President Obama’s decision to support a southern section of Keystone XL is a commitment to build a pipeline to nowhere. Until extra oil supply hits Cushing, OK from Canada, there is no purpose to building a pipeline from the Gulf of Mexico to there. And that’s the kind of economic development, President Obama apparently likes, the dig a hole then fill it in variety.
Keynesians see nothing wrong with this sort of useless development that doesn’t actually meaningfully enhance an economy’s productive capacity. The actual construction project is a stimulus and that’s fine with them. But those that follow the Austrian school find such development a key factor in setting up future economic trouble because it’s malinvestment, siphoning off investment money to little useful purpose other than to shorten the tanker car runs Warren Buffet is making profits off of.