Tags: obama | keystone | democrats | republicans

Obama Keystone Policy a Net Negative for Dems

By    |   Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 09:50 AM

Obama's Keystone pipeline policy has been very coy thus far, but after the Senate narrowly defeated its approval on Tuesday, Republicans vowed to send the bill to the president's desk in January.

"If you do the math, we have 59 votes today," North Dakota Republican Sen. John Hoeven told CNN. "But if you look at the new Congress, you can count four more right away and I think there may be others."

The president's decision to sign or veto the legislation is likely to set the tone for the next two years, testing Obama's willingness to work with a legislative branch dominated by the opposition party. The bill will also act as a signal to voters of the administration's priorities — pitting the high-priority issue of jobs against concerns about environment.

On Tuesday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest gave some indication of the president's latest thinking, saying, "It certainly is a piece of legislation that the president doesn't support."

This puts him at odds with the public — of which a clear majority has consistently supported the construction of the pipeline.

Pundits at liberal news outfits like MSNBC have suggested that Keystone could become a valuable bargaining chip for the president, who could pass it after eliciting a promise from Republicans to pass something they're not too fond of.

New York magazine, however, quickly dismissed this notion.

"Republicans don't like cutting deals with Obama even when he offers them something they want. In this case, the trade value of Keystone is negative. Which is to say, Republicans aren’t going to give him squat," the magazine wrote.

National Review argued that Obama is shooting himself in the foot by bowing to the far left coalition opposed to the pipeline.

"The U.S. produces 7 million barrels of oil per day at present, but uses 18 million barrels per day. We are thus the largest net importer of oil in the world, and anything that serves to lower the price of oil [like Keystone] benefits the United States," wrote columnist Robert Zubrin.

Like many in favor of the pipeline, he noted that the environmental impact is negligible — as the same amount of oil will be transported by train if the pipeline isn't built — and pointed out that building the pipeline will create construction and maintenance jobs.

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Obama's Keystone pipeline policy has been very coy thus far, but after the Senate narrowly defeated its approval on Tuesday, Republicans vowed to send the bill to the president's desk in January.
obama, keystone, democrats, republicans
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2014-50-19
Wednesday, 19 Nov 2014 09:50 AM
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