As the Senate gets ready to vote this evening on a bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, support only continues to build. The latest poll from USA Today shows that “By 60%-25%, those surveyed say Congress and Obama should approve construction of the Keystone pipeline.” Of course, that’s not surprising considering that poll after poll has shown Americans overwhelming back the pipeline.
Unfortunately, President Obama has been putting politics ahead of the will of American voters – he’s also putting his opinions above the facts from his own State Department. Unsurprisingly, editorial boards across the country have called him out for that, urging him to end the six year delay and approve Keystone XL. As the USA editorial board put it,
“On the merits, the Obama administration should long ago have said yes. The line would bring a reliable new supply to the United States, which still imports almost 30% of its oil. But the White House seems to have been paralyzed by its fear of angering ally Canada if it says no or infuriating Democratic environmentalists if it says yes. The result has been six years of dithering and the rise of arguments on both sides that are exaggerations at best or lies at worst […] Keystone is not an existential issue. It’s a 1,179-mile oil pipeline in a nation already crisscrossed by more than 150,000 miles of such pipelines. It’s long past time to say yes.”
The Denver Post editorial board, also frustrated by the six year delay, said,
“It’s long past time for the nation to get this controversy behind it and to move on to more important issues.”
The Tulsa World editorial board made the important point that the delay has been about politics, not the merits of the pipeline:
“The pipeline debate has been politicized with hyperbolic claims of environmental dangers. In fact, pipelines are a safe means for transporting petroleum and have been for decades. The southern leg of the pipeline is already built and operating through Oklahoma without trouble. The Keystone XL will bring jobs and economic stimulus. More important, it will help our growing independence from Mideast oil. The inability of Washington to deal with what should have been a simple administrative decision is a disturbing example of how the politics of gridlock have infected our national government. This problem should have been handled long ago by President Obama, but he has dithered for political, not environmental, reasons. We urge the Senate to join the House in approving the pipeline and Obama to sign the bill. This one should have been resolved long ago. Let’s not waste any more time on it.”
If that’s not enough, several news outlets also pointed out that President Obama’s excuses are wearing pretty thin to say the least. Take for instance, the Canadian outlet, Metro News, which said that President Obama’s claim that Keystone XL would be an export pipeline don’t exactly pass muster. From Metro News:
“Spoiler alert: The Canadian Press Baloney Meter is a dispassionate examination of political statements culminating in a ranking of accuracy on a scale of “no baloney” to “full of baloney” (complete methodology below).
This one earns a rating of “a lot of baloney” — the statement is mostly inaccurate….”
On that note, Reuters produced this headline: “In Keystone XL debate, Obama’s warning on oil exports rings only half true.”
While diverse voices, from news outlets to Democrats on Capitol Hill, continue to add to the chorus of support, a small group of activists who staged protests in Senate offices today actually showed how marginalized the anti-Keystone XL movement has become. As the Daily Caller rightly put it, a couple dozen anti-Keystone XL activists “bundled up to withstand the frigid blast of Arctic weather and protest against Democrats who have pledged to vote in favor of legislation approving the $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline.”
Whatever the outcome of tonight’s vote, it’s clear that opponents are a small, fringe movement while the American public overwhelmingly supports the project. And, as many editorial boards said today, it’s time for President Obama to put politics aside and finally approve a pipeline that would bring thousands of jobs and increased energy security to the United States.