Still Waiting for Keystone

- June 25, 2013


Today, Obama Continued To Delay Approving The Keystone Pipeline. "While outlining his new climate change plan, President Obama said Tuesday his State Department should not sign off on the Keystone XL oil pipeline if it increases greenhouse gas emissions." (David Jackson, "Obama Calls For Carbon Cuts At Power Plants," USA Today, 6/25/13)

  • The Keystone Pipeline Would Help Support Thousands Of Jobs. "Including direct, indirect, and induced effects, the proposed Project would potentially support approximately 42,100 average annual jobs across the United States over a 1-to 2-year construction period (of which, approximately 3,900 would be directly employed in construction activities). This employment would potentially translate to approximately $2.05 billion in earnings. ("Keystone XL Project Draft Supplemental EIS Executive Summary," United States Department of State, 3/13, p.14)


The Keystone XL Pipeline Has "Spawned A Massive Opposition Campaign Among The President's Liberal Base." "While the climate speech isn't likely to touch on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, the controversial project that has spawned a massive opposition campaign among the president's liberal base, it is expected to involve these measures: POWER PLANT CLAMPDOWN All eyes are on the EPA, the federal agency in charge of writing and implementing what are likely to be some of the most controversial regulations in the president's second term: limiting carbon emissions from both new and existing power plants." (Andrew Restuccia, "Obama's Climate Plan Seen Putting Heat On Power Plants, Appliances," Politico, 6/21/13)

At An Event In May, A Member Of The Sierra Club Said Joe Biden Told Her He Opposed The Keystone Pipeline. "Elaine Cooper, a member of the Sierra Club's South Carolina chapter, poses with Vice President Joe Biden at a fish fry hosted by Rep. Clyburn. Vice President Joe Biden told a South Carolina environmental activist Friday that he opposes a controversial oil pipeline from Canada, but said he is 'in the minority' inside the Obama administration, according to the activist's account of the conversation. Biden made the remark at Rep. Jim Clyburn's annual 'World Famous Fish Fry' Friday evening, where he met Elaine Cooper, a Columbia resident and group chair of the South Carolina chapter of the Sierra Club, while working the ropeline amongst hundreds of supporters in attendance. An email obtained by BuzzFeed from the organization's national program assistant, Jessica Eckdish, provides Cooper's record of the encounter, in which she 'was able to ask Vice President Biden if he supporting [sic] rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline,' Eckdish writes. The email continues: 'Here's his response from Elaine: He grabbed my Sierra Club hat on my head and said, 'yes, I do - I share your views - but I am in the minority' and smiled.'" (Ruby Cramer, "Joe Biden Tells Supporter He Opposes Keystone Pipeline, But Is 'In The Minority'," BuzzFeed , 5/7/13)

Nearly 150 Former Obama 2012 Campaign Staff Wrote A Letter Urging President Obama To Reject The Keystone Pipeline. "Almost 150 people who worked on President Obama's 2012 campaign are urging their reelected commander in chief to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. In a letter unveiled at an event in Washington on Thursday morning, 145 former campaign staff members use Obama's own words to convince the president he should not approve the project, which would send 35 million gallons of carbon-heavy oil sands every day 1,700 miles from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf Coast. In the letter, the workers harken back to Obama's call on election night 2012." (Amy Harder, "Obama Campaign Aides To Obama: Reject Keystone XL Pipeline," National Journal, 6/20/13)

Former Obama Aides "Bill Burton, Stephanie Cutter, Jim Papa And Paul Tewes - Work As Consultants For Opponents Of The Project." "Four of them - Bill Burton, Stephanie Cutter, Jim Papa and Paul Tewes - work as consultants for opponents of the project, which would carry heavy crude oil from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries. Another, former White House communications director Anita Dunn, counts the project's sponsor, TransCanada, among her firm's clients." (Juliet Eilperin and Tom Hamburger, "For Obama's Ex-Aides, It's Time To Cash In On Experience," The Washington Post , 5/30/13)

