The morning sun peeked through the horizon and low-hanging clouds sent a mixed message for the weather outlook. It was chilly and a gentle breeze blew as cars, trucks and vans headed from all directions to Cushing, Oklahoma, full of people with an agenda. Some wanted to witness a presidential motorcade, others wanted to hold signs in support of his visit, and some wanted to hold signs in protest of his energy policies. Regardless of the agenda, however, everyone who arrived at their various rally spots seemed to be in an upbeat and anticipatory mood.
The roads were cordoned off by 8:30 a.m., and shortly after that various groups began to get organized. A group comprised of several energy industry supporters, a few local politicians and a generally Republican crowd convened for a rally hosted by the “Americans for Prosperity” (AFP) at Fechner Oil and Supply. I captured three of the speakers at that particular event and I think this six minute video gives a fairly good perspective of the platform held by this group:
Approximately two-thirds through their slate of speakers, Obama arrived south of Cushing in a helicopter then was motorcaded to a location north of the city. His speech, held in a pipefield in Ripley, is included in its entirety here, thanks to the NewsOK team and their coverage of the event.
Can you guess which black SUV was actually carrying our president? We may never know…
It was quite an interesting morning. As I walked between one group to another, each seemed to have their own personality and reasons for attending. I especially appreciated Andrew Griffin’s dispatch for the Red Dirt Report and have linked to his detailed interviews and report here.
I think what I appreciated about the day most, however, is that most everyone in attendance seemed to know why they were there and be willing to talk about the issues surrounding the Keystone XL project, the pipeline problems in general, and energy policy and what it means for Oklahoma.
I have several photographs taken throughout the day. I hope you enjoy looking through them if you’ve not gotten a chance to see a bit of the action from Cushing today.
And, as the owner of Fechner Oil said in his speech, “thank you, and may God Bless America.”
Although I have many more shots, I think this is a good enough sample to provide an idea of the day. As I drove out of town, I noticed the Cushing pipeline sign. I wonder if those who built that sign ever thought it would be the centerpiece for a presidential campaign stop in 2012?
P.S. If you want to have some GRAND fun, check out Pam Nelson’s Twitter feed…she got to drive in the presidential motorcade today! Wow!