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For those dreamers who think that Obama's statement today means he will not approve the XL pipeline: prepare to be bitterly disappointed. He's going to approve it. He as much as said so.

The pre-speech press release indicated he was not going to touch on the subject of XL. Rather bizarre, right? His big climate speech, in which he wants to show that he is taking action on climate, and he isn't going to even touch on XL. What does that tell you?

What it tells me, below the jump. You may want a stiff drink.

But, you say, he DID touch on XL

".... if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution,”….

Well, since it was only carried on the Weather channel, he seems to have gotten the message that no one was paying any attention to him; because he wasn't going to do anything newsworthy. So, it seems, he decided he had to put out something sexy. Something XL. But do you really think Obama, on the day of his speech, made the decision to reject the pipeline? No, he didn't. But he knew that it was ridiculous to talk about ameliorating climate change without rejecting XL.

So at the last minute, he put in something that made it seem to progressives and scientists that he was going to reject it. Because these folks are totally committed to the idea that the tar sands are "game over" for halting climate change. They heard "exacerbate", when what he actually said was "...if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem."
   What's the difference, you ask?

It's very simple. "This project" is the just the pipeline. The pipeline is not the extraction of the bitumen. If you assume that the tar sands are going to be extracted one way or another, then the XL pipeline is the most efficient way to do it. Toss in a few carbon credits purchased by the pipeline company, and there you have it.

And notice that he said nothing about permanent jobs or about the dangers to our lands and water supply.

Obama is going to approve the pipeline, but the for the life of me I don't know why. I just don't understand it. I really don't. But the writing on the wall is quite clear. This will be his legacy, along with his drones used around the world, and his national security state. I have to say, if and when he does approve the pipeline, it will destroy not only his legacy, but possibly also whatever unity the Democratic Party can muster to counteract the evolving fascist state we find ourselves confronting.
Tell me I'm wrong. Convince me. Please.


What did Obama mean by "this project?"

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mythatsme, praenomen, Roadbed Guy, quill, corvo

    fouls, excesses and immoderate behavior are scored ZERO at Over the Line, Smokey!

    by seesdifferent on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 10:30:40 PM PDT

  •  he left himself an out (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund, corvo, sturunner

    interpret it as you will.

    I sing praises in the church of nonsense, but in my heart I'm still an atheist, demanding sense of all things.

    by jbou on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 10:33:02 PM PDT

  •  As One He Respects Said: "Trust But Verify" nt (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, Quicklund, PhilK, quill

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 10:37:22 PM PDT

    •  at this point it should be 'verify before trust' (0+ / 0-)

      Obama frequently uses weasely doublespeak language when talking about initiatives that he favors but knows are not popular. For example, his talk about 'strengthening' SS, when he really meant cuts.

      His speech, with the passing remark about KXL leaves the impression that he's trying to figure out a palatable way to sell a typically centrist energy policy that will make small but noticable climate improvements but still allow KXL to proceed.

      History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce - Karl Marx

      by quill on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 07:47:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't worry about it too much. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, quill

    It's just a speech.  

    "It's not my fault reality is marxist." - Che Guevara

    by Cassiodorus on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 10:42:45 PM PDT

  •  Yes it is going to be built. If not now,then later (6+ / 0-)

    The pipeline is just the means of transport and will not in itself worsen the problem. The tar sands development, refinement, and subsequent burning of the oil is the problem. Those who have pimped the idea that stopping the pipeline means stopping the development of tar sands have only themselves to blame for believing that nonsense.

    I believe none of us know what Obama's environmental legacy is going to be. For all we know it will be his backing of Tesla that will turn out to be the most impactful. There are also some clean energy investments of an unprecedented level that were in stimulus and we do not yet know how they all will turn out. For all we know now, it could be something he announced today that turns out to be far more successful than anyone anticipated. It could also be something he does in the next 3.5 years, we just don't know no matter how we feel about him.

    The transition to cleaner energy is going to take trillions of dollars and a change in culture. If people were expecting Obama, or any president to accomplish this alone, then shame on them. We, and the planet, don't have time for complainers.We need more hard workers willing to get and stay on the ground persuading, organizing and mobilizing while turning out the vote cycle after cycle after cycle. If you aren't in this for the long haul, then you are of no real use on the issue.

    The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

    by sebastianguy99 on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 11:06:58 PM PDT

    •  Wisdom. Some things are bigger than one man. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Quicklund, hooper, sebastianguy99

      "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

      by TheHalfrican on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 11:45:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Those who have pimped the idea that ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      willyr, quill, TJ

      ... stopping the pipeline means stopping the development of tar sands have only themselves to blame for believing that nonsense."

      The people "pimping" this idea include some of top leaders of the environmental movement, numerous senators, Canadian and other investors. Which makes this part of your comment I've quoted nonsense.

      According to a Goldman-Sachs financial report released early this month:

      The GS reportacknowledges rail may grow in the event that Keystone XL is not built but nowhere suggests that rail can replace pipeline capacity in full. It also forecasts very steep price discounts for Canadian bitumen blends (WCS) should pipelines to the Gulf Coast not materialize. It suggests that these would only partially be eased by a combination of rail transport and reduced bitumen production. These price discounts are
      steep enough to undermine a substantial proportion of currently proposed tar sands projects.

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

      by Meteor Blades on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 12:57:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You should really look into what the railroads (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        are actually doing, instead of continually believing consulting reports (from the likes of Goldman-Sachs to boot, YIKES!!).

