Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Analysis: Does President Obama Actually Care About Job Growth in the US?

Thanks to US President Barack Obama, the US on Thursday (November 10) delayed approval of a Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline until after the 2012 U.S. election, bowing to pressure from environmentalists and sparing the increasingly unpopular Obama a damaging split with liberal voters that he crucially needs to win reelection next year.

Mr. Obama's decision to explore a new route for TransCanada Corp's Keystone XL oil pipeline to avoid controversial territory in the Sand Hills of Nebraska dismayed the Canadian government, which had lobbied tirelessly for the US$7 billion project.

Understandably, President Obama's decision also drew harsh criticism from the oil industry and from Republicans in Congress who accused Obama of sacrificing jobs for the sake of his reelection.

TransCanada, which proposes to build and operate the pipeline, said it remained confident that it would ultimately win approval. Industry analysts had previously said a significant delay could kill the project.

Even for a child beyond the age of reason, President Obama's decision not only dampens job growth in the US, but also increases the US' dependence on foreign oil. "More than 20,000 new American jobs have just been sacrificed in the name of political expediency," House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner emphasized in a statement on the subject.

Tragically, Obama's decision has numerous ramifications: (1) It stifles job growth; (2) It extends unemployment benefits that worsen the country's debt crisis; (3) It strains relations between the US and Canada; and (4) Prompts companies to renew efforts to build new Western export routes to China.

If built, the pipeline would transport 700,000 barrels per day or more of crude, most it from Alberta's oil sands, the world's third largest oil reserve. That is nearly 4% of the 19 million barrels the United States uses every day.

Sadly, industry officials say a major delay in the Keystone XL decision would prompt increased efforts to push forward Enbridge Inc's C$5.5 billion ($5.5 billion) Northern Gateway pipeline across British Columbia to the West Coast, where more than half a million barrels of crude a day could be loaded onto tankers and shipped to Asia, and particularly to China.

As is well-known, any economic change in today's world has a ripple effect on economies around the world. With Greece's survival still questionable, and with financially-strapped Italy coming right behind Athens, the durability of the euro-zone is very much up in the air. Hence, President Obama's obsession with converting the US into a European clone is looking more and more like a recipe for failure.

In 2008, when candidate Obama persuaded the majority of Americans that CHANGE was good and that he would govern from the center, they were completely duped. When he became president he actually changed like a chameleon only to become one of the most left-leaning presidents in US history.

It is clear that none of President Obama's economic policies in nearly three years have worked. Yet, his ideology inhibits him from permitting the private sector to create jobs without massive governmental regulations and restrictive tax burdens. Hence, the question: Does President Obama Actually Care About Job Growth?

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