Keystone XL: Lost oil and a few dozen protesters later

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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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The five-year anniversary of the still incomplete Keystone XL pipeline was a dud for protesters, as supporters continued to tout potential economic benefits. Only a few dozen activists showed up to a protest against the Keystone XL pipeline a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol building Saturday. After a summer of protests that drew out fewer and fewer people, protesters broadened their campaign to capitalism in general. Protesters in New York City carried an anti-capitalism poster that said: “It’s not a crisis. It’s a scam. Capitalism is the crisis!” The group, called The Ecosocialist Coalition, also sent out this tweet:

Against the backdrop of waning protests, Republicans took to Twitter to vent their frustrations about the Obama administration’s continued delay in approving the pipeline that will bring tar sands oil from Canada to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. West Virginia Republican Rep. David McKinley tweeted:

Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee tweeted:

“The Keystone XL pipeline is a line in the sand issue, dividing those who want to utilize our energy resources to create jobs and propel America toward economic growth and energy self-sufficiency and those whose sole goal is to stop the development of fossil fuels,” wrote Tennessee Republican Rep. Marsha Blackburn in Investors Business Daily. On Sept. 19, 2008, TransCanada submitted its application to the State Department to build the 1,179-mile, $5.3 billion pipeline which would carry 700,000 barrels of oil per day to U.S. refineries. However, the Obama administration has constantly pushed back its approval date of the pipeline and now isn’t expected to make a final decision. President Barack Obama has downplayed the economic benefits of the pipeline, and has tied its approval to its environmental impacts — not how much it benefits job growth and the economy. The president said he would not approve the pipeline if it significantly increased carbon dioxide emissions — something environmentalists have been trying to prove. “In short, approval of the Keystone XL pipeline permit will trigger very large increases in carbon pollution that will significantly worsen climate change. Denial of the permit will prevent these increases,” reads a white paper by the Natural Resources Defense Council. “The Keystone XL pipeline is a no brainer. Strengthening energy security, increasing trade with a reliable partner, and improving the safety of moving oil across the country are hugely important energy priorities,” according to the pro-pipeline group the American Action Forum. “Every delay in the approval of this pipeline sacrifices meaningful opportunities for economic growth, and allows international competitors to gain access to North American oil. This anniversary is not one to herald with good cause.” The forum points out that the State Department found earlier this year that the pipeline will have “no significant impacts” on the environment or on carbon emissions. However, delaying the pipeline has cost the country energy security, as the U.S. will spend more than $7.7 billion on oil from countries in the Persian Gulf. “More than 40,000 jobs and billions of dollars of earnings waiting in the sidelines,” according to the group. “Construction of the pipeline would generate 42,100 annual jobs, including thousands in parts of the country with limited employment opportunities outside farming and government services. Collectively, these new jobs would amount to $2.1 billion in earnings.” Follow Michael on Twitter Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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