The following response by President Obama to a question by Washington Post reporter Juliet Eilperin is one of the most succinct explanations I've heard from a high-ranking U.S. political figure on why the Keystone XL pipeline makes no sense for our country. As David Roberts of Grist puts it: "Okay, this is the best Keystone answer I’ve ever heard from him. Not sure I could have written a better one." Key points by President Obama include:
- It's Canadian tar sands oil intended for export, not for the U.S.
- The pipeline wouldn't benefit America, it would benefit Canadian oil interests. "It's very good for Canadian oil companies," but not really for anyone else.
- There would at most be a "nominal impact on U.S. [gasoline] prices," and it wouldn't particularly (if at all) benefit U.S. consumers.
- Construction of the pipeline will create just a couple thousand temporary jobs, compared to the hundreds of thousands or million jobs rebuilding America's infrastructure.
- This project should not add to the problem of climate change, which imposes serious costs on the American people.
- There's been a "tendency to really hype this thing as some magic formula to what ails the U.S. economy, and it's hard to see on paper where exactly they're getting that information from."
That sums it up nicely.