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(Natural Resources Defense Council)
While American Indian foes of the Keystone XL pipeline protested from a caged "free speech zone," President Obama told a crowd in Cushing, Okla., Thursday he will cut through bureaucratic red tape to speed construction of the 485-mile southern leg of the pipeline from their oil town to refineries in Houston and Port Arthur, Tex. (Full text of the speech can be read below the fold.)

In January, the president said no to the northern leg of Keystone XL being built by Calgary-based TransCanada. Republicans had given Obama a 60-day deadline to approve the pipeline, figuring to make him knuckle under in an election year. But, in turning down TransCanada's request, Obama said not enough attention had been paid to various environmental concerns, particularly the ecologically fragile Nebraska Sandhills and to underground aquifers that provide irrigation and drinking water to eight states in the Midwest. The pipeline is designed to carry oil derived from tar sands deposits in Alberta. Mining those deposits is environmentally problematic and includes clear-cutting boreal forests, heavy water consumption and an additional CO2 burden to the atmosphere.

After rejecting the cross-border portion of the pipeline, Obama said he would be open-minded if TransCanada submitted a permit application along a different route for the northern leg, which it has said it will do. That submission could come by the first week of April. The president subsequently welcomed TransCanada's announcement that it was going ahead with the southern leg of the whole 1661-mile pipeline.

(Continue reading below the fold)

Although some people have argued that the Oklahoma-to-Texas project is totally separate from the northern segment, that's not at all how the company views things. TransCanada plans to complete the $2.3 billion Oklahoma-to-Texas section by mid-2013 after getting final approvals it needs to begin construction. Company officials say many of the permits and environmental reviews for the Gulf Coast segment have already been approved as part of the larger Keystone project. And the president himself implicitly acknowledged Thursday that the two legs are part of the same project:

So what we’ve said to the company is, we’re happy to review future permits. And today, we’re making this new pipeline from Cushing to the Gulf a priority.  So the southern leg of it we're making a priority, and we're going to go ahead and get that done. The northern portion of it we're going to have to review properly to make sure that the health and safety of the American people are protected. That’s common sense.

But the fact is that my administration has approved dozens of new oil and gas pipelines over the last three years—including one from Canada. And as long as I’m President, we’re going to keep on encouraging oil development and infrastructure and we’re going to do it in a way that protects the health and safety of the American people.

GOP presidential candidates and other Republicans have attacked Obama for supposedly letting gasoline prices rise by not approving Keystone or letting oil companies drill anywhere they can sink a bit. In fact, as the president has frequently stated in the past few weeks, he has opened up millions of acres of previously off-limits public land, on-shore and in the ocean, and the number of drilling rigs is at their peak.

"Anyone who says that we're somehow suppressing domestic oil production isn't paying attention," Obama said.

Because of its implications for future decisions regarding Keystone as well as oil drilling and exploration on public lands, environmental advocates were uniformly troubled by Thursday's announcement. Anthony Swift at the Natural Resources Defense Council wrote:

While the southern route of Keystone XL is being touted as a means to move domestic crude to market, it is also designed to move primarily Canadian tar sands. From Cushing, the southern route of Keystone XL is connected to two pipelines—the 150,000 [barrels per day]on ramp in Cushing (that can carry tar sands and domestic crude) and TransCanada’s 590,000 bpd Keystone I tar sands pipeline (which has no on-ramps for domestic oil). Keystone XL’s design prevents it from being used as a pipeline primarily for domestic production.
Nobody was more upset, however, than the American Indian protesters who showed up in Cushing, but were kept well away from the speech in the same way that progressives complained about during the Bush administration. Indians in the United States and Canada have been engaged against the pipeline and tar sands mining in general for several years.
“President Obama is an adopted member of the Crow Tribe, so his fast-tracking a project that will desecrate known sacred sites and artifacts is a real betrayal and disappointment for his Native relatives everywhere,” said Marty Cobenais of the Indigenous Environmental Network. “Tar sands is devastating First Nations communities in Canada already and now they want to bring that environmental, health, and social devastation to US tribes.”
Besides the Oklahoma stop, Obama's two-day trip is focusing on energy issues in Nevada, New Mexico and Ohio.

•••

Joe Shikspack has a diary discussing the subject.

Transcript of the president's speech today:

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Oklahoma!  (Applause.)  Well, it's good to be here.  Everybody, have a seat.  Have a seat.

AUIDENCE MEMBER:  I love you, Mr. President!

THE PRESIDENT:  I love you back.  It's wonderful to see you.

It is good to be back in Oklahoma.  I haven’t been back here since the campaign, and everybody looks like they're doing just fine.  (Laughter.)  Thank you so much for your hospitality.  It is wonderful to be here.

Yesterday, I visited Nevada and New Mexico to talk about what we're calling an all-of-the-above energy strategy.  It’s a strategy that will keep us on track to further reduce our dependence on foreign oil, put more people back to work, and ultimately help to curb the spike in gas prices that we're seeing year after year after year.

So today, I’ve come to Cushing, an oil town -- (applause) -- because producing more oil and gas here at home has been, and will continue to be, a critical part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy.  (Applause.)

Now, under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years.  (Applause.)  That's important to know.  Over the last three years, I’ve directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states.  We’re opening up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources offshore.  We’ve quadrupled the number of operating rigs to a record high.  We’ve added enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the Earth and then some.

So we are drilling all over the place -- right now.  That’s not the challenge.  That's not the problem.  In fact, the problem in a place like Cushing is that we’re actually producing so much oil and gas in places like North Dakota and Colorado that we don’t have enough pipeline capacity to transport all of it to where it needs to go -- both to refineries, and then, eventually, all across the country and around the world.  There’s a bottleneck right here because we can’t get enough of the oil to our refineries fast enough.  And if we could, then we would be able to increase our oil supplies at a time when they're needed as much as possible.

Now, right now, a company called TransCanada has applied to build a new pipeline to speed more oil from Cushing to state-of-the-art refineries down on the Gulf Coast.  And today, I'm directing my administration to cut through the red tape, break through the bureaucratic hurdles, and make this project a priority, to go ahead and get it done.  (Applause.)

Now, you wouldn't know all this from listening to the television set.  (Laughter.)  This whole issue of the Keystone pipeline had generated, obviously, a lot of controversy and a lot of politics.  And that’s because the original route from Canada into the United States was planned through an area in Nebraska that supplies some drinking water for nearly 2 million Americans, and irrigation for a good portion of America's croplands.  And Nebraskans of all political stripes -- including the Republican governor there -- raised some concerns about the safety and wisdom of that route.

So to be extra careful that the construction of the pipeline in an area like that wouldn’t put the health and the safety of the American people at risk, our experts said that we needed a certain amount of time to review the project.  Unfortunately, Congress decided they wanted their own timeline -- not the company, not the experts, but members of Congress who decided this might be a fun political issue, decided to try to intervene and make it impossible for us to make an informed decision.

So what we’ve said to the company is, we’re happy to review future permits.  And today, we’re making this new pipeline from Cushing to the Gulf a priority.  So the southern leg of it we're making a priority, and we're going to go ahead and get that done. The northern portion of it we're going to have to review properly to make sure that the health and safety of the American people are protected.  That’s common sense.

But the fact is that my administration has approved dozens of new oil and gas pipelines over the last three years -– including one from Canada.  And as long as I’m President, we’re going to keep on encouraging oil development and infrastructure and we’re going to do it in a way that protects the health and safety of the American people.  We don’t have to choose between one or the other, we can do both.  (Applause.)

So if you guys are talking to your friends, your neighbors, your coworkers, your aunts or uncles and they’re wondering what’s going on in terms of oil production, you just tell them anybody who suggests that somehow we’re suppressing domestic oil production isn’t paying attention.  They are not paying attention.  (Applause.)

What you also need to tell them is anybody who says that just drilling more gas and more oil by itself will bring down gas prices tomorrow or the next day or even next year, they’re also not paying attention.  They’re not playing it straight.  Because we are drilling more, we are producing more.  But the fact is, producing more oil at home isn’t enough by itself to bring gas prices down.

And the reason is we’ve got an oil market that is global, that is worldwide.  And I’ve been saying for the last few weeks, and I want everybody to understand this, we use 20 percent of the world’s oil; we only produce 2 percent of the world’s oil.  Even if we opened every inch of the country -- if I put a oil rig on the South Lawn -- (laughter) -- if we had one right next to the Washington Monument, even if we drilled every little bit of this great country of ours, we’d still have to buy the rest of our needs from someplace else if we keep on using the same amount of energy, the same amount of oil.

The price of oil will still be set by the global market.  And that means every time there’s tensions that rise in the Middle East -- which is what’s happening right now -- so will the price of gas.  The main reason the gas prices are high right now is because people are worried about what’s happening with Iran.  It doesn’t have to do with domestic oil production.  It has to do with the oil markets looking and saying, you know what, if something happens there could be trouble and so we’re going to price oil higher just in case.

Now, that’s not the future that we went.  We don’t want to be vulnerable to something that’s happening on the other side of the world somehow affecting our economy, or hurting a lot of folks who have to drive to get to work.  That’s not the future I want for America.  That's not the future I want for our kids.  I want us to control our own energy destiny.  I want us to determine our own course.

So, yes, we’re going to keep on drilling.  Yes, we’re going to keep on emphasizing production.  Yes, we’re going to make sure that we can get oil to where it’s needed.  But what we’re also going to be doing as part of an all-of-the-above strategy is looking at how we can continually improve the utilization of renewable energy sources, new clean energy sources, and how do we become more efficient in our use of energy.  (Applause.)

