Why the Keystone Pipeline Won't Ease Pain at the Pump

President Obama at a TransCanada pipe yard in Cushing, Okla., on March 22. Photograph by Larry W. Smith/EPA/Landov

President Obama’s March 22 speech at the site of a TransCanada pipe yard in Cushing, Okla., was an attempt to highlight his administration’s energy policies as both economically sensible and environmentally sustainable. Its political symbolism was even more significant. Rising gas prices have eroded the president’s approval ratings, with some 23 percent of Americans blaming him for the spike. In particular, Republicans have hammered Obama for his rejection of TransCanada’s application to build its Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to Texas, claiming that by passing up the opportunity to increase the flow of oil from Canada’s tar sands, the administration has directly contributed to higher gas prices.

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