President Obama always says there’s “no silver bullet” for gas prices, but he’s going to go pan for some in Oklahoma anyway just in case.
According to a fairly recent Pew Research poll, 66% of Americans who have heard about the Keystone XL pipeline say the project should be approved (some of those who disagree are pictured above), and the national average of a gallon of gas is pushing $4.
These factors mean that the president who as a candidate vowed to rid America of the tyranny of oil will be morphing into JR Ewing right before our eyes for the foreseeable future. The transformation picks up speed on Thursday:
President Obama will visit Cushing, Oklahoma, on Thursday, where he will visit the southern part of the Keystone Pipeline project – the portion that is proceeding with Obama administration support, as opposed to the northern section that the president blocked out of environmental concerns.
The Obama administration has been playing defense on energy issues, with skyrocketing gas prices threatening to hurt the fragile economic recovery and undermine consumer confidence. Accused by Republicans of not doing enough to encourage domestic oil production, the president has given three speeches on energy in the last three weeks. The president has heralded how domestic oil production has increased, and domestic consumption has decreased, during his administration, but energy experts say his policies have little to do with those developments.
White House officials hope this trip to Cushing, Oklahoma, will erase political damage done to the president by his opposition to the larger Keystone project by heralding his support for part of it.
The White House is bracing for the arrival of a strongly worded letter from Daryl Hannah.
Republicans were quick to respond:
“Interesting choice for a President who just successfully lobbied Senate Democrats to defeat the Keystone XL pipeline jobs bill. Will he be touting the fact that his plan to raise taxes on energy manufacturers will increase the price of gas, disadvantage the smaller independent companies, and send American jobs overseas?” a spokesman for Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Don Stewart, said by email.
According to the White House, the Keystone delay is the fault of the GOP, something we may hear more of on Thursday (darn those anti-oil Republicans).
Obama’s “bringing down gas prices one presidential address at a time” strategy is expected to prompt the Department of Energy to sponsor another contest — one that would award top dollar to the first auto company that can invent a car that runs on speeches. Algae would also be acceptable, of course.
For those of you keeping score at home, Obama’s four state, two-day swing this week will burn roughly 5,000 gallons of fuel, not including C-17 support aircraft.