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Throughout President Obama’s presidency it has been charged that more often than not his policies are derived from pressure by special interests and an unwavering need to preserve his “legacy”, while ignoring the actual outcome and realities on the ground. For instance the President’s carbon rule, which will increase energy rates and destroy thousands of jobs, but will have little to no actual environmental benefits according to his own EPA. 

As hypocritical as some of President Obama’s past policies have been, his most recent actions with regard to energy development evidence a new level of hypocrisy that calls into question the motivation behind one his biggest energy blunders…denying the Keystone XL pipeline.      

In denying the Keystone plan, President Obama cited environmental concerns stating that in order to preserve the environmental integrity of the Earth, “we’re going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground rather than burn them.” However it seems the President’s hypocrisy on energy knows no bounds, as just last week his administration pledged that the U.S. would help Kenya raise US$18 billion to finance a 900 km pipeline that is eerily similar to the Keystone XL pipeline he denied a few months before.   

According to recent reports, U.S. ambassador, Robert Godec, met last week with Kenyan energy secretary Alfred Keter to discuss building the Kenyan pipeline. Godec stated that “Kenya needs $18 billion worth of financing” for the pipeline, and “one of the questions we are discussing is how we can work together with the private sector and governments…to make certain that this financing becomes available.” 

In agreeing to work with the Kenyan government to help finance the project it appears the Obama Administration has actually proven that the so-called “environmental concerns” it cited in denying the Keystone XL were nothing more than a political farce to appease green interests groups. The fact is the proposed pipeline in Kenya would run through the Great Rift Valley, an area much more sensitive than the proposed Keystone path as it is home to a number of endangered species.

By denying Keystone President Obama also snubbed his nose at the potential for job creation and economic development the KXL would provide to the U.S. As Kelly McParland of the National Post reported in a recent column, “while Obama insisted that pipeline [KXL] construction creates no significant number of jobs, the Kenya project is held up as an important job-creation initiative.”

One does not have to be a political scholar to note just how politically unsavory and hypocritical President Obama’s attitude toward these two similar projects has been. It is all to clear the President is willing to deny economic development at home based on truly unjustified and politically charged reasons, while at the same time pledging U.S. support for similar development abroad, all in the name of saving face with American special interests. 


Photo credit: Jack Phil