Obama may be showing his cards on Keystone XL

The doubts he expressed about the proposed pipeline's job creation and economic benefits in an interview say plenty.

By Bruce Kennedy Jul 29, 2013 1:14PM

Shayne Walker, a weld inspector, fills out paperwork during construction of the Gulf Coast Project pipeline in Prague, Oklahoma, U.S., on Monday, March 11, 2013. The Gulf Coast Project, a 485-mile crude oil pipeline being constructed by TransCanada Corp., is part of the Keystone XL Pipeline Project (© Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)Is President Obama leaning away from supporting the controversial Keystone XL pipeline? Advocates say the proposal -- which would carry oil nearly 1,200 miles south to the U.S. Gulf Coast from the tar sands of Alberta and from new fields in Montana and North Dakota -- would give the U.S. an economic boost while furthering the nation's goal of achieving energy independence.

Early last year, the president agreed to deny a pending application on the pipeline's construction. At the time, the administration said that the multibillion-dollar project's impact couldn't be fully assessed in the 60-day timeline Congress had set, and it criticized the deadline as "rushed and arbitrary."

Reuters, quoting an unnamed U.S. official in May, said the White House wasn't expected to decide the pipeline's fate until the end of the year, or perhaps in early 2014.

But over the weekend, during an interview with The New York Times, Obama appeared to be tipping his hand by expressing concerns about the proposal's environmental impact while questioning claims that it would generate U.S. jobs.

"The most realistic estimates are this might create maybe 2,000 jobs during the construction of the pipeline, which might take a year or two," he said, "and then after that we're talking about somewhere between 50 and 100 jobs in a economy of 150 million working people."

Obama also doubted whether U.S. gas and oil prices would benefit at all from Keystone XL.

"What we also know is . . . that that oil is going to be piped down to the Gulf to be sold on the world oil markets," he added, "so it does not bring down gas prices here in the United States. In fact, it might actually cause some gas prices in the Midwest to go up, where currently they can't ship some of that oil to world markets."

The president also noted potential benefits to integrating America's energy supplies with Canada's. But he stressed his plan to evaluate the pipeline on its potential environmental impact is "based on whether or not this is going to significantly contribute to carbon in our atmosphere."

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Jul 29, 2013 1:33PM
 "rushed and arbitrary.", Not thought through?  Seriously?  this from the guy who crammed through Obamacare and immigration "reform" that no one in Congress had a chance to fully read through? Not to mention substituting different bills that did not resemble those being considered? You'll just have to approve it to find out what's in it....
Jul 29, 2013 2:02PM

Typical linear liberal thinking...... To construct a pipeline that large and long will take many more than 2000 employees, most of which would be union. These are mostly licensed skilled workers in specialty fields with most making many times more than most college graduates these days. Why unions back this guy is beyond me??


Beyond that, the supply chain is huge and wide. Steel, welding equipment and supplies, earth moving equipment and supplies, trucks and trucking supplies, electrical controls, pumps, housing, food, clothing, tools that the workers will use. All together the direct impact will be tens of thousands of high paying skilled jobs.


In addition.... it will help us towards energy independence. To you carbon footprint people. The oil WILL BE used somewhere, be it here or somewhere else!

Jul 29, 2013 3:03PM
All week this ignoramus has been word smithing us to death on how he is going to fix the economy and help the middle class!! And he stalls on helping the economy via a much needed pipeline,but that will also lower the incidents of oil spills via rail line derails and death and fire possibilities inherent therein!!
Unfortunately this once Great and Intelligent country elected an "Ellsworth Toohey" as our President!! The Serferdude
Jul 29, 2013 3:48PM
This is a real "shovel ready job" that cost zero tax dollars, generates tax revenue, and puts people to work in full time good paying jobs...... how hard is that to understand? 
Jul 29, 2013 3:47PM

He's just waiting until after the election to say no....and everybody knows it...


Jul 29, 2013 4:32PM
Hey Obama,  why don't you just go away,  you are still trying to destroy this country! Leave us alone so we can fix it again!!!
Jul 29, 2013 5:01PM

Who needs 150,000 jobs when Obama wants everyone to be out of work and depend upon the government?  Go Barry!  You are burying this country.


Worst president, ever.