        I have posted many links to that at this site, and they are willfully ignored, so I won't bother doing so again right now.

        In any event, the KXL is the equivalent of 10 trains a day.  The railroads can EASILY fill that gap in transportation capacity (and in fact have scaled up a KXL-level capacity to do so with the Bakken in just 18 months) especially in light of their reduced transport of  (btw, coal like bitumen is not pipeline friendly, but that didn't reduce its extraction on bit, only a slackening in demand did!)

        •  It only adds $20/barrel to their cost to use rail. (0+ / 0-)

          I didn't think it was so controversial to remind people of other means of transport, but it is. I think we self-sabotage when we encourage people to believe falsehoods.

          There are also other methods such as by truck and other routes including plans to ship via the Artic.

          I'm sorry, but there are no transport methods that do not endanger the environment or lives and Keystone XL is not the worst of the bunch.

          Changing the culture, reducing demand (which involves some trade-offs right now), is the only way to get companies and people to leave this stuff in the ground. Stopping Keystone XL-which would make me very happy-isn't going to save the planet and we do the issue a disservice if we do not acknowledge reality.

          The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

          by sebastianguy99 on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 03:53:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  they don't have to sell bitumen . . . (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, quill, FG

        A lot of Canadians don't want to sell bitumen.  Put few more upgraders in Alberta and the entire tar sands output gets delivered as syncrude or finished product.  That's how most tar sand production is handled now, and it's actually better for Canada in the long run.

        Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

        by Deward Hastings on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 07:11:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What exactly does "better for Canada" mean? (0+ / 0-)
          •  "value added" (0+ / 0-)

            beats simple resource extraction in almost all economies.  More jobs, more retained earnings, and an overall higher standard of living.  On a national level more favorable balance of payments, higher tax revenue, and overall greater independence of action.

            And regarding "climate change" overall Canada will benefit more (or at least suffer less) than a majority of other places.

            Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

            by Deward Hastings on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 09:44:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  To date, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The Big Orange blob on this graph - depicting the rebirth of US Petroleum production due to his refusal to put any brakes on fracking - represents his legacy.

      It is not a pretty picture!

      Like I've said before, he takes a few halting half steps forward hoping we won't notice the three giant leaps backwards he's taken in the meantime.

      •  Uh,fracking has been around since before his birth (0+ / 0-)

        It isn't something that came about as a result of his perceived indifference to the technique. Why wasn't it shut down in the 60 years before he took office? That would have been the best time to do along with banning the developing of tar sands which we've known about for an even longer time? These were strategic mistakes made by environmentalists who now want Obama to put the toothpaste back into the tube.

        ( is the time to start pushing for the banning of the development of methane hydrates. Let's not assume, as we did with tar sands, that development will never be feasible)

        I'm not a big fan of any POTUS telling a private citizen that s/he can't develop the resources on and below her/his property. We forget how much of the fracking takes place on private lands-including some owners who are Democrats. So exactly what steps some wanted him to take against private citizens I shudder to think.

        Congress is going to have to shut down the technique and I don't think we win that battle right now. Maybe later after much damage and destruction, but not now.

        Better to curtail demand or we will continue to fight hard battles while ensuring we lose the war.

        The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

        by sebastianguy99 on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 04:30:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Heck, my view... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is that not only is the pipeline, not the problem, but the tar sands aren't even the problem.  The problem is the consumption.  Ban the pipeline, new transport methods spring up in its place.  Ban the tar sands outright, different fields elsewhere in the world, each with their own problems, spring up in its place.  But stop a tar sands' worth of consumption through efficiency or alternative energy sources, and it's gone.  For good, and not just with consumption being diverted elsewhere.

      •  Yes, energy use is the key here and lots of people (0+ / 0-)

        ...are not yet in a place where they want to discuss the pros and cons of all energy sources. I too wish that we would switch to renewable fuels only, but I understand that we are far away from that day.

        I'm not sure that either the dirty energy companies or cleaner fuel advocates are ready to have a completely honest discussion about our energy sources, delivery, or uses.

        The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

        by sebastianguy99 on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 04:41:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Not just Pipeline & Extraction burning it too is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    now a consideration.

    "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Tue Jun 25, 2013 at 11:43:16 PM PDT

  •  Of course he'll approve it (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    praenomen, PhilK, corvo

    And to those who doubt it, please supply one instance where a major business interest didn't get its way in Washington.

    •  The F-20 fighter. The Supersonic Transport, the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FiredUpInCA, TheLizardKing

      examples are legion.

      There is a point in there but they way you expressed it leaves yourself wide open to rebuttal.

      •  Can you name an example of such a project (0+ / 0-)

        canceled by this Administration?

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 07:14:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Is there wiggle room in that statement? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, TheLizardKing

    Yes, lots.

    Does it make much sense to hint at cancelation, when the decision has been made to approve it?

    No, it doesn't. Hinting toward cancelation while knowing all along approval is in the cards is dumb. It pisses off both sides of the debate and makes one look wishy-washy. Why suffer all that when the easiest thing in the world - saying nothing - is so much less damaging.

    This has all the earmarks of a trial ballon sent up early to prepare the nation for the follow-up announcement. It is no guarantee that XL will be canceled, but it is a strong hint.

  •  Why not be bitterly disappointed right now, (0+ / 0-)

    it'd save so much time wasted feeling good in error?

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