The meaning of Obama’s Keystone decision

“President Obama’s decision to deny approval of the Keystone XL Pipeline is wrong and bad for Montana. The jobs*, economic benefit, and energy security the pipeline would afford Montana — especially eastern Montana — are now lost due to the dysfunction that has come to define Washington D.C.” (Montana Governor Steve Bullock reacting to the decision not to build the Keystone Pipeline.)

Since we do not have representative government, the decision to suspend the Keystone Pipeline was not Obama’s to make. Other factors must have forced his hand. What might those factors be?

Oil prices are likely to remain low over the next five years because of plentiful supply and falling demand in developed countries, the International Energy Agency said Tuesday in its annual forecast.

The Paris-based body, which advises developed countries on energy policy, says it expects oil prices to return to $80 per barrel in 2020, with further increases after that.

Oil prices are down more than 50 percent since the middle of last year. On Tuesday, the U.S. crude oil contract was trading at $43.95 a barrel. (ABC News: Oil Prices Forecast to Stay Low Until 2020.)

There isn’t much more to think about, in my view. When oil prices return to higher levels, the pipeline will be built.
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*In politician-speak, “jobs” means “profits.” If Bullock were speaking in private to his financial backers, he would use the word profits. In public he speaks in code, as he must.

About Mark Tokarski

Just a man who likes to read, argue, and occasionally be surprised.
This entry was posted in Economics and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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