Monday, April 14, 2014
Opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline has taken to the ground to send a message. It is part of publicity that a coalition has launched to persuade the President to reject the pipeline's northern route to Canada. Pressure on the President has increased over the last five years, but he keeps putting off the decision. It's a no-win for him. Either he sides with environmentalists and rejects the pipeline -- thereby losing the union vote -- or he sides with the pipeline and jobs and loses the environmentalist vote. No wonder he has shoved off the decision year after year. The problem with delay is that it has not decreased opposition but exactly the opposite. If and when, Obama makes his decision, there will be an uproar from some part of his supporters. However, why should he care? He is a lame duck. There is no good way to handle a case like this. It would seem that a speedy decision is better than none, but that isn't always true. Sometimes delay allows a center to form on which one can build compromise, but there doesn't appear to be a center for the Keystone pipeline.