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Obama’s Keystone Punt Is Widely Panned

- April 22, 2014

Yesterday, The White House Insisted That The Keystone Delay Was Not Based On Politics. “The White House maintained on Monday that the decision to delay the review of the Keystone XL oil pipeline was not based on politics. The State Department said last week it would delay its recommendation on the project, and the White House said it was not involved in that decision.” (Justin Sink, “White House: No Politics In Keystone Delay,” The Hill, 4/21/14)

FACT CHECK: OBAMA’S LATEST KEYSTONE DELAY “REEKS OF POLITICS”

CNBC’s John Harwood: The Keystone Delay Is “100 Percent Politics” And “Not The Finest Hour For The Administration.” JOHN HARWOOD: “On the other hand, they’ve got the donors, Tom Steyer you mentioned, others, you’ve got environmentally active voters in other places who they’re trying to get to turn out. Democrats have huge turnout problems in this election, Republican supporters have much more likely to show up. So I do think this is pretty much 100 percent politics in the delay of this decision. And it’s an administration that has got a couple years to go; they’re trying to prevent themselves from losing the Senate, you know, not get wiped out too badly in the House. And I think it’s kind of simple as that. It’s not the finest hour for the administration in terms of leadership.” (CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” 4/21/14)

  • CNBC Headline: “Why Obama’s Keystone Opposition Reeks Of Politics” (Ben White, “Why Obama’s Keystone Opposition Reeks Of Politics,” CNBC, 4/21/14)

MSNBC’S Mika Brzezinski: The Keystone Delay Is “Hard To Defend.” BRZEZINSKI: “There’ve been like four State Department reviews approving or opening the door for it to move forward. It’s hard to defend.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 4/21/14)

A Major Labor Union President Blasted Obama’s “Dirty” Politics In Delaying Keystone

Terry O’Sullivan, President Of The Laborers International Union Of North America: “It’s Not The Oil That’s Dirty, It’s The Politics.” “The Laborers International Union of North America’s leader blasted the new delay. ‘It’s not the oil that’s dirty, it’s the politics,’ LIUNA Gen. Pres. Terry O’Sullivan said. ‘Once again, the administration is making a political calculation instead of doing what is right for the country. This certainly is no example of profiles in courage.’” (Nick Snow, “DOS Gives Federal Agencies More Time For Keystone XL Comments,” Oil & Gas Journal, 4/19/14)

  • O’Sullivan: “Once Again, The Administration Is Making A Political Calculation Instead Of Doing What Is Right For The Country.” “The Laborers International Union of North America’s leader blasted the new delay. ‘It’s not the oil that’s dirty, it’s the politics,’ LIUNA Gen. Pres. Terry O’Sullivan said. ‘Once again, the administration is making a political calculation instead of doing what is right for the country. This certainly is no example of profiles in courage.’” (Nick Snow, “DOS Gives Federal Agencies More Time For Keystone XL Comments,” Oil & Gas Journal, 4/19/14)

O’Sullivan: The Latest Keystone Delay Is “Another Gutless Move.” “This is once again politics at its worst. In another gutless move, the Administration is delaying a finding on whether the pipeline is in the national interest based on months-old litigation in Nebraska regarding a state level challenge to a state process -- and which has nothing to with the national interest. They waited until Good Friday, believing no one would be paying attention. The only surprise is they didn’t wait to do it in the dark of night.” (Terry O’Sullivan Statement, “LIUNA On Further Delay Of Keystone Recommendation,” 4/18/14)

Obama’s Fellow Democrats Are Fed Up With Him On Keystone

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND):It’s Absolutely Ridiculous That This Well-Over-Five-Year-Long Process Is Continuing For An Undetermined Amount Of Time.” “‘Once again, we’re hearing more delays and more uncertainty over the Keystone XL pipeline,’ said Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, one of 11 Democratic senators who in an open letter last week urged the administration to approve the pipeline. ‘It’s absolutely ridiculous that this well-over-five-year-long process is continuing for an undetermined amount of time.’” (Steven Mufson, “Keystone XL Pipeline Decision Postponed By Obama Administration,” The Washington Post, 4/18/14)

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV): “It's A Shame That An Issue Like #KeystoneXL Pipeline, That Has Such Strong Bipartisan Support, Is Being Delayed Yet Again” (Sen. Joe Manchin Twitter Feed, 4/18/14))

And Even Canada’s Prime Minister Criticized The Politics Behind Obama’s Punt

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Office: “We Are Disappointed That Politics Continue To Delay A Decision On Keystone XL.” “The office of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper also criticized the delay. ‘We are disappointed that politics continue to delay a decision on Keystone XL,’ Jason MacDonald, Harper’s director of communications, said in a statement. ‘This project will create tens of thousands of jobs on both sides of the border, will enhance the energy security of North America, has strong public support, and the U.S. State Department has, on multiple occasions, acknowledged it will be environmentally sound.’” (Kate Shepherd, “Obama Administration Again Delays Keystone XL Decision,” The Huffington Post, 4/18/14)

THE KEYSTONE DELAY ALSO HIGHLIGHTS THE WEAKNESS OF DEMOCRAT SENATORS

Politico’s Ben White: Obama’s Recent Keystone Delay Is Bad News For Red State Democrats. “The delay, however, was not at all good news for vulnerable red state Democrats, including Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and others.” (Ben White, “Why Obama’s Keystone Opposition Reeks Of Politics,” CNBC, 4/21/14)

“Landrieu, Who Chairs The Senate Energy And Natural Resources Committee, Has Demonstrated A Total Inability To Actually Influence The Administration…” “And the Louisiana senator, who already trails Republican Bill Cassidy in early polls, has cited her influence in Washington as a key reason for voters to keep her on the job. She used her first ad of the campaign to do that very thing (immediately drawing rebukes from Republicans for recreating scenes in the Senate). But now Landrieu, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, has demonstrated a total inability to actually influence the administration on a key decision that would impact the economy in her state.” (Ben White, “Why Obama’s Keystone Opposition Reeks Of Politics,” CNBC, 4/21/14)

  • Landrieu’s “Key Selling Point – I Can Deliver For Louisiana! – Is Now Fundamentally Undermined.” “That may be true but is likely swamped by the fact that Landrieu's key selling point—I can deliver for Louisiana!—is now fundamentally undermined.” (Ben White, “Why Obama’s Keystone Opposition Reeks Of Politics,” CNBC, 4/21/14)

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