Americans Say ‘Yes’ to Keystone XL

If public sentiment is a factor in the Obama admistration's final decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, it's time to let the oil flow. The latest survey results are consistent with previous polls, except that the numbers in support continue to grow to even higher levels.

The United Technologies/National Journal survey says:

While the Obama administration mulls whether to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, Americans are already decided. They support the project by a wide margin, prioritizing potential economic benefits over possible environmental consequences.

The poll finds that more than two-thirds of respondents, 67 percent, support building the pipeline to carry Canadian oil to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast; that includes 56 percent of Democrats. Less than a quarter of Americans, 24 percent, oppose the project, the poll shows.

The State Department is evaluating the proposal, and President Obama said last month that the pipeline should not be permitted if it leads to a significant increase in greenhouse-gas emissions. There is no timeline for a decision, but the State Department says it is evaluating the project in "a rigorous, transparent, and efficient manner."

In the question posed by interviewers, poll respondents were told that Keystone supporters "say it will ease America's dependence on Mideast oil and create jobs," while opponents "fear the environmental impact" of building the pipeline.

Congressional Republicans have been prodding the administration to approve Keystone, with the GOP House holding a symbolic vote in support of the pipeline in May. (That measure won unanimous support from Republicans, save for one member who voted "present," while 19 Democrats also voted in favor.)

Advancing the Manufacturing Cause

We make things in Indiana — and America. So how are we going to excel at doing just that? The White House has some ideas. Or at least the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership steering committee does in the form of a report titled Capturing Domestic Competitive Advantage in Advanced Manufacturing.

AMP is a public-private partnership created by the Obama administration in 2011 with the goals of increasing investments in advanced manufacturing as well as new high-paying manufacturing jobs. The report offers 16 recommenations focused on three areas: enabling innovation, securing talent and improving the business climate.

Some of those recommendations:

  • Institute a national strategy that includes a systematic process to identify and prioritize critical cross-cutting technologies
  • Add a process to evaluate current/future technologies for research and development funding
  • Create a more robust environment for commercialization that connects manufacturers to university innovation
  • Develop a marketing plan to build excitement and interest in manufacturing careers
  • Implement a searchable national database of manufacturing resources
  • Increase community college level education investments to help develop a skilled workforce
  • Adopting tax reforms that level the playing field for domestic manufacturers, including lowering the corporate tax rate
  • Start new programs that include national manufacturing fellowships and internships

OK, there’s a plan with a lot of fancy words. Now the real work begins. It’s called IMPLEMENTATION.