Today, the President travels to Oklahoma where he will announce he supports constructing the final segment of the Keystone pipeline (the segment going from mid-Oklahoma to the Gulf of Mexico). What he wont mention is, to build this part of the pipeline no federal permission is needed. Federal blessing is only necessary for about 50 yards of the north to south pipeline running from Canada to the oil refineries in the gulf. That would be the segment which crosses the Canadian/US international border.
Another thing that wont be mentioned when the leader of “most transparent administration in history” gives his closed-door speech in Oklahoma, is today’s Gallup poll which reports that Americans of all political persuasion want the Keystone pipeline to be built.
The poll conduced two weeks ago (and reported today) shows that almost 60% of American’s want Obama to approve the pipeline. When you look at party affiliation, 81% of Republicans, most independents and a plurality of Democrats disagree with Obama’s Keystone decision.
The people most likely to have their lives effected by the pipeline, the residents of the Midwest and the South are also the ones most in favor of its construction, perhaps because they understand the pipeline will create jobs.
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Almost 80% of Americans who are following the Keystone story very closely believe the government should approve its construction, about two thirds of those following it somewhat closely agree. Even a plurality of those not following the story closely disagree with the President’s Keystone pipeline decision.
This Gallup report indicates that once again, Barack Obama has misjudged the intelligence of the American people. His election year ploy of preventing those 50 yards of pipeline crossing the international boundary may have gotten him progressive support, but the rest of the population does not support that decision–even within his own party.
Looking at it objectively it was an unsound political move. Does he really think progressives will support his GOP opponent? He threw a carrot to his hard-core supporters and sent the message to the rest of the population that his progressive base is more important than adding jobs to the economy and lowering prices–a message which (hopefully) will be often pointed out by the GOP over the next eight months.