The Magazine

Keystone Kops

Sep 30, 2013, Vol. 19, No. 04 • By KELLY JANE TORRANCE
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To be fair, the president’s indecision has created quite a number of new jobs—for lobbyists and activists. Bloomberg reported last week that “lobbyists representing more than 50 groups” have spent $1 million in television ads alone this year, after spending almost $16 million during the election, “making it one of Washington’s most protracted and pricey lobbying campaigns.” The money hasn’t changed the public’s mind, however: Multiple surveys indicate Americans want the pipeline approved, by a two-to-one margin. A recent Pew Research Center Poll found 66 percent in favor, with only 23 percent opposed.

So the environmentalists are bringing out the big guns. The Natural Resources Defense Council just launched an Internet campaign featuring pleas from Hollywood stars. In one blog post, Robert Redford wrote, “If you ask me, tar sands oil is exactly the type of dirty oil we can no longer afford.” Nobody asked him, of course. And it’s a shame that any measure of oil independence and job creation depends on the permission of a single, indecisive prima donna.

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