Yesterday, President Obama denied Energy Transfer Partners the last permit it would need to complete the Dakota Access pipeline. The move was made only months after approving the line.
Despite all the evidence that pipelines are the safest way to transport oil, and that Energy Transfer Partners spent years working diligently with federal, state, and local officials to route the pipeline safely and with the fewest possible disruptions, President Obama opted for the nonsensical, political, and emotionally-charged decision to stop a viable, safe, job-creating project.
It is the same thing he did when he vetoed the Keystone XL pipeline project.
The Keystone XL veto was a direct shot at Canada’s oil industry; yesterday’s move was more indirect, but potentially more harmful. Amid a recent announcement to approve pipelines in Canada, President Obama broadcasted to radical anti-pipeline protesters that they can have their way, despite all facts, evidence and benefits. This will send a terribly troubling message to the legions of anti pipeline protesters in lower BC who await the Trans Mountain pipeline.
What makes the situation worse is just how close the Dakota Access pipeline was to completion. Initially it was slated to be operational this year, but the company planned to have oil flowing in early 2017. Essentially, it doesn’t matter how far along a company is, it can be stopped at any moment-something radical activists will take note of-they will fight till the bitter end.
The ball now falls in Prime Minister Trudeau, Premier Notley and Premier Clark’s laps. They must send a clear signal now that nothing will stop Trans Mountain from being completed and they are willing to do whatever it takes to see this project to completion.
It is unfortunate Prime Minister Trudeau’s close friend and the man whom the Alberta NDP greatly admires (Obama), just further legitimized radical environmentalists–the group which has been hurting unemployed Canadians and the country’s economy the most.
It is now up to Canada’s leaders to stand up for progress, and see pipeline projects in Canada completed.