Tomorrow, President Obama is expected to announce in Oklahoma that federal agencies have been told to expedite approval for the southern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline. The White House said that Obama will sign a new executive order to “require agencies to make faster permitting and review decisions for vital infrastructure projects while protecting the health and vitality of local communities and the environment.” This represents an about-face on Keystone XL from Obama, who has stalled the project based on objections from environmentalists. Obama, his advisors said, would soon approve the entire pipeline along an alternative route.
It also represents an Obama general campaign strategy: moderation. President Obama has attempted over the past few weeks to paint himself as a uniter rather than a divider. That was the tack he used in his new 17-minute documentary; that’s the tack he’s using on taxes, despite his wild profligacy. The Keystone decision may mark a win for America, but it represents a solid political move for Obama, who will surely run on his convenient recent attempts to bring down gas prices, especially now that gas prices represent the most potent political weapon against him.