Pipe­line de­lay gives boost to Obama’s po­lit­i­cal base

Daily Trust - - NEWS -

The lat­est de­lay to a fi­nal de­ci­sion on the Key­stone XL oil pipe­line will re­in­force a White House strat­egy to en­er­gize Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s lib­eral-lean­ing base be­fore fall elec­tions in which Democrats risk los­ing con­trol of the U.S. Se­nate.

En­vi­ron­men­tal­ists, wor­ried about the project’s ef­fect on cli­mate change, have put enor­mous pres­sure on the pres­i­dent to re­ject the pipe­line from Canada’s oil sands, stag­ing demon­stra­tions out­side the White House and protests in states where he trav­els.

A de­ci­sion to ap­prove it now could have prompted that vo­cal group, which was in­stru­men­tal in elect­ing Obama in 2008 and 2012, to sit out the Novem­ber 4 con­gres­sional elec­tions.

The State Depart­ment’s an­nounce­ment on Fri­day that it would give govern­ment agencies more time to study the project was seen by strate­gists from both par­ties as a move to pre­vent that and boost Obama in the eyes of his sup­port­ers. Sup­port for the pres­i­dent, or lack of it, is gen­er­ally re­flected in mid-term voter turnout.

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