#ObamaOnEmpty: Failed Energy Tour Day Two

- March 22, 2012

Obama Concludes His Two Day Tour On Thursday To Defend His Failed Energy Record


Today, Obama Will Give Remarks In Cushing, Oklahoma, Where The Southern Leg Of The Keystone Pipeline Will Be Built.  “Obama on Thursday will give remarks at a storage yard holding pipes that will be used for the construction of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline — which would be used to free a surplus of U.S. oil stored in Cushing, Okla., down to Texas refineries.” (Darren Goode, “Obama Looks To Exorcise Keystone, Solyndra Demons,” Politico, 3/19/12)

  • Construction Of The Southern Leg Of Keystone Is An Attempt “To Gain A Foothold Amid A Political Battering” After Obama Denied Keystone In January. “The fact that TransCanada is moving ahead with this portion of the pipeline has allowed the White House to try to gain a foothold amid a political battering after Obama denied a presidential permit in January for the broader 1,700-mile project from Alberta to the Gulf Coast.” (Darren Goode, “Obama Looks To Exorcise Keystone, Solyndra Demons,” Politico, 3/19/12)

Obama Will Finish The Energy Tour With His Second Trip In 10 Days To The Battleground State Of Ohio, Where He Will Deliver A Speech At Ohio State University. “President Barack Obama will make his second trip to Ohio in 10 days when he delivers a speech Thursday at Ohio State University on ways to conserve energy while developing alternative renewable fuels, a White House official said. Obama’s speech in Columbus will be the final stop on a two-day trip in which the president also will appear in New Mexico, Nevada and Oklahoma.” (Jack Torry, “Obama Pitches Energy Plan To OSU On Thursday,” The Columbus Dispatch,3/17/12)


NBC News’ Chuck Todd Said There’s “No Issue That Has Been … A Bigger Bust For The President Than Energy Policy In General.” MSNBC’s CHUCK TODD: “Very quickly, president’s going down to Miami to give an energy speech. Nia, you’ve been with me, I feel like, on the front lines covering the president from the day he took office. There is no issue that has been a, I guess, a bigger bust for the president than energy policy in general. There’s a lot of, we can come up with a lot of excuses as to why, but boy, it’s just like you can’t – he’s made no progress.” THE WASHINGTON POST’s NIA-MALIKA HENDERSON: “No, he’s made no progress. I remember covering him on the campaign and he would talk about, you know, turning these manufacturing plants into wind turbine plants and it seemed to work then, but, you know, in terms of the reality and on the ground actually success during his presidency, absolutely none.” (MSNBC’s  "The Daily Rundown,"  2/23/12)

In June 2011, Obama Said He’s Failed On Energy, Saying His Energy Policy Is Just A “Hodgepodge.” OBAMA: “Our energy policy still is just a hodgepodge, and for all the progress we’ve made, we’re not where we need to be in making sure that this is an energy-efficient economy that is running on all cylinders.”(President Barack Obama, Remarks By The President At A DNC Event, Miami, FL, 6/13/11)

Obama Really Doesn’t Have A Coherent Energy Policy, Whose “Approach Has Been To Throw Out One Idea After Another Without Connecting The Dots Into An Overall Initiative.” “What is also important is what this debacle says once again about White House policy: Mainly that there really isn’t any. As in other initiatives, President Barack Obama has made lofty pronouncements about alternative energy without delineating any coherent coordinated plan for moving forward. His approach has been to throw out one idea after another without connecting the dots into an overall initiative.” (Dan K. Thomasson, “Solyndra’s Shadow Lasting,”The Boston Herald, 10/19/11)

Former Obama Advisor Steven Rattner Said “We Have Absolutely No Energy Policy.” Steven Rattner: “It’s a viable issue. But let’s look at the facts. The U.S., in fact, notwithstanding the fact we have absolutely no energy policy and we all including myself believe we should have one, has not really been that much a part of the problem lately.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 3/9/12)


“In A Politically Explosive Decision,” Obama Rejected The Keystone Pipeline, Delaying A Tough Choice Until After The November Elections. “In a politically explosive decision, President Barack Obama on Wednesday rejected plans for a massive oil pipeline through the heart of the United States, ruling there was not enough time for a fair review before a looming deadline forced on him by Republicans. His move did not kill the project but could again delay a tough choice for him until after the November elections.” (Ben Feller and Matthew Daly, “Obama Rejects Canada-Texas Oil Pipeline-For Now,” The Associated Press, 1/18/12)

