Dr. Boozman's Check-up

President Obama recently gave a speech outlining his plans for a climate change initiative that will drive up the cost of energy across the country.  It included new benchmarks for the Keystone Pipeline, which has already cleared far more hurdles than most projects are put through before approval. 

This new poll should give him pause to reconsider.

The National Journal/Congressional Connection Poll finds overwhelming public support for moving the Keystone Pipeline project forward. More than two-thirds of respondents, 67 percent, support building the pipeline to carry Canadian oil to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. This support cuts across political lines, as it includes 56 percent of Democrats.

Is President Obama really prepared to side with the small minority (less than a quarter of Americans if you use this poll as a measuring stick) in opposition to the pipeline?

The President’s team recently disregarded well-established guidelines on cost-benefit analysis to generate an increased “social cost of carbon.” In other words, they broke the rules to make carbon emissions look more costly than they really are. Now, Keystone pipeline opponents are using the administration’s flawed analysis to demand further reviews of the pipeline.

Stalling the Keystone Pipeline is incomprehensible when American families are struggling. The project will create thousands of well-paying jobs. It will help reduce our dependence on sources of oil outside of North America. It is an important component of an all-inclusive national energy policy, which needs to be one of our top national priorities.

This is why many find the President’s recent speech troubling, especially in light of his intentions to act unilaterally on this initiative. It is why I joined my Republican colleagues on the Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) to ask Chairwoman Barbara Boxer to reconsider her decision to exclude Obama Administration witnesses from today’s climate change hearing.

In our request to Chairwoman Boxer we wrote, “The potential of these government actions to exacerbate the serious economic problems that currently persist justifies asking a panel of federal witnesses, charged with implementing the President's agenda, to testify as to the scope, purpose, and consequences of such unilateral action.”

The Administration is clearly lining up against the majority of Americans on the Keystone Pipeline.  My hope is that at future hearings, Chairwoman Boxer will invite Obama Administration officials who can explain to the American people why that is.