Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Problem and the Hard Choice for Obama

Barak Obama has a problem. It is called the Keystone Pipeline. It has put the president between the proverbial rock and a hard place in this political season. He is in a lose, lose situation and he knows it. It is why he made up some sort of excuse about different studies making a decision impossible on whether to approve or kill the project until 2013. In other words during a second term with no re-election on the line.

The proposed oil pipeline would run from Alberta, Canada to the Texas gulf coast and presumably create tens of thousands of jobs. It would lessen, to a degree, US dependence on foriegn oil in a time when the Iranians seem to be off their collective nut even more so than usual. Of course the American addiction to oil could be compared to some trailer park dude's addiction to meth. Both just grow and grow no matter how much you supply either with.

That is pretty much what enviornmental groups are screeching about. The contention is that instead of looking for an alternative fuel source we are spending all our time and efforts adding to our dependence on oil. Not only are we putting increasing stress on the atmosphere through carbon emissions, but a pipeline as massive as the Keystone threatens fragile habitats and could put a major aquifer at risk. Not to mention becoming a target for the terrorist boogy men.

Organized labor on the other hand wants the jobs. They see a vast opportunity for existing unions and for the recruitment of new members.

No wonder the republicans wanted to force this issue right now, this year before the election, which they were able to do. By doing so they are driving a wedge between two of Obama's key support groups, at least in terms of contributions if not actual voters at the polls. Enviornmental groups have all ready said that if he doesn't reject the pipeline they will withhold their support. His is not a campaign that can spare either money, or votes anywhere, especially if the GOP doesn't completely lose its mind and nominate someone besides the cash fat centerist Mitt Romney.

Reports are he will reject the pipeline this afternoon, perhaps even before I finish typing this. If that is true then he and his people have decided that despite their anger the unions will stay with him. That the greens will indeed not contribute to him or vote for him. It is probably the correct, if still difficult choice. The enviornmental movement is to the democrats what the evangelicals are to the republicans. They are nihlistic enough to throw away an entire election rather than compromise on an issue, or issues key to them and them alone. In another words, they're nuts. Just ask Al Gore.

This could be a major set back for Obama in the November election. It will certainly be hammered on by whoever he runs against.

Things just got a little dicier for this president.


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