The Keystone beating shows political risk is a major U.S. problem.


One difference between the developed and developing worlds is honest, transparent government that treats investors fairly. By that standard, the Obama Administration’s handling of the Keystone XL pipeline shows the U.S. is sliding closer to Third World politics than Americans would like to admit.

On Monday TransCanada Corp. asked the State Department to stop its review of the proposed pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast that has been held hostage to liberal politics for seven years. The company said it wants a pause to give Nebraska time to finish its review of the pipeline route.

That may be true, but everyone knows that TransCanada’s bigger problem is the State review that President Obama has dragged out to the end of his term. The company’s reasonable fear is that Mr. Obama will reject the permit in the weeks before the global climate-change fiesta in Paris in December. He would then use this as a chit to prod other countries to sign onto bigger CO2 reductions.

This triumph of politics is part of a pattern for a White House that has stretched its bureaucratic power to delay, undermine or scuttle investments in mining and energy production, especially fossil fuels. Other examples include Alaska’s Pebble Mine project, Shell’s drilling in the Arctic and liquid natural gas terminals, among others. 9 (by Wall Street Journal)