Despite his speechmaking touting an “all of the above” energy strategy, President Obama’s reelection could depend his willingness to stand in the way of developing America’s resources.
Back in November, at the time of the original Keystone XL pipeline decision, environmental groups threatened to pull their support for Obama if he approved the pipeline. Michael Brune, executive director of America’s largest environmental group, the Sierra Club, is on record
as saying that the President’s decision on Keystone would have “a very big impact” on how they funnel their resources—with the obvious implication being that they would not support the President if he didn’t do their bidding.
Other environmental groups such as the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Environmental Defense Fund took a different tack but with the same goal. A press release from the Rainforest Action Network
promised the President that if he denied Keystone, he would see a “surge of enthusiasm from the green base that supported you so strongly in the last election.”
Environmental groups clearly understand they have the ability to influence the President’s decisions based on their claims to support—or not support—his bid for a second term. They must be pleased so far with his administration’s efforts. On Wednesday, April 18, leading environmental groups came out with their official endorsement of President Obama—“the earliest” the groups “have ever endorsed in a presidential election cycle.” According to The Hill
, “The groups are planning a mix of advertising and on-the-ground work on Obama’s behalf.” However, Glenn Hurowitz, a senior fellow at the Center for International Policy, thinks the groups should have waited longer before endorsing the President. He believes the early endorsement removes the “greens’ leverage.”