Pres. Obama Continues to Pander to Environmentalists

It seems that President Obama is worried about whether or not environmentalists will come out in full force to support his re-election effort. Evidenced by the decision to delay the Keystone XL pipeline – which would lower energy prices and put thousands of Americans to work – and now a mining ban in Arizona; it’s clear that President Obama will do whatever it takes to shore up environmentalist’s support, even if it means destroying job creation and smacking down labor unions.

Are his re-election priorities skewed? Probably. But it could just be strategy. President Obama is betting that labor unions will come out in support this election no matter what, so the President probably assumes that no matter what he does that ends up hurting union workers, the larger organization will still support him.

The same cannot be said for environmentalists. They tend to stay home if they are not appeased. But President Obama is playing with fire. In each of these decisions – along with the 2010 moratorium on offshore drilling – environmentalists cheer victory while thousands of workers (many of them unionized) are left without a job. If the President is so concerned about jobs, why is he denying them to anyone, especially his friends in the labor unions?

The latest environmental pandering comes in Arizona. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will announce at an event today that he has finalized a 20-year ban on new mining claims on the public land surrounding the Grand Canyon.

Since 2009, Salazar has enacted temporary bans to stop new claims from being filed, but today he will make the ban permanent. The mining industry adamantly opposes this ban, as it will mean fewer jobs in the future. Claims that have already been staked would not be affected, but this is just another example of President Obama’s intrusion into the free market in order to secure votes.

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