The Decision To Kill Keystone Was “No Brainer Election-Year Politics” To Appease The Party’s Democrat Donor Base And Environmental Advocates. “The decision was predictable simply because it was politically beneficial to all parties involved as they gear up for a 2012 campaign likely to be decided by voter enthusiasm and untold corporate millions, operatives on both sides of the issue say. The GOP has an issue that resonates with independents paying $3.50 a gallon for gas and the petroleum industry likely to pump millions into Republican campaigns and super PACs. And for all the pounding he’s taking from Republicans, industry and labor unions, Obama’s decision Wednesday is no-brainer election-year politics. Democrats outside the West Wing and Chicago-based campaign say the politics were clear: With the exceptions of the grousing unions (who will have no choice but to support him in 2012), the party’s donor base, environmental advocates down to their hybrid SUVs oppose the pipeline.” (Glenn Thrush and Darren Samuelsohn, “Keystone Call A Political Win-Win,” Politico, 1/18/12)

  • “‘Um, … This Came As A Surprise To Anybody?’ Said A Person Close To Obama. ‘There Was Never The Slightest Bit Of Doubt We Were Going To Say No.’” (Glenn Thrush and Darren Samuelsohn, “Keystone Call A Political Win-Win,” Politico, 1/18/12)

USA Today: Obama’s Decision To Kill Keystone Was “The Most Craven Sort Of Election-Year Politics. “What's really going on here, of course, is the most craven sort of election-year politics. The Obama administration seemed to be on its way to approving Keystone when environmental groups made the pipeline a key test of their support for the president, who suddenly decided the administration couldn't possibly make a decision until sometime after the election.” (Editorial, “Obama’s Pipeline Decision Delays Energy Security,” USA Today, 1/28/12)

Keystone Could Create Over 100,000 Jobs

The Keystone Pipeline Was Expected To Result In As Many As 130,000 Jobs. “Many of those 20,000 jobs on the construction of the pipeline would have been filled by skilled union members. Eventually, the completed pipeline was expected to result in as many as 130,000 jobs, many of them on the upper Texas Coast, where the heavy oil would be refined into 700,000 barrels of oil daily.” (Editorial, “Keystone Pipeline Delay Is The Wrong Call,” Houston Chronicle, 11/11/11)

The Pipeline Would “Produce 20,000 Construction Jobs And 100,000 Indirect Jobs.”  “Gary Doer, the Canadian ambassador to the United States, said building the pipeline would produce 20,000 construction jobs and 100,000 additional indirect jobs in services and supplies. ‘It’s good for the U.S. economy, U.S. jobs and U.S. energy security,’ he said. ‘If you ask Americans, would you choose Canada over the Middle East, they’d say yes.’” (John M. Broder & Clifford Krauss, “U.S. Offers Key Support To Canadian Pipeline,” The New York Times, 8/26/11)

Four Labor Unions Reached A Tentative Agreement To Build The Pipeline Because They Say It Will Directly Create As Many As 20,000 High Wage Jobs For Their Members. “In September 2010, four unions - the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada; the Laborers International Union of North America; the Teamsters; and the International Union of Operating Engineers - reached a tentative project labor agreement with TransCanada to build the pipeline, which is now finalized. They say the project will directly generate as many as 20,000 high-wage jobs for their members.” (Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson, “Obama’s Allies’ Interests Collide Over Keystone Pipeline,” The Washington Post, 10/16/11)

Obama Senior Adviser David Axelrod: “It Will Create Some Jobs.” DAVID AXELROD:  “Well, that is a point that’s in dispute. It will create some jobs and there’s no doubt about it. The estimates have run from 5,000 to the proponents of it say 100,000. But the point is, Joe, whatever happens with that pipeline, it has to make sense from the standpoint of the health and safety of the American people. And I think, you know, this was a State Department decision. I think it was the right decision.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 11/11/11) 

Keystone Would Result In Greater Energy Independence

The Detroit News: “The Oil From Canada Could Ultimately Supplant Much Of The Oil The United States Imports From The Middle East And Other Unstable Regions. It Could Give The Country A Measure Of Energy Security.” (Editorial, “Pipeline Delay An Insult To Jobless,” The Detroit News, 11/14/11)

USA Today: “The Pipeline Should Be Built Because Of The Steady Stream Of Oil It Would Bring To Refineries In The United States, Which Still Imports Almost Half Its Oil.” (Editorial, “Obama’s Pipeline Decision Delays Energy Security,” USA Today, 1/28/12)

According To A State Department Report, Pipeline Is “Needed” To Maintain Supplies As Imports Decline.  “The pipeline is needed to maintain supplies of heavy crude oil to Gulf Coast refineries as imports decline, according to today’s State Department report.” (David Lerman & Jim Efstathiou Jr., “TransCanada Pipeline’s Environment Risk Limited, U.S. Finds,” Bloomberg, 8/26/11)

