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Caving To The Left On Keystone

- April 21, 2014

Obama’s Latest Keystone Punt Isn’t Welcome News For Anyone, Except Democrats’ Liberal Billionaire Backer

“The Obama Administration Pulled A Classic Campaign-Year Move Friday: It Punted On The Keystone XL Pipeline.” (Andrew Restuccia, “Keystone Non-Decision Keeps Some Democrats On The Hot Seat,” Politico, 4/18/14)

  • “The Move Could Easily Push President Barack Obama’s Final Decision Past The November Election.” (Andrew Restuccia and Darren Goode, “Keystone Decision Delayed Yet Again,” Politico, 4/18/14)

Obama’s Decision To Delay The Keystone Pipeline Decision Comes In The Face Of Expected “Depressed Democratic Turnout” And Possibly Alienating “The Party Base Of Liberal Voters.” “Friday's decision could help the party avoid what is already expected to be a depressed Democratic turnout in November. Approval could have alienated the party base of liberal voters and environmental enthusiasts.” (Neela Banerjee and Lisa Mascaro, “Obama Administration Delays Keystone XL Pipeline Decision,” Los Angeles Times, 4/18/14)

Approval Of The Pipeline Would Have Potentially Dampened The Enthusiasm Of Wealthy Anti-Keystone Donors Such As Billionaire Tom Steyer. “Approval of the pipeline would also have risked dampening the enthusiasm of wealthy donors such as billionaire investor Tom Steyer, who is spending tens of millions of dollars to boost environmentally-friendly candidates.” (Jeff Mason and Steve Holland, “Keystone XL Delay Could Give Boost To Obama's Political Base,” Reuters, 4/20/14)

  • Steyer Has Pledged To Financially Back Candidates Who Oppose The Keystone Pipeline. “Good news for lawmakers who oppose the Keystone XL oil pipeline: San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer has got your back. Steyer, the hedge-fund-trader-turned-anti-Keystone-activist, pledged Thursday to leverage his largely self-funded super PAC to support members of Congress who come under attack for their opposition to the proposed Canada-to-Texas pipeline.” (Andrew Restuccia, “Steyer Vows To Aid Anti-Keystone Lawmakers,” Politico, 4/17/14)

2014 DEMOCRATS ARE PAYING THE PRICE FOR OBAMA’S INDECISION

Obama’s Non-Decision Makes Life More Difficult For 2014 Democrats. “But the non-decision decision also makes life a little harder for several groups of Democratic senators and Senate candidates fighting for their lives.” (Andrew Restuccia, “Keystone Non-Decision Keeps Some Democrats On The Hot Seat,” Politico, 4/18/14)

  • Democrats Are “Worried That The Delay On The Pipeline Decision Could Undermine” Vulnerable Senators. “Many Democrats are vulnerable to attack, and some worried that the delay on the pipeline decision could undermine moderates such as Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu and Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor whose re-election bids will help determine whether Republicans gain control of the Senate.” (Jeff Mason and Steve Holland, “Keystone XL Delay Could Give Boost To Obama's Political Base,” Reuters, 4/20/14)

The Heightened Pressure Will Hit Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO), Who Has “Yet To Take A Firm Stance,” And Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA). “Some, like Colorado Sen. Mark Udall, have yet to take a firm stance on the Alberta-to-Texas oil pipeline — and the State Department’s announcement Friday that it’s extending its review of the project removes the possibility that Obama could resolve the issue one way or another next month. Meanwhile, pro-Keystone Democrats like Senate energy Chairwoman Mary Landrieu will face heightened pressure to take actions to match their rhetoric.” (Andrew Restuccia, “Keystone Non-Decision Keeps Some Democrats On The Hot Seat,” Politico, 4/18/14)

Senate Candidate Alison Lendergan Grimes (D-KY) “Has Avoided Taking A Position On The Project.” “Similarly, Kentucky Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, who is running to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, has avoided taking a position on the project.” (Andrew Restuccia, “Keystone Non-Decision Keeps Some Democrats On The Hot Seat,” Politico, 4/18/14)

AND HILLARY CLINTON, WHO HAS DUCKED QUESTIONS FOR MONTHS, WILL STILL BE ON THE HOT SEAT ON KEYSTONE

Clinton Has Declined To Answer On Keystone, Even Though It Was Under Review During Much Of Her Tenure As Secretary Of State. “So far, Clinton has demurred on Keystone -- she declined to answer directly a question about it during a March 5 event in Vancouver -- even though it was under review by the State Department for much of her tenure as secretary.” (Jonathan Allen, “Clinton Keystone Dodge Prompts Donors To Rethink Support,” Bloomberg, 3/11/14)

  • Clinton’s Silence Has Caused Wealthy Democrats To Consider “Withholding Support For A 2016 Hillary Clinton Presidential Bid.” “Wealthy Democratic environmentalists are considering withholding support for a 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential bid unless she reassures them about their top priority: Killing the Keystone XL pipeline.” (Jonathan Allen, “Clinton Keystone Dodge Prompts Donors To Rethink Support,” Bloomberg, 3/11/14)

Clinton Declined To Comment On Keystone While Attending An Event In Vancouver In March. “Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declined to comment on the ongoing debate over the controversial Keystone XL pipeline at an event Wednesday night in Vancouver.” (Dan Merica, “In Vancouver, Clinton Declines To Comment On Keystone Pipeline,” CNN, 3/6/14)

