President Barack Obama’s final decision on the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline does not depend on what American greens preach but on what the King of Saudi Arabia orders. It seems the final decree from the oil kingpin has not yet been handed down, although it may be received by Obama when he travels to Saudi Arabia next month.
This will be Obama’s second state visit to see King Abdullah. The king may refuse to allow Obama to sign off on the landmark Keystone XL pipeline deal with Canada, America’s closest ally and largest trading partner.
On paper and before the consideration of politics, the passage of the Keystone XL pipeline is a no-brainer — even for Obama, the man who can make it happen with the stroke of a pen. The President’s own State Department has told him five times that he should sign it into law because the pipeline will not have an egregious impact on the environment and it will give America greater energy security while creating thousands of jobs.
In January, the State Department issued its fifth conclusion on the Keystone project. Again, it determined that the Keystone project would not have a significant impact on global warming (an event taken for granted but not proven).
It’s taken five years so far to decide on what is now a lame-duck bill (pun intended). The greens in Congress may be convinced that Keystone should not be approved because it will damage the environment. The evidence that will build their case: a few hundred dead ducks have flown into tar sands oil pools and died. (Nobody seems to consider that 14 million ducks are legally hunted each year.)
Besides the Daffy Duck argument over oil sands is the fact that the Keystone XL pipeline can deliver three-quarters of a million barrels of crude per day, free from any Arab intervention. That’s not a bad thing when you consider that the mostly Arab OPEC launched two oil embargoes against the United States in the 1970s and it finances extremists who want to kill Americans. (For the liberals who are reading this, Canadians allow girls to get an education and women to ride bicycles. And the last time I checked, Canadians do not behead political opponents in the town square.)
The project will create an estimated 20,000 U.S. jobs — something our “jobs” President declared he was serious about during his State of the Union address.
Obama, either the Saudi prodigal son or a loyal environmentalist, has said the Keystone job numbers are ultra-inflated. The President told The New York Times last summer that the project might create “maybe 2,000 jobs” during construction and “50 to 100 permanent jobs” after that.
TransCanada, the company backing the project, believes the President has grossly underestimated the employment impact. This begs the question: Could Obama be lying for his own political gain? (I would love to comment further, but I would simply be piling on.)
Obama’s 5-Year No-Oil Plan
So here we stand five years into Obama’s Presidency. He still can’t decide what to do with Keystone. He pretends the greens have good reasons to stop this $7.6 billion project that would provide oil security and jobs for the United States, as well as create wealth for America’s largest trading partner.
Yet the real reason that Obama won’t decide on Keystone is the Saudi king has not yet given him permission. Obama is still hedging what is good for the national interest — not the national interest of the United States, but of Saudi Arabia.
In the recently published book Duty: Memories of a Secretary at War, former Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, wrote: “During my time in the Bush Administration, I worried about the influence of the Israelis and the Saudis in the White House.”
Gates writes of his last visit to Saudi Arabia in 2010:
Pleasantries done, the king excused virtually everyone else and the two of us, and the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Adel Al-Jubeir who interpreted… (then said) there had been loose talk by some senior Saudis about fundamentally altering the relationship with the United States and developing closer relations with other big powers such as China and Russia. Reading from notes, Abdullah had a stark message for me and for the president:
- Our two countries have had a strategic relationship for seventy years. I value it and support all facets.
- The relationship is essential to the security of the world.
- America’s reputation is at stake…
Obama’s reputation is at stake, yet he bows to a ruthless Saudi monarch and chastises Canadian Parliament. Canadians are Judeo-Christian people who share an ancestry and the same democratic values as Americans. The truth is Obama doesn’t remain very loyal to old friends. He follows more closely his core beliefs from his Muslim upbringing. And that does not serve the Nation he has sworn to protect.
Protecting the Nation means protecting America’s energy supplies.
If this is where you expect a sermon on why you should buy Canadian oil sands, you are going to be disappointed. I believe oil investors should beware; oil prices are in decline along with most commodity prices. My projection for crude oil is $50 per barrel within two years.
So Obama’s decision to once again bow to the Saudi king won’t leave us a cold, huddled mass. But it will show the true measure of the man.
Yours in good times and bad,