That means producing more biofuels, which can be great for our farmers and great for rural economies.  It means more fuel-efficient cars.  It means more solar power.  It means more wind power -- which, by the way, nearly tripled here in Oklahoma over the past three years in part because of some of our policies.

We want every source of American-made energy.  I don’t want the energy jobs of tomorrow going to other countries.  I want them here in the United States of America.  (Applause.)  And that’s what an all-of-the-above strategy is all about.  That’s how we break our dependence on foreign oil.  (Applause.)

Now, the good news is we’re already seeing progress.  Yesterday, I went, in Nevada, to the largest solar plant of its kind anywhere in the country.  Hundreds of workers built it.  It’s powering thousands of homes, and they’re expanding to tens of thousands of homes more as they put more capacity online.

After 30 years of not doing anything, we finally increased fuel-efficiency standards on cars and trucks, and Americans are now designing and building cars that will go nearly twice as far on the same gallon of gas by the middle of the next decade.  And that's going to save the average family $8,000 over the life of a car.  (Applause.)  And it’s going to save a lot of companies a lot of money because they’re hurt by rising fuel costs, as well.

All of these steps have helped put America on the path to greater energy independence.  Since I took office, our dependence on foreign oil has gone down every single year.  Last year, we imported 1 million fewer barrels per day than the year before.  Think about that.  (Applause.)  America, at a time when we’re growing, is actually importing less oil from overseas because we’re using it smarter and more efficiently.  America is now importing less than half the oil we use for the first time in more than a decade.

So the key is to keep it going, Oklahoma.  We’ve got to make sure that we don't go backwards, that we keep going forwards.  If we’re going to end our dependence on foreign oil, if we’re going to bring gas prices down once and for all, as opposed to just playing politics with it every single year, then what we’re going to have to do is to develop every single source of energy that we’ve got, every new technology that can help us become more efficient.

We’ve got to use our innovation.  We’ve got to use our brain power.  We've got to use our creativity.  We've got to have a vision for the future, not just constantly looking backwards at the past.  That's where we need to go.  That's the future we can build.

And that's what America has always been about, is building the future.  We've always been at the cutting-edge.  We're always ahead of the curve.  Whether it's Thomas Edison or the Wright Brothers or Steve Jobs, we're always thinking about what's the next thing.  And that's how we have to think about energy.  And if we do, not only are we going to see jobs and growth and success here in Cushing, Oklahoma, we're going to see it all across the country.

     All right?  Thank you very much, everybody.  God bless you.  God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 02:23 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  But, but, but, according to Rush Limbaugh (8+ / 0-)

    Obama doesn't want the pipeline. He doesn't want us to find and use any additional oil. If he had a way to block the southern part of this pipeline, he would, and the only reason he's not doing it is because he legally has no recourse that would allow him to stop it.

    You mean that Limbaugh's not telling us the truth on this topic? Wow, what a shock.

  •  Yep. As soon as he made the original statement (26+ / 0-)

    initially blocking the pipeline, I said he was going to approve it as long as they fixed the Nebraska issue.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 02:27:29 PM PDT

    •  where's the chart (6+ / 0-)

      with ALL the issues
      that have been considered.

      show me THAT, please.

      Addington's Perpwalk: TRAILHEAD of Accountability for Bush-2 Crimes.
      Give: NETROOTS FOR THE TROOPS 2012 * Join: OBAMA'S TRUTH TEAM

      by greenbird on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 02:29:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why not (7+ / 0-)

      just have it go to Billings?

      Oh that's right, it's not for us.

      We already have death panels. They're called insurance companies.

      by aztecraingod on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 03:12:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Did you take as much crap... (29+ / 0-)

      ...for it as I did?

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 03:13:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I got the usual from the usual crowd. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mindful Nature, FG, fumie, Odysseus, David54

        Personally, my only beef is that the regulatory and safety oversight should be ramped up to eleven.  I'm not familiar with the Native issues, but I wish the safety regulations and what not were real and had teeth.  I also wish we (the government) was getting a piece of the action monetarily, so to speak.

        I'm not a very strong climate hawk.  

        "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

        by zenbassoon on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 03:33:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Aside from the climate change issue,... (6+ / 0-)

          which is strong enough to oppose this on it's own, getting oil from tar sands is immensely destructive to the environment. It essentially trades oil for clean water. It's heinous.

          •  The tars sand development is going ahead (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            noladerf, auapplemac, Macintosh2

            regardless, the only question is exactly where the oil will end up.

            For example, east (instead of south or west) where there really are no regulatory hurdles

            •  There is no question where it will end up... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              miasmo

              ...its heavier than conventional oil byproduct of  CO2 will wind up in the atmosphere.

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:02:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yes, we totally agree on that . . . (0+ / 0-)

                thus, the whole Keystone pipeline issue is nothing but kabuki theater!

                So I don't really blame Obama for not expending any political capital on this.  I do blame him for doing for doing nothing of substance on global climate change, however.

                •  We agree on that. Although I do give him... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...credit for doing more than any other president on renewables and conservation. The problem is the fact that those other presidents who didn't do anything (or like Reagan sent us in the other direction) have made it so bloody urgent that the current president and his immediate successors have to do a helluva lot more. And much quicker than is easy for them and the lawmakers who still think global warming is an environmentalist plot.

                  Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                  by Meteor Blades on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 07:44:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Tar Sand total emissions = 1 COAL PLANT (0+ / 0-)

                The whole issue is blown way out of proportion despite lemming like behavior.

                Furthermore new Tar Sands development ( expansion ) is migrating to much lower pollution output ( underground extraction with steam in place ).

                The protests are stupid just on the face that Bakken reserves are proven 400B barrels, exceeding the tar sands by over 2x apparently.

                There are imperatives to prioritize reducing far more problematic  coal use, but less appealing to some leaders as focus, versus protesting the Tar Sands.

                •  I suggest you block that black gold ... (0+ / 0-)

                  ... investment scammer from your email account. It's not how big it is, it's how much that can be recovered. And nobody is claiming 400 billion barrels anymore.

                  The Bakken reserves, according to the U.S. Geological Service in 2008, contain perhaps 4.3 billion barrels of recoverable oil. Other credible sources put recoverable oil from the area  at 24 billion barrels. That's a four-year supply if the U.S. stopped importing from anywhere else.

                  Recoverable oil from tar sands is estimated at 175 billion barrels,  7x the recoverable oil from Bakken formation.

                  As for your coal comparison, no. To perform the same task as oil, coal's generates about 30% more CO2 emissions. Definitely worse, but nothing like your example.

                  Oh, yeah, remind me how many coal plants have come on line in the United States in the past three years.

                  Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                  by Meteor Blades on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 08:18:27 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Not if they can't sell it. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              joe wobblie

              It's not going West.  The Coast Salish and allied First Nations have pretty much announced that building a pipeline that way (i.e. toward China) would amount to a declaration of war.  If it doesn't go South, it's not going anywhere, and it's not getting mined.

              •  It's already going west (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Macintosh2

                via a pipeline to Vancouver that is undergoing substantial expansion

                And Warren Buffet's railroad stands at the ready to take oil south if Keystone is denied

                I alreadly posted a link about how it is going east, and how that could be ramped way up.  Bottom line, so far the only direction it is not going is north.

              •  And about the First Nations . . . (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Macintosh2

                they're pretty much just holding out for the right price to get on board.

                Moreover, of course, any pipeline capacity that takes crude product away from Northern Alberta diminishes their plans to build a $7 billion refinery there, so that's probably the best reason of all for them to oppose any new pipelines for the bitumen . .  .

                 Don't blame them, why shouldn't they cash in, too?

                •  1st nations protests since they receive funding (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Roadbed Guy

                  1st nations protests in BC since they receive funding to do so at ~$27m cumulative, by Tides /  Rockefeller Brothers Foundation. Soon US NGO funding of Canadian NGOs ( ?1st nation ) will be prohibited largely due to this kind of misuse of funds.

                  •  Why wouldn't/shouldn't they be paid to protest? (0+ / 0-)

                    It doesn't really bother me that they're looking out for their interests - and even shamelessly playing both sides of the field - why shouldn't they get a slice of this gravy train?

                    What irks me is that the bigger fish out there who really should know better (e.g., the US Government) is doing nothing to mitigate climate.  On the contrary, they're actually doing a whole lot to exacerbate it.

                    •  to mitigate climate expediently (0+ / 0-)

                      We might do things along the lines of

                      Convert entire vehicle fleet to any of three 1-EV 2-turbodiesel 3-natural gas CNG

                      Go all out nuclear to power the grid ( using far safer reactor technologies, thorium, CANDU-40yrs safe, ?)

                      Drop kick all coal plants.

                      Buildout 50-100-200GW GW of Molten Salt Concentrating Solar Thermal with Molten Salt Storage in Nevada SoCal desert ( or more ) and the power lines to cover most of the nation's grid at least west of the mississippi, possibly more ).

                      Consider Solar Updraft Wind Chimneys with novel integrated PV to complement MSCSP, done at scale

                      Both the solar above are BASELOAD CAPABLE, without requiring electrical batteries ( MS CSP is best )

                      I do not think anyone is purposely exacerbating anything as you put it. Doing anything like I describe at GRID SCALE is very costly ( more than you admit to ) yet would reduce emissions significantly, no new technologies required.

