As many of you know, there's been lots of buzz, once again, about the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which if completed, would greatly expand Tar Sands production.
While this project certainly would not mean "game over" for the climate(Sorry Jim & Bill, but it really wouldn't.....thankfully), there are plenty of real concerns, not just because it would make it somewhat harder to stay below our 2*C goal(adding perhaps as much as .4 or .5*C to the pipeline by the end of the century according to reliable estimates), but even more, because of the potential for serious ground-level damage if a major spill were to occur; Know what lies under much of the proposed route? The Ogallala aquifer. That's right, my friends, the very source of water for many of our crops in the region. And if even a small amount of that water gets contaminated, it will almost assuredly cause extremely serious damage to our food supply that couldn't quite be matched by even the steepest possible short-term temperature rises.
Thankfully, though, contrary to some fears and rumors(most of them unfounded), there have been quite a few indications that the President isn't exactly be a friend of the project, and definitely more of OUR ally. Freshwest, over at fellow liberal safe-haven Democratic Underground compiled a little history of past dealings with Keystone: What Obama did, and how the right-wing and the oil companies responded to it.
Since 2009, there were complaints, concluding in the Koch brothers creating the Tea Party in 2010 to stop Obama's agenda.Freshwest mentioned, on that same DU thread I took this informative comment from, that he believed that the GOP's most recent demands for sequestering may have been motivated in part, by his rejection of the Keystone project.
Some may not remember, but every budget bill Boehner offered had to be fought over as he put approval for the pipeline at the head of them.
Koch Brothers Positioned To Be Big Winners If Keystone XL Pipeline Is Approved
OVERNIGHT ENERGY: GOP seeks political price for Obama’s Keystone pipeline delay
By Ben Geman and Andrew Restuccia -11/30/11
State of play: Republicans on both sides of Capitol Hill are taking steps this week to impose a political price on the White House for delaying a final decision on the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline until after the 2012 election.
Senate GOP leadership on Wednesday promoted new legislation that would force a much faster decision on TransCanada Corp.’s proposed $7 billion Alberta-to-Texas pipeline.
They argue the bill (which E2 covered here and here) will help create jobs quickly, and alleged the recent administration delay was a political decision to appease green groups.
The pipeline puts the White House in a bind by splitting President Obama’s base — green groups loathe the project while a number of unions want it to proceed without further delay...
Obama Rejects GOP Bid to Tie Payroll Tax Cut to Keystone Pipeline ApprovalDec 7, 2011
President Obama warned congressional Republicans today that he will reject any attempt to tie a payroll tax cut extension to approval of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, which supporters say would create thousands of new jobs.
“Any effort to tie Keystone to the payroll tax cut, I will reject. So everybody can be on notice,” Obama said during a press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Last month, the administration postponed a decision on the pipeline to allow for an extended environmental review that’s expected to last until after the 2012 campaign.
“The payroll tax cut is something that House Republicans and Senate Republicans should want to do regardless of any other issues,” Obama added. “The question’s going to be, are they willing to vote against a proposal that ensures that Americans, at a time when the recovery is still fragile, don’t see their taxes go up by a thousand dollars? So it shouldn’t be held hostage for any other issues that they may be concerned about.”
But Republicans insist Obama is playing politics with a project that has strong bipartisan support, including from labor unions, and which would help boost the lagging economy. Harper has also publicly pressured the administration to approve the deal...
Sizing Up Obama's Keystone Pipeline Denial
By Amy Harder January 23, 2012
Was President Obama right or wrong to reject the Keystone XL pipeline?
Last week, President Obama denied approval of a permit to build the pipeline, which as proposed would have sent oil from Alberta, Canada's tar sands to Gulf Coast refineries. Obama said the "arbitrary" deadline set by congressional Republicans was not enough time to complete a review of the proposal for an alternate route that would not go through an ecologically sensitive area in Nebraska. TransCanada, the Canadian company seeking to build the pipeline, immediately said it would apply for another permit...
XL Pipeline: Oil Chief Threatens Obama
The Guardian 06 January 12
The head of the US's biggest oil and gas lobbying group said on Wednesday that the Obama administration will face serious political consequences if it rejects a Canada-to-Texas oil sands pipeline that has been opposed by environmental groups.
Jack Gerard, the president of the American Petroleum Institute, said TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline would definitely play a role in this year's national elections.
