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About 600 protesters appeared in San Francisco outside the State Department branch offices
Monday night as part of a nationwide, 280-city protest of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Steven Chu, the former secretary of Energy, told the Oil & Gas Journal Monday that the decision on the Keystone XL pipeline is a political one:
“I don’t have a position on whether the Keystone Pipeline should be built. That is for the secretary of State and the president. But I will say that the decision on whether the construction should happen was a political one and not a scientific one.”
Chu later adjusted that comment a bit:
Chu said, “[My] entire statement should include that the studies looking into what are the long-term effects are in fact scientific and that is the only scientific part of the decision.”
Welcome to another round of the murk with which much of the Keystone XL debate has been immersed for the past five years.

Please read below the fold for more on the pipeline.

Chu's assessment of the political nature of the coming decision on the tar sands pipeline is not exactly news. Of course, the thumbs up or down on Keystone XL is a political one.

Pipeline builder TransCanada didn't boost its expenses for lobbying in 2013 for scientific reasons.

Giants like Koch Industries, Exxon Mobil and other energy oligarchs haven't spread their pipeline propaganda and campaign largesse because of devotion to scientific principles.

Senators and representatives haven't sought (unsuccessfully) to take away President Obama's authority to make this decision because they have any clue about how to count carbon emissions. Indeed, a large number of those elected politicians refuