As the camera pans around the Capitol chamber for President Obama’s State of the Union address, see if you can spot the representatives from the state of Oil: four avid supporters of the Keystone XL Pipeline who will attend the speech as the guests of House Speaker John Boehner.
Oh, right, oil isn’t a state, it’s a state of mind — of apoplectic anger at Obama for his decision to nix the pipeline. So the odds are good that these men will be sitting on their hands tonight, even at the more fossil-fuel-friendly passages in Obama’s speech.
Here, for the record, is the list of Boehner’s pipeline pals:
- Ray Brooks, the Refining Division Manager at Marathon Petroleum Company in Robinson, Illinois
- Jay Churchill, the manager of Conoco Phillips’ Wood River Refinery in Roxana, Illinois
- Dale Delie, president of Welspun Tubular LLC, a subsidiary of Welspun Corp. Ltd, located in Little Rock, Arkansas
- Chris Langemeier, a Nebraska state legislator who chairs the Natural Resources Committee
Boehner is putting these Keystone supporters on parade because he wants to hammer the argument that the president’s decision was a job-killer that will hurt their companies. But if Boehner’s pipeline pals really want to aim their ire accurately, they’ll need to turn on their host: it was the Republicans’ Tea-Party troops in the House who insisted, last December, that Obama speed up his pipeline call — even after the president had said that would force him to cancel the whole project.