President Obama, which way is the political wind blowing today?

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about the latest situation with the Keystone XL pipeline.  After President Obama would not approve the entire pipeline, TransCanada decided to go ahead and build the southern portion of the pipeline because that project does not need the approval of the federal government.  Today, President Obama was in Cushing, Okalahoma where he gave an 11-minute speech.  Obama told workers, who were present, “The southern leg of it, we’re making it a priority.”(1)  Obama was referring to the Keystone XL pipeline.

Following the president’s speech, House Speaker John Boehner released a statement that the president’s announcement was meaningless because the project was going ahead without any action from the federal government.  I cannot ever remember agreeing with anything John Boehner has said in the past.  However, I agree with what he said today.

I looked back at some of the promises that President Obama made when he was campaigning for president back in 2008.  I found an article on CNN(2) that provides a comparison between the policies of John McCain and Barack Obama.  For overall strategy, Obama made the following statement.  “If I am president, I will immediately direct the full resources of the federal government and the full energy of the private sector to a single, overarching goal — in 10 years, we will eliminate the need for oil from the entire Middle East and Venezuela.” Apparently, Obama believes that we can accomplish this by just extracting more oil from North America.

When it comes to becoming more energy self-sufficient, in 2008, Obama said he would do the following.

  • Provide $4 billion in loans and tax credits to American auto plants and manufacturers so that they can retool factories and build fuel-efficient cars.
  • Put 1 million 150-mpg, plug-in hybrids on U.S. roads within six years.
  • Give consumers a $7,000 tax credit to buy fuel-efficient cars.

Well, I don’t see any of these happening.

I think many people, who voted for Obama in 2008, thought he would really try to steer this country toward energy independence with renewable energy.  But what I found when I looked more closely at his energy policy statements in 2008 was that he is in favor of letting oil companies drill more here at home and he is in favor of so-called clean coal.  In my opinion, there is no such thing as clean coal.

Obama disapproved the entire Keystone XL pipeline project because there were a lot of voters who opposed it.  Now that voters are complaining about high gasoline prices, Obama is in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline.  I wonder which way the political wind will be blowing tomorrow?

1. Obama expediting southern Keystone oil pipeline
2. Obama, McCain energy plans

6 thoughts on “President Obama, which way is the political wind blowing today?

  1. President Obama has run himself into a big problem. By refusing to allow the Keystone Pipe to go forward, he attempted to appease the environmental left. Now, it seems that this attempt is completely backfiring, as roughly 80% of the nation supports this pipe. Hence, the President is faced with a terrible dilemma. Either he goes back on his word approves the pipe or he remains on course. If he approves the pipe, 80% of the nation will agree. But, this 180 degree turn will completely crush his support from environmentalists and also herald “flip-flopping” calls from many voters. If he stays the course, he angers 80% of the nation, but keeps his leftist support. With this act that you described, the President seems to think he can have both. Well, he’s wrong. This is not an issue that he can take a neutral, please everyone stance. Hopefully, for America’s sake, he chooses to approve this pipeline and lower our gas prices.

  2. So you do of course realize that in fact FERC does control the permitting of interstate pipelines?

    And of course- he did not stop the Keystone XL Pipeline- he required an environmental review- in no small part due to the letter from Republican Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman: http://www.governor.nebraska.gov/news/2011/08/pdf/0831_President _Obama_Secretary_Clinton_Keystone_XL_Pipeline_LETTER.pdf

    After a large public uprising in the heart of Republican country- ranchers and farmers in 5 states concerned with the aquifer their livelihoods depend on, as well as being angered by threats from a foreign company to take their land using eminent domain. see http://www.standwithrandy.com

    And lets see…
    the one million efficient car quotes- was “by 2015” not within 6 years.

    The tax rebates/breaks already exist (one of the things the conservatives have been whining about with the Chevy Volt and others- despite being a fraction of Bushs $89K tax break on hummers)

    And of course the government has already given loans and tax credits to car manufacturers, and technologies such as the batteries- another thing the right loves to condemn him for…

    • No, I didn’t know the FERC permits interstate pipelines. It still seems like it was much easier for TransCanada to get approval to do an interstate pipeline than for one that crosses the national border.

      I thought the environmental review requirement did stop the pipeline. The oil companies always seem to get their way, regardless.

      The figures I listed were quoted from the article on CNN. I wanted to see Obama take us in a new direction for energy. That hasn’t happened. We still rely on oil and that’s not going to change until it’s gone or is too expensive for anyone to afford.

      • The environmental review “temporarily” hated it- not permanently as some have been suggesting.

        For me the big issue is the companies heavy handed tactics to steal land using eminent domain- something myself and people in my community went through with a natural gas pipeline after the Enron debacle. (ultimately the pipeline was built- but the power plant it was to feed wasn’t)

  3. He knows now that there are a lot more disgruntled voters who don’t like the high gas prices than there are his environmentalist buddies who didn’t want the pipeline. He’s trying to take credit for something today that is none of his doing.

    • I think you are correct. However, I don’t think this pipeline will do anything to lower gasoline prices. It’s just going to make it easier for the oil companies to sell the oil on the open world market.

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