Why did it take President Barack Obama seven years to reject the Keystone XL pipeline?
We’ll never know the answer to that question.
What we do know is that the president seemed pretty happy with himself Friday when he finally took a knee holding the political football he’d seemingly been playing keep-away with since his first term began.
SCRANTON, N.D. — Ken Steiner looks out the window of his house and sees thousands of pipes sitting in a railyard.
Today, the Bowman County Commissioner learned those pipes aren’t going anywhere soon.
As much as 600 miles of 36-diameter metal pipe intended for use in the Keystone XL oil pipeline project will likely sit unused and in stacks near the tiny southwest North Dakota town of Gascoyne–about 65 miles southwest of Dickinson–after President Barack Obama announced he was rejecting the 1,179-mile pipeline project proposed by TransCanada Corp.
Keystone XL’s rejection comes more than 2,600 days after it was proposed in 2008 and more than three years since the pipes began being stored in eastern Bowman County.
“Everybody has been wondering what’s going on,” Steiner said. “… It puts a bad taste in everybody’s mouth because people think it should have been done a long time ago. I don’t see that one person should have the authority to OK that. It don’t seem right to me.”
President Barack Obama should go ahead and veto the Keystone XL pipeline. He wants to do it. His administration wants him to do it. His environmental activists want him to do it. Republicans (and some Democrats) don’t want him to do it. So what is he waiting for?
Well, if you believe Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., the president plans to put his veto pen to use in August when Congress is in recess.
“It’s an opportunity for him to do it more under the radar,” Hoeven told Forum News Service reporter Amy Dalrymple on Wednesday. Hoeven, the Senate’s most outspoken supporter of the pipeline, said he has sources who tell him Obama is finally ready to put his signature next to a veto he has long delayed.
That sounds about right. The president has kicked the can down the road on the Keystone XL issue since 2011, and there’s no way he leaves office without making a final decision on it. So why not now?
I’ve always wondered about the people who protest certain topics. Are they really that upset? Does everything rile them up that much? Does somebody pay these people to protest? Is this their job?
Lately, every time there is political movement on the Keystone XL pipeline, there’s an environmental activist group there with a protest — though we don’t get to see it because the protests usually only take place in a coastal California city like San Francisco or Los Angeles, and, of course, Washington, D.C. Both places are so far from where the proposed pipeline would go that one has to wonder why people would protest for something they’ve likely never seen in a place they’ve likely never been nor ever plan to go.