Heartland Institute Reacts to Obama’s Rejection of Keystone XL Pipeline

January 18, 2012

The Obama administration has decided to block construction of the Keystone XL pipeline that would deliver close to 1 million barrels of oil per day from neighboring Canada to U.S. refineries.

Please see this map (PDF) depicting the underlying Ogallala Aquifer (lavender background) and the overlying existing oil and gas pipelines, as well as the proposed Keystone XL. The Heartland Institute received this from a petroleum engineer from the Amarillo, Texas area. Note the extensive network of existing pipelines in the area deemed too “risky” for the Keystone XL pipeline.

The following statements from energy and environment experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Tammy Nash at tnash@heartland.org and 312/377-4000. After regular business hours, contact Director of Communications Jim Lakely at jlakely@heartland.org and 312/731-9364.

“The Obama administration has confirmed the fears of everyday Americans that it is more interested in paying off environmental extremists and other far-left groups than it is in laying the foundation for a growing economy. America needs to increase the amount of energy we produce ourselves and import from friendly neighbors. America needs the tens of thousands of jobs that construction of the Keystone XL pipeline would provide during the worst economic conditions of the past 70 years.

“The Obama administration’s decision to block construction of the Keystone XL pipeline demonstrates as poignantly as a slap in the face that President Obama is either completely out of touch with the American people or is callously indifferent about our ongoing economic woes. I suspect that in the November elections voters will severely punish President Obama for this foolish decision.”

James M. Taylor
Senior Fellow for Environmental Policy
The Heartland Institute

“This is a shockingly short-sighted, foolish decision that’s bad for the economy and will yield no environmental benefits. It continues to amaze me that a fellow as supposedly intelligent as President Obama repeatedly puts his faith in the fanciful dreams of radical green utopians. But then this is another example of how disconnected this administration is from scientific and economic reality. The president’s energy policy is akin to a skydiver leaping out of a plane without a parachute in the expectation that he will find one on the way down.”

Richard J. Trzupek
Policy Advisor, Environment
The Heartland Institute

“The Keystone pipeline is nothing more than an infrastructure project that should have been approved months ago. It will create shovel-ready jobs with minimal environmental impact but will not be a panacea for all of our nation’s woes ... or the end of life as we know it on Planet Earth. What Keystone is indicative of is a burdensome regulatory culture enabled by a complacent executive branch. Projects such as these should be properly reviewed, but at the end of the day somebody needs to make a decision. The Obama administration has abdicated any sense of leadership on this issue and deserves the avalanche of criticism that is about to come its way.”

John Monaghan
Legislative Specialist for Environmental Policy
The Heartland Institute

The Heartland Institute is a 28-year-old national nonprofit organization with offices in Chicago, Illinois; Washington, DC; Austin, Texas; Tallahassee, Florida; and Columbus, Ohio. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site or call 312/377-4000.