10 Lies Republicans Tell, over and over and over !
4. REPUBLICANS LIE about drilling and the Keystone XL Pipeline:
Much to the chagrin of the “drill baby drill” crowd, the President has kept the oil industry out of ANWAR, and recently disallowed the XL-Pipeline. To let Republicans tell it, the oil supply and employment in the industry have been stymied by this President. It is a lie.
From The Los Angeles Times:
Oil imports down, domestic production highest since 2003
“.... the United States reduced net imports of crude oil last year by 10%, or 1 million barrels a day. The U.S. now imports 45% of its petroleum, down from 57% in 2008, and is on track to meet Obama’s long-term goal, the administration maintains.
Imports have fallen, in part, because the United States has increased domestic oil and gas production in recent years....Current production, about 5.6 million barrels a day, is the highest since 2003.
The U.S. has been the world’s largest producer of natural gas since 2009, the report says. Use of renewable sources of energy, such as wind and solar, is still relatively small but has doubled since 2008.
The report credits administration policies for the improvements. It cites initiatives such as the higher fuel efficiency of passenger cars, the jump in renewable energy output, and improved weatherization of 1 million homes.
A little more dirt from the above. Is this too many paragraphs? Tell me:
Boehner has significant investments in the Keystone XL Pipeline Project so he has actively promoted an agenda that will benefit him financially. If the Republicans were really interested in job creation, they would have passed the infrastructure bill. Construction workers could repair roads and bridges from now until eternity, but then again, I guess Boehner’s not invested in I-95.
And even the rightwingers know that Obama has been against the pipeline since the last three years, according to this undated blog here. If someone wants anything removed, just let me know. Here's a lament penned by a Keystone supporter, extra emboldening and underlining is mine:
President Obama Denies Keystone Pipeline Permit - By LD Jackson
Let’s all be honest with ourselves. Did anyone really believe President Barack Obama would approve the permit for the Keystone Pipeline and allow it to go forward? Even though the preliminaries are finished, the environmental studies have been done, alternate routes through Nebraska have been proposed, etc., President Obama still thinks more time is needed. He originally wanted to put the decision off until 2013. You know, after the 2012 election is out-of-the-way. The Republicans in Congress nixed that plan and tied the permit to the payroll tax cut or holiday issue. From November 30, 2011, the President had 60 days to approve or disapprove the permit. He made his decision yesterday and as is usually the case, he blamed the Republicans for forcing his hand. His excuse? We need more time, at least another 18 months, to do yet another review. As far as I am concerned, that statement ranks right up at the top of the biggest lies the man has told since he took office.
Does anyone want to venture a guess how long the reviews for the pipeline have already been going on? Try three years. That’s right, this project has already been in the works for three years. More than that, if you count the time and effort Canada has expended on its end. Three years, yet our current President thinks that isn’t enough time. He wants another review, mainly about the environmental impact (isn’t that always his excuse), which will take about 18 months. Even though the environment studies have been finished and any concerns addressed, he needs more time.
The President is walking a fine line with this. On the one hand, he has the labor unions, who favor the project. That’s why they call them labor unions. They want the jobs, and I happen to agree. Turn the coin over and you have an issue that is near and dear to Obama’s heart, the environment and clean energy. If he approves the pipeline, he will be facing the wrath of multiple environmental groups, including some that have threatened to stop the flow of donations they are providing to his reelection campaign. As much as he says he wants to create jobs, the environment will always win this fight in the President’s heart. He will always side with the environment, even if their argument is bogus. Once again, this should surprise no one...
Check out the Koch brothers comments here:
"I want my fair share--and that's ALL OF IT":
The Kochs & the XL Pipeline - By Greg Palast
According to the transcript of the secretly recorded tape, Charles Koch was chuckling like a six-year old. Koch was having a hell of a laugh over pilfering a few hundred dollars' worth of oil from a couple of dirt-poor Indians on the Osage Reservation.
Why did Koch, worth about $3 billion at the time (now $20 billion) need to boost a few bucks from some Indian in a trailer home? Koch answered:
"I want my fair share -- and that's all of it."
Now "all of it" includes a pipeline, the Keystone XL, which would run the world's filthiest oil, crude made from tar sands, down from Canada to his family's refinery on the Gulf Coast of Texas...
TBH, I was already considering the possibility that he was never going to approve it, but having seen this.....now I view it as more of a probability. But regardless, let's keep the pressure up on the White House as we have been.....the world's counting on us. =)