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Intro: "President Obama stood in a red-dirt field before acres of stacked pipeline pieces on Thursday to illustrate his support for expedited construction of the southern leg of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. But his public declaration for the project pleased neither the industry and its Republican allies nor environmentalists."

President Obama voiced his support for expedited construction of the southern half of the Keystone XL oil pipeline on Thursday in Ripley, Okla. (photo: Doug Mills/NYT)
President Obama voiced his support for expedited construction of the southern half of the Keystone XL oil pipeline on Thursday in Ripley, Okla. (photo: Doug Mills/NYT)

Obama Declares Keystone Pipeline Support

By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times

23 March 12


resident Obama stood in a red-dirt field before acres of stacked pipeline pieces on Thursday to illustrate his support for expedited construction of the southern leg of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. But his public declaration for the project pleased neither the industry and its Republican allies nor environmentalists.

That was clear hours later when several people interrupted his next speech, shouting "Stop the pipeline!" at Ohio State University, where Mr. Obama emphasized clean-fuel alternatives in his "all of the above" energy agenda.

Mr. Obama's first appearance here near Cushing, Okla., an oil town known in the industry as the nation's pipeline crossroads, was intended to blunt two months of criticism of his decision in January to reject for now construction of the pipeline's northern leg from Alberta, Canada, to Cushing. Those attacks from Republicans in Congress and on the presidential campaign trail gained resonance as gasoline prices spiked.

"Unfortunately, Congress decided they wanted their own timeline - not the company, not the experts, but members of Congress who decided this might be a fun political issue," Mr. Obama told an invited audience of about 200 people.

"Today, we're making this new pipeline from Cushing to the gulf a priority," he said, while the northern portion requires additional review.

"But the fact is that my administration has approved dozens of new oil and gas pipelines over the last three years, including one from Canada," Mr. Obama added. "And as long as I'm president, we're going to keep on encouraging oil development and infrastructure, and we're going to do it in a way that protects the health and safety of the American people."

Environmentalists nationwide have rallied to oppose the entire pipeline, which would run from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, because its owner, TransCanada, wants to transport what environmental groups consider dirty oil from the tar sands of Alberta. They contend it would hasten climate change, threaten spills and pollute the air, water and wildlife.

While the southern leg is planned to relieve a bottleneck of oil from the Plains states awaiting shipment to gulf refineries and vessels, opponents say the pipeline would ultimately be used to transport tar sands oil, much of it for export globally, if TransCanada is permitted to build the northern half.

"In expediting the southern portion of Keystone XL, President Obama is trying to have it both ways," said Becky Bond, political director of Credo Action, part of a coalition of environmental groups that issued a joint statement of opposition.

"The president needs to prove that his initial rejection of Keystone XL wasn't simply a ploy to placate the environmental voters who dared to hold him to his own rhetoric about the need for real leadership on climate and our fossil fuel dependence," Ms. Bond said.

For the pipeline to cross the border from Canada to the United States, the administration would have to approve a permit, a process that requires environmental studies. Mr. Obama rejected TransCanada's initial path through Nebraska's Ogallala Aquifer - a route many Nebraskans opposed - but the company plans to resubmit its application, with an alternate route.

As gasoline prices have risen to $4 a gallon nationwide, Republicans have stepped up their attacks on Mr. Obama's decision, claiming it stands in the way of lower pump prices and thousands of construction jobs. The administration says that the critics' job figures are inflated and that oil from the pipeline would not reach markets anytime soon.

Even before Mr. Obama reached Oklahoma on the last day of his two-day energy tour, Republicans were deriding the visit as a publicity stunt since the only federal permits the southern pipeline needs are ones typically handled by agency employees, not the president.

"After rejecting and personally lobbying against Keystone XL and thousands of new jobs, the president plans to tout that he's now interjecting himself on behalf of a routine permit that is normally handled by bureaucrats," aides to the House speaker, John A. Boehner, Republican of Ohio, wrote in a blog post. A Boehner spokesman, Brendan Buck, added, "This is like the governor holding a press conference to renew my driver's license."

Mr. Obama's next stop, in Columbus, Ohio, was his last on a four-state swing to promote policies to reduce the nation's energy consumption and reliance on foreign oil. Having toured the oil pipeline site and, on Wednesday, an oil-drilling field on federal lands in New Mexico, Mr. Obama toured Ohio State's Center for Automotive Research, a leading institute for advanced energy research. He inspected four advanced vehicles, including the 300-mile-an-hour electric Buckeye Bullet.

