The administration’s decision to postpone the Canadian XL pipeline despite the price of crude oil jumping above $100 a barrel has led energy-sector executives to suspect the administration “is at war with American energy production,” GOP Rep. Ted Poe of Texas tells Newsmax.TV.
Poe, who represents the heartland of the U.S. refinery industry in Southeast Texas, says delaying a decision on the XL pipeline until after the November 2012 election will hurt U.S. job growth. Once fully operational, that pipeline would deliver over 1.2 million barrels a day to the thirsty U.S. oil refineries that blanket the Gulf Coast region near Port Arthur, Texas.
“That’s as much oil as we get from Saudi Arabia,” Poe tells Newsmax. “Why not trade with a stable partner, rather than relying on Middle Eastern oil? Even the pipeline folks in Nebraska have now a new route that they want to go through, to go around the environmental concerns. The State Department says, ‘No, we’re not going to do it. We’re going to wait until after the election to make a decision.’”
Poe warned that Canada may simply build a pipeline west rather than south, and offload the crude into oil tankers bound for China. He said the administration’s decision appears to be motivated by politics: Environmentalists oppose construction of the Canada-to-Texas pipeline.
“By a failure to make a decision, we are just continuing down the road of high energy prices,” the Texas congressman said.
Other highlights from Poe’s exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV:
• The joint congressional “Supercommittee” that has been meeting behind closed doors on the deficit was a bad idea. “I think this should be open not only to other members of Congress, but it should be open to the public,” Poe says. “The public should know what’s taking place. It’s too important an issue to have it in a smoke-filled room.”
• Deep, automatic cuts looming for the Pentagon if the committee can’t reach a deal “would be bad for our national security.” Poe adds: “We’ve already cut the department of defense drastically, even though we are involved in several wars throughout the world.”
• Poe maintains that Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan should excuse herself from the Supreme Court’s upcoming review of the president’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. As a former judge, Poe says, “It won’t look right if she hears the case, and her impartiality is in question.” He says Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas does not have a conflict of interest stemming from his wife’s grass-roots activities, however.
• President Barack Obama’s divisive rhetoric targeting Wall Street executives and wealthy citizens have contributed to the Occupy Wall Street protests, Poe says. “The president has engaged in purposefully splitting America into as many factions as he can, all in the name of politics,” says the congressman.