The global warming apocalypse and its Elmer Gantry, Al Gore, may have faded from public view lately, but that old-time green religion is still making mischief. President Obama has just delayed until after November’s election a decision on the Canadian Keystone XL pipeline. This truly shovel-ready project would create thousands of blue-collar jobs, help hold down the price of gasoline, and lessen our dependence on oil imported from thugs like Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.
The administration’s excuses for this move are preposterous. The State Department sniffed that it needs more time “to determine whether the Keystone XL pipeline is in the national interest” and, as Obama said in his announcement, can “protect the American people.” But three years, nine public meetings, and reams of reports have already shown that the pipeline’s alleged dangers to the Ogallala aquifer, or the malign effects of “dirty” crude oil, or the threat to endangered species, are specious pretexts. Like his slow-down of oil drilling permits and reduction of oil production on federal lands––down 40% compared to ten years ago––Obama’s decision is in fact both political and ideological, a mollifying bone tossed to the bicoastal progressive elites on whom Obama depends for campaign contributions and political support.