Yesterday, I urged Republicans to pummel President Obama for his indefensible, job-killing, ideological decision to block the Keystone XL pipeline project. Today the that task became even easier, as some unexpected allies joined the anti-Obama chorus. A brief review, starting with the Washington Post's editorial board:
Mr. Obama’s Jobs Council could start by calling out . . . the Obama administration. On Wednesday, the State Department announced that it recommended rejecting the application of TransCanada Corp. to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline, and Mr. Obama concurred. The project would have transported heavy, oil-like bitumen from Alberta — and, potentially, from unconventional oil deposits in states such as Montana — to U.S. refineries on the Gulf of Mexico coast.
...We almost hope this was a political call because, on the substance, there should be no question. Without the pipeline, Canada would still export its bitumen — with long-term trends in the global market, it’s far too valuable to keep in the ground — but it would go to China. And, as a State Department report found, U.S. refineries would still import low-quality crude — just from the Middle East. Stopping the pipeline, then, wouldn’t do anything to reduce global warming, but it would almost certainly require more oil to be transported across oceans in tankers...Pipeline skeptics dispute the estimates of the number of jobs that the project would create. But, clearly, constructing the pipeline would still result in job gains during a sluggish economic recovery.
The Chicago Tribune editorial board:
Keystone should be approved. This is a good project. It will give us energy and give us jobs. You want stimulus? This is a $7 billion deal to be done with private-sector funding. Keystone is designed to stretch 1,711 miles down through the Plains from oil-sand deposits in the Canadian province of Alberta to U.S. refineries and terminals along the Gulf Coast. It would make the vast network of pipelines already crisscrossing the central states significantly more efficient. Labor unions rightly supported the project. But it ran into opposition from environmentalists.
Blocking construction of the Keystone pipeline became the No. 1 objective of the green lobby, which raised concerns that construction and operation would pollute aquifers and destroy wildlife habitats. There just isn't much evidence for those threats, though. Pipelines are the safest way to transport oil. The designers of this particular pipeline engineered it with lavish safeguards. No one need worry about crude gushing out of their shower heads. But you never would have known it from the signs at anti-Keystone protests, which touted slogans such as, "U can't drink oil OR money!"
Republicans are also circulating quotes from numerous Congressional Democrats decrying the president's overtly political and anti-science decision. As the White House sulks behind lame "process" excuses, Heritage has developed a three-year timeline of the exhastive environmental impact studies that preceded Obama's decision to...demand more unnecessary studies. I know I linked it yesterday, but Conn Carroll's piece exploding more disingenuous spin from the White House is worth a second read. As new Republican primary polls are released (seemingly) every hour, and as the GOP candidates punch at eachother in South Carolina, here's a bit of survey data that will make the entire collective Right smile. Things are getting ugly out there for this president:
A majority of independent voters have soured on Obama's presidency, disapprove of his handling of the economy and do not have a clear idea of what he hopes to accomplish if re-elected, the Times reported. Only 31 percent of independent voters have a favorable opinion of the president and two-thirds say he has not made real progress in fixing the economy, the newspaper said. In 2008, Obama won support from 52 percent of independent voters, compared with 44 percent who supported Republican presidential nominee John McCain.
Nearly half of independents say they have not formed an opinion of Mitt Romney, the front-runner in the Republican race for the nomination to challenge Obama in the November general election, the survey found. Among all voters, 38 percent view Obama favorably, 45 percent unfavorably and 17 percent have no opinion, the survey showed. Voters were evenly divided in a matchup between Obama and Romney, but Obama fared better against other Republican candidates, the Times said.
Once independents get wind of Obama's superb leadership on Keystone, I'm sure those numbers will buck up in no time.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography