In the last few weeks the American environmental anti-Keystone movement has been dealt several very bad hands.
Al Gore, former Vice President, self-acclaimed discoverer and developer of the internet and the Godfather of the climate change movement, embarrassed the movement, by selling his interests in Current TV to the fossil fuel, oil-producing nation of Qatar — which owns Al-Jazeera, Gore’s purchaser. Even Gore publicly admitted that the optics of this sale to Qatar were not positive.
A few days ago, and referred to in my previous Huff Post article, the US State Department came out with a 2000 page report that concluded that the proposed Keystone pipeline would have little effect on warming the planet.
Other State Department reports have concluded that in the absence of Alberta oil, the US would still import Venezuelan oil, which may produce greater GHGs, than the Keystone alternative.
Recently, no less than the liberal Washington Post referring to the above 2000 page State Department Report, editorialized that anti-Keystone protesters should give up their fruitless crusade against Keystone. In effect, the movement is wasting its time. The Post editorial bitingly stated:
“The analysis underscores the extent to which activists have trumped up a relatively mundane infrastructure issue into the premier environmental fight of this decade, leading to big marches and acts of civil disobedience to advance a cause that is worthy of neither. The activists ought to pick more important fights. Until they do, the President should ignore their pressure.”
Ouch! The Washington Post gave the protesters a real smack down!
Obviously, this time, leading anti-Keystone activist and sometime actress Daryl Hannah, failed to make much of a “splash” in Washington.
Also the same Post reported on a poll that 70 per cent of Americans approve Keystone. Keystone has a higher approval rating than President Obama. Even 57 per cent of Democrats support Keystone.
President Obama may be a bit aloof and self-contained and the smartest person in the room, and perhaps the planet. But he is no fool. Neither is his close advisers Plouffe, Axelrod and his counsel, Bob Bauer ( my old Exeter buddy and Harvard classmate). They read the polls. They know where the political winds are blowing. Public support for the anti-Keystone position is plummeting.
Republicans know they have a winning issue. House and Senate Democrats are heading for the exits.
The anti-Keystone types have lost the food money. If I was their adviser, I would strongly urge them to fold now and walk away, with the few political chips, they still possess. Otherwise, they may lose all their credibility, the mortgage money and then the house itself.
They would be nuts to bet the farm on Keystone. That is to say, bet the Democratic Senate, on Keystone. Because the pro Keystone gamblers are sitting with Four Aces. And the anti-Keystone hand is just full of Jokers.