In remarks to more than 1,000 students, faculty members and local residents, Mr. Obama alluded to the recurring problem of gasoline-price spikes. "We can't simply drill our way out of the problem," he said, because the United States accounts for 20 percent of the world's energy consumption but has 2 percent of the known oil reserves.

"As long as I'm president," Mr. Obama said, "America is going to be pursuing an all-of-the-above energy strategy. Yes, we'll develop as much oil and gas as we can, in a safe way, but we're also going to develop wind power and solar power and advanced biofuels."

"And we'll do it by harnessing the same type of American ingenuity and imagination that's on display right here at Ohio State," he added.

While the crowd's enthusiasm suggested a campaign rally, not all were won over. Jason E. Box, a climatologist and professor, called Mr. Obama's all-of-the-above strategy "fundamentally flawed because it locks us in for decades" to continued reliance on polluting fuel sources. your social media marketing partner


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+12 # lin96 2012-03-23 09:24
Let's use up all our resources and put them on the global market to the highest bidder. It's not going to change the price of gas or oil here. The only people who will benefit are the oil barons.
+12 # John Locke 2012-03-23 10:32
And the puppet politicians in their financial pocket!
+19 # angelfish 2012-03-23 09:40
Mr. President, you are WRONG on this! Putting our aquifers at this kind of risk is INSANE! We are poisoning ourselves NEEDLESSLY, giving Oil and Natural Gas Conglomerates preference over HUMAN BEINGS! Once it's gone, it's GONE, Sir. HOW do you create clean water from Poison? If you can tell me HOW, economically, you can purify the water once it's tainted, then, I MIGHT change my mind. Until then, NO PIPELINE!
+6 # Capn Canard 2012-03-23 09:56
angelfish, AGREED. This clearly about money and to be in opposition to money is political suicide. So damned if he does, damned if doesn't. Either way the poor, the middle class, and the environment are completely screwed. This is America where we are supposed to worship money!
+8 # Billy Bob 2012-03-23 12:56
Well, if he's damned no matter what he does, why doesn't he listen to the people who elected him and just do the right thing?

My guess is that he doesn't want to.
+6 # John Locke 2012-03-23 10:40
Angel: You are pleading to deft ears. Money talks and we don't have the ability to compete with his backers! He said he was against this pipeline, but has already made a secret deal for its completion, that was evident when the trucks drove through the Indian reservation and the Native Americans were arrested for blocking them! It's a done deal. another promise broken for his 1% supporters
-10 # Robt Eagle 2012-03-23 12:02
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER vote Democratic!
+1 # Billy Bob 2012-03-23 12:30
Who do you plan to vote for? I know I've asked you this MANY MANY MANY times, but you still haven't answered. If you have an agenda it might be nice for you to be honest enough to admit it to us in writing.
0 # nice2blucky 2012-03-23 20:30
Vote for the best candidate! The greatest political coup was convincing people that voting for the better candidate, if not a D or R, is a wasted vote. For the two parties it is a self serving principle that has brought those parties together AND to the right, toward financial interests. Money always has a place at the table of debate, as if it inherently has essential contribution in reasoned discussion. Political representatives of the two major parties also assert value to their input, all the while, in this dynamic, the two self-serving parties are complicit in the exclusion of other -- more-- relevant and sound opinions. Also, what should be kept at bay on the fringe of political discourse, partisan apologists spouting sophistry and Party talking points, is cheered and elevated by operatives and surrogates, often through the financially aligned media organizations. They follow the principle, "if you say it often enough and in the right venue, it will become true; they create a reality and insist it had to be. There are many cases, such as this one, where knee-jerk supporters rely on false hope, applauding every fleeting, non-existent "victory" throughout the path of miserable defeat, and in essence, facilitate the outcome. They fall for the ploys, repeat the lies, and insist that everyone else -- for the good of us all -- do as they do, which is identify the "true" -- as if the only -- villain, Republicans, and blindly accept strategies that perpetuate the problems.
-2 # John Locke 2012-03-24 10:13
Well Stated, I am so glad to see people here finally waking up! There are some that will never admit they have been fooled...
But the reality is a vote for a democrat is essentially a vote for a Republican as the party philosophy is the same. There is only one party today the “Democratic Republican Party” which was what it was originally known as. They separated and have now merged once again.
The Democratic Republican Party was an American political party founded in 1792 by then Secretary for the State Department, Thomas Jefferson and Representative from Virginia, James Madison.
The party formed, first as a caucus in the House of Representatives and then in every state to contest elections and oppose the programs of then Secretary for the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton. Jefferson needed to have a nationwide party to counteract the Federalists, a nationwide party recently formed by Hamilton.
We need another party to counteract the Democratic Republican Party!
-2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-03-23 21:28
Amen no one is running themselves so who are they voting for. Ron Paul has sold his son to the devil for his son devil jr.