                      It also would damage the petroleum industry significantly as the coal industry, and doing so is possibly dangerous economically, and same politically. Folks who protest in vain otherwise are blind to realities.  

                      Given that will we reduce emissions in a significant manner?

                      Honestly I am skeptical. But the means exists to do it, and solar rooftops ( forcing running natural gas power plants continuously as virtual low cost "batteries" for photovoltaics )- does near nothing that folks think they are getting from intermittent Photovoltaics - where grid scale distributed or not, PV batteries are truly cost prohibitive ). Notably if you install soalr on your roof that is grid tied, in California you have to see the CHARGES levied by the utilities ( implied is to run Natural Gas power plants continuously as full time backup ). Stupid but apparently true even if never explicitly described as such.

                      Just because you or I can purchase PV for our home and install grid tied without needed batteries to attain BASELOAD power quality, does not mean anything positive will result.

                      We, neither you nor I, can afford the  prohibitively costly batteries to go off grid PV to be locally BASELOAD CAPABLE. And given this, PV is at scale without prohibitively expensive batteries ( that MSCSP does not require for BASELOAD power ) , bare batteryless PV rooftops or not, at grid scale is going to be a disaster ( not comprehended by non technical folks, and barely comprehended by "responsible" parties as such either )

                      Use of coal by china, india and a few other countries ( even Germany after dropping nuclear ) will still remain significant, and is hugely more significant than ANY tar sands expansion FWIW.

                      Personally I would not blame anyone, nor any government, as the cost of really fixing the GHG problem is beyond what anyone any nation can, and citizens can reasonably afford ( presently and likely in future ), yet protesters, and leaders of same do not grasp this reality, and figure out other ways? ( non trivial mind you )

        •  climate hawk? gimmie a break (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jeopardydd
      •  Per your signature line, (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zinger99, PhilJD, shaharazade, Sunspots

        I guess we can tell what the President believes, now.

        •  I've known what he believes for a long time now (14+ / 0-)

          His going along w/ BP turning the Gulf into the world's largest chemical toilet told us everything we needed to know about what he would do here.  This deal was wired all along--the WH is just trying to make it look good.

          Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not?

          by RFK Lives on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:58:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually (8+ / 0-)

            it was three weeks before that that we found out what he was all about with the energy industry.  The infamous speech about offshore drilling on the east coast and elsewhere.  And yes, the way the admin handled the BP blowout just confirmed it.

            He is an oil and gas man.  And a Wall Street man.  Pretty amazing.  I imagine those Super PACs will fill up mighty fast when he delivers various things.  And after he finishes with a couple of months worth of the woe is me marketing messages about how he's not getting the big money.  The idea is for people to get the idea that the big money is not coming his way.... until it does.  And who will know any better?  It's not like we can force the Super PACs to disclose.


            "Justice is a commodity"

            by joanneleon on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 05:05:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It takes a substantial amount of mental (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              auapplemac, ultraviolet uk

              disconnect to call the President who doubled CAFE standards and has done more to push vehicle electrification than any other an "oil and gas man".

              Sheesh, any regular here knows that you just can't stand this President and agitate against him non-stop, but you could at least keep it fairly logical....

              "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

              by Lawrence on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 05:20:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  i see (6+ / 0-)

                if somebody keeps taking 1 step forward and two steps backwards, then we are not allowed to point out that he's going backwards.

                got it, thanks.

                •  We have to live in today's world and not some (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ultraviolet uk

                  wishful utopian future.

                  We have to do "all of the above." We need oil/gas now! We need to find other fuel sources for the future so that we will be able to depend less on fossil fuels.

                  But now we have cars, trucks, heating, etc that require fossil fuels. And we have to live with it. It's our NOW.

                  We can do both...accept what we need to do today while working on expanding our energy resources for the future.

                  Progressives will win when we convince a majority that they, too, are Progressive.

                  by auapplemac on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 07:48:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I'm getting (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jeopardydd, dewley notid, RFK Lives, quill

                pretty sick of this, Lawrence.  How many times have you swooped in to my diaries and comments and basically dismissed everything I have to say because you feel that I am a hater and therefore none of my opinions about the policies and decisions of this president are valid?

                I'll answer that -- a lot of times.  A lot.

                Just knock it off.  Argue the point being made. Stop it with the ad hominem. I've told you this before.  You don't like me or the things that I write.  This is clear.  I know this and it will not change a thing that I do. So why do you keep reminding me?  

                Follow kos' advice/directive and knock it off with the repeated comments to the same people reminding them that you don't like them, okay?  There are plenty of other people on this site for you to interact with.  So go do it.


                "Justice is a commodity"

                by joanneleon on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 05:55:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Eh, when you say something as nonsensical and (0+ / 0-)

                  illogical as "obama is an oil and gas man", then I'm going to point out just how silly that is every time I see it.

                  I don't dislike or like you, as I don't know you, but a virtual plethora of your comments here on DailyKos are some form of agitation against our Democratic President, often based on distortions or untruths.

                  I reserve the right to respond to that kind of stuff, especially when what you're saying is patently untrue.

                  If you don't like it, feel free to take it up with Kos and site admin.

                  "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

                  by Lawrence on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 01:06:22 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  What happened to the "whistleblower" engineer (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joanneleon, miasmo, dewley notid, Sunspots

        that I saw on Al Sharpton's tv show, who had all the specific problems with the pipeline engineering, the fact that the tar sands are 16 times as abrasive as regular crude, the extra chemicals that are used to process it for piping, the heat and pressure required, etc.?
        I wish I'd written the name down, I went back to their website but couldn't find the clip.
        I don't think the specific problems with the pipeline itself are getting out to the public very well.

        I'd rather have a buntle afrota-me than a frottle a bunta-me.

        by David54 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:49:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Those were my thoughts because Obama has (17+ / 0-)

      never come out against the Tar Sands. It was just a delay on the pipeline not a denial. It fits in with the WH position that allows a permit for the first nuclear plant since 3 Mile Island and continued and extensive fracking.

      If the pipeline goes near your neighborhood, expect this:
      Photobucket

      a 30 meter geyser of crude from the Kinder Morgan pipeline from Tar Sands to Vancouver.
      "About 234,000 litres of oil shot 30 metres into the air for about 25 minutes, covering some nearby homes, and oozing into Burrard Inlet. The Transportation Safety Board eventually concluded the line was improperly marked on outdated drawings used by the contractor and blamed the spill on inadequate communication between Kinder Morgan and the contractor." cbc.ca
      A construction crew on the highway struck the pipe by accident where the pipeline runs under the highway. The oil drained into Burrard Inlet killing fish, birds and sea mammals. The First Nations of the Burrard Inlet used to say, "when the tide goes out, our dinner is served." Not anymore, not for a long time.

      ❧To thine ownself be true

      by Agathena on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:33:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shaharazade
        AUIDENCE MEMBER:  I love you, Mr. President!

        THE PRESIDENT:  I love you back.

        "[President Obama] is right. Peace is hard. Unlike winning the Nobel Peace Prize, which is surprisingly easy." -- Stephen Colbert

        by just some lurker guy on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 05:06:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Look at lower Michigan. there was an oil spill (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sunspots, mightymouse

        in the kalamazoo River a year and 1/2 ago and they have not been able to clean it up.  My brothers live in Battle Creek, MI and say it is a mess.  how much drinking water comes from the rivers?

        none of the tar sands are for the benefit of the USA.  Why are we taking all of the spills, disasters?  Why are we the dumping ground?

  •  Again, I question the need for a photo-op (9+ / 0-)

    What hearts and minds are you winning by doing this?

    Certainly not the republicans - who will beat the issue into the ground screaming about lost jobs.

    The Unions? Maybe. There was some strong union support for the keystone project, but it is it really worth pissing off part of your base to pander to another?

    Moderate, independent voters? Perhaps - this is probably the best hope - but showing up in the middle of a deep red state?

    Still Blergh.

    Power-Worshipping Fascist

    by campionrules on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 02:29:19 PM PDT

  •  If true, and I have little doubt its not (31+ / 0-)

    its a BIG disappointment for me re: President Obama. Everyone knows, except the idiot Repugs. and their lobbyists in the oil/petrol industry this pipeline does NOTHING for the American gas/oil consumer, its more for the world and China, and it does NOTHING to help get us off of oil period! Huge disappointment.

  •  Sigh. Shit. (18+ / 0-)

    "Such is the irresistible nature of truth that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing." - Thomas Paine

    by blueoregon on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 02:38:31 PM PDT

  •  Here's the thing: (13+ / 0-)

    If this bitumen is not pipelined to the Houston area where there are refineries able to accept it as feedstock it will be eventually sent to Regina, where existing refining capacity can be expanded and from which the refined product can be exported. If not that, it can be sent to Canada's west coast for export to other refineries.

    In other words, I see nothing in the policy of the U.S. or Canada anywhere on the horizon that would prevent this bitumen from ultimately being mined, refined, and combusted, regardless of the XL.

    Unless and until transportation is driven from a energy source other than liquid petroleum, this stuff will get burned, because it's the next thing in line to burn.

    "Who is John Galt?" A two dimensional character in a third rate novel.

    by Inventor on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 02:54:33 PM PDT

  •  I wish I could say this was a surprise. (24+ / 0-)

    Shortly after Obama's re-election, the delay will be lifted and the project will get a go ahead.
    It will be done under the guise of jobs, jobs, jobs, making it okay.
    Before he got into office, I was foolish enough to think he was one of the two candidates who really understood how critical it was to immediately alter our energy policies.
    Oh, well.

