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Obama Tells Donors of Tough Politics of Environment


US Politics & Gov't  (tags: Obama, KXL, environmental politics, fundraiser, donors, Congress, CA AG Harris, Getty family )

Angelika
- 540 days ago - nytimes.com
Mr. Obama appears to be leaning toward the approval of the pipeline, although he did not specifically mention it to the donors. But he acknowledged that it is hard to sell aggressive environmental action- like reducing pollution from power plants - to ..



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Comments

Vicky P. (464)
Saturday April 6, 2013, 8:00 pm
pretty sure he wanted to say yes since his first term, so no surprise there unfortunately
 

Angelika R. (143)
Saturday April 6, 2013, 8:01 pm
Appearing at the home of an outspoken critic of the Keystone XL pipeline, President Obama on Wednesday night told a group of high-dollar donors that the politics of the environment “are tough.”

Mr. Obama appears to be leaning toward the approval of the pipeline, although he did not specifically mention it to the donors. But he acknowledged that it is hard to sell aggressive environmental action — like reducing pollution from power plants — to Americans who are still struggling in a difficult economy to pay bills, buy gas and save for retirement.

“You may be concerned about the temperature of the planet, but it’s probably not rising to your No. 1 concern,” Mr. Obama said. “And if people think, well, that’s shortsighted, that’s what happens when you’re struggling to get by.”

Mr. Obama delivered his remarks to a group that hardly needs to worry economically: Thomas F. Steyer, the hedge-fund billionaire, and his wife, Kat Taylor, along with 100 guests at their home who each paid $5,000 to $32,400. The event was the first of four over two days in Northern California, the president’s first fund-raising drive in hopes of winning a friendlier Congress in 2014.

On Thursday, Mr. Obama wound up his trip with a fund-raiser in suburban Atherton, where he ran through his usual agenda: immigration, gun control and greater investment infrastructure. But his comments about Kamala D. Harris,the California attorney general, drew the most notice on the Internet.

“She is brilliant and she is dedicated and she is tough. And she is exactly what you’d want in anybody who is administering the law, and making sure that everybody is getting a fair shake,” the president said. “She also happens to be by far the best-looking attorney general in the country.”

As for the pipeline, the State Department, which has jurisdiction over the project because it crosses an international border, will hold a public hearing on an environmental impact statement, on April 18 in Grand Island, Neb. The review process for the pipeline, which would carry heavy crude oil from Alberta’s tar sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast, is expected to last until summer.

The challenge for Mr. Obama is to find a way to balance the political demands of supporters like Mr. Steyer, who has criticized the pipeline, with the insistence of Republicans, Canadian officials and some unions that the pipeline will create jobs and lower the cost of fuel in the United States. The president also faces pressure from some members of his party who argue that the economic benefits of the pipeline are too important to ignore. Last month, 17 Democratic senators signed on to an amendment backing construction of the pipeline. Included in the group were seven senators from conservative or swing states who are up for re-election in 2014.

In the face of those pressures, at the fund-raiser on Wednesday — and at a second one at the home of the billionaire philanthropists Ann and Gordon Getty — the president sought to reassure his supporters that he would continue to fight for environmentally friendly policies.

“Despite a very aggressive agenda on the other side to block action, we’ve been able to double fuel-efficiency standards on cars,” Mr. Obama said at Mr. Steyer’s home. “We’ve been able to take mercury out of our air. We have been able to reduce carbon emissions in this country and have made not only this a healthier place to live, but have also begun to address in a serious way one of the biggest challenges of our time, and that is the challenge of climate change.”

Later, at the Getty home, the president said the political debate needs to “break out of this notion that somehow there’s a contradiction between us being good stewards of the environment and us growing this economy.”

“They are not a contradiction,” he said. “We can grow this economy fast and faster if we are seizing the opportunities of the future and not just looking at the energy sources of the past.”

Even as he spoke at the second fund-raiser, about 100 opponents of the pipeline protested outside, waving signs and chanting, “What do we want from our president? No pipeline for the 1 percent!” and “When I say pipeline you say kill! Pipeline! Kill!”

Inside, Mr. Obama told the donors that the best way to assure environmental action is to send more Democrats to Washington, returning the House to Democratic control and putting Representative Nancy Pelosi of California back in the speaker’s office.

“If we’re going to deal with climate change in a serious way, then we’ve got to have folks in Congress, even when it’s not politically convenient, to talk about it and advocate for it,” he said.

Earlier in the evening, the president said he was eager to work with Republicans who were willing to compromise. But he said he needed more Democrats to fully achieve an agenda his adversaries were trying to block.
 

Angelika R. (143)
Saturday April 6, 2013, 8:07 pm
Right, Vicky !
I thank I want to emphasize this part :
"The president also faces pressure from some members of his party who argue that the economic benefits of the pipeline are too important to ignore. Last month, 17 Democratic senators signed on to an amendment backing construction of the pipeline. Included in the group were seven senators from conservative or swing states who are up for re-election in 2014. " ;-)
 

Angelika R. (143)
Saturday April 6, 2013, 8:09 pm
Do you NEED those ? I don#t think so!
 

Angelika R. (143)
Saturday April 6, 2013, 8:13 pm
"CORE MESSAGE - The only oil Americans will get from Keystone is the oil that spills."(http://mediamattersaction.org/message/onepagers/201304010001)
 

Kip Mapes (28)
Monday April 8, 2013, 6:17 pm
Nothing worth whiile has been easy Mr President. Keep Fighting Corperate Rule! We don't need the enviromental risk.Oil companies don't need the money, they have enough.
 

Angelika R. (143)
Monday April 8, 2013, 6:21 pm
Very well said Kip, thank you! (Let's hope there even is a fight..)
 

John Gregoire (255)
Tuesday April 9, 2013, 6:53 am
We all said that he was just bding his time until after the elction and unfortunately we were correct on the pipeline and so many other things that have been negative for the environment, our seniors, our militray retirees and others. He's a gutless Pres who has no idea of what leadership is. Respect is earned and he lost mine.
 

John S. (304)
Wednesday April 10, 2013, 5:58 am
Especially when standing in front of a helicopter.
 

David King (3159)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 12:15 pm
End Taxpayer Subsidies To Oil Companies
To sign the petition, just cat and paste the below link:

http://signon.org/sign/end-taxpayer-subsidies?mailing_id=11206&source=s.icn.em.cr&r_by=905039


 

David King (3159)
Thursday April 11, 2013, 12:23 pm
President Obama and the State Department are wavering on one of the most critical decisions facing our climate -- whether to approve the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

That’s why we’ve joined up with a bunch of groups from across the country to deliver 1 million comments to the administration, urging them to reject the Keystone XL pipeline between today and Earth Day.

Be one of the first to add your name to the 1 million people speaking out against the Keystone XL pipeline.

President Obama has said the right things on global warming, and has taken some critical steps, like doubling our cars’ fuel efficiency. And thanks in part to his strong leadership, our consumption of oil has dropped over 10% since 2007.

But the progress we’ve made would be undermined if we increased our dependence on oil from tar sands, which has the potential to add 240 billion metric tons of global warming pollution to our environment.

Now, that’s just unacceptable.

Join me, and add your name now. Let’s give President Obama 1 million reasons to reject Keystone.
(cut and paste the link to sign the petition)
http://www.webaction.org/site/R?i=lUcGO931zfXxkeR-pb96nQ
 
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