Obama lobbies to kill Keystone XL
It looks like the economy is rebounding, though the recovery is missing many Americans. And while the good economic news is a boon for President Barack Obama’s bid for re-election, rising gas prices are a sticking point for many voters.
The White House has stood in the way of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that would not only create thousands of jobs and make oil more readily available for production. But an effort by Senate Republicans yesterday to approve the pipeline was defeated after President Obama lobbied Senate Democrats to kill it:
Thursday’s squeaker of a Senate vote on the Keystone XL pipeline serves both as a warning to President Barack Obama that a majority of both houses of Congress supports the pipeline and as encouragement to Republicans to keep pushing the issue.
Obama had personally lobbied Senate Democrats with phone calls urging them to oppose an amendment to the highway bill that would fast-track the Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline. And as it turned out, he needed every bit of their help.In all, 11 Democrats joined 45 Republicans to support the pipeline. Only the fact that 60 votes were needed for passage saved the White House from an embarrassing defeat.
The 11 Democrats who crossed party lines to support the amendment were Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Kent Conrad of North Dakota, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Jon Tester of Montana and Jim Webb of Virginia.
You can see the full roll call vote here.
It’s a gamble by the Obama Administration to oppose Keystone XL. You have to assume they’re reaching out to environmentalists. After all, why else would he be increasing the subsidy for the failed Chevy Volt. But it seems out of touch, coupled with the fact that his Energy Secretary doesn’t drive and they’re telling Americans that living a mile from a grocery store is too far.
But with rising oil prices considered to be a threat to the economy — which even a former economic advisor to Obama says could get worse very suddenly, voters will no doubt be scratching their heads.