By KARL ROVE | 5/1/12 9:31 PM EDT
Many Americans think Washington is broken, out of touch and unaccountable. For good reason: When it comes to jobs and economic growth, Washington often just can’t get it right. Consider how the Obama administration has made a mess of important opportunities that would provide more jobs and greater prosperity.
Exhibit A is the Keystone XL pipeline. It would have brought oil from Canada’s tar sands and North Dakota’s prolific Bakken field to Gulf Coast refineries, factories and chemical plants. This would have created tens of thousands of private-sector jobs and reduced U.S. dependence on Middle Eastern oil.
No matter. Extreme environmentalists opposed this vital infrastructure project. Rather than offend them, President Barack Obama blocked the pipeline’s construction.
There’s another company the Obama administration has prevented from spending billions to create jobs and improve America’s infrastructure. The company is LightSquared and its cutting-edge technology allows cellphones to communicate over both a satellite and a ground-based system — providing coverage virtually anywhere in the country.
This national 4G wireless network — using advanced satellite and terrestrial cellular technology — would have been available to other cell companies. LightSquared planned to be a wholesaler, driving down prices for consumers. The new network would have required as much as $14 billion in private capital — and tens of thousands of people to build it.