Originally Published by Big Government

Despite an anemic economic recovery and an increasingly antagonistic Iran, President Obama decided to kill the Keystone XL pipeline. Creating thousands of jobs and securing American access to oil, the much-discussed Keystone project would transport crude oil from Alberta, Canada to American refiners in Oklahoma and Texas.

For years the pipeline was an innocuous project slowly making its way through the convoluted federal approval process. After receiving all but one permit, radical environmentalist—feeling affronted two years into the Obama Administration—set their sights on the soon-to-be approved Keystone pipeline. What should have been a non-controversial construction project became anything but…

Drawing an arbitrary line in the sand, environmentalists threatened to sit out the 2012 election if President Obama approved the pipeline. Organizing daily protests outside the White House, environmentalists effectively turned a non-political issue into one of the most divisive topics of 2011.

Scared to affront his base, President Obama delayed the pipeline until after the 2012 election. Having already passed the bipartisan North American—Made Energy Security Act, which expedited the Keystone approval process, the House again used its leverage to attach a similar measure in the December payroll tax legislation. After weeks of debate, the final version of the Payroll Tax Bill included a provision that would streamline approval of the Keystone pipeline.

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