In May, A Group Of Democratic Donors And Green Energy Investors Wrote A Letter To President Obama Pressuring Him To Deny A Permit For The Keystone Pipeline. "A group of 150 major Democratic donors and clean energy investors have sent President Obama a letter urging him to deny a presidential permit to the Keystone XL pipeline, comparing the decision's significance to Abraham Lincoln's push to end slavery through a constitutional amendment. The missive, which was sent by the group Thursday and was obtained by The Washington Post, emphasized Obama's respect for Lincoln and suggested the controversial pipeline-which would transport heavy crude from Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast-marked a similar turning point in American history." (Juliet Eilperin, "Obama Donors Compare Keystone Decision To Lincoln's Outlawing Of Slavery," The Washington Post , 5/10/13)

In April, Members Of The House Sustainable Energy And Environment Coalition, A Liberal House Coalition, Met With A White House Aide To Pressure Obama To Deny A Permit For Keystone. "A group of House Democrats pressed the White House to reject the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline during a closed-door meeting with President Obama's top climate adviser. 'I think some messages were delivered. The occasion was used to deliver some concerns,' Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) told reporters after the Thursday meeting between White House aide Heather Zichal and the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC), which Connolly co-chairs." (Zack Colman, "Liberal Dems Press White House To Reject Keystone Pipeline," The Hill, 4/11/13)

In April, Obama Attended A Fundraiser Hosted By Billionaire Green Energy Advocate Tom Steyer, In Which 100 Guests Paid Between $5,000 and $34,200 To Attend . "President Obama visited San Francisco Wednesday for a pair of campaign fundraisers in the Sea Cliff and Pacific Heights neighborhoods that were expected to raise millions of dollars for House Democrats. The visit drew protests from opponents of the Keystone XL oil pipeline and from Republicans, who slammed it as a jaunt to 'billionaires' row.' Obama appeared first at a cocktail reception at the Sea Cliff home of billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer and his wife, Kat Taylor, where about 100 guests paid $5,000 to $34,200 to attend the fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee."(Carla Marinucci and Drew Joseph, "Obama In San Francisco To Raise Funds," San Francisco Chronicle, 4/4/13)

  • Steyer, A "Vociferous Opponent Of The Keystone Pipeline And Strong Supporter Of Climate Change Legislation" Tried To "Ease Concerns That Obama Wouldn't Keep The Issue At The Top Of His Agenda." "Steyer, who is a vociferous opponent of the Keystone pipeline and a strong supporter of climate change legislation, appeared to try to ease concerns that Obama wouldn't keep the issue at the top of his agenda, as he has promised." (Carla Marinucci and Drew Joseph, "Obama In San Francisco To Raise Funds," San Francisco Chronicle, 4/4/13)


In March, 17 Senate Democrats Voted To Approve The Keystone Pipeline. "The Senate on Friday voted 62-37 to approve the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline in an amendment to Senate budget. … All Republicans voted in favor. The Democrats who supported the measure were Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Tom Carper (Del.), Bob Casey (Pa.), Chris Coons (Del.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Tim Johnson (S.D.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Joe Manchin (W. Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Jon Tester (Mont.) and Mark Warner (Va.)." (Zack Coleman, "Keystone XL Picks Up Senate Backing," The Hill, 3/22/13)

66 Percent Of Americans Favor The Keystone XL Pipeline, While Just 23 Percent Oppose It. "As the Obama administration approaches a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, a national survey finds broad public support for the project. Two-thirds of Americans (66%) favor building the pipeline, which would transport oil from Canada's oil sands region through the Midwest to refineries in Texas. Just 23% oppose construction of the pipeline." ("Keystone XL Pipeline Draws Broad Support," Pew Research Center, 4/2/13)

  • "Support For The Pipeline Spans Most Demographic And Partisan Groups. Substantial Majorities Of Republicans (82%) And Independents (70%) Favor Building The Keystone XL Pipeline, As Do 54% Of Democrats." ("Keystone XL Pipeline Draws Broad Support," Pew Research Center, 4/2/13)

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