GOP strategist Karl Rove called the Obama administration’s latest delay in approving the Keystone XL pipeline a “stupid move” during Fox News' “America's Newsroom” on Monday, accusing the president of using the delay to placate Democratic voters leading up to the 2014 midterm elections.
“Of course it was about politics,” Rove said in response to recent comments by Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), who rejected the idea that the midterm elections played a role in the president’s decision. “It’s all about politics.”
“The president’s concerned about the enthusiasm of Democratic voters going into the 2014 midterm elections, and he doesn’t want to do anything to depress that turnout,” Rove added, pointing to environmentalists and billionaire anti-Keystone activist Tom Steyer as crucial Democratic donors.
Calling the decision “a stupid move politically for the president,” Rove argued that approving the controversial pipeline project would in fact boost support for vulnerable red state Democrats in 2014, singling out Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.), both of whom condemned the delay in statements on Friday.
"Today’s decision by the Administration amounts to nothing short of an indefinite delay of the Keystone Pipeline," Landrieu, chairwoman of the Energy Committee, said on Friday. "This decision is irresponsible, unnecessary and unacceptable."
“This thing is a worthwhile thing to do,” Rove said during Monday's interview, arguing that there is no “carbon increase in our carbon emissions as a result of building this pipeline.”
According to a March report by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, however, the pipeline would increase U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of "approximately 558,000 to 4,061,000 passenger vehicles" annually due to the carbon-intensive process required for tar sands oil, compared conventional crude oil.