  •  We have to fight like hell against that northern (4+ / 0-)

    section, after the election.  We have no chance prior to it, it's clear.  

    We have to demolish the specter of gas prices with the specter of vigorous cancers, ecological collapse, and death on a major scale, animal & human.

    Unfortunately we probably have too much integrity to call KXL a Death Pipeline, & we certainly lack the funds to carpetbomb CNN with such an ad campaign.  Post-election, at least there will be less competition for time.

    Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

    by Leftcandid on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 03:00:40 PM PDT

    •  What? (26+ / 0-)

      We have no leverage after election, and will in fact never have more leverage than we do over the next six months.

      Election season isn't the time to shut up - it's the only time they listen.

      Bombing Iran is far more dangerous than Iran getting The Bomb.

      by JesseCW on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 03:03:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We need mass direct action (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior, ladyjames, mightymouse

        And no, I don't mean just getting arrested in front of the white house, none of that symbolic stuff.  We need people out there physically putting themselves in the way of the construction.

        There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 03:22:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I wish you were right, but it seems increasingly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse

        clear that the electoral calculus being deployd favors the number of people who want cheap gas over the number of people who comprise the environmentalist portion of the pro-Obama electorate.  In an election where Americans overwhelmingly rate the economy/jobs as the number 1 issue, the perception of action against gas prices is part of that, whereas making an environmental case against KXL means too much oil money pouring in against all Dems.

        That Obama is approving the southern part of the pipeline--right on the heels of the most visible and numbers-backed action in recent memory, an action that did NOT result in him rejecting KXL on the important, scientific grounds--is sad, sad evidence that he & his advisors put environmental issues damn near the bottom.  However, that's usually the case, so it doesn't make him worse than others in similar situations.  He doesn't want to risk being the next Malaise Carter.

        I don't like it at all; I'm trying to face reality here.

        Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

        by Leftcandid on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 07:16:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Reality is that people aren't persuaded unless (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Leftcandid

          we try to persuade them, and support representatives who will try to persuade them.

          In the long run, KeystoneXl will likely raise domestic gas prices by making it easier and cheaper to export our oil - and that's not too complicated for voters to understand if someone actually makes the argument to them.

          Good policy makes good politics, if you've got enough sense to trust the American people and explain to them what you're doing and why.

          Bombing Iran is far more dangerous than Iran getting The Bomb.

          by JesseCW on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 10:37:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I agree, & appreciate your take; the fact that we (0+ / 0-)

            are in an election year means (to me) that there's no time to accomplish that this year, though.   Because no one with any media clout is making this argument--and because the media will be entirely consumed with economic narratives that may not be fact based, but are funded--our message will not reach enough voters to make a difference.  After the election, in a less competitive mediasphere, the message just might be able to stick.

            Keep doing what you're doing, though; don't let my pessimism diminish your energy.

            Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

            by Leftcandid on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 12:38:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  After the election, it will be two years before (0+ / 0-)

              we have any realistic hope of influencing policy.

              Bombing Iran is far more dangerous than Iran getting The Bomb.

              by JesseCW on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 01:10:59 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  OK, you & I see this completely differently. (0+ / 0-)

                I see our ability to get the Administration to do something that they see as probably unpopular as stronger immediately after an election.   This isn't something to accomplish by applying pressure via the voterbase; this is a job for activists & that part of the base that is dedicated enough to raise a ruckus when no other issue can drown us out.  The campaign strategists don't address all the issues, just the big ones.  This year, that's jobs/economy, womens' rights, and probably gas prices.  The environment will simply never, ever be a top campaign issue until we are all in an evident crisis that the average voter can understand.  

                That's not the case now.  If something terrible happens closer to the election--something that we can unambiguously nail to Big Oil that they cannot disclaim--then maybe we'll have a chance.  But the fast-tracking of the southern section of KXL is proof that we are by & large not being heard, shortly on the heels of one of the best efforts coordinated by many green groups to be heard.  The sad truth is that we are a minority of Americans whose policy platform means short term economic death for any Administration that adopts it.  That's called Losing An Election in any year with subpar economic growth.  That's just how the D.C. advisor class thinks.  The environment can always be postponed because it's never as big a crisis as more immediate ones (until of course the day when it eats the other crises put together).

                Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

                by Leftcandid on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 02:59:10 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  This administration has no reason at all to (0+ / 0-)

                  give a shit what you think after reelection.

                  There's a reason the campaign staff was invited right in to set policy - the only goal was re-election.

                  Once that's achieved, the only goals are going to be

                  1) Making sure there are well feathered nests to land in

                  2) "The Legacy"

                  Extending this pipeline doesn't actually create net jobs in the long term, and it doesn't lower gas prices for the rest of us.  People are bright enough to understand that if informed.

                  That's how you beat it.  If you want to beat it.  If you believe it's bad policy and care whether or not the policies you pursue are good for your nation.

                  Bombing Iran is far more dangerous than Iran getting The Bomb.

                  by JesseCW on Fri Mar 23, 2012 at 03:42:30 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  KXL as an environmental issue is in The Legacy (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Meteor Blades

                    category.

                    I agree that people are bright enough to understand that KXL is bad policy if they are informed.  I don't see our ability to inform them in an election year when other issues will dominate the conversation.  The Obama campaign aims for the middle, and environmentalism is still considered a left issue that is too much of a gamble with independents.  Those on the left/environmentalists are all going to vote for Obama anyway because we have no other option, so they won't risk any political capital to educate independents.  

                    Of course, we don't see it that way, but our opinion on that doesn't matter.  What's important for us to correctly interpret is THEIR opinion.

                    There's nothing wrong with opposing KXL now, but during a campaign, it's already too late to educate because there are too many to educate in the remaining timeframe, and we have no billionaire SuperPAC opposing KXL.  Most voters already know everything they're going to know by November, except for what TV will tell them & what major events happen in the next few months.  Much as I hate to say it, a major pipeline accident in September would be our best chance at pressuring the Administration into permanently cancelling northern KXL, but there will always be another planned pipeline to fight until Americans as a united whole publicly demand nongas fuel specifically to save the planet.  That day is unpredictably distant.

                     

                    Before elections have their consequences, Activism has consequences for elections.

                    by Leftcandid on Sat Mar 24, 2012 at 06:35:08 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  Many of those cancers (0+ / 0-)

      can only be diagnosed using radiological isotopes produced in only a handful of places in the world that can only be brought into your community using trains, planes, and automobiles.

      As unhappy as it may make people, we do have a transportation infrastructure (for medical freight as well as any other kind) that relies on fossil fuels. It cannot at this time be quickly swapped out for any alternative technology,

      Rick Perry - the greatest scientist since Galileo!

      by Bobs Telecaster on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:11:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Egad, this is the second blow in a month (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JVolvo, joanneleon, shaharazade

    to the First Nations Oilsand Refinery: Alta. axes support for $7B First Nations oil refinery

  •  maybe a dumb question (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, chira2

    But why dont they just refine that shit in Canada?  Why is it even necessary to pipe that toxic sludge to the Gulf of Mexico to refine it.  

    •  Not enough refineries there and the pipeline in (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chira2

      Canada would have to cross the mountains.

    •  Canada might not have the refining capacity for (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chira2, JesseCW, wonmug

      this special toxic gunk and they certainly don't want to pipe it across their natural beauty and drinking water.  They're smart!

      To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. - Theodore Roosevelt 1918

      by JVolvo on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:14:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  this is the issue isnt it? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chira2, marty marty, Sunspots

        Fuck them.  To force this tar sludge through a pipeline, it has to be diluted with toxic chemicals.  All that shit gets piped to the gulf coast.. and then what?  

        All that tar sand, they can afford to build their own refineries.  This is outrageous.  

        •  On reflection, it's the oil drillers/producers (0+ / 0-)

          that want this shit processed and sold regardless of the damage involved.  Perhaps Canada is showing us what matters most?

          Fuck the greedy oil-mongers!

          To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. - Theodore Roosevelt 1918

          by JVolvo on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:23:56 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It's all going to China (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dirtfarmer, JVolvo, marty marty, Sunspots

        if it gets shipped though TX all the more money for the oil industry and refineries. Our Democratic gov.Here in OR once elected as a progressive, said OR is open for business. We then started shipping coal down our rivers to be shipped to China. Madness all around and oil is the grease the main one that keeps this global insanity alive and profitable to the ownership society. Mother nature could care less about the NWO or the free market GPD and neither should we the people who have to live on this planet. Why should we sacrifice for our own and the planets destruction.  

  •  I just got home from work (15+ / 0-)

    Where before leaving I had a long conversation with an Osage/Lakota woman, a grad student here, whose home is very close to Cushing. She said she was alarmed by the earthquakes they've been getting recently. Big ones. She is not happy about this development at all.

    'Cause the fire in the street, Ain't like the fire in the heart/ And in the eyes of all these people, Don't you know that this could start, On any street in any town ~ FZ

    by cosmic debris on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 03:21:20 PM PDT

  •  And then there's this: (11+ / 0-)


    The US Department of Agriculture has dropped the plan to require an extensive environmental review before handing mortgages to people that plan to use the land for oil and gas drilling.

    "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

    by Sagebrush Bob on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 03:24:00 PM PDT

  •  So riddle me this... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, Odysseus, JesseCW, joanneleon

    When that "surplus supply" in the midwest gets transported out of there and their gas prices go up because of it, who's gonna get blamed for it?

