Published on Mar 21, 2012
Transcript by http://www.newsy.com
BY VICTORIA CRAIG
An upcoming announcement in Cushing, Oklahoma has political commentators and media pundits from Fox News to CNN accusing the president of playing election-year politics. Arizona's NBC affiliate KPNX explains President Obama's stance on a hot political issue.
"President Obama may be ready to reverse course on part of the Keystone Pipeline. President is expected to fast track the permit process for the southern portion of that project. The announcement will be made tomorrow."
That southern portion would link parts of Oklahoma's supply to the Gulf of Mexico. Energy and gas prices have grabbed plenty of attention on the campaign trail. A CNN contributor says the president's change of heart on the project won't quell criticism that he's played politics with America's long-term energy future.
"From the beginning, this was designed first, to appease the environmental groups, and now back into appeasing people who are paying high gas prices. While we all know it's not connected, some in the public will connect. He's playing politics with a very important project."
Fox Business' Charles Payne says it's not just pandering to the American public that's an issue — the president's support of just part of the project doesn't make sense.
"That like, you know, building the off ramp but not the bridge. Right. C'mon, it's so disingenuous, it's transparent...I can't see anyone, anyone being fooled by it."
Back in January, the president rejected a permit to begin construction on the project. President Obama said the State Department didn't have enough time to properly study the project. Politico explains what the president could gain politically from the announcement.
"The fact that TransCanada is moving ahead with this portion of the pipeline has allowed the White House to try to gain a foothold amid a political battering after Obama denied a presidential permit in January for the broader 1,700-mile project from Alberta to the Gulf Coast."
The Los Angeles Times quotes the president's press secretary who said increasing American oil production has been a quote "focus and priority of the administration from day one."
"By talking about the bottleneck, administration officials hope to put the emphasis back on the increase in domestic oil production since 2009. Production in the U.S. is at an eight-year high, officials say...Obama's task now is to get voters to see it that way."
Still, a columnist for Forbes calls the president's upcoming announcement hypocritical — saying there's no way he can take credit for this section of the pipeline.
"Take credit? Naw, the president couldn't be taking credit for this stretch of the Keystone XL, could he? After all, he must know full well that TransCanada got approvals to build the southern stretch months ago, and that pipelines that stay within U.S. borders don't need presidential approval anyway."
President Obama's Oklahoma visit Thursday is part of a three-state tour where he will talk about his, quote, "all of the above" approach to energy in America
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