The Washington Post: Rejecting The Keystone Pipeline Would Help China Lock Up More Of The World’s Oil Production And Cost Infrastructure Jobs In The U.S. “The United States must reduce its dependence on fossil fuels, from any source, and it should encourage nations such as China to lower the carbon intensity of their economies, too. Even if that happens, though, the world will continue to use oil, with all the dirty realities that entails. Rejecting Keystone XL would not change that fact. But it would help China lock up more of the world’s oil production, cost infrastructure jobs in the United States and offend a reliable ally. More delay after three years of review is insult enough.” (Editorial, “Washington’s Unwelcome Delay In The Keystone XL Pipeline Project” The Washington Post, 11/12/11)

The New York Times’ Joe Nocera: “Oil From The Canadian Tar Sands Ought To Be Viewed As A Great Gift That Has Been Handed To North America.” “Along with the natural gas that can now be extracted thanks to hydraulic fracturing — which, of course, all right-thinking environmentalists also oppose — the oil from the Canadian tar sands ought to be viewed as a great gift that has been handed to North America.” (Joe Nocera, Op-Ed, “Poisoned Politics Of Keystone XL,” The New York Times, 2/6/12)

  • “These Two Relatively New Sources Of Fossil Fuels Offer America Its First Real Chance In Decades To Become, If Not Energy Self-Sufficient, At Least Energy Secure, No Longer Beholden To OPEC.” (Joe Nocera, Op-Ed, “Poisoned Politics Of Keystone XL,” The New York Times, 2/6/12)

Keystone Has Democrat Support

Former Obama Advisor Steven Rattner Said Obama Should Approve The Pipeline Because His “Instinct Is We Need The Energy, We Need The Jobs And It Can Be Done In A Safe Way.” HAROLD FORD JR. “You think the Keystone, the pipeline, that the president should approve that before the year’s up? Do you think, is there a job creating mechanism? STEVEN RATTNER: I’m not an expert, but my instinct is he should approve it. My instinct is we need the energy, we need the jobs and it can be done in a safe way. (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 1/5/12)

Energy Secretary Chu Supports The Pipeline. “Energy Secretary Steven Chu signaled this week that he supports a controversial proposed oil sands pipeline project being considered by the Obama administration.” (Andrew Restuccia, “Chu Signals Support For Proposed Oil Pipeline,” The Hill’s Health Watch,” 8/31/11)

22 House Democrats Wrote A Letter To Obama Supporting The Pipeline. “Twenty-two House Democrats led by Rep. Gene Green (Texas) wrote to President Obama Wednesday supporting the Keystone XL proposal, claiming it will create 20,000 direct jobs and many more “spin-off” jobs.” (Ben German and Andrew Restuccia, “Overnight Energy: Senate Panel Queries EPA On Gas ‘Fracking,’” The Hill’s E2 Wire Blog, 10/19/11)

47 Democrats Supported A House Bill Last Summer To Require A Decision On Keystone By November 2011. “Rep. Mike Ross of Arkansas — one of 47 Democrats that supported a House bill this summer to require a decision on the pipeline project by Nov. 1 — counted more than 20 Democrats who would likely support adding the Keystone language to the payroll tax package.” (Darren Goode, “Keystone-Payroll Tax Combo A Dem Dilemma,” Politico, 12/8/11)

11 Senate Democrats “Buck[ed] The President” And Voted To Fast Track Construction Of Keystone XL Pipeline. “President Barack Obama got his way today when the Senate defeated a plan to fast-track the Keystone XL oil pipeline — no thanks to 11 Democrats who bucked the president and voted for the amendment. The Democrats who crossed party lines on the 56-42 vote were: Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Jon Tester of Montana, and Jim Webb of Virginia. (Mike Zapler, “The 11 Democrats Who Bucked Obama On Keystone,” Politico, 3/8/12)

Both Montana Democrat Senators Support The Keystone Project. “Montana’s Democrat Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester also like the potential job creation from the Keystone project.” (“Baucus, Tester Support Keystone XL, But Not GOP Bill,”, 11/30/11)

  • Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT): “We Need To Put Montanans Back To Work And Cannot Afford Further Delays To The Keystone XL Pipeline…” (“Baucus, Tester Support Keystone XL, But Not GOP Bill,”, 11/30/11)
  • Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT): “The Keystone Pipeline Will Create Montana Jobs And It Should Not Have To Wait 14 Months For An Up-Or-Down Decision…” (“Baucus, Tester Support Keystone XL, But Not GOP Bill,”, 11/30/11)

