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Keystone Pipeline a Shining Example of What's Wrong with U.S. Energy Policy

With election season now entering full swing, many Democrats are beginning to distance themselves from the current administration's policies.

Mass. Rep. Barney Frank last week stated that the Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare) had political consequences and shouldn't have been the focus of the party when it held both arms of Congress in 2009 and 2010.

Now, Democrats are distancing themselves from President Obama on another important election issue: Energy policy.

Wrote Byron York at the Washington Examiner:

"The president has put his feet in cement in opposition to the Keystone oil pipeline. But on Capitol Hill, more and more Democrats are joining Republicans to force approval of the pipeline, whether Obama wants it or not.

The latest action happened Wednesday, when the House passed a measure to move the pipeline forward. Before the vote, Obama issued a veto threat. The House approved the pipeline anyway — by a veto-proof majority, 293 to 127. Sixty-nine Democrats abandoned the president to vote with Republicans."

What we're witnessing is a moment where common sense is trumping party ideology. But it's not just in the House.

Eleven Democrats in the Senate now stand with the 47 Republicans to support the building of the pipeline. With two more votes, the pro-pipeline supporters can break Sen. Harry Reid's, D-NV, filibuster on the issue.

Now we do have to admit that the Keystone Pipeline isn't going to have much of an influence on the price of gasoline, especially in the short term. However, this entire debate speaks to the greater issue that the United States lacks a cohesive energy policy and has for the last 40 years. And this administration's policies have been hostile to long-term domestic production and procurement from reliable trading partners.

North America, as a continent, has the capability to be energy independent within the next 15 years. We do need to stop thinking of energy independence as solely a matter of U.S. pride, but one of a pure partnership with Mexico and Canada.

But with the pipeline still in doubt, Canada has made it abundantly clear that it will now build a pipeline west to British Columbia, and, through a process of diversifying its customer base, begin selling oil and gas to China.

Moving forward, the United States needs to diversify its energy sources. Yes, solar energy, wind power, and geothermal all have real value, but they aren't going to be able to replace the enormous and ever-expanding level of demand that our society requires in order to continue its growth.

The more the Obama administration ignores common sense energy projects, the more attention he attracts to his energy policy… or, shall I say, the lack thereof.

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  1. Mike | April 23, 2012

    I think its good that politicians are finally abandoning hyper-partisanship in favor of common sense. We need to stop being so dependent of the now-unstable Middle East for our oil. It is no longer a matter of national pride and oil that is not subject to the whims of OPEC, but of national security and our economic relationship with our neighbors.

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