Ed Henry to Carney: If the president wants to use his pen so badly, why not approve Keystone XL?
posted at 5:21 pm on January 27, 2014 by Erika Johnsen
I merely post this as a reminder of at least three of the blatant hypocrisies I’m sure we’re all looking forward to hearing from President Obama during State of the Union address tomorrow night, especially in light of the executive-action-heavy, “I’ve got a pen and a phone“-and-I’m-not-afraid-to-run-around-Congress attitude he’ll apparently be touting throughout: 1. That President Obama is quite partial to touting government-sponsored infrastructure projects as a perfectly wonderful method for creating lots and lots o’ jobs, but for some murky reason, private-sector ones like the Keystone XL pipeline are somehow not significant or worthwhile job creators; 2. That President Obama is fully supportive of the oil-and-gas industry and recognizes its lasting importance for our national security and economic prosperity, but is choosing to delay on a project that would help us take better advantage of our own shale revolution as well as greasing the wheels for Canada; and 3. That President Obama is super-duper eager to bridge the partisan gridlock, if only those mercilessly spiteful Republicans would let him — but when it comes to a project that already has on-the-record and overwhelming bipartisan support, he’s so oddly reluctant and obfuscatory.
You can watch the vid at RCP, but the gist of the White House’s usual putting-off is readily apparent in the same old-and-tired dialogue to which we’re all now quite jaded:
ED HENRY: On executive action, if the president wants to move quickly to create jobs why not take that pen today and approve the Keystone pipeline?
JAY CARNEY: Ed, as you know, as has been the practice for many years now of administrations of both parties, the reviews involved in an international pipeline like this, a pipeline that crosses an international boundary, are done or run by the State Department and that process continues at the State Department.
HENRY: But you would be involved in the decision. The State Department handles it, but they’ve had it on their desk, for what, two years?
CARNEY: Well, what the president is doing is what his predecessors did, presidents of both parties, which is allowing the State Department to oversee a process where this pipeline is evaluated and when that process is done I’m sure we’ll be made aware of it. But what the president believes is that it’s important to maintain a process that was devised, again, and utilized by White Houses of both parties in order to assure that the right decision is made.
And etcetera, but most unfortunately for the administration, the issue is quickly turning into a bona fide campaign issue, and who knows if that kind of blather will be enough to keep it at arm’s length through the midterms. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell mentioned it on Sunday as a possible issue with which the GOP would be prepared to pass a debt-ceiling hike (the better to highlight the vulnerability of a certain handful of red-state Senate Democrats up for election), and the greens, unsurprisingly, are determined to carry on with their woefully misguided campaign against it:
Green groups hope to get President Obama’s attention by parading a giant inflatable pipeline around the Capitol Tuesday before his State of the Union address.
It’s the latest push by environmental groups, including 350.org and the National Wildlife Federation, to persuade Obama to reject the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil sands from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries.
The 100-yard inflatable pipeline will have the message “Climate Champion or Pipeline President” scrolled across it.
“President Obama has all the information he needs to reject Keystone XL and he should do so in the State of the Union,” the groups said in a statement on Monday.