  •  I'm thankful! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, zinger99, Odysseus

    I live a bit west of where part of the pipeline will run through Oklahoma, and needless to say, I feel blessed not to live in its path.

    Most of this area is very rural, but many old Native American artifacts rest below the ground, including sacred cemeteries. My g-g-g-grandmother and g-g-grandfather are buried in an old, unprotected pasture, and I would have been very furious had this company plowed through it, all in the name of greed.

  •  This is not an environmental issue. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, peregrinus, Odysseus

    Because it will be mined and processed in Canada.  US stopping pipeline being built does nothing to stop that.   When gas was cheaper it was cost prohibitive to tap the oil sands, but with gas five dollars a gallon and not likely to go down given increased world demand - Canada will look to cash it on it's natural resources.

    And it's not even about buying time until Canada changes government as Provinces have more power than federal governments and even NDP candidates are hedging on being against oil sands.  Simply too much money to be made and Canadian Gov spending going through the roof over next 20 years.  

    Only concern is pipeline leaks and eminent domain issues - and that has never stopped pipelines in the past.    

    And explain to me how this southern leg could possibly be stopped? It would extend a pipeline already in use and solve a bottle neck issue.  

    •  It won't be processed in Canada (8+ / 0-)

      it will be diluted with naphtha and piped to Houston where it will be loaded onto tankers and sold into the global market. Canada does not have the refining capacity to process this crude, nor are there any plans to do so as far as I can tell.

      You could be listening to Netroots Radio. "We are but temporary visitors on this planet. The microbes own this place" <- Me

      by yuriwho on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:04:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  So tell the people dealing the spill... (8+ / 0-)

      ...in the Kalamazoo river of tar sands oil that it's not an environmental issue.  When they started the cleanup, they said it'd take a month.  It's now over 2 years later and it's nowhere near cleaned up.

      •  Pipeline spills are not cause for the doomsday (0+ / 0-)

        scenarios that environmentalists float.  They're against this because of the mining and refining and use and there is literally nothing the US government could do to stop Canada from mining their oil sands outside of paying them equal to production value not to or invading and occupying tarsands area.   And neither are going to happen.  

        •  You're arguing that an expanded market (4+ / 0-)

          is not inventive to increase production.

          And that is fucking laughable.

          Bombing Iran is far more dangerous than Iran getting The Bomb.

          by JesseCW on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:34:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Arguments against... (5+ / 0-)

          ...building the tarsands pipeline in the US most definitely have included the reality that the pipeline could leak extremely nasty tarsands oil, and the environmental dangers in which that would result.

          But I guess for you as long as it's spilling in someone else's back yard and not your own, it doesn't matter.

          •  Nebraska blocked it because of danger to acquifer (0+ / 0-)

            Montana is okay with it, S.Dakota is okay with it, Arkansas okay with it, Oklahoma okay with it and Texas okay with it.  

            Problem with folks on the left is they only focus on President on every issue.  Why not focus on Montana Gov, or SDak Gov, or Nb Gov, or Okla Gov or Tx Gov.

            You don't want Canada to even mine the tarsands and refine it and bring it to market.  You want Canada to sacrifice $1.5T in natural resources out of the goodness of their hearts.  $1.5T is basically equal to Canada's GDP, so would be a kin to US having $14T in natural resource reserves and choosing not to tap into it.  

            Amazon stopped cutting down rain forest when an economic case was made that it was more beneficial for them to protect it.  Make the case to Harper and Canada, or have the US pay to keep it in the ground.  

            Would I rather Canada not touch it - sure, but not building the KXL is not going to change their minds on the issue.

            •  Why not focus on the one guy who can (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jeopardydd, vacantlook

              stop it with the stroke of a pen?

              Because....you're rather have people trying to fight half a dozen Governors and state houses, diffusing effort and therefor becoming less successful?

              Huh.

              Bombing Iran is far more dangerous than Iran getting The Bomb.

              by JesseCW on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 06:13:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Let the spill happen in your neighborhood. it did (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sunspots

          happen in Michigan.  the people there are very angry.  you want a million gallons of this crap in your river, affecting your health, your water?  this is a doomsday scenarios that we don't need.

    •  It's not NOT an environmental issue... (15+ / 0-)

      ...because you say so. Yes, the Canadians are going to mine that stuff and then ship it somewhere for somebody to burn. But mining it, transporting and burning it IS an environmental issue, the big one being global warming and the smaller ones being strip-mining after clear-cutting boreal forests, sucking up lots of water, potentially contaminating the largest fossil water aquifer in North America, and already contaminating one major river.

      This is a project with a 50-year life-span at least. Touting the use of oil as a transportation fuel half-a-century from now is, oh, I don't know, let me call it the Ostrich Doctrine. Head buried in the tar sands, ass in the air.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:40:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's huge environmental issue (8+ / 0-)

      and you are just rationalizing it away.  I see no reason to encourage the tar sands and make it even more profitable while risking pipe line spills.

      This is crappy politics.  Obama just wants to take a talking point away from the GOP.  But whatever, this President has been extremely disappointing on environmental and civil liberties issues.  I am hardly surprised anymore.

      "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

      by noofsh on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:57:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Tar sands are an environmental issue. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dewley notid

      And they definitely are a U.S. environmental issue because tar sands refining requires additional energy, pipelines require energy to run, and oil from tar sands is dirtier.

      And virtually all of it is destined for the U.S., which increases U.S. energy usage and environmental risks.

      Some here will try and score political points against President Obama by trying to depict this as an export scheme for China, but the fact is that this dirty stuff is headed for U.S. gas guzzlers, not Chinese cars.

      Here's a good read that explains things in-depth without all the weak, asinine, and often unintelligent commentary that this type of diary tends to attract on DKos:

      http://www.nrdc.org/...

       

      "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

      by Lawrence on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 05:08:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I guess Obama is okay with not getting my vote.... (9+ / 0-)

    I've just about had it with Mr. Obama.  Here he goes again.  Enough.   Could Mitt Romney be much worse?  At least I know he is a corrupt piece of doo doo.  Obama seems bound and determined to convince us that he is too too.....

    •  I'm glad. (0+ / 0-)

      Because now you can't hold your precious vote over his head during the next hair-on-fire issue.  

      •  Either way, he's obviously not working for the (11+ / 0-)

        left's vote. He's hoping he'll get a gimme on that.

        But if he somehow managed to lose, he (and you) would blame the left, rather than himself for not working for our votes.

        This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

        by Words In Action on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:30:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yep, not working for the left's vote. (0+ / 0-)

          He's just the same as Romney so the election won't matter so let's all not vote and send him a message.  And when Blunt and DeMint are sending Romney bill after bill to rubber stamp well Pres Obama would have signed those anyways.  

          Problem with the "left's vote" is that it's never there.  The goalposts are always moved.  If Pres Obama killed the KXL dead, there would be some new issue next week where the same "left" voters would be holding their vote hostage again saying "he's not working for our vote".  

        •  Our only chance is a strong progressive Congress (0+ / 0-)

          We need at least one house that will put up a fight, and that understands more than short-term short-sighted political advantage.

          Actually, I think Obama's mistaking the national currents of thought, too.  People do notice the climate changing, and they do notice the economy that affects them not improving, and although they don't name themselves liberals, they mostly take liberal positions.

      •  amazing how many of them there are, isn't it? (0+ / 0-)

        and each one is "just one issue".

      •  Brand new (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dewley notid

        user and already throwing the rox/sux jargon around.  Interesting.  Fast reader I guess.


        "Justice is a commodity"

        by joanneleon on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:54:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And then when Ginsburg retires? A 6th RW vote (0+ / 0-)

      on the Roberts Court. To REALLY lock in another 20+ years of definitively fcking the country on all the critical issues that will arise, not least the environmental fights that are coming.

      You think Citizens United was a bad decision? You ain't seen nothin' til Romney starts packing the Court and the Circuits with his corporatist friends.

      Sigh. Thank you for your brilliant considered opinion in this important discussion on this left-leaning network board. But forgive me now if I leave the computer, go upstairs to my bed and take a sleeping pill. I'm going to need it tonight.

      ....And probably many nights to come, given all the Great Political Minds there are out there in America Land.

  •  Hell, I knew he would approve it (4+ / 0-)

    He wants to get reelected.   He probably wont be all that displeased if the Supremes  axe the health care mandate either.

  •  I hate to say it but this is a done deal IMO (7+ / 0-)

    I've been saying this for a couple of years now. Politically, I don't think Obama can deny the pipeline. As gas prices continue upward due to peak oil, the low information voting public will demand to see action on lowering gas prices (this pipeline will not make a difference), and securing access to oil will be considered in the interests of national security by many, perhaps including Obama.

    Damn the environment, full steam ahead with our oil based economy.

    You could be listening to Netroots Radio. "We are but temporary visitors on this planet. The microbes own this place" <- Me

    by yuriwho on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:01:33 PM PDT

  •  Well... no one could have seen this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sagebrush Bob, jeopardydd

    coming, right?

    The GOP is the party of "Drill, Baby, Drill", right?

    In defense of Obama:

    He had no choice.  

    The GOP would have filibustered something.

    Lieberman (who caucuses with the Dems) would have filibustered something.

    The House is controlled by the GOP.

    This is only the first step - it gets better the second time around!  Honest!

    .............and so on.

    Wait.

    "Caged" Free Speech Zones?

    Oh yeah.

    George Bush.

    Wow - boy that Change sure is amazing, ain't it?

