President Barack Obama is serious about wind power, as his decision to reject the Keystone oil pipeline project shows.
Despite all of his talk about lessening the demand on Mideast oil, U.S. energy independence and creating jobs with "shovel-ready" projects, Obama is just blowing hot air.
He could have put the nation's needs first and approved the Keystone project. But instead his political motivations carried the day.
Environmentalists had threatened to withhold their support in November if his administration approved the pipeline that would stretch from the Canadian tar sands to the Gulf Coast.
Obama used the excuse that the State Department needed more time to evaluate the effects of the $7 billion pipeline, even though the project has been under review for years.
In a statement, Obama said, "This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people. I'm disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision, but it does not change my Administration's commitment to American-made energy that creates jobs and reduces our dependence on oil."
The privately funded project would have created thousands of construction jobs and brought another source of oil to U.S. and world markets. It also would have helped to sustain jobs in the refining industry.
Some environmentalists pooh-poohing the project say the pipeline would create few permanent jobs because most jobs would be in construction.
By their nature, construction jobs on any project are temporary. But construction firms flourish and keep workers employed because there is - or should be - a continual string of projects.
Another complaint of pipeline critics is that the tar sands oil will be refined and sold on the world market, which won't necessarily benefit U.S. residents.
Where do these people think our current oil comes from? We are in a global economy, so all of our oil is on the world market.
What the Keystone pipeline could do is increase the global supply, which could ease gasoline prices, which are predicted to hit $4 and possibly $5 later this year.
One only has to look at the natural gas market and what has happened since the development of Marcellus Shale gas to see the effect of higher supplies on prices. Our natural gas costs this winter are a fraction of what they were a few years ago because of plentiful supplies.
The Keystone pipeline project could have provided this nation with a needed injection of jobs and increased the oil supply, potentially lessening our need to import oil from the Middle East.
It could be a winning combination that would help this country starting this year.
Instead, the president decided to put his desire to win in November over our nation's interests.
Now we will pay the cost.