COMMENTARY | As Hot Air noted, the announcement by the administration on the Keystone XL pipeline was, in effect, that it will decide whether or not to build the thing “whenever we damn well please.” Fox News suggests a revolt on both sides of the aisle is brewing.
At this point, Obama cannot pretend that its decision not to decide is anything more than catering to madcap environmentalists such as billionaire Tom Steyer. Economically, geopolitically, and even environmentally, building Keystone XL is a no brainer. The latter is true because the oil is already flowing anyway, by truck and rail. Using a pipeline is actually environmentally safer.
One has to conclude as well that the administration thinks that the Senate is already lost. Otherwise, why would it do this thing to red state democrats such as Mary Landrieu? It also shows a lack of care to the Democratic Party’s other big constituency, labor unions.
There is a theory that Obama’s procrastination will actually help senators like Landrieu because it will allow them to oppose an unpopular president on an issue in which most Americans oppose him. That is a bit of a reach. Landrieu and others have that inconvenient letter D after their names. To oppose the president with any credibility they would all have to switch to the Republican Party en masse as a protest, perhaps flipping the senate even before the midterms take place. Even then there is that vote for Obamacare that cannot be explained away.
Congress is likely to vote on a measure either approving the Keystone XL pipeline or forcing the president to approve it on a date certain. The measure will pass, but will it be by a veto proof majority? And if it were passed thus, would Obama actually obey such a law or would he claim that he is not required to?