    It isn't that Obama hasn't Changed anything; It's that his actions advance the 1%'s interests.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:08:54 PM PDT

  •  Since it's Obama: (8+ / 0-)

    Let's all jump on board that "Drill, Baby, Drill" train!

    Allll Aboooard!

    Next Stop:  Policyville.  (Environmentalists not allowed).

    It isn't that Obama hasn't Changed anything; It's that his actions advance the 1%'s interests.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:10:12 PM PDT

  •  And the difference between a R and D is...? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sagebrush Bob, joanneleon, EmmaPie

    NOW SHOWING
    Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
    Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

    by The Dead Man on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:14:52 PM PDT

    •  More Republican policy from our supposedly (7+ / 0-)

      Democratic Party President. Of course, Republican policies like this have become mainstream Democratic Party policies too. I'm done with him and I'll soon be leaving the Party that I've belonged to since I was 18. Republicans and conservative Democrats will more than make up for me withholding my vote from corporate servants like Obama but the sooner people pull their heads out of the sand the better.

      The Strange Case of the Liberal Ostrich

      Here is Todd Gitlin’s version of this way of thinking, from his book Letters to a Young Activist: in the presidential contest between Hubert Humphrey and Richard Nixon, Humphrey “would have phased out the war,” as opposed to Nixon, “who proceeded to extend the Vietnam war for five years.” Gitlin takes the lesson to be clear: “You either vote Democratic, or submit to the rule of the Republicans…The Democratic Party is the inescapable field where we either win, lose or draw.”

      I have described a familiar mechanism for coping with incoherence and unpleasant facts. But even more is at stake. Our liberal sees the political world as coextensive with the world of the two-Party system, and he correctly rules the Republicans out. Thus, were he disallowed to commit to the Democrats, he’d be left with no politics at all. He’d be deprived of the linguistic and conceptual resources he has limited himself to, the cognitive means, to think about the political. He will perceive your heterodoxy as making political choice impossible for him. This can’t be tolerated.

      An example in neon of political self deception can be found in an article, “Obama: The Conservative in 2012,” in the Washington Post (Dec. 25, 2011) by E.J.Dionne, a prominent liberal columnist for Commonweal, The Washington Post, and formerly The New York Times.

      ...

      Is Dionne unaware that Obama, in The Audacity of Hope and in multiple interviews, has described the liberalism of FDR and LBJ as “the old-time religion”? He’s averred that of all postwar presidents, his greatest admiration goes to Ronald Reagan, who understood that in a commercially globalized world economic policy must follow “a fundamentally different path.” He’s repeated the mantra that government may respond to severe unemployment only by offering bribes to companies (tax breaks) and banks (injections of liquidity) to hire and lend. Hiring and production are the business only of the private sector.

      In the FDR/LBJ tradition, Social Security was refered to as “the third rail” of American politics. It was inconceivable that any Democrat would consider touching it. Your political career, be you Democrat or Republican, would be over were you to suggest either reducing benefits or extending the retirement age. Even the Tea Party seems to be in step with that. But Obama isn’t. Recall, it wasn’t the Republicans who “put Social Security on the table” during the silly debt ceiling controversy. How could Dionne and many other Democratic stalwarts think of Obama as a champion of the New Deal legacy? Whether Obama is a liberal in the post-Depression pre-Carter sense of the term is not  a matter of theory or ideology. It is a matter of fact that he is not.

      "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

      by Sagebrush Bob on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:30:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sarah Palin (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vacantlook, aliasalias

        Sarah Palin and Republicans and libertarians ought to be in love with "drill baby drill" Obama's energy policy. Instead, they'll still call Obama a Socialist while mainstream Democrats will either praise this or say he had no choice. And the Overton Window shifts a little further to the right.

        "I wish I could tell you, in the midst of all of this, that President Obama was waging the kind of fight against these draconian Republican proposals that the American people would like to see. He is not." -- Senator Bernie Sanders

        by Sagebrush Bob on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:41:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Frequently indistinguishable (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sunspots

      with this administration. Like O's supporters.

      This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

      by Words In Action on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:32:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If this was being done by an R (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jeopardydd, Sunspots

      We wouldn't be letting them get away with this.  The greatest atrocities will be let slide if the Democratic President endorses them.

      And why? because he's The Adult In The Room and knows more than we do even if he is unable to share said knowledge with the rest of the class.

      Further, the only alternatives to him are even worse, and he is the best we're gonna get and the best we could ever hope to get ever again.

      Winning The Future indeed.

      You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

      by Johnny Q on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:47:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  China should give Obama honorary citizenship (8+ / 0-)

    ...when it comes to the category of 'only Nixon could go to China', Obama's frequent flyer miles are enough to qualify for residency.

    http://climate-connections.org/...

    “The Ogallala Aquifer is not the only source of water in the plains,” said RoseMary Crawford, Project Manager of the Center for Energy Matters. “Tar sands pipelines have a terrible safety record and leaks are inevitable.”

    “We can’t stop global warming with more fossil fuel pipelines,” added Crawford. “The people who voted for this President did so believing he would help us address the global environmental catastrophe that our pollution is creating. He said he would free us from ‘the tyranny of oil.’ Today that campaign promise is being trampled to boost the President’s poll numbers.”

    without the ants the rainforest dies

    by aliasalias on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:16:38 PM PDT

  •  And why are we surprised? (7+ / 0-)

    Because too many of us took his initial delay as proof that he was a good guy. The rest of us were slammed for ever doubting Obama.

    And so it goes.

  •  Why are humans so intent on destroying... (10+ / 0-)

    ...our environment?  I just hope, if life on Earth survives human stupidity, that whatever evolves into intelligent life after we're gone does a better job than we did.

  •  Yeah I know (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chira2, dewley notid, dirtfarmer

    we have no choice but he is a corporate tool as much as any of them. JFK... last President who fought the Secret Team...

    So much for "clean energy"

    All I want is the truth. Just gimmie some truth John Lennon

    by gimmie truth on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:18:29 PM PDT

  •  Is trucking that stuff (0+ / 0-)

    a better option? I honestly would like to know. It sure doesn't sound like it to me. But I'm uneducated in that regard.

    Romney 2012 - I Never Said That!

    by kitebro on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:22:33 PM PDT

  •  Must. Have. More. Oil. (15+ / 0-)
    And as long as I’m President, we’re going to keep on encouraging oil development and infrastructure and we’re going to do it in a way that protects the health and safety of the American people.  We don’t have to choose between one or the other, we can do both.
    Mr. Obama, with all due respect, no, we can't have both.

    Not unless your idea of health and safety includes tens of millions of Americans fleeing inland from the flood-waters of the rising oceans, into a withering heartland in no way able to support them.

    Fun times. Can't wait.

    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

    by PhilJD on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:25:21 PM PDT

  •  What are they pumping through this New leg? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence

    Crud(e) or Crude from Oklahoma?

    Maybe I have too much faith in this president as a strategic thinker, but this seems like a tactical move if they're going to be pumping normal oil through it.

    Response: If you "got it" you wouldn't be a republican

    by JML9999 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:25:25 PM PDT

  •  Obama (13+ / 0-)

    can't have both sides supporting him. This is the train wreck that happens every time he does it.

    BTW Port Aurther is a free trade zone and we will not even be able to collect tax on the oil they will export from there.

  •  The solid line is not in sand hills of NE (0+ / 0-)

    The Sand Hills of NE are in the wetern part of NE where the aqua filler is close  to the surface. The solid is line is now going through the eastern part of NE where the aqua filler is deep below the surface. The farmers in eastern NE have already poisoned the ground water with herbicides and pesticides. Very few people use well water there any more. They have it piped in.

  •  he's gonna lose the envirovote, and maybe the elec (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, Sunspots

    tion thereby

    " In England, any man who wears a sword and a wig is ashamed to be illiterate. I believe it is not so in France" Sam. Johnson, per Boswell

    by Mark B on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:27:27 PM PDT

  •  I just find this (15+ / 0-)

    to be so disingenuous, it's almost a lie.

    Now, that’s not the future that we went.  We don’t want to be vulnerable to something that’s happening on the other side of the world somehow affecting our economy, or hurting a lot of folks who have to drive to get to work.  That’s not the future I want for America.  That's not the future I want for our kids.  I want us to control our own energy destiny.  I want us to determine our own course.

    So, yes, we’re going to keep on drilling.  Yes, we’re going to keep on emphasizing production.  Yes, we’re going to make sure that we can get oil to where it’s needed.  But what we’re also going to be doing as part of an all-of-the-above strategy is looking at how we can continually improve the utilization of renewable energy sources, new clean energy sources, and how do we become more efficient in our use of energy.  (Applause.)

    Does he tell Americans that the oil is being shipped to the Gulf and out of the country?  I don't hear him telling the truth about this.  In fact, other than progressive news and climate blogs, I don't hear anyone telling the truth about this.  It's propaganda at best and a flat out lie at worst.


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:28:47 PM PDT

  •  And of course if the southern part (5+ / 0-)

    of the pipeline is going in, it will eventually be connected with the northern part.  Yet I see comments galore about how it's only the southern part.  

    I would like people to be straight and honest for a change.


    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:30:21 PM PDT

  •  great move by the President! (9+ / 0-)

    once again he outflanks the Republicans by doing some kind of crazy Repub-style thing, thus depriving them of an issue.

    And this caged "free speech zone"! Great stuff! That's some seriously fine outflanking!

  •  the corporations have won (7+ / 0-)

    Ask the Iraqis

    Ask the Afghanis

    Ask the people in Africa and South America who have their environments destroyed by the same companies running happy "we love green energy" ads in the US.

