Just a handful of protesters – less than half that showed up to the Earth Day protest – gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial today. And what was the consensus? Well, CBC perhaps put it best saying it was a “carefully co-ordinated public relations stunt.”
As the protesters were busy trying to wade in the reflecting pond and attempting to inflate their plastic pipeline, The Hill published an article with this headline: “Support for Keystone hits all-time high in poll.” As the latest Rasmussen poll shows, 61 percent are in favor of Keystone XL while only 27 percent are opposed. Another poll by Harris Interactive commissioned by the American Petroleum Institute found that 78 percent agree that Keystone XL is in the nation’s best interest and 60 percent of Democrats would be more likely to support a candidate that backs Keystone XL. So it’s no surprise that Democratic candidates such as Senate candidate Michelle Nunn of Georgia and Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes of Kentucky have both thrown their support behind the pipeline.
If that’s not enough, today the Washington Post editorial board called the continued delay on Keystone XL “absurd.” As the editorial explains,
“At this point, there is little doubt about the big picture. After two thorough environmental analyses, State Department experts determined that the pipeline’s impact probably would be minimal, even on climate change-inducing carbon dioxide emissions. The economic rewards of extracting Canadian oil are too attractive and the options for getting it out of the country are too numerous. We would rather see Canadian crude traveling a well-built, well-regulated pipeline in the United States than on the rail cars, barges and ocean tankers that will move it until cheaper options inevitably come online.”
“The administration’s latest decision is not responsible; it is embarrassing. The United States continues to insult its Canadian allies by holding up what should have been a routine permitting decision amid a funhouse-mirror environmental debate that got way out of hand. The president should end this national psychodrama now, bow to reason, approve the pipeline and go do something more productive for the climate.” (emphasis added)
While support for Keystone XL continues to grow, anti-Keystone XL activists have resorted to “carefully co-ordinated public relations stunts” to get attention. As a video by the Media Research Center highlights, a number of the protesters were making extreme anti-fossil fuels statements at this week’s events. The Omaha World-Herald interviewed a protester who explained, “I’m a hard-liner,” Keriakedes said. “No compromises. I want to see every form of fossil fuel stay in the earth where it belongs.”
In delaying a decision on Keystone XL again President Obama is giving in to a small but vocal group of activists led by a billionaire rather than siding with the majority of the American people and thousands of skilled American workers who have been waiting for years for these good-paying Keystone XL jobs.