The Keystone Pipeline’s Utterly Useless Democratic Friends

by Jim Geraghty

From the first Morning Jolt of the week:

USA Today National Poll Conclusion: Duck and Cover, Democrats!

BOOM, breaking this morning:

A nationwide USA TODAY/Pew Research Center Poll shows the strongest tilt to Republican candidates at this point in a midterm year in at least two decades, including before partisan “waves” in 1994 and 2010 that swept the GOP into power. Though Election Day is six months away — a lifetime in politics — at the moment, Democrats are saddled by angst over the economy, skepticism about the health care law and tepid approval of the president.

The Keystone Pipeline’s Utterly Useless Democratic Friends

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is getting a little tired of hearing Mary Landrieu talk about how hard she’s fighting to build the Keystone Pipeline. This morning they’re detailing her sudden interest in the pipeline, and her efforts which appear to be a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing — or at least nothing all that consequential or influential, as the pipeline remains tied up in reviews and red tape, no decision is expected before 2015, and Rolling Stone reports that the president has already decided to kill the project, but doesn’t want to announce it until after the midterms.

The NRSC lays out the case:

In fact, Mary Landrieu was virtually silent on Keystone for the two years prior to her political campaign — until January 2013 when Landrieu began to see signs of her reelection hopes in dire straits.

The truth is, Mary Landrieu has a record of ignoring Keystone, that is, until it became politically convenient for her to “champion” in light of an extremely competitive reelection campaign. Since that time Landrieu has stepped up into election mode to give the appearance that she’s delivering on Keystone:

44 – Tweets From Mary Landrieu About The Keystone Pipeline

17 – Press Releases Sent By Landrieu’s Office About Keystone

3 – Press Conferences With Landrieu About Keystone

2 – Letters To The Obama Administration About Keystone Landrieu Has Signed

3 – Floor Speeches By Landrieu About Keystone

1 – Declarations By Landrieu That She Is “Indispensable” Because Of Her Influence In The Senate

Yet in all that time serving on the Energy Committee, Mary Landrieu hasn’t been able to accomplish anything on Keystone. The fact is that now, as Energy Chair, Landrieu is beholden to the radical, anti-energy agenda of Barack Obama and Harry Reid.

That Rolling Stone article featured this quote:

But Jane Kleeb, founder of Bold Nebraska and one of the leaders of the anti-pipeline movement, described the move to me as “a pretty brilliant move” that will give red state Democrats like Mary Landrieu and Mark Begich an easy and highly theatrical way to distance themselves from the president in the mid-terms, as well a rallying point for oil and gas money to support them. “Obama just used oil and gas to get red state dems elected,” Kleeb wrote. “No way will gas and oil push against Landrieu and Begich.”

Oil and gas back Democratic senators who can’t help them with their pipelines; the health-insurance industry backs Obamacare, only to find out later that they’re at risk for a death spiral. God save us from businesses t6hat are utterly convinced they’ll be able to tame the Democrats’ anti-business instincts.

“Yeah, yeah, Keystone, jobs, blah blah blah. Whatever, Mary, just smile and wave.”