Americans See Keystone XL Delay as Political, Not Based on “Legitimate Concerns”

Yet another poll this week showed strong, bipartisan support for Keystone XL – but this is no surprise considering that poll after poll has found that Americans overwhelmingly want President Obama to say yes to Keystone XL.

Perhaps the new poll’s most interesting finding is this: over 60 percent of Americans believe that President Obama’s five year delay of Keystone XL is due to politics, rather than “legitimate concerns” about the climate. In other words it’s abundantly clear to the American people that its politics standing in the way of tens of thousands of American jobs and increased energy security.

Ironically, this latest poll comes just after Keystone XL opponents jumped on what they thought was an opportunity to play politics to get what they want: They were ecstatic when President Obama announced this week that he would be bringing John Podesta – a Keystone XL opponent with strong ties to those bankrolling the anti-Keystone XL effort – to the White House to be a senior advisor on energy issues. They saw it as their big chance to kill the pipeline – so when the White House announced that Podesta would not be involved in the Keystone XL decision they went into hysterics.

But relying on politics over the facts has been opponents’ strategy all along. They have never disputed that they are in the clear minority. In fact, the Bloomberg poll comes on the heels of another poll released this week by Harris Interactive which finds that an overwhelming 89 percent of U.S. voters – including Democrats, Republicans and Independents – believe that increased development of our energy infrastructure is in the nation’s best interest.  It also found that 72 percent agree it is in our national interest to approve Keystone XL, while 63 percent believe we should import more oil from Canada, rather than other countries.

While opponents hold events with only a handful of protesters, hundreds of union and labor groups have rallied at the White House and in cities throughout America to tell President Obama they want Keystone XL jobs.  A clear majority of editorial boards support the project. Democrats and Republicans in Congress have joined together to tell President Obama Keystone XL will create jobs and increase energy security – and the list goes on.

The divide couldn’t be clearer between an increasingly marginalized handful of opponents making their argument based on politics and the overwhelming majority of the American people who have based their decision on the facts and understand the manifold benefits of Keystone XL.  It’s time for President Obama to put politics aside and side with the American people who need the jobs and energy security Keystone XL would bring.

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