The Direct Impact Of Campaign Money On Decisions That Affect All Americans

The Keystone Pipeline has been studied, found to be harmless to the environment, and rejected. The political forces behind the rejection of the Keystone Pipeline have very little to do with the pipeline itself–they have to do with campaign money flowing into Democratic campaign coffers. The unions support the Keystone Pipeline–it will produce jobs and move America toward energy independence, which is also a national security issue. The environmentalists oppose the pipeline because it involves carbon-based fuel, and they still believe that we can run our economy on the flapping of butterfly wings. Both of these groups are important contributors to Democratic campaigns. That is the reason deliberation on the pipeline took so long before it was finally turned down.

TransCanada, the people who would build the pipeline, are not impressed by America’s political decisions. The Wall Street Journal reported today that TransCanada is bringing an international arbitration case against the U.S. for not treating the Canadian company the way it would an American company, as it is obliged to do under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The article reports:

That was the story last week out of Kenya, where U.S. Ambassador Robert Godec told Kenya’s energy minister that Washington would help Nairobi raise $18 billion to finance its PowerAfrika project. The pipeline would stretch from Kenya’s Rift Valley to Lamu on the coast. “Kenya needs $18 billion worth of financing,” Mr. Godec said, according to a dispatch in, “so one of the questions we are discussing is how we can work together with the private sector and governments to raise that sum, to find ways to make certain that this financing becomes available.”

Has Mr. Godec checked with Secretary of State John Kerry, or, perhaps more important, anti-oil Democratic financier Tom Steyer? Kenya and Northeast Africa could certainly use the investment and jobs that would come from the oil project. Then again, so could the United States. What’s with the double standard on pipelines?

The article mentions that TransCanada is asking $15 billion on costs and damages. Multiple reviews of the Keystone Pipeline showed that it would not harm the environment, but President Obama rejected the pipeline anyway. TransCanada has also filed a suit in U.S. federal court alleging that President Obama’s decision to block Keystone exceeded his constitutional authority.

Get out the popcorn, this is going to be entertaining. The article also notes that American taxpayers need to keep an eye on government spending to make sure they are not funding the Kenyan project while being denied their own project.

The decision was delayed in order to postpone the political consequences as long as possible. At some point President Obama decided that the environmentalists were a more important ally than the unions. There was no rational excuse for the decision to block the Keystone Pipeline–it was a political decision driven by money.