or following the 2012 election cycle, serves to highlight the action, which is dear to the hearts of many voters on the Left. It could, in fact, bring some disaffected Democrats and left wing activists back to the fold (some of whom migrated to Occupy Wall Street), solidifying his voting bloc for November.
Obama was quick to note, however, that the announcement “is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people,” and even went so far as to propose another pipeline from “Cushing, Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico.”
The president also emphasized his willingness to work with the oil and gas industry “to increase our energy security” but also to renew the administration’s ”commitment to American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on oil.”
Yes, it reeks of election year maneuvering.