Political predictions are tricky, but DH suspects he will. Democratic political interests pull in opposite directions on this issue. The unions want the approval, and the environmentalists are vehemently opposed. For that reason alone, it was smart of the Obama administration to put off the decision until after November, so the commentators were surprise by his recent veto.
The President gets his weakest marks for his energy policy. The recent (and slanted) Washington Post/ABC News poll of American adults found that 62% disapprove of his handling of “the situation with gas prices” while only 28% approved. (Via Jennifer Rubin, via Instapundit). His numbers are down significantly from a Gallup survey of adults conducted nearly a month ago when he was almost underwater. No surprise there, given the sharp increase in gas prices. Keystone XL, on the other hand, is polling well, winning a majority of independents and a plurality of Democrats.
Characteristically our President managed to alienate an ally, pushing Canadians into the arms of Red China. Following the rejection of the Keystone XL project, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper phoned Barack Obama to express his “profound disappointment” in the decision. Canada will now sell it’s oil to China. Uranium too. The President’s foreign policy marks are not what one would call outstanding. The Washington Post/ABC News poll cited above gives him a 47% to 44% approve/disapprove break. Can he undo some of the damage by building a trade rout, so to say, to our northern ally?
Obama would be a fool not to approve the pipeline. If he does it, however, he’d have to do it in August in anticipation of a seasonal drop in gasoline prices: this way he will be able to take credit for the drop. When they do drop, he will put himself in a position to paint fracking as not only hazardous, but unnecessary, placating his environmentalist fan base. And Republicans will have to re-focus their attacks.