Daily Archives: Nov. 13, 2012

Will Obama approve Keystone XL after all?

“We believe the White House will reverse course and approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would ship crude from Canada’s western oil sands to the Gulf Coast,” ratings agency Moody’s predicted Monday. Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, told the Financial Times that the pipeline “will be a threshold test as to how serious the president is about producing America’s oil and natural gas.” But environmentalists want President Obama to make permanent his delay of the permit for the northern section of the pipeline, as a way to show he intends to tackle climate change. Noting that Obama’s victory speech mentioned an “America not threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet,” Bill McKibben wrote in the Washington Post that “if he really gets that this is the legacy issue of all legacy issues, one that stretches out into geologic time, then he’ll listen to the scientists and not the lobbyists. Keystone is his first best chance to help keep serious quantities of carbon out of the atmosphere.” Moody’s report on Obama’s second term also cautioned that regulatory scrutiny may increase for hydraulic fracturing and remain strict over deepwater exploration.

Don’t give up on Intrust Bank Arena’s NCAA dream

It was baffling and frustrating to see Intrust Bank Arena again fail to make the list of sites for early rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, forcing the community dream to be deferred until 2016 at the earliest. Didn’t the strong attendance and fine hospitality Wichita showed for the 2011 NCAA women’s tournament make a favorable enough impression? Perhaps the selection team missed the electricity and record-setting house of the recent NBA preseason game – which prompted Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks to say, “There aren’t many non-NBA arenas as nice as this building.” Didn’t the NCAA at least hear about the big, enthusiastic crowds that have been drawn to the arena by the Wichita State University and Kansas State University men’s basketball games? Whatever the reason for the latest snub, arena officials and Wichita leaders must keep after the goal of hosting part of the big dance, which was part of what inspired the community eight years ago to build a downtown arena.

End of Learjet strike a win for community

Congratulations to the leaders on both sides of the negotiating table at the Machinists union and Bombardier Learjet, whose efforts led to Saturday’s vote to approve the contract offer and Monday’s end of the five-week strike. The best feature of the new five-year contract is that it gets Learjet’s skilled workers back to the business of manufacturing outstanding aircraft that will be needed as the economy rebounds.