President Obama’s veto of the Keystone XL pipeline is difficult to understand unless you are aware of the wider context, which is the Left’s war on the energy infrastructure of the United States.
It isn’t just Keystone. The Left is working to block every piece of energy infrastructure of any consequence everywhere in the country, in the hopes that doing so will hobble the oil and gas industries and usher in a new age in which the American economy runs on solar panels and happy thoughts. (Never mind that solar panels are made out of polyester, meaning made out of oil, just as wind turbine blades are made from oil, etc.) In New York, Governor Cuomo has banned modern techniques of gas extraction categorically, while environmentalists are working to regulate into nonexistence the rail infrastructure used to transport oil where pipelines are not available. Others in New York are working to strangle the oil-shipping facilities at the port in Albany.
On the other side of the country, environmental activists are working to block the expansion of marine and rail facilities that enable the export of coal to foreign markets. The Sierra Club has been laboring mightily to block U.S. natural-gas exports to foreign markets.
There are two ways of looking at the fossil-fuel business: One is that the extraction, processing, and consumption of fossil fuels entails both risks and environmental costs, which have to be responsibly managed. The other is: Fossil fuels are evil, and the extraction, processing, and consumption of them must be stopped by any means necessary. That used to be a debate in the environmentalist movement, but it isn’t really a debate any more: The lunatics won. And the lunatics write a great many very large checks to Democrats, and therefore must be accommodated.
That’s why Keystone is being vetoed.