And this puts the President in a tight spot, because he has other powerful allies who are strongly in favor of the pipeline.
Byron York of The Washington Examiner explains:
A brief moment on Wednesday showed why
President Obama can’t win when it comes to the Keystone XL pipeline. In
front of the White House, protesters led by actress Daryl Hannah and the
head of the Sierra Club demanded that Obama kill the project. Just a
few blocks away, the head of the AFL-CIO’s powerful Building and
Construction Trades Department joined with the American Petroleum
Institute to demand that Obama approve it.
Obama’s friends in the environmental movement
and Hollywood on one side. Obama’s friends in Big Labor allied with his
enemies in Big Oil on the other. What’s a Democratic president to do?
Both sides were unhappy that Obama, who took
the time to talk about wind power, solar power, fuel efficiency, global
warming and all sorts of other related topics in his State of the Union
speech, did not mention Keystone at all. Not a single word.
Wednesday’s protest was described by the NRDC as “civil disobedience”
and is the precursor to a much larger climate change rally planned for
Sunday. Thousands of demonstrators are expected to crowd the National
Mall, voice opposition to the pipeline and urge Mr. Obama to take strong
action to fight global warming.
Meanwhile, as Sean Hackbarth at Free Enterprise notes, labor unions understand that construction and operation of the pipeline could create as many as 20,000 jobs.
Along with support from labor unions, there’s strong public support
for the pipeline. A poll conducted for the American Petroleum Institute
found that 69% of voters back Keystone XL. Mark Green at Energy Tomorrow adds that this finding is consistent with other polls.
In a few months, the administration is expected to make a decision. Will
the President choose jobs and energy security, or will he again placate
a small minority whose objective is to keep us from using the rich
energy abundance below our feet?
I’m not a betting woman, but if I were, I place my bet on door number 2 – placate the small minority. What possible motive does he have to do what’s right by most Americans, now that he doesn’t have to worry about reelection?