I have a good feeling that U.S. President Obama will axe the Keystone XL Pipeline. My reasoning has nothing to do with the noise that environmentalists are making, though I’m not discounting that effect altogether. I’m thinking that none of the other things he seems to want to get accomplished currently (having passed the Affordable Care Act) have any chance of happening. Congress shot gun control dead and said “adios” to immigration reform. What about a grand bargain? Are you serious?
Nixing the pipeline is something Obama can actually make happen. From what I can see, he’s unimpressed with the job-creation numbers (it’s only a few dozen after the project is in place), and he doesn’t believe (nor do I) that there is solid logic and moral justification behind the idea that we should go ahead with the plan because the environmental devastation associated with all that dirty oil is going to happen whether we’re involved in it or not. Kids can buy drugs whether I sell them or not, but that doesn’t justify my selling them.
Killing the pipeline will enable Obama to take the moral high ground, and show that the largest economy on Earth is proactively weaning itself off fossil fuels. In turn, this could set the stage for an international agreement on the subject – something that looked impossible a few years ago.
Doesn’t there simply have to be a decent denouement to the presidency of this guy, whom we ushered into office with such gusto in 2008?
If he pulls this off, I’ll try my best to forgive his inexplicable behavior on Guantanamo Bay, the fascist National Defense Authorization Act, drone warfare, the rabid prosecution of whistle-blowers – each one by itself jaw-dropping — things of which no one ever dreamed him capable when we elected him.
This would be the most stunning victory for a world leader in a very long time — arguably in all human history. Astonishingly, Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize. Now he can earn it.