President Obama told a group of California donors that the politics of the environment “are tough.” No doubt. But I’ll bet if your backyard was covered in crude oil, that would be even “tougher.” The photo is of such a backyard in Mayflower, Arkansas, the result of break in the Exxon Pegasus Pipeline.

The NY Times reports:

Appearing at the home of an outspoken critic of the Keystone XL pipeline, President Obama on Wednesday night told a group of high-dollar donors that the politics of the environment “˜are tough.’

Mr. Obama appears to be leaning toward the approval of the pipeline, although he did not specifically mention it to the donors.

“Appears to be leaning toward” is, in my opinion, an understatement.

The Times reports that outside the fundraiser, about 100 people protested KXL.

Inside, Mr. Obama told the donors that the best way to assure environmental action is to send more Democrats to Washington, returning the House to Democratic control and putting Representative Nancy Pelosi of California back in the speaker’s office.

“˜If we’re going to deal with climate change in a serious way, then we’ve got to have folks in Congress, even when it’s not politically convenient, to talk about it and advocate for it,’ he said.

One “serious” thing that can be done now is not approving the construction of the northern sections of KXL, and ending construction of the southern. That’s probably a “tough” decision “” including opposition from both Republics and Democrats, and including the spins about all the jobs such pipelines will provide “” but, if you’re really “serious” about climate changes and environmental damage; and if you want to send a strong, clear message about that concern, then saying “No” to KXL would be a very good step.

Hey, maybe Obama could go hold a fundraiser in that Mayflower backyard. Or better yet, maybe it could a backdrop for some “serious” talk about “tough” environmental politics.

(Mayflower Exxon Spill via EcoWatch
Obama via WhiteHouse.gov)