Rep. Connie Mack, (R-Fla.) on Thursday staged a petition drive at a Miami gas station aimed at pressuring President Barack Obama to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.
Mack, who is currently running for U.S. Senate against Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), blames both Nelson and Obama for high gas prices, which Mack believes is related to their opposition to the pipeline.
“These are two lockstep liberals who apparently don’t believe in our energy supply here in the United States,” Mack said, according to the Miami Herald.
Mack, like many other Republicans, has been highly critical of Obama’s decision to reject a permit for the pipeline, which they believe would dramatically decrease the cost of oil.
The Keystone XL pipeline would transport oil from the tar sands in Alberta, Canada to Gulf Coast refineries in the U.S., but Obama rejected its permit in January, amid concerns regarding the project's environmental safety. Since then Obama has announced plans to fast-track approval for the southern half of the pipeline, which has caused a stir amongst environmentalists.
There are some things Obama could do help alleviate pain at the pump, as HuffPost's Peter Goodman noted in a recent article. But increasing domestic drilling isn't among them.
"The truth is that we're already having a hydrocarbon boom," economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman explained in a recent article, "with U.S. oil and gas production rising and U.S. fuel imports dropping. If there were any truth to drill-here-drill-now, this boom should have yielded substantially lower gasoline prices and lots of new jobs. Predictably, however, it has done neither."
Voters may not necessarily agree with Mack either. Michael Mendez, owner of the gas station where Mack was petitioning and the only person to sign, was reluctant to agree that either the pipeline or a new president or senator would lower gas prices, according to the Miami Herald.
“These gas prices, to me, it doesn’t matter who’s in office,” Mendez said. “Gas prices always go up throughout the year. And then it’s going to come down. And then everyone’s not going to say anything for a little while.”
On Friday, Nelson's campaign accused Mack of flip-flopping on his support for offshore oil drilling.
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GOP Welcomes John Barrow To Augusta With 'Masterful' Jabs [Savannah Morning News]
GOP Senate Candidates Square Off At First Candidate Forum [The Republic]
Recall Petition Drive Ready To Roll [CDA Press]
Rosen Leads Democrat Field In 1st Congressional Race, But No Winner Yet [Baltimore Sun]
Lee County Democrats Go After U.S. House Seat [News Press]
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