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Fight Against Pipeline

Last fall, President Obama delayed the northern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline project.

A project that would transport carbon-intensive crude tar sands from Canadian strip mines to refineries in Texas.

Environmental groups strongly supported the delay, and are now finding themselves forced to band together again to encourage the president to stop the pipeline altogether in his second term.

However, these environmental groups may have found a new ally in the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline, and it comes as a slight surprise.

Zogby Analytics, a polling group, just conducted a survey showing very strong support for renewable energy and minimal support for the Keystone pipeline among centrist voters.

According to the poll, which was released by the National Wildlife Federation, independent voters say they would choose renewable energies such as wind and solar over the Keystone XL pipeline by a 4 to 1 margin. It must be noted though the survey does not reflect how voters feel about ending the Keystone pipeline outright, and the comparison between renewable energy and liquid transportation fuels doesn’t accurately portray the difference in energy types. To the average voter though, it doesn’t really matter.

Additionally, convictions on personal thought don’t really matter to Grover Norquist, the prominent anti-tax crusader who has had countless Republican lawmakers sign his “no-taxes” pledge. Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, told National Journal last week that a carbon tax might be on the table if it were coupled with a cut to the income tax. However, after being criticized by the American Energy Alliance, the advocacy arm of a Koch-supported energy think tank devoted to promoting fossil fuel dependence, Norquist completely reversed his position, saying there is virtually “no conceivable way” he could support a tax on carbon.

Regardless of the Obama administration saying they are not proposing nor working on a carbon tax, it is alarming for such a notable person to completely buckle under pressure from an interest group, albeit an extremely powerful interest group.

In an ideological battle, credibility is determined by consistency—Norquist is just the next in line to fall by the wayside for abandoning his own thoughts.

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