Tom Steyer, the billionaire climate activist, is threatening Barack Obama if he approves the Keystone XL pipeline. Steyer told Grist magazine that he thinks the vast majority of major fundraisers for Obama will turn their back on him if he doesn’t kill the pipeline:
If you look at the people who support Obama, and then you look at the people who support him actively and give money, the number of people who care about climate in this second group is actually a majority — not out of the people who support him, but the people who are really active and give money. It’s an enormously high percentage … If those people decided that he was no longer somebody who’s worth supporting, even though he doesn’t have to run again, it would be terrible for him.
Steyer asserted that Obama was abandoning his idealism in favor of following poll numbers: “His whole thing is, he’s trying to retain popularity to push his agenda. It’s absolutely about polls. There is no doubt in my mind, the reason that he’s considering approving Keystone is because Keystone polls well.”
There has been pressure from climate activists on Obama’s Organizing For Action (OFA) advocacy group to force the group to condemn the pipeline, but OFA has remained silent, waiting until the federal review of the pipeline is finished.