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) “It’s Truly A Godsend For America To Have That Supply From A Neighbor That Is Friendly… I Can Assure You (The Canadian Oil) Is Going To Be Used Somewhere In The World, If It’s Not Used In The U.S.” (“Democratic Senator Blasts Obama Energy Policy, Says It’s ‘Bouncing Around Like A Ping Pong Bill’,” Houston Chronicle, 6/8/11)

“Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) Said Keystone Has The Backing Of Several Democrats. ‘It’s Always Had More Democratic Support Than People Thought,’ She Said.” (“Lawmakers Grow Confident Deal Will Be Reached By Weekend,”  The Hill, 12/15/11)

Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK) Supports The Project And Said Obama Is Wrong On Delaying It. “I support the project. I think the president’s view on this, of waiting, I think doesn’t make a lot of sense. It is a project that could provide lots of jobs to this country… I think the president’s wrong on delaying this, and I think there are a lot of good jobs relating to this, and again [it’s oil] from a friendly country, Canada.” (“Begich On XL, Bypass Mail,  KTVA11 Alaska, 12/15/11)

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR): Keystone XL Pipeline Has “Gotten Wrapped Up In Some Of The Presidential Politics … After The Elections, It’s Going To Be Approved.” “‘The truth is it is a presidential election year, and it’s gotten wrapped up in some of the presidential politics,’ Pryor said. ‘I think both sides have kind of brought that on. But I think the bottom line is after the elections it’s going to be approved, it’s going to go forward.’” (John Lyon, “Pryor: Keystone Pipeline Approval Likely After Election,” Arkansas News, 3/19/12)

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) Wants Keystone Project “Back On Track As Soon As Possible.” “Sen. McCaskill said Missourians are being squeezed by higher gasoline prices and that she supports construction of the Keystone pipeline and she ‘hopes to see the entire project back on track as soon as possible.’ She has urged the president to release oil from the United States Strategic Petroleum Reserve.” (Editorial, “McCaskill Bucks Obama,” EMissourian, 2/29/12)

Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) Said Keystone Is “In Our National Interest.” “I think it's in our national interest that it comes here, it certainly in our state's interest because we can tap into that pipeline and move some of our oil that will mean better prices for it, so I'm hopeful at the end of the day this temporary decision will be changed and the Keystone will be able to proceed.” (Tom Gerhardt, “Conrad Reacts To Decision On Keystone XL Pipeline,” KX News, 1/18/12)

  • “Conrad Says At The End Of The Day The Pipeline Needs To Be Built Or The Oil Will Be Sent To Overseas Markets.” (Tom Gerhardt, “Conrad Reacts To Decision On Keystone XL Pipeline,” KX News, 1/18/12)

Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) “Voted To Move Forward With The Keystone Pipeline To Increase Access To North American Oil And To Create US Jobs.” “But despite widely reported calls from Obama to Democratic senators urging them to vote against the amendment, 11 Democrats bucked their party's leadership and supported the project going forward. Among them was Pennsylvania Democrat Bob Casey. ‘Senator Casey is concerned about rising gas prices. He voted to move forward with the Keystone Pipeline to increase access to North American oil and to create US jobs. He has also called for the use of US steel in the construction of the pipeline. To reduce our dependence on foreign oil and to create Pennsylvania jobs, Senator Casey has also proposed measures to speed the conversion to natural gas vehicles,’ Casey's spokesman John Rizzo said Friday.” (Colby Itkowitz, “Casey Sidesteps Obama, Supports Keystone,” The Morning Call, 3/9/12)

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-NE): “This Is A Win For Nebraskans … The Pipeline Will Be Moved Out Of Environmentally Sensitive Areas Of Nebraska With TransCanada Proposing A New Route. The Pipeline Will Be Built, Bringing Jobs To Nebraska.” (“TransCanada To Alter Keystone Route,” The Hill’s E2 Wire Blog, 11/14/11)


When Obama Took Office, The Price For A Gallon Of Regular Gasoline Was $1.847. (Energy Information Administration, Accessed 2/7/12)

The Price For A Gallon Of Regular Gasoline On March 19, 2012 Was $3.867. (Energy Information Administration, Accessed 3/20/12)

The Average Price Of A Gallon Of Regular Is At The Highest Ever Recorded Price In March. “The average price of a gallon of regular is now $3.87, the highest recorded price in March. The average price is up nearly 4 cents from a week ago, and over 30 cents from a year ago, according to the Department of Energy, as more drivers face gas prices of $4 a gallon or more across the country. Last week, the average gas price was $3.83 a gallon, the previous record according to data going back to 1990.” (Zunaira Zaki, “Highest Gas Price Recorded In March,” ABC News, 3/19/12)

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