What Is Obama Waiting For?

- May 22, 2013

The American People, Job Creators, And Many Democrats Want The President To Stop Delaying On The Keystone Pipeline


Today, The House Will Vote To Expedite The Keystone XL Pipeline. "The House will vote today on H.R. 3 - the Northern Route Approval Act - which would expedite the Keystone XL pipeline by eliminating the need for a presidential permit." (Politico's "Morning Energy," 5/22/13)

But The White House Said That Obama Would Veto The House Bill. "The White House on Tuesday threatened to veto a House bill that would expedite construction of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline. 'Because H.R. 3 seeks to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether cross-border pipelines are in the national interest by removing the Presidential Permitting requirement for the Keystone XL pipeline project, if presented to the President, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto this bill,' the White House said in a statement of administrative policy. The House is due to consider - and likely pass - H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act, on Wednesday." (Zack Coleman, "White House Threatens Veto Of Keystone Bill," The Hill, 5/21/13)

"The Obama Administration Is Unlikely To Make A Decision On The Canada-To-Nebraska Keystone XL Pipeline Until Late This Year As It Painstakingly Weighs The Project's Impact On The Environment And On Energy Security." "The Obama administration is unlikely to make a decision on the Canada-to-Nebraska Keystone XL pipeline until late this year as it painstakingly weighs the project's impact on the environment and on energy security, a U.S. official and analysts said on Friday. The decision may not be made until November, December or even early 2014, said a U.S. official, as President Barack Obama will not rush the process, which still has a number of stages to work through. One of those stages has not even begun yet and will run for months." (Timothy Gardner, "Exclusive: U.S. Decision On Keystone XL Pipeline Seen Dragging Past Summer," Reuters, 5/10/13)


66 Percent Of Americans Favor The Keystone XL Pipeline, While Just 23 Percent Oppose It. "As the Obama administration approaches a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, a national survey finds broad public support for the project. Two-thirds of Americans (66%) favor building the pipeline, which would transport oil from Canada's oil sands region through the Midwest to refineries in Texas. Just 23% oppose construction of the pipeline." ("Keystone XL Pipeline Draws Broad Support," Pew Research Center, 4/2/13)

  • "Support For The Pipeline Spans Most Demographic And Partisan Groups. Substantial Majorities Of Republicans (82%) And Independents (70%) Favor Building The Keystone XL Pipeline, As Do 54% Of Democrats." ("Keystone XL Pipeline Draws Broad Support," Pew Research Center, 4/2/13)


In March, 17 Senate Democrats Voted To Approve The Keystone Pipeline. "The Senate on Friday voted 62-37 to approve the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline in an amendment to Senate budget. … All Republicans voted in favor. The Democrats who supported the measure were Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Tom Carper (Del.), Bob Casey (Pa.), Chris Coons (Del.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Tim Johnson (S.D.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Joe Manchin (W. Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Jon Tester (Mont.) and Mark Warner (Va.)." (Zack Coleman, "Keystone XL Picks Up Senate Backing," The Hill, 3/22/13)

  • Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR): The Keystone XL Pipeline "Creates Another Near-Domestic Source Of Oil." "The project will provide many benefits, Pryor said. 'One is of course so much of the pipe is going to be made right here in Arkansas, but another thing is hopefully what that does is that creates another near-domestic source of oil,' he said." (John Lyon, "Pryor: Keystone Pipeline Approval Likely After Election," Arkansas News, 3/19/12)
  • Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO): "Now I Think It's Time To Put This On Speed Warp In Terms Of Approval, Because Clearly The Jobs That Would Come About With The Building Of This Pipeline Are Jobs That We Needed Yesterday. " (Rachel Lippmann, "McCaskill Calls For Quick Approval Of Keystone XL Oil Pipeline," St. Louis Public Radio," 7/18/12)
  • Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT): "There Is Absolutely No Reason We Cannot Start Putting Montanans To Work On The Keystone XL Pipeline Right Away." (Alexander Bolton, "GOP Wants Sen. Baucus To Go Rogue On Keystone XL Oil Sands Pipeline," The Hill, 1/29/12)
  • Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT): "The Keystone Pipeline Will Create Montana Jobs And It Should Not Have To Wait 14 Months For An Up-Or-Down Decision…" ("Baucus, Tester Support Keystone XL, But Not GOP Bill,", 11/30/11)


Last Week, Obama Visited A Baltimore Company On His Jobs Tour - The President Of The Company Testified Before Congress The Day Before Urging Them To Approve The Keystone Pipeline. "President Obama is heading to Baltimore Friday for what the White House is billing as 'his second Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour.' The brief trip out of DC may also prove to be a detour into the politics of Keystone, which have caused deep divisions in the Democratic base. Obama is scheduled to make a stop at Ellicott Dredges Friday, just a day after Ellicott president Peter Bowe testified before a Congressional subcommittee and called on Washington to approve the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline. Bowe testified on behalf of the National Association of Manufacturers Thursday before a subcommittee of the House Committee On Small Business at a hearing about Keystone. He called on the federal government to build the pipeline, telling the subcommittee that the pipeline is a job creator. He said the project would create longterm employment for workers in the dredging sector." (Evan McMorris-Santoro, "Keystone Politics Follow Obama On Baltimore Jobs Tour," BuzzFeed, 5/16/13)

