There's a reason why opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline have had to be so loud: they're in the minority.
A recent poll commissioned by Fox News and conducted jointly by Anderson Robbins Research and Shaw and Company Research determined that only 23% of the Americans surveyed were opposed to the pipeline. 70% were found to be in favour of building it.
Not only are opponents of the pipeline in the minority, but the argument is slipping away from them. One year ago 67% of Americans were in favour of Keystone XL, and 25% were opposed. The margin of Americans in favour of building the pipeline is unquestionably widening.
And it's widening among Democrats more than among anyone else. The poll found that 57% of Democrats were in favour of building the pipeline. A year ago only 50% of Democrats favoured Keystone XL.
US President Barack Obama has never had many good excuses to refuse to approve the pipeline. Questions have been asked in these pages about whether or not he really needs any. It isn't as if he needs to worry about being reelected. His level of interest in whether or not Democrats are elected in 2014 or 2016 could be considered a matter of some debate.
On the other hand, the departure of former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson has led to some speculation that the Keystone XL is all but approved, and that Obama has been looking not for excuses not to build the pipeline, but rather for excuses to build it. As it turns out, a glowing report from the State Department and a vast majority in favour of building the pipeline could be the very excuses he might have felt he needed.
Which is remarkable, considering that no such excuses have ever been needed.
So while many opponents of the pipeline are now looking to new EPA administrator Gina McCarthy -- herself a known Keystone XL opponent -- to put a stop to the pipeline, whether or not she'll actually be allowed to do so remains yet to be seen.
The President sure hasn't been provided with the excuses opponents of the pipeline have wanted him to have. Regardless of whatever end-run tactic they may want to employ next, the excuses are just not there.
Making noise may no longer be enough. The time has come for Keystone XL opponents to give up the fight.