I would love to know who the Savior is these hypocrites know is coming to town to Save US. Believe it is us who must save the World, Tonto
+8 # seeuingoa 2012-03-23 14:05
Quoting Robt Eagle:
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER vote Democratic!

vote third party, green, alternative,
we have been totally sold out by the dems and reps.

Better to vote for a loser than against
your principles.
+3 # Rainphase 2012-03-24 06:34
Quoting seeuingoa:
Quoting Robt Eagle:
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER vote Democratic!

vote third party, green, alternative,
we have been totally sold out by the dems and reps.

Better to vote for a loser than against
your principles.

Instant Runoff Voting and Proportional Representation in every election!!
0 # John Locke 2012-03-24 10:01
Robt you should also add NEVER, NEVER, NEVER vite Republican...Bo th parties have sold out!
+1 # Billy Bob 2012-03-24 11:28
Explain that to nice2blucky, who claims many repuglicans are to the left of Obama.
-2 # John Locke 2012-03-24 12:57
I believe some are. It would not take much! But that still does not make them viable!
+1 # Billy Bob 2012-03-24 14:01
Be specific.
+1 # John Locke 2012-03-24 15:01
Well certainly Not Cantor or Bohner!
+1 # Billy Bob 2012-03-24 22:59
You're right about that.
+1 # Billy Bob 2012-03-23 10:08
This is why it's so hard for many of us to swallow the idea that Obama is the only hope we have. The only reason I'm planning to vote for him is that he doesn't have a serious challenger to his left, and by serious, I mean someone with high poling numbers who could actually win. I refuse to cast a protest vote, but I'd gladly vote for a primary challenger.

We have been sold out. I guess the "chage we could believe in" was that, this time it would be a Democrat doing this to us. It's sort of a change, and we can certainly believe it's happening.

I think it's time to stop lecturing each other about strategy and just vote our consciences. So far, my need to keep repugs out of the White House trumps my need to vote for a true liberal who was actually listening to us.

So far...
-12 # Robt Eagle 2012-03-23 12:03
Bill, so then you agree that you must vote for which ever Republican is nominated, becaus Obama and his polices are a disaster for the US!!!
+5 # Billy Bob 2012-03-23 12:35
If you can find a repuglican to the LEFT of President Obama, yeah! I'll vote for him or her? Which left-wing repuglican do you think will get the nomination?

Do you agree that more right-wing policies (like approving the tar pipeline and like the repuglican agenda) would be a further disaster for the US?!?!

If you want to convince us to vote for your party, it might be wise to do it in response to an article where we agree the President is too liberal.

Otherwise, your attempt to win converts is kind of comical.
-3 # nice2blucky 2012-03-23 20:34
The Republican to the left of Obama will be on the Libertarian ticket.

And just for the record, there are many Republicans to the left of Obama.
+1 # Billy Bob 2012-03-24 11:26
There are only 4 repuglicans running. Which one of them is to the left of Obama? I know paul is to the left of him on 2 issues.

Ask ron paul what he thinks of the tar pipeline. I'll give you a hint: he HATES ALL GOVERNMENT REGULATION OF BIG BUSINESS.

The only thing holding this pipeline back is government regulation of big business. He doesn't believe in public land, or the public welfare.

Ask him what he thinks of Medicare or Social Security.

These are libertarian ideas AND paul's.

Ask him what he thinks of the right to choose, or minorities, or even public schools for that matter.

If you want to give some examples of repuglicans to the left of Obama, I'm waiting for your list.
-4 # nice2blucky 2012-03-24 16:01
Buddy Roemer and Gary Johnson are the two alluded to specifically.

As for the many Republicans out there, as the saying goes, they did not leave the Party, Party left them.

Republicans, like my dad, are no longer aligned ideologically with the Republican Party.
0 # Billy Bob 2012-03-24 23:12
Roemer's not a repug. Johnson is a Libertarian. Libertarian is the ultimate conservative ideology.

