Obama donors: Nixing the Keystone pipeline is comparable to Lincoln ending slavery, or something

I have every suspicion that the Obama administration’s continued dilly-dallying has pretty much nothing to do with those stubbornly lingering and entirely ginned-up environmental concerns and everything to do with the symbolic importance wrongly placed upon the pipeline’s construction by certain deep-pocketed and powerful eco-radical groups. The green lobby has managed to turn an otherwise innocuous pipeline project, just like the many other pipelines already crisscrossing the country, into an epic and high-profile battle for ostensible climate justice — never mind that Canada’s tar sands are going to be developed and sold to someone regardless of the United States’ decision — and they have too much riding on it not to pressure the Obama administration in every way they know how.

It’s so important to them, in fact, that they feel President Obama’s decision is actually on par with one of his own favorite president’s most righteously world-changing decisions. …What the what?

A group of 150 major Democratic donors and clean energy investors have sent President Obama a letter urging him to deny a presidential permit to the Keystone XL pipeline, comparing the decision’s significance to Abraham Lincoln’s push to end slavery through a constitutional amendment.

The missive, which was sent by the group Thursday and was obtained by The Washington Post, emphasized Obama’s respect for Lincoln and suggested the controversial pipeline–which would transport heavy crude from Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast–marked a similar turning point in American history.

“He made one of the most important decisions of his presidency and for our nation when he decided that he would fight for the 13th Amendment to end slavery even if it took every
ounce of his political capital,” they wrote. “Your decision on Keystone may not be so weighty, but we believe it holds a comparable urgency and importance, not strictly as a pipeline decision but as a presidential choice that will signal a fundamentally new direction for our nation.”

May be less weighty”? You don’t say.

The group’s letter insists that the decision “is the biggest, most explicit statement you will make in this historic moment, the moment when American turns from denial to solutions — or fails to.” Okay, let’s talk about that. I have a lot of difficulty taking the environmentalist movement in general seriously when they flatly declare that we absolutely most “pivot away from fossil fuels and towards a clean energy future” (a.k.a., wind and solar or bust, and we don’t give a damn how reality-defying and economy-depressing that might be!). But then, they are often just as vociferously against natural gas development and hydraulic fracturing — and in case they missed the memo, natural gas is the largest factor in our lately reduced carbon emissions, which they proclaim is their ultimate goal. Even President Obama, albeit slowly and guardedly, is embracing natural gas as an actual and at least temporary solution to their proffered problem. What’s up with that?

David Strom 10:01 PM on September 26, 2022