First, let's review a few of our nation's current and longer term 'needs.'
We need jobs. We need energy independence. We need government reveunes. We need more energy supply which will lead to lower energy prices. We need less inflationary pricing for consumers. We need less costly transportation expenses for business. And we need to do what's right by our neighbors and allies in Canada, too.
And approving the Keystone XL Pipeline's construction will help us achieve all of the above. So where is President Obama on this issue? Hiding in plain sight, it seems.
But we're making progress as the political winds are shifting and public opinion is now very much in favor of the pipeline's approval.
The Keystone Converts is subtitled 'Seventeen Senate Democrats vote for the pipeline. Mr. Obama?:'
"An evolving political consensus persuaded President Obama to come out for same-sex marriage last year. Here's hoping the shifting political tides will also inspire a personal evolution on the Keystone XL pipeline.
Last week 17 Senate Democrats voted with all 45 Republicans for a budget amendment supporting the TransCanada pipeline, which would transport crude from the Alberta oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries (oil from North Dakota's Bakken Shale would hop along for a ride). A similar measure last year garnered support from 11 Democrats but fell short of the 60 votes to overcome a filibuster.
Voting in favor then and again last week were the usual Democratic suspects representing red states. They include Max Baucus and Jon Tester (Montana), Mark Begich (Alaska), Kay Hagan (North Carolina), Mary Landrieu (Louisiana), Mark Pryor (Arkansas), Claire McCaskill (Missouri) and Joe Manchin (West Virginia). All are up for re-election next year save Senators Manchin, Tester and McCaskill, whose votes last year helped distance themselves from an Administration unpopular in their states.
More noteworthy are the six Keystone converts, which include South Dakota's Tim Johnson, Virginia's Mark Warner, Colorado's Michael Bennet, Florida's Bill Nelson and Delaware's Chris Coons and Tom Carper. . . . the pipeline enjoys huge public backing: 70% of registered voters support its construction, according to a recent Fox News poll.
Four government environmental impact statements in the last five years have concluded that the 1,700-mile pipeline would present no significant harm to the environment. The Alberta oil sands produce a mere 0.01% of the world's carbon emissions, and the crude will find its way to foreign markets one way or another. If not via pipeline, then by tanker or rail, whose emissions could exceed Keystone's.
The Senate vote is symbolic since the budget outline lacks the force of law. Still, the vote reflects the growing bipartisan consensus that a private investment creating tens of thousands of jobs trumps the scare tactics of environmentalists. The politician out of the mainstream here is Mr. Obama."
In Washington it's all about politics.
And politically, jobs and energy independence are deemed to be pretty important matters these days.
With respect to the Keystone XL Pipeline, the politics seem to be aligning properly for the project's approval.
So it's looking better for We the People that President Obama will finally be forced to do the right thing and approve the pipeline's construction.
But when? Let's hope soon.
That's my take. I hope it's the right one.