Jonah Goldberg: Free the Keystone XL pipeline, Mr. President
Welcome to the “year of action.” In last week's State of the Union address, the President vowed to do whatever he must to help the economy, even if that means working around Congress: “What I offer tonight is a set of concrete, practical proposals to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class. Some require congressional action, and I'm eager to work with all of you. But America does not stand still, and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that's what I'm going to do.”
The President also vowed to cut red tape, and not for the first time. In 2013's State of the Union, he insisted that "my administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits." And in 2012: "In the next few weeks, I will sign an executive order clearing away the red tape that slows down too many construction projects."
On Friday, the State Department issued a much-awaited study on the Keystone XL pipeline. It found that there would be negligible effect on climate change — the President's only expressed reservation about the project, which would create thousands of construction jobs and generate billions in tax revenue.
Jonah Goldberg is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and editor-at-large of National Review Online. You can write to him by email at email@example.com, or via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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