    Ask the dolphins in the Gulf.  

    Ask the people in PA who had their water poisoned by the frackers.

    And Governor Andrew Cuomo (D?), governor of a blue state, takes a bunch of money from the Koch brothers when he had no serious challenger AND he loves him some fracking.  And "serious" people talk about him as a candidate for president.

    I love what this site is as a community.  I spent a good chunk of the Bush years on this site desperate for change.  And we finally had "success".  And nothing has changed.

    "I'll hold my nose and vote but I won't hold my nose and canvass or call or donate." Some Dkos Comment

    by onemadson on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:32:56 PM PDT

    •  Ask the moderates. (0+ / 0-)

      They're still not convinced. Or at least they're not convinced enough to try anything more than re-elect a few D's...

      This, too, shall pass. Just like the last global ecological cataclysm. C'est la vie, dude. Take a chill pill, recite the serenity prayer, go with the flow and the moderates into that "goodnight".

      by Words In Action on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:39:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It amazes me (6+ / 0-)

        I don't have much else to say.  I used to think Republican voters were idiots who voted against their self interest.  Now I know that dems do the same.

        But people figured this out a long time ago. Whether it was Orwell predicting the surveillance state or him predicting that they would end retirement benefits, he was right.

        Nothing new happening these days. Just better technology to make history rhyme.

        "I'll hold my nose and vote but I won't hold my nose and canvass or call or donate." Some Dkos Comment

        by onemadson on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:53:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Everyone who says that Obama is lying -- (0+ / 0-)

    -- needs to check their heads -- and The Oil Drum, an on-line blog.

    Oil is a global commodity. What happens in Vegas might stay there -- but it does not mean that this is true for oil prices and the oil trade in general.

    Prices in China, Peru, Brazil, Iran, Europe, and Mexico will all have an impact on prices here in the United States.

    In other words: Saying that Obama is lying about oil is just factually incorrect. It isn't that he's lying or telling us half-truths -- it's that, as he keeps repeating OVER AND OVER AND OVER --

    You cannot expect for HIM to wave some magic wand to fix the problem.

    Yes, it is heartbreaking to hear that, yet again, we will be breaking yet another treaty with yet another Native nation. I think that it sucks. I also think that it would suck a lot harder if George W. Bush had been able to run for four consecutive terms and had won every single one of them.

    Take your pick. Yes, there is such a thing as a "lesser of two evils," but in this case, I like to think of it as voting for the better of two flawed candidates.

    Nobody is perfect. Not even you. Get over yourselves, and wake up to reality -- the reality that this pipeline will, at least, bring thousands of jobs to Americans.

  •  Oil will be exported (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SammyJames, WrathofHamster

    Brent is the world price for crude oil, it's about $125 per barrel. WTI is the US price, it's about $105. We pay 20% less than the world. Natural gas is about $15.00 per million btu for the world while we only pay $2.30.

    A natural gas pipeline from Alaska to the lower 48 has been planned for decades but because of low prices here the new  plan is to only build the pipeline to a port around Valdez so all the gas can be exported to Asia.

  •  Don't get me wrong: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence, Sunspots

    I'm still against the pipeline and I'm against the extraction of the tar sands.
    I'm especially pissed off about the abuse of eminent domain in taking folks' land whether they want to sell or not for a private entity.
    I think this is where environmentalists could find common cause with a lot of rural conservatives.
    Especially since the American public won't benefit from the pipeline.
    However, I think opposition to the project should continue beyond the construction of the pipeline and should include extra taxes levied and the Markey restrictions on the use of the oil. We should also support any opposition within Canada such as that of the First Nations, etc. We should seek to make the project so expensive that they will finally abandon it.

    I'd rather have a buntle afrota-me than a frottle a bunta-me.

    by David54 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:42:45 PM PDT

  •  This is about GAS PRICES. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lawrence

    And the Obama Admin should be worried.  While we understand the prices are due to speculators, which is rigged, and POTUS does not have any powers to do anything about it.  Gas is almost 5.00 a gallon here in Chicagoland and people are complaining LOUD.  If these prices do not come down, this is a major issue in the fall and folks don't care about the sticky details, they just want their prices lower and will blame the top gun in charge.

    •  So how really Stupid (0+ / 0-)

      are Americans? " Well Gasoline will be cheaper if I elect an elitist swine?

      All I want is the truth. Just gimmie some truth John Lennon

      by gimmie truth on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:54:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  speculators are icing, not cake (0+ / 0-)

      speculation is not the core reason gasoline is expensive nowadays

      the fundamental thing is supply of crude is more or less flat, while demand (global) is rising.

      in today's market, with no real spare capacity, every little blip leads to a price jump. last year it was Libya going off line. This year it is Iran reducing production due to sanctions.

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 06:55:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't let this be your reason for staying home. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    in2mixin

    Yes, some of Obama's policies may be more centrist or maybe even to the right than progressives would like, but all of the other guy's (and let's face it, the other guy is going to be Rmoney) will be. And we cannot forget the effect Obama's re-election will have down-ballot. A complete refudiation of the GOP and its hateful, dangerous platform.

    1984 was supposed to be a warning, not an instruction manual.

    by xenothaulus on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:49:12 PM PDT

  •  Blow, baby, blow. (Disclaimer) (0+ / 0-)

    Seeing that online key words are being followed by the FBI, I hereby post the following disclaimer:

    The subject line merely reads the truth. We've already seem the ramifications of fracking, yet our bottomless pit of greed can't seem to get enough of oil. So blow, we will.

    Thanks so much.

    Strange but not a stranger.

    by jnww on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:52:43 PM PDT

  •  Another environmental sell out (8+ / 0-)

    So what's new here for the Obama administration.  They have been absolutely abysmal on the environment and civil liberties.  Please don't even comment that Romney will be worse.  That's not the point.  When exactly do we get concerned about these sort of issues?

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 04:59:30 PM PDT

    •  "Sell out" indeed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WrathofHamster, Sunspots

      "When exactly do we get concerned about these sort of issues?" As you already know, We The People are quite concerned and have been for some time. But We The People are not the pollution billionaires ("pollutocrats") who own our politicians. Decisions are made by legislators and executive branch appointees who vote and decide based upon the largest and most recent bribes which they have collected from the lobbyists who give the orders.

      Keystone XL = $$$ for 0bama and Clinton and their fellow fat-cats. We will have it whether we like it or not, regardless of the environmental impact. Cheney-Bush vs. 0bama-Clinton? No difference. Exactly identical.

      •  When exactly does our elected officials get (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse, Sunspots

        concerned about these issues?  That's the "we" I mean.  Clearly, many of the people ARE concerned about these issues.  

        I am becoming more fatalistic about global warming all the time.  I think we are already screwed.  Probably time to face the nightmare and plan on how we will cope with world that will be several degrees warmer.

        "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

        by noofsh on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 05:50:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  there is no coping (0+ / 0-)

          that world will not be able to produce enough food. famine is what will happen. and war.

          and then add flooding, violent weather, disease, and so on ... we have to do what we can to avert the worst of it.

          I agree it is dispiriting to watch this president ignore the issue completely.

          An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

          by mightymouse on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 08:31:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Right now... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, WrathofHamster

      This is a problem. Which is why I hope serious democrats, who actually care about enacting good policy, realize we need to stay focused on reforming our own party.

      Beating back the nihilistic, Neanderthal republicans is a necessary 1st step but, no matter what some "overly-enthusiastic" supporters might say, not enough.

      The democrats, including President Obama(zOMG!) are part of the problem, on the environment, civil liberties, economic policy and more....

      Let The Wild Rumpus Begin!

      by dclawyer06 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 05:42:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  how do you suggest (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse, Sunspots

        that we reform our party when they automatically get our votes so long as they are at least 1 short inc to the left of the crazy republicans?

        •  Primaries. (0+ / 0-)

          I'm happy to elaborate if you need it.
          Primary them all, even if they're a woman, a civil rights hero, a fierce gay-rights advocate, a "reliable" progressive, etc.

          Primary their fuckin' asses.
          Next question?

          Let The Wild Rumpus Begin!

          by dclawyer06 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 07:02:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  i agree (0+ / 0-)

            that we should primary them, but I don't think that would be enough at this point, especially with long-term incumbents having such a huge advantage in many areas that it will not force them left.

            not to menIntion that the same people demanding that we vote for Dems like Obama no matter what in the general, also attacked anybody who called for a strong primary challenge.

            in the end, I think it will take both primaries AND willing to let Dems lose in the general elections in the short-run from lack of lefty voters, if we want to force them to move left, because that's the only way that their jobs will depend, in part, on the left.

    •  Without civil liberties, what's left? (0+ / 0-)

      Getting everything else we want/need depends on them.

      Without an environment ...

  •  Why'd it take til 5PM PDT to post this story? (nt) (0+ / 0-)

    "[President Obama] is right. Peace is hard. Unlike winning the Nobel Peace Prize, which is surprisingly easy." -- Stephen Colbert

    by just some lurker guy on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 05:10:53 PM PDT

    •  late night news dumps (0+ / 0-)

      even that doesn't change.  Bad news is always posted in the "back burner" so hopefully it won't be noticed.

      "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

      by noofsh on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 05:51:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So, what did Obama do in New Mexico, Nevada, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    in2mixin

    and Ohio?

    Or was this the only newsworthy part of the trip?

