Keystone XL pipeline should be built

Perhaps President Barack Obama should worry more about the American people than about radical environmentalists who have bullied him during his first four years, never satisfied with his own stridently anti-fossil fuel agenda.

On Feb. 17, thousands of the people marched in Washington, many of them carrying signs demanding a new energy policy.

But their burning desire was to remind Obama of their opposition to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

Throughout his first term, Obama blocked permits needed to build the pipeline from Canada into the United States. The plan is to pump about 700,000 barrels of Canadian oil a day to U.S. refineries.

Obviously, that would have a substantial effect on prices Americans pay for gasoline – as well as our national security. Every barrel of oil we buy from Canada is one less we have to import from Venezuela or the Middle East.

During his first term, Obama used the excuse that he was worried about oil spills affecting a major underground aquifer in Nebraska. But the proposed pipeline route has been changed, and that state’s governor has endorsed Keystone XL.

Radical environmentalists now insist production of Canadian shale oil will harm the environment. But what about the effect on water and air quality of the hundreds of oil tankers we use now to import oil?

And what about damaging our relationship with Canada by rejecting the pipeline? Our neighbor to the north is our most important trading partner, as well as a staunch military ally.

Obama should allow the pipeline to proceed. He needs to worry more about the millions of Americans it would benefit than about a few thousand protesters.