OBAMA’S LIBERAL BASE MAY BE HAPPY, BUT REASONS FOR REJECTING KEYSTONE ARE RUNNING OUT

Recent State Department Reports Have Removed Major Excuses For Further Keystone Delay

The Release Of The State Department’s Environmental Impact Report “Removes A Major Excuse For Delay.” “But the release Friday of a long-awaited government report removes a major excuse for delay, ramping up pressure on the president to make a call.” (Nedra Pickler And Josh Lederman, “Obama Running Out Of Reasons To Reject Keystone XL,” The Associated Press, 2/1/14)

  • The State Department Report “Discounted Most Of The Environmental Community’s Warnings” About Keystone. “The new State Department report that discounted most of the environmental community’s warnings about the Keystone XL oil pipeline puts the final decision on the project closer to Obama’s desk, after years in which he’s been able to dodge rendering a verdict.” (Darren Goode And Darren Samuelsohn, “Keystone Foes Pinning Final Hopes On Obama,” Politico, 2/1/14)

Both The Business And Labor Communities Support Keystone

Warren Buffet: I Would Vote Yes For Keystone. BECKY QUICK: “He writes in a question, too.  He says that in your shareholder’s letter, you always speak so positively about fabulous ways to transport goods. Do you think that Keystone should be approved? I know we talked a little bit about this earlier, but I didn’t really put you on the line. Do you think Keystone should be approved?” WARREN BUFFETT: “I’d vote yes.”  QUICK: “You would vote yes for the keystone. He always wonders about creation of jobs, too. So, energy and job creation, pipeline is an energy renaissance is what Jim is pointing out.” BUFFETT: “But, I don’t believe in the Keystone Pipeline because of the jobs you make building it. I mean, you can build anything and create jobs.  I believe -- I just believe it’s a useful pipeline.” (CNBC’s “Squawk On the Street,” 3/3/14)

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka Has Reiterated His Support For The Keystone Pipeline. “The AFL-CIO president also reiterated his support for construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline that would transport crude oil from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries.” (Clare Foran, “AFL-CIO President Opposes Lifting Ban On Crude-Oil Exports,” The National Journal, 1/14/14)

  • Trumka On Keystone: “There’s No Environmental Reason That It Can’t Be Done Safely While At The Same Time Creating Jobs.” “‘Anything that makes sense and creates jobs and is sound environmental policy as well, we will be doing it. [With respect to] the XL pipeline, there’s no environmental reason that it can’t be done safely while at the same time creating jobs,’ he said.” (Clare Foran, “AFL-CIO President Opposes Lifting Ban On Crude-Oil Exports,” The National Journal, 1/14/14)

Obama’s Own Former Advisors Support The Pipeline

Marcia McNutt, The Former Head Of The U.S. Geological Survey From 2009 To 2013: “I Believe It Is Time To Move Forward On The Keystone XL Pipeline.” “Marcia McNutt, who headed USGS from 2009 to 2013 and now serves as editor-in-chief of the journal Science, wrote in an editorial, ‘I believe it is time to move forward on the Keystone XL pipeline’ in exchange for getting Canadian officials to reduce their oil industry’s carbon emissions. McNutt, who also served as the Interior Department’s senior science adviser, is the latest former Obama administration official to come out in favor of the pipeline in recent weeks.” (Juliet Eilperin, “Former USGS Head Endorses Keystone Pipeline,” The Washington Post, 2/20/14)

“Former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar Says He Believes The Keystone XL Oil Pipeline From Canada Should Be Built.” (Matthew Daly, “Salazar: Build Keystone XL Pipeline,” The Associated Press, 2/5/14)

  • Salazar: Keystone Could Be A “Win-Win” That Benefits U.S. Energy Security While Boosting Conservation Efforts. “Salazar told The Associated Press that the pipeline could be a ‘win-win’ project that benefits U.S. energy security while boosting conservation efforts in Montana, South Dakota and other affected states.” (Matthew Daly, “Salazar: Build Keystone XL Pipeline,” The Associated Press, 2/5/14)

Former Obama National Security Advisor Tom Donilon: I Would Recommend That Obama Approve Keystone Pipeline. WALTER ISAACSON: “I know you’re not in the administration anymore, so maybe you could answer. Would you recommend for the Keystone pipeline if you were there?” DONILON: “You know, I would.” (Tom Donilon, Remarks At Aspen Institute Forum, Washington, D.C., 1/7/14)

Former Obama National Security Advisory Jim Jones Has Supported The Construction Of Keystone, Claiming It Would Send A Message To Russian President Vladimir Putin. “A former national security adviser to President Obama said Thursday that building the Keystone XL pipeline would bolster U.S. national security by sending a strong message to Russian President Vladimir Putin and other ‘international bullies’ that they cannot use energy security as a weapon. Retired Marine general James Jones, who served as Obama's national security adviser from 2009 to 2010, made the comments to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing exploring whether the controversial Alberta-to-Gulf of Mexico pipeline is in the national interest.” (Aamer Madhani, “Ex-Obama Aide: Approve Keystone, Send Message To Putin,” USA Today, 3/13/14)


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