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 05:34:48 PM PDT

  •  Several thoughts on this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    in2mixin, TexasAlien

    One, no surprise here. He was always going to approve the pipeline. Too much political pressure from congress, the party and special interests to be able to not do so. He only delayed this decision because he didn't want to seem like he was doing the GOP or oil industry's bidding.

    Two, he is, obviously, doing the GOP and oil industry's bidding, as he has done on so many issues. This is what he does. This is who he is. It doesn't make him a terrible person or president, just a weak and reactive one. Which he is.

    Three, he is, nevertheless, still leagues better than anyone the GOP can send up or is likely to for years. Which is why I and everyone else here should vote for and support him. Not because we think he's the greatest president since FDR, but because he's better than any conceivable alternative. And such pragmatism is what politics is usually about.

    Obama has never been and likely never will be about truly transformative politics, which requires standing up to the power establishment and forcing change in ways that aren't easy or pleasant. That's not who he is. He's a progressive-leaning accomodationist, trying to enact the most progressive policies within the existing power structure without rocking the boat, not a transformer of that structure let alone a radical transformer. It may suck, it may not be what we want or need, but it's what we've got, and we have to go with it at the electoral level even as we fight it at the policy and political level.

    Some here may be ok with that, others merely reluctantly tolerant of it, for now, for pragmatic reasons. I'm in the latter camp.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 05:41:00 PM PDT

    •  actually Obama really believes in this stuff (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dewley notid, mightymouse, Sunspots

      Obama truly believes in the tar sands.  He also believes in fracking, offshore drilling and "clean coal".  I told people this would happen which is why I never was excited about the "temporary" keystone decision.  Basically, Obama is not much of an improvement from the GOP when it comes to environmental issues.  He's slightly better.  Takes a look to see if there are "gross problems" but he will rationalize away with the best of them.  It's sad that politicians just can't wrap their heads around the end of fossil fuel era.  It is coming to an abrupt close one way or the other.

      "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

      by noofsh on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 05:56:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think that any of us can truly get (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse

        inside his head. We're all just speculating. And to be honest, it's hard for me to believe, or at least grasp the idea, that someone as apparently as smart and well-educated as Obama could actually believe such things, as opposed to act like he believes them because he thinks that it's smart to do this politically to buy some time while he slowly tries to implement a longer-term agenda, or that he really has no choice politically (whether or not he's trying to implement a longer-term agenda), because he and his party would be creamed if he didn't.

        Of course, he, and they, DID get creamed in 2010, by going for a cautious, thread the needle, kiss the power and money establishment, fake bipartisan, little bit of this little bit of that, don't rock the boat, centrist triangulation approach. So you'd think that there was a lesson to be learned there. Or not.

        Perhaps he's not as smart as we'd like to believe. Smart, sure, but not brilliant smart, just very clever and talented at the persuasive arts. Or perhaps he's just weak, verging on cowardly (and if I get HRed for that I swear). Or perhaps he just doesn't care so long as he and his are doing ok and get praised for being "pragmatic" until he can hand it off to the next sucker/slickster.

        Or maybe he's just convinced himself of things that deep down he knows are bullshit, because it's just easier and safer this way.

        Which it is. For him. For now.

        Ah, I don't know. Just spittballing here. Something about sausage-making.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 07:27:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Saying he's doing their bidding on this... (0+ / 0-)

      ...does somewhat absolve him.  I think it's less that he's just doing what they want and more that this is what he wants.  I think he thinks that the approriate path is one of quote-unquote balance, i.e. do something environmentally good and something environmentally bad and it's by definition all good.  So that means in order to get him to promote green energy, he'll also promote toxic energy.

      •  Which of course is just silly, in terms of energy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse

        policy, but perhaps unavoidable--or at least easier--politically.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 07:28:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yeah. (0+ / 0-)

          alternative energy LOSES when nat gas is so cheap.

          we need a price on carbon to make renewables and conservation more competitive.

          An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

          by mightymouse on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 08:33:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Obama would have been great at marketing (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mightymouse

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:03:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  marketing what, exactly? (0+ / 0-)

              I thought his manner and speech-making ability would be a wonderful thing for us. But very rarely are they used for any good purpose.

              An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

              by mightymouse on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:07:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Products that we're made to think we need (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mightymouse

                but actually don't, or need, but not in the form and to the extent that we're made to think we need them. Obama is a marketer and salesman above all else. In many ways that's what a law review editor, professor and community organizer do--win people over and "sell" them on things that they might not otherwise buy. None of which is bad or wrong, in and of themselves, so long as the "product" being sold comes first and is of genuine value.

                Where's the value in authorizing this pipeline? A lot of temporary jobs and a number of permanent ones? Extra tax revenue? More votes? Perhaps. But at what price, environmentally, and even politically? By validating the GOP's emphasis on promoting fossil fuels for short-term political gain (if that), he's only making it harder to move us off fossil fuels, and empowering them.

                I suspect that he knows this. He just doesn't have the will to do something more gutsy or imaginative, like most people who go into marketing, which is a field of illusion, not substance. But he's the best we've got right now so what are you going to do. (And it's not too soon to start thinking about 2016.)

                "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                by kovie on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 09:33:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Obama rolls over for big oil AND pisses them off. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WrathofHamster, TexasAlien, Sunspots

    Ignoring the bad for US, bad for national security, bad for the environment aspect of Obama's decision to go ahead with the Koch brothers pipeline to ship deadly Canadian tar sands oil to China via US, it seems to be a politically inept decision.

    Obama manages to create a lose-lose political situation for himself.

    Had he approved the pipeline at the get go instead of his piecemeal approach he would have undercut GOP and big oil's attacks on him over the pipeline. Instead they use it as a campaign issue to rally the right wing anti-American fossil fuel fans.

    American energy patriots, environmentalists, scientists are also, rightfully, angry at Obama for making a decision that is bad for the US and bad for the environment.  Shedding liberal and moderate voters who know more BP oil blowouts, at sea or in Kansas, will do nothing to help US fix its energy inefficiency problems and will do a lot to damage US and damage the environment.

    Obama should have picked a side from the beginning, Koch brothers and big oil or US national security and environment. Instead he rolls over for big oil after they beat him down and pisses off the liberals and moderate anti-oil, pro-environment, pro-nationals security voters at the same time.

    Reminds people of his health care reform failure, cutting a secret deal with the drug lobby to keep US health care costs while claiming to be for health care reform.  He ended up pissing off the drug lobby and health care reformers and he never passed meaningful health care reform as Kaiser Family Foundation/OHSU study showed with US health insurance costs to equal avg. family income in 15 years.

    •  Just like his willingness to put SS and Medicare (4+ / 0-)

      on the table during the quixotic Grand Compromise negotiations.     His willingness to sacrifice the interests of key Democratic constituencies amazes me.    Perhaps there should be a thread dedicated to wagers on the next multi - dimensional capitulation.

      This policy is disastrous for the environment in so many ways, both locally in the extraction and processing and in the shipment to port for export, and globally in its effects on climate change.    The biosphere mourns.

  •  Keystone (0+ / 0-)

    Can someone outline what Obama actually approved and was Keystone going to happen without his approval?  All of the anti-Obama folks that I know claims that this was nothing but PR because Keystone was going to happen anyway....

  •  Refinery (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marty marty, Sunspots

    Would it be cheaper to build a refinery in Canada?
    They have coast lines as well as us, why not?
    We don't have capacity here the way oil companies tell it anyways. They always shut one down for "maintenance" just before holidays to cover the gouging.

    F*ck those idiots and the voters they rode in on.

    by roninkai on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 06:24:58 PM PDT

  •  Obama had no choice - yes, that's (0+ / 0-)

    my position. The energy combine rules and if Obama opposed them they would kill him, it that simple. Besides the so-called majority wants more drilling and the pipe line - even thought a real majority of Americans know that the pipeline and drilling will never bring  down the price.

     We are in the last stage in the age of oil, which we entered in 1973 - with the political oil embargo. The oil combine believes they can keep us hooked for another 30 years while they exploit & control  the next energy source for individual transport vehicles (cars), all the while generating  massive profits. But the dilemna is the conflict between the automobile myth and the automobile reality. Energy and vehicle requirements will define the future and what it says about America. The truck /suv that can do the thousand mile 'cattle-drive' vs. the average 2-occupant/20-mpd commute/errand shuttle.

    What is sad - apart from the possible/and actual environment damage the increased drilling and pipeline will do is how the oil combine will keep the typical American gasoline-auto bound for another 20 years. They will fight the infrastructure spending needed to create solutions while keeping a significant portion of Americans in economic poverty financing their driving.

    Obama's contradiction is How do you show Americans what's in their best interest when they're low-information/unintelligent folks prone to believing myths. Stick their nose in the shit until they can smell it.

  •  As a landowner in the path of X(tra) L(eaky) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agathena

    it's sad to see Obama cave-figured he'd wait 'till after the election. The Nebraska Legislators seem to enjoy their new TC cheerleader outfits, hope the Prez does too.

    One upside here in Nebraska: this issue demolishes party distinctions and creates unusual allies. Just might lead to a rebirth of sanity and people power in this state.

    An old boy can dream, can't he?

  •  Climate change (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Agathena, dirtfarmer

    I remember reading an article in Rolling Stone sometime within the last year referring to the Tar Sands as a "Carbon Bomb". I understand all of the bad effects this pipeline will bring to the citizens around it, but tapping into this energy source is terrible for all of mankind.

    Not paying any attention to the climate change aspects of such actions is just stupid and it's appalling that the president falls in line with those who declare "war on science" at every turn.

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