Earlier this month, President Barack Obama delayed until after the 2012 election the decision on whether to proceed with construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, designed to transport crude oil extracted from oil sands formations in Alberta to refineries in Oklahoma and the Gulf Coast. Environmental activists have long criticized the project, but National Review columnist Mark Steyn argued that by putting off the decision, the White House is demonstrating poor judgment and twisted priorities.
During an appearance last week on “The Source” with Ezra Levant on the Sun News Network in Canada, Steyn criticized the Obama administration for putting energy from Third World nations ahead of First World states.
“It’s the act, I think, of an advanced society that is developed to the point where poses and posturing are more important to it, more vital to it, than actual reality,” Steyn said.
Obama, he added, “doesn’t mind if some Third World dictatorship wants to supply America its energy, as long as it’s beyond horizon and out of sight. But if it’s a first-world nation, we feel that we can in a sense act in terms of the national interest like a kind of non-profit organization, like some worthy body — a bit like a national version of the Sierra Club itself.”
The “After America” author said this pattern of self-defeatism has afflicted Western countries in general.
“That is actually a god example of the sclerosis that afflicts the West,” Steyn said. “This is a hard-headed decision — an energy decision. He thinks that by mothballing it a year Canada is, like, going to keep all this fabulous energy in a box in the basement until he’s ready to make a decision. It won’t be like that. There are all kinds of people on the planet who want this stuff, including the Chinese, which is a resource-poor nation. And the idea you can afford to — a national superpower, an international superpower — can take this kind of poseur mentality to questions of its national interest is deeply destructive.”
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