  • In His Testimony, Peter Bowe Said That Keystone Is "All About Jobs, Not Construction Jobs For The Pipeline Itself, But Ongoing Jobs Every Year For Decades To Come, All Related To The Production Of Oil From The Alberta Oil Sands Deposits." PETER BOWE: "So what does the Keystone pipeline have to do with us, and why do we care? For us, it's all about jobs, not construction jobs for the pipeline itself, but ongoing jobs every year for decades to come, all related to the production of oil from the Alberta oil sands deposits." (Peter Bowe, Subcommittee On Agriculture, Energy, And Trade, U.S. House Of Representatives, Testimony, 5/16/13)


At An Event This Month, A Member Of The Sierra Club Said Joe Biden Told Her That He Opposed The Keystone Pipeline. "Elaine Cooper, a member of the Sierra Club's South Carolina chapter, poses with Vice President Joe Biden at a fish fry hosted by Rep. Clyburn. Vice President Joe Biden told a South Carolina environmental activist Friday that he opposes a controversial oil pipeline from Canada, but said he is 'in the minority' inside the Obama administration, according to the activist's account of the conversation. Biden made the remark at Rep. Jim Clyburn's annual 'World Famous Fish Fry' Friday evening, where he met Elaine Cooper, a Columbia resident and group chair of the South Carolina chapter of the Sierra Club, while working the ropeline amongst hundreds of supporters in attendance. An email obtained by BuzzFeed from the organization's national program assistant, Jessica Eckdish, provides Cooper's record of the encounter, in which she 'was able to ask Vice President Biden if he supporting [sic] rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline,' Eckdish writes." The email continues: 'Here's his response from Elaine: He grabbed my Sierra Club hat on my head and said, "yes, I do - I share your views - but I am in the minority" and smiled.'" (Ruby Cramer, "Joe Biden Tells Supporter He Opposes Keystone Pipeline, But Is 'In The Minority'," BuzzFeed , 5/7/13)

This Month, A Group Of Democratic Donors And Green Energy Investors Wrote A Letter To President Obama Pressuring Him To Deny A Permit For The Keystone Pipeline. "A group of 150 major Democratic donors and clean energy investors have sent President Obama a letter urging him to deny a presidential permit to the Keystone XL pipeline, comparing the decision's significance to Abraham Lincoln's push to end slavery through a constitutional amendment. The missive, which was sent by the group Thursday and was obtained by The Washington Post, emphasized Obama's respect for Lincoln and suggested the controversial pipeline-which would transport heavy crude from Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast-marked a similar turning point in American history." (Juliet Eilperin, "Obama Donors Compare Keystone Decision To Lincoln's Outlawing Of Slavery," The Washington Post , 5/10/13)

In April, Members Of The House Sustainable Energy And Environment Coalition, A Liberal House Coalition, Met With A White House Aide To Pressure Obama To Deny A Permit For Keystone. "A group of House Democrats pressed the White House to reject the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline during a closed-door meeting with President Obama's top climate adviser. 'I think some messages were delivered. The occasion was used to deliver some concerns,' Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) told reporters after the Thursday meeting between White House aide Heather Zichal and the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC), which Connolly co-chairs." (Zack Colman, "Liberal Dems Press White House To Reject Keystone Pipeline," The Hill, 4/11/13)

  • DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (D-NY) Co-Chairs The SEEC. "Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), who co-chairs SEEC, said Zichal believed the political circumstances were ripe for passing energy efficiency legislation." (Zack Colman, "Liberal Dems Press White House To Reject Keystone Pipeline," The Hill, 4/11/13)

In April, Obama Attended A Fundraiser Hosted By Billionaire Green Energy Advocate Tom Steyer, Which 100 Guests Paid Between $5,000 and $34,200 To Attend . "President Obama visited San Francisco Wednesday for a pair of campaign fundraisers in the Sea Cliff and Pacific Heights neighborhoods that were expected to raise millions of dollars for House Democrats. The visit drew protests from opponents of the Keystone XL oil pipeline and from Republicans, who slammed it as a jaunt to 'billionaires' row.' Obama appeared first at a cocktail reception at the Sea Cliff home of billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer and his wife, Kat Taylor, where about 100 guests paid $5,000 to $34,200 to attend the fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee."(Carla Marinucci and Drew Joseph, "Obama In San Francisco To Raise Funds," San Francisco Chronicle, 4/4/13)

  • Steyer, A "Vociferous Opponent Of The Keystone Pipeline And Strong Supporter Of Climate Change Legislation" Tried To "Ease Concerns That Obama Wouldn't Keep The Issue At The Top Of His Agenda." "Steyer, who is a vociferous opponent of the Keystone pipeline and a strong supporter of climate change legislation, appeared to try to ease concerns that Obama wouldn't keep the issue at the top of his agenda, as he has promised." (Carla Marinucci and Drew Joseph, "Obama In San Francisco To Raise Funds," San Francisco Chronicle, 4/4/13)
  • Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) And DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (D-NY) Attended The Fundraiser. "Pelosi and Rep. Steve Israel of New York, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, attended both fundraisers." (Carla Marinucci and Drew Joseph, "Obama In San Francisco To Raise Funds," San Francisco Chronicle, 4/4/13)

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