Obama should approve the Keystone pipeline deal

The Madison County Record Dec. 3, 2011, 5:00am

To the Editor:

As President Obama declined Canada's offer to increase its supply of safe and reliable oil into the United States, I wonder if he said to himself:

"I inherited a country that relies too much on oil, it's not my fault we are in an energy crisis."

Whether its energy security, the federal deficit, the failing economy or the wars in the Middle East, President Obama has avoided his responsibility to use leadership that will guide us through difficult times.

As a result, we have been stuck with the burdens of his inactions.

At the Pentagon, I know that major efforts have been made to reduce its reliance on oil. Goals have been set in the Navy, Army, Air Force and the Marine Corps to replace much of its dependence on oil with renewable fuels. Pentagon officials, who have never been pegged as environmental leaders, say that the national security threat of importing oil from dangerous countries is far greater than any environmental threat.

According to a new report from the Military Advisory Board, the United State's reliance on imported oil from unstable countries makes us extremely vulnerable.

"...We are held hostage to price fixing by a cartel that includes actors who would do our nation harm, and we are too often called upon to risk the lives of our sons and daughters to protect fragile oil supplies form this very cartel," according to the report.

The Pentagon is doing everything it can to eliminate this threat but could use support from the White House.

The proposed pipeline would have transported 700,000 barrels of oil per day from our neighbor to the north with whom we have a friendly and stable trading relationship with. Yet, President Obama said no.

After all, it isn't his fault that the U.S. consumes 15 millions of barrels of oil each day and imports 10 to 11 millions of barrels per day.

It isn't his fault that the Pentagon consumes 360,000 barrels of oil each day either.

This isn't leadership.

President Obama should be fighting right along side of the American public and our national security team for our energy security. He should approve the Keystone pipeline deal and give us a chance to reduce our dependence on oil from unstable countries.

As a veteran who recently served in Iraq, I understand the threats we face from countries overseas who despise our country and hate our freedom. It is severe. I also understand President Obama doesn't have much of a background in the private sector, but I can assure him, these are not the people that the United States should be doing business with.

The United States can significantly benefit from increasing its supply from Canada and it isn't too late for President Obama to change his mind.

For the sake of our energy security, I hope he does sometime in the very near future.

Steve Williams,
Airman 1st Class, U.S. Air Force (retired)
Orland Park, Ill.

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