Jul 29, 2013 7:06PM

The U. S. oil fields in Montana and North Dakota and fields in Canada are having trouble getting the oil they produce to market due to a lack of sufficient pipeline capacity.  Oil is being shipped by rail and partly by truck because of the pipeline shortage.  If the situation gets critical enough that oil sales drop because of this lack of transportation, drilling crews (drillers, roughnecks, tool pushers,) truckers who move the drilling rigs, third party service companies (testers, electric loggers, frackers, casing crews, cementers, equipment suppliers, engineers, geologists, seismograph company employees, lease brokers, pumpers, roustabouts), and everyone else involved in the many jobs required in drilling and producing oil wells will suddenly find these jobs disappearing.  The Keystone XL Pipeline will create additional markets for the oil we produce and help preserve the many jobs mentioned above.  It's not just the 2000 jobs for the pipeline.  It's thousands of jobs in the oil industry that will be preserved by maintaining a market for the oil.

Jul 29, 2013 7:25PM
I don't see oil piped to the Gulf Coast being sold on the world Oil Markets.  The U.S. is becoming more self-sufficient in producing our own oil, and we are buying less from Saudi Arabia and using more of our own production.  Saudi Arabia will in turn reach out to other international buyers for their oil sales, filling up a good portion of that market the U.S does not need. Our self-sufficiency in oil production alone will bring down gas prices.  We don't need to help Saudi Arabia in their oil sales, we need to bring down our own prices and let the middle East find their own markets.  Canada has an extremely stable government and vast oil reserves.  We need to partner up with them on oil and stay partnered up with them. 
Jul 29, 2013 6:09PM
typical liberal double speak, go back to the seventies and we were suppose to be oil independent by now if not sooner, and what did the dems deliver more of the same, oh solar energy eeehhhhtt wrong answer, nuclear energy Ehht wrong again Clinton put a moratorium on building nuke plants, how about wind energy then ,ehhtt wrong again , wind energy is a bust also.  There are pipe lines criss crossing the whole US what's one more?? It's all **** to support his friends , if the govt. was serious about solar energy why doesn't all federal building go solar and save tax payers money, hmm ,why because it's ****!  just like their global warming Oh that's right they got caught fudging the numbers and now call it c"CLIMATE CHANGE" which means **** again it's all alie to make money . As Al Gore says the sky is falling the sky is falling , all this from a guy whose family made money STRIP MINING which is called raping the earth, and now he wants to save it as he flies around if his private jet and suv's Please STFU.
Jul 30, 2013 8:14AM
Once again this fool is deliberately stalling the US economy so he and his socialist minions can come to the rescue by enslaving millions more in his failing govt programs.  2016 CANNOT COME FAST ENOUGH!!!
Jul 29, 2013 7:23PM
This guy is either a moron or a liar.  He may be both.
Jul 30, 2013 7:53AM
 That is really because Warren Buffett is invested in the Railroad that carries a Lot of the crude Oil in all of the states that have the oil boom going in them.
Jul 31, 2013 8:49PM
I was at a RNC meeting the night he announced that he would DENY the right to build the KXL. 6 months later? He endorsed it completely. Now, its time to talk about the Economy again and? KXL shows up. His concern is not about carbon footprint, but how long to keep the US hamstrung and stretched too thin. Other countries ARE paying attention. As he drives down the morale and lethality of the Military, so too, does he drag down the economy, by distraction... He's gotta go!
Jul 29, 2013 10:56PM

Everyone knows gas prices will never come down,pipeline will help the big oil companies thats as far as it goes.

Jul 30, 2013 6:06AM
Like always, the Right-Wing Screw Jobs are out in full force. The same idiots that claim that they could now somehow fix the mess they created. It never seizes to amaze me where these clowns hideout and wait for this nation to die under Pres. Obama.

Where were you idiots when Bush was in office?
Where were you clowns when this nation was moving into another senseless war (Iraq).
You speak of food stamps, you Right Wingers invented the word, your goal has always been to keep the poor enslaved. Why does this nation still hold onto to affirmative action? The answer surrounds the fact that you have idiots (RW) who are dead set on keeping the lines of inequality open for business. If you want to blame anyone, blame yourselves. The Prez has always put forward every effort  to continue to build equality for all Americans, even the ignorant numbers that choose to lurk in the dark, spreading hate.

Jul 29, 2013 11:02PM

Obama is my savor I shall not work

Obama is my czar of carbon and taxes

I shall not starve for he gives food stamps

I shall only vote Democratic for all my days.

Jul 29, 2013 5:02PM

Every person who has commented about this issue, seems to have done so based on politically biased opinions. Why not take out politics, and look at the true environmental impact. We are Americans, we are supposed to be on the forefront of technology. We should not be digging up our own beautiful backyards for an obsolete fuel source. It's time to learn from our past mistakes.


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