One of President Obama's toughest choicest he had to make last year regarding the battle between creating jobs and cleaning up the environment was the whole deal with the Keystone XL Pipeline.
The 1,700-mile pipeline begins in Canada and winds through the U.S., bringing heavy crude oil from tar sands formations to refineries on the Gulf Coast. It was strongly favored by unions who supported the president for the alleged jobs it would bring online if allowed to be built (between 5,000-10,000), but strongly, I mean strongly opposed by groups like the Sierra Club.
Now that a review has passed muster in the state of Nebraska, there will be more pressure on Obama to okay it (the State Dept. will have the final say). But can the president afford to okay it after speaking out so prominently about climate change in his inaugural address on Monday? If he does okay the pipeline, those same environmental groups (such as the Sierra Club) could take radical steps to stop it.
Yesterday was the 40th anniversary of the historic Roe vs. Wade decision regarding abortion in the U.S. A just published survey says that some of the GOP's attacks on the issue in the 2012 campaign only made the controversial medical operation more popular.
And just as the president was being praised by environmentalists for his comments on climate change on Monday, the gay community was thrilled to hear him speak out so forthfully on LGBT rights as well. St. Pete City Councilman Steve Kornell told CL he was never prouder of the president.
And we caught up with PInellas County Commissioner Charlie Justice the other night. The St. Pete based Democrat is thrilled to be back in public service, and has a lot of goals for the citizens of Pinellas.