The people of Oklahoma were not particularly impressed with President Obama's campaign stop in that state to take credit for the southern segment of the Keystone Pipeline project - highlighting the fact that the president had no say-so over that part of the project moving forward. The authors of the following message delivered to him lead Oklahoma City-based large independent oil and gas exploration and production companies Continental Resources, Chesapeake Energy, Devon Energy and SandRidge Energy:
"Welcome to Oklahoma, President Obama. We hope you develop a better understanding of the oil and gas industry, one of the largest and most vibrant sectors in the United States, during your visit. As Americans, we share a mutual desire to power our nation with homegrown energy sources. We join you in wanting to secure our energy future by lessening our dangerous dependency on imported oil. No energy source can do more good for America than domestic oil and gas. You often mention the need for more well-paying jobs. Our companies are creating them - in particular, tens of thousands of every skill level from rig workers and truck drivers to top-flight engineers and Ph.D.s...Mr. President, your words suggest you want the economic benefits American natural gas and oil can deliver. We hope your actions follow suit - to date they have not."
This little campaign visit was the first trip to Oklahoma Barack Obama has taken since he became president. So, yes, it was a bit obvious. The people of Oklahoma didn't appreciate being made into props for a photo op. To them, oil and gas exploration and production is their livelihood, not a political pander.
If you speak up for commonsense solutions for our energy needs, well, prepare to be called names and receive threats from celebrity types looking for a little attention. Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma has been called an "oil whore" from the wee small brained liberal Alec Baldwin and wished various other bad happenings from others.
Energy producers planned a protest to the president's visit - seen as an election year photo op and hypocritical - as the president's approval is not needed for the southern part of the pipeline. The southern section remains without a northern section to connect to, due to President Obama's veto.
From a local television news broadcast in Oklahoma, as the president prepared to visit:
"Mike Cantrell with the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance says, "For the last three years he's been anti-fossil fuels."
Mickey Thompson, an energy industry expert and political analyst, says, "He calls our industry an industry of the past and they'd like us to go away."
The President is expected to mention his support for a pipeline running from Payne County to the gulf; it's the southern end of the “Keystone XL Pipeline.”
Industry experts say while his support for the southern end is welcome, it's not needed.
They build pipelines in the country all the time without needing presidential approval."