Ticking Clocks and Bombs: Keystone XL Pipeline Decision Expected Soon

There are strong rumors that President Obama will soon announce his decision, possibly within days or by the end of August, on the Keystone XL pipeline.

He will either throw his support to the private Canadian oil company that wants to build the pipeline into our country to send the dirtiest, high-carbon oil from the tar sands region of western Canada all the way to our Gulf for processing. Or the President will stand for what is in the best interest of America’s future.

By saying “no” to building the Keystone XL pipeline, President Obama will say “yes” to cutting carbon pollution that is driving climate change. Global warming is intensifying environmental disasters that have become too common today. It will also be creating future serious problems such as the threat sea level rise poses to South Carolina’s vibrant coastal tourism economy.

By saying “no” to building the Keystone XL pipeline, President Obama will say “yes” to jobs in our country. All the independent projections are that building the pipeline will create at most 50 permanent jobs. Sacrificing those 50 new jobs to protect the thousands of small business tourism related jobs along the South Carolina coast alone is the obvious correct call.

By saying “no” to building the Keystone XL pipeline, President Obama can lay out the real path to U.S. energy independence from foreign oil—cutting back our need for oil.

The U.S. has more than enough oil and gas underground. But with oil now selling below $40 a barrel private oil companies big and small are cutting way back on production here while foreign governments are ramping up their oil production. Just this month most of the giant oil companies refused to bid on drilling leasing rights in our Gulf.

And besides, the oil produced from the dirty Canadian crude was never going to be sold to the U.S. consumers anyway. It was always destined to be sold to China, India or somewhere else that was willing to pay more. Even Speaker of the House John Boehner has severed the connection between our drilling for oil and energy independence when he called last month for lifting the federal ban on exporting U.S crude.

More gas-efficient, hybrid and electric cars and trucks are our future. Tesla Motors will be launching a new stock offering valued at $242 per share in order to raise money to develop a lower-priced all-electric car for 2017. This is the future of automobiles just as solar, wind and other renewables are the future of electricity generation.

Here’s hoping that President Obama makes the correct call on the Keystone XL pipeline. The future of the South Carolina coast, the U.S. and the whole world is at stake.

UnConflicted is the small business advocacy blog of Frank Knapp, Jr., President & CEO of the South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce. Visit our website to join, subscribe to our newsletter, or follow the issues affecting small businesses in SC: http://www.scsbc.org

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