Oklahomans Voice Feelings About Obama, Pipeline

Wednesday, March 21st 2012, 8:05 pm

You're going to have a hard time finding Oklahomans who would be outright disrespectful to the President of the United States, especially during a visit. However it's not the difficult to find Oklahomans who are unhappy about the reason he is here.

The TransContinental pipe yard north of Cushing is scheduled to be the backdrop Thursday as the President talks about his support for construction of a pipeline to transport oil from Cushing to the Gulf of Mexico.

"I think it's a little short sighted trying to take credit for something that doesn't belong to him," said Steve Wilson.

Keystone said they would build the southern leg of the pipeline after President Obama rejected a line all the way to Canada.  A move Oklahomans aren't quick to forget.

"The problem with this guy is he's going to go to Cushing and make a talk about oil which he has done nothing to help, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing," said Bob Moore.  "And why he didn't approve the pipeline to Canada to get off dependency of the Arabs I don't know."

Still most Oklahomans aren't unhappy the President is coming

"I am pleased that President Obama is able to make his first visit to the great state of Oklahoma this week and to personally see the good work going on in Cushing," said Governor Mary Fallin in a statement.

However there are some questions about the President's motives.

"In some sense it's a little bit hypocritical," said Steve Agee, Dean of Business at the Meinder's School of Business at Oklahoma City University. "I don't think he's here to sway Oklahomans, I think he's here to convey a message to the rest of the nation that he's here to expedite the process of the construction of the southern leg to help move crude oil stocks down to the gulf where they're need.  Thus reducing gasoline prices."

But the governor adds, she hopes the President learns something from his visit.

"We believe that American energy is a resource, not a hazardous waste. My great hope is that some of that attitude will rub off on our president, who has lost his way on energy policy and so many other issues."