Big Oil Threatens Obama with 'Huge Political Consequences' if He Doesn't Approve Keystone XL

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The knives are out. The oil industry was surely irked when Obama promised to delay the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline until 2013, by which time a proper environmental review could be carried out. But now that Congress has passed a resolution forcing him to make a decision in the next 48 days or so, Big Oil is really turning up the heat. They've threatened the president with "huge political consequences" if he doesn't cave to the oil industry and back the project.

Here's the Hill:

A top oil industry official delivered a clear warning to President Obama Wednesday: approve the Keystone XL pipeline or face “huge political consequences.”

American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard urged Obama to quickly approve the pipeline, which would carry oil sands crude from Alberta, Canada, to refineries along the Gulf Coast ...

“I think it would be a huge mistake on the part of the president of the United States to deny the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline,” Gerard said during the powerful oil industry trade association’s annual “State of American Energy” event Wednesday. “Clearly, the Keystone XL pipeline is in the national interest. A determination to decide anything less than that I believe will have huge political consequences.”

Them's fighting words. The API has already launched an 'Energy Voter' campaign to try to gin up support for drilling and the Keystone project, but Gerard's words mark an outright 'Or else' challenge to the president. In no uncertain terms, they're pledging to make life miserable (funding the opposition, attack ads, ramping up lobbying efforts, etc) for Obama if he doesn't back the pipeline. Of course, they would have done all that stuff anyway.

Tags: Congress | Oil