The rise in oil prices has hit the Obama Administration at a time when it was considered to be gaining more traction in the polls.

Now we can squabble over if the President is responsible for oil prices, I don’t believe he is, but there is one piece of political dynamite that may end up costing the President the up coming election. That is the Keystone Pipeline.

When the Pipeline was debated just last December, it was shut down by the Administration, rightly so, based on the fact that the oil would not be consumed by Americans, would create nowhere near the number of jobs the GOP said it would and would be an environmental disaster in an area already dealing with scarce resources, like water.

However, now that the price of oil has risen, the debate has started up again and this may end up causing the President real political problems.

The amount of disinformation surrounding the pipeline is almost as obscene as the amount of disinformation surrounding the Obama Administration, but that is what makes it dangerous.

Many voters believe that this will create over a hundred thousand jobs, when it’s closer to three thousand in reality, and will be consumed and used by Americans, when it will in fact be used by the Chinese.

Despite the fact that this information is false, for many Americans, it reflects very poorly on the President when prices are going up and he is not in favor of something that would create jobs and make us energy independent. So that leaves the President with two options: A) Implement parts of the pipeline or B) Stand his ground.

If the administration decides to go with option A, they will be able to say that they tried to handle the problem of rising prices in oil but will alienate their base as well as possibly cause irreversible harm to the fragile aquifer.

However, they will be able to campaign on the fact that the pipeline did not create the results that the GOP said it would and would be able to say they were right from the start.

If the administration goes with option B, they will have to go into an election season facing attacks that they don’t care about gas prices or creating jobs and that they are incompetent on the economy.
This will be a tough battle, and one that the administration will most likely end up losing.

The problem this administration is facing highlights the difference between rhetoric and actions. If the President does the right thing and denies the pipeline, he is acting on what he believes, but if he chooses that option he faces divisive rhetoric, based primarily off of false information, in November.

This rhetoric will not only come from the Romney campaign but also talk radio and the conservative media forcing the President to become distracted and address an issue he has already addressed. This highlights the difference between rhetoric and policy.

So there are two options. Choose what is the best political, but worst logistical option, or take a stand and create a major risk of losing the election. The choice is yours, Mr. President.


Jordan Posner can be contacted at

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