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Keystone Pipeline and Putting People First

It is hypocritical for wealthy people – like President Obama and Nancy Pelosi – to masquerade around as defenders of the poor, the middle class, and small business owners and in the next breath smack down the Keystone XL pipeline.   Politico reports that the Keystone pipeline will remain an issue for President Obama in his second term.

Even if you “buy local,” gas prices affect the price of everything else.

Take, for example, dinner at a restaurant with your family.  The price of fuel used to transport the food that you’re eating is going to be reflected on your check at the end of the night.  By the way, the farmers who had to pay more for fuel for the machinery used to grow their crops don’t absorb those excess costs.  They’re absorbed by you, the consumer.

But that whopper of a check… you may not even have to worry about it, because you’ll likely decide not to go out to eat at all.

Recreational activities, such as dining at restaurants and purchasing gym memberships — two of our nation’s most popular small businesses — are among of the first expenses consumers typically cut to offset soaring gas bills.

Heritage’s Nicolas Loris explains that high fuel prices hit all small businesses, hard.  The reason is crystal clear:

Collectively, small businesses are America’s engine of economic growth. And that engine is fueled, quite literally, by oil. Expensive fuel drives up production costs — especially for those firms where transportation costs make up a large segment of their expense ledgers.

The detriments to consumers of delaying approval for the Keystone XL Pipeline are real and tangible.  What’s not so clear, on the contrary, is any environmental harm that would result from the project.  In fact, Loris explains:

The State Department has thoroughly studied potential environmental impacts of the Keystone pipeline, and found minimal risk to soil, water, air, and animal life.

The conservative approach to the environment is to first ensure human flourishing by enacting policy decisions that will support and allow economic and individual freedom.  This approach is the opposite of the radical environmental approach which usually results in “misguided command-and-control mindset” and policies that “empower and enlarge bureaucracies, impose mandates, and cripple free markets.”  In exchange for all this micromanaging, we usually get little to no environmental benefit, and the well-being of individuals and communities is ignored.

For all his talk about shovel-ready jobs, President Obama has surely done a great job of preventing thousands of said jobs from becoming a reality.  The construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline would result in 20,000 shovel-ready jobs, and by 2035, the Canadian Energy Research Institute estimates that the pipeline will have created 179,000 American jobs.   That’s job creation with private dollars, not dollars confiscated from taxpayers or our children’s future.

Ultimately, it is up to us to explain why the left and radical environmentalists are wrong.  We must put the good of the American people above environmental effects that are actually not a threat to humans.  When it comes to the Keystone XL Pipeline, endangered species and insects, according to thorough studies by the State Department, will not be harmed.  As conservatives, we’ll continue to work toward the goal of putting people first, but it will be an uphill battle.

And remember, the left is even willing to attack one of their own, Susan Rice, who has a financial stake in TransCanada, a company that is a proponent for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

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