I'm operating on the definition of "liberal" meaning someone who actually supports Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (the 3 most popular government programs in American history).

Johnson wants them cut or eliminated regardless of what American voters want to the contrary.

Is your Dad running for President? If not, he's kind of outside the limits of this discussion.

So far, your list still consists of ZERO.
+1 # John Locke 2012-03-23 18:54
Billy: although I understand your reasoning, I disagree with it. To vote for Obama after all he has done to us is like voting yourself the plague.
He is a turn coat, breaking every pledge he made to get elected. I honestly do not believe Rumnutz would be any worse. Although I will also not vote for him!...
Obama has ruled against us every chance he got. And lied...
I would rather through away my vote on a third party candidate or not even vote rather then to give this fool my sanction. He promised us change, I thought he meant something other than our form of government, he has accomplished more in 3 years toward fascism then Bush did in 8...Think carefully who you vote for, Obama has been a complete disaster. what worse could Romeny be?
+7 # CeresLMT 2012-03-23 10:08
And this tramples on all the land treaty rights of the Native American tribes, NONE of whom I have heard come out in favor of this. In fact, I have heard nothing but strident protest from the Lakota and and the many tribes in Oklahoma where the President just spoke. In Ok, they were even put in what amounted to a cage, from where they could protest, and were not allowed to be near the President. Who is this Obama guy, anyway?? I just don't know anymore.
-2 # John Locke 2012-03-24 10:34
CeresLMT: What Obama is, is a man of color who sold his soul to wall street for a chance to be the first Black President of the United States. He is nothing more than a Marionette dancing to his masters commands. He was used by wall street to move us closer to where they want this government to be. I Also don't understand how he ever received a law degree. although I have met alot of attorneys who were really ignorant.
Chief Justice Warren Burger, of the US Supreme Court said 75 to 90 percent of American trial lawyers are incompetent, dishonest, or both. Maybe we should learn from this and never vote a lawyer into public office again. Romney also has a law degree, be very careful of a lawyer in the white house or congress again!
+2 # MidwestTom 2012-03-23 10:30
It is amazing how a politician can say he is on both sides of an issue. To them there is no black or white, everything is grey and turns black or white, depending on where they happen to be.
+6 # Vern Radul 2012-03-23 10:43
A vote is a terrible thing to waste, they say. But exactly when are votes wasted? Are they thrown away when cast for the least of multiple evils. Are they squandered when cast for what people really need and want, even if that means a Democrat might not win? Are they lost when people with few or no good choices stay home? Or have voters already been robbed when the menu is limited to corporate-funde d Republicans vs. corporate-funde d Democrats?
This is what Eugene Debs referred to a century ago, when he declared he would rather cast a meaningful vote for what did want, and not get it, than a fake and hollow one for what he didn't want, and get that.

And so, a hundred years later, the game is still the game. If we want our votes to have any meaning, it's time to reject the fake choices between the two corporate parties. It's time to wise up, to grow up and like adults, to take a view longer than dessert, or the next two or three elections.
+4 # Billy Bob 2012-03-23 11:31
I hope the Democratic Party starts listening to people like you soon. Keep saying it and I believe they'll have to.
+5 # erogers 2012-03-23 11:35
"A vote is a terrible thing to waste, they say. But exactly when are votes wasted? Are they thrown away when cast for the least of multiple evils.". Yes it is a terrible thing to waste. But after the last election I made my self a promise: I will never again vote for the lesser of two evils because with either result you still end up with evil and that is a wasted vote. Time to change the system and give us a strong third party choice who can share the podium with the other candidates in ALL debates. In fact every party should be in the debates. Then maybe, no more wasted votes.
-3 # Robt Eagle 2012-03-23 12:06
erogers, so you admit it, Obama was a wasted vote. Time to get him out of office before he does any further damage to the US!!!
+8 # erogers 2012-03-23 12:19
Voting republican is also a wasted vote. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER vote Republican. We need to change the system, get big money out of politics, get back to the basis of a democracy. We need to see all parties fairly represented at every debate. Then we have a chance of not wasting a vote by getting away from both major parties. Both sold this country down the river long ago.
0 # Billy Bob 2012-03-23 12:36
You're right. Which liberal repuglican do you propose?
+12 # erogers 2012-03-23 11:24
With each passing week I find Mr. Obama less recognizable. Why didn't he just have a sign plastered to his back before speaking: ANYTHING FOR A VOTE. This guy actually thinks Oklahoma will vote Obama in November? Then he turns around and goes to Ohio State with a different message. He really thinks we are stupid. Obama knows the truth about Keystone: It will not help our energy needs since the refined product will be exported, not actually that many jobs, maybe 2000, endangers our aquifers, adds to the climate problem, but ANYTHING FOR A VOTE. Obama lacks total credibility, and I staunchly supported him last election. Both parties have sold us down the river. We need to change the system and get corporations and influence out. Whomever I vote for in November will not be in the D and has never been in the R column.
-2 # John Locke 2012-03-24 10:41
Erogers: I am so glad to see that so many people now see Obama for what he is, initially I took a large number of thumbs down saying these same things. Thank you for seeing through the smoke! I will NEVER vote Dem or Rep again, I am hopeful a real party will emerge as an alternative. For the record, i did support Obama in 2008, like all here I was fooled that one last time.
+7 # HowardMH 2012-03-23 11:24
What a Joke Obama the Wimp is. Flies all the way to OK to approve something that doesn't EVEN NEED his approval at ALL!! But he is such a wimp he can not even say the republican clowns names that are running against him in a speech the other day in MD. What a Wimp and such a disappointment. Go Go 99ers you are our only hope.
-2 # KittatinyHawk 2012-03-23 21:36
May not need his approval but perhaps he is reminding them it has a Process it must go thru. Something that the last State digging up the Prairies forgot. Canada may value their land...but it is time we value ours.

Think everyone must be reminded that everyone has a right to participate in the Environmental Impact Part as well as all the other impacts...They can be written in, sent to the Commission, the House and Senate, DEP Agency, EPA...
Find the Organizations that are fighting it, as they will hand the letters in for you also to make sure they get in.

Perhaps if people actually did something on their own, esp vote for good candidates, Governors, he would be a stronger President...but so easy to rant and not do a is the American Way, eh?
+1 # dick 2012-03-23 11:32
I am no defender of Obama Sachs, but I think he might have this one right. Red states get spills they deserve? GOP loses issue. XL is years away. Can be delayed indefinitely, later. Situation could change. Will TransC maximize its use if sale abroad is curtailed? Will they eventually prefer their Western route? I won't judge him on this YET. And, if he indicts the top 1% of Wall St. managers doing "God's work," he can put a pipeline in my front yard. Judge him on damage ALREADY DONE, & as yet rewarded, unpunished.
+1 # Billy Bob 2012-03-23 12:40
I appreciate your sentiment, but as we've seen, once infrastructure is in place it's used. All the environmental catastrophes in the world will never cause the red states or conservative ideology to admit it was wrong or suddenly self-regulate.

The ol' rope-a-dope only works in boxing AND IF you're Muhammad Ali AND if it's 1973.

Try the rope-a-dope with the oil industry and you'll be pummelled to death.
-3 # KittatinyHawk 2012-03-23 21:39
No it takes the People even those here to actually do something...wha t a concept but in 70's and 90's we made progress.
People think people like myself should wait on them and do the work...time they get off the butts, close their mouths and laptops and do something for themselves and the USA they keep saying is going downhill. I know these people...they are as much the problem as any Politician and Corporation.
0 # Billy Bob 2012-03-24 11:27
You're preaching to the choir here.
+6 # tomo 2012-03-23 17:31
Believe me, if Obama is the only hope we have, whatever has been dignified, noble, inspiring, uplifting in the American Story is over and done with--and all that is left to us are dead Indians, rotting civil rights, devastated landscape, and the corpses of young Americans in every corner of the world.
+6 # futhark 2012-03-23 18:17
Exploitation and depletion of irreplaceable resources IS NOT "development". It never was and never will be. I hope you live long enough to ask your great-grandchil dren.
0 # carioca 2012-03-23 19:52
Of course, it was only a question of time. Now we are firmly in the End Times. This is the beginning of the end.
+1 # John Locke 2012-03-23 20:13
Why do you think there is s push to find other inhabitable planets?
0 # KittatinyHawk 2012-03-23 21:40
Grow Up

Lord gave us the Power to Change things...try doing it
+1 # RnR 2012-03-25 07:57
I will not vote for him I will write in Cynthia McKinney. I know it's futile but I have to live with what I do.

He is a farce.

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