Louisiana’s Republican governor and possible 2016 presidential candidate Bobby Jindal took a shot at President Obama after a meeting of the National Governors Association, report Nedra Pickler and Steve Peoples for the Associated Press. He said that if the President is serious about kickstarting the economy he will approve the Keystone XL pipeline that has been languishing for years instead of focusing his efforts on raising the minimum wage.
Jindal, Malloy spar over Keystone XL
“The Obama economy is now the minimum wage economy. I think we can do better than that,” said Jindal.
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Dannel Malloy, Democratic governor of Connecticut, fired back saying, “Until a few moments ago we were going down a pretty cooperative road. So let me just say that we don’t all agree that moving Canadian oil through the United States is necessarily the best thing for the United States economy.”
Malloy also called Jindal a “cheap shot artist” as he walked away from the podium, and Jindal brought up his opposition to Obamacare, meaning the pipeline is now on the same page as some of politics’ most divisive topics.
Keystone XL proposal has made little headway since 2008
The Keystone XL pipeline, an extension of the existing Keystone pipeline that would carry oil from Canada to Texas, was first proposed in 2008, but approval has dragged on for years. Congress tried to force President Obama’s hand in 2011 by passing a law requiring him to reach a conclusion on the pipeline within in 60 days, but he simply rejected the application forcing TransCanada to resubmit.
One section of the pipeline which carries oil from Cushing, Oklahoma to Texas (carrying only American oil) became operational earlier this year, but there hasn’t been any movement on the other sections since then. The US State Department has supported the project, concluding that its environmental impact will be limited, but the Environmental Protection Agency has criticized that report for using outdated models.
At this point, the Keystone XL is at least partially a symbolic, political fight – refineries have already started looking for other ways to transport their crude. There has also been an energy resurgence in the US since the pipeline was first proposed nearly six years ago, and processing Canada’s heavy crude oil isn’t as attractive to refineries now that the US produces so much on its own that some are wondering if the US will become a net exporter.