Saturday, March 23, 2013


public objections to Keystone are becoming increasingly mainstream among Democrats. Tom Friedman said "No to Keystone. Yes to Crazy." A New York Times editorial endorsed a crusade the Post had labeled a counterproductive obsession a week before. Splits continue to open up among Democrats on this issue.


Not to worry, say all those red state Democratic senators and representatives up for re-election. It's a one-time problem, sure to be a faded memory by 2014. That's where they're wrong. Few observers on either side of the aisle have grasped how intensely many Democrats have latched onto the crusade against fossil fuels, especially young people and Democrats in coastal states.


A poll out yesterday showed that New York State voters had turned against fracking by a clear margin for the first time, this despite the economic wonder-working of this drilling revolution. If some of those voters were motivated by shaky pollution claims, rather than climate change, keep in mind that the climate movement is behind most of those pollution charges.


Massive margins against fracking in New York City tipped the balance against suburban and upstate voters. New York State Democrats oppose fracking by a mighty 62 to 21 percent. A new national poll (which may have been distorted somewhat by the way the questions were framed) also makes it clear that substantial numbers of Democrats–young voters in particular–are strongly focused on Keystone.


How are Democrats supposed to shake this internally divisive energy/climate issue? The Post complains that Keystone is a "trumped up" battle, but the movement that turned Keystone into an issue is perfectly capable of "trumping up" yet another Armageddon, and another after that. Bill McKibben and his allies demand a swift end to America's use of fossil fuels. If and when Keystone fades as an issue, they're bound to draw another line in the sand. Having secured backing from the New York Times for their Keystone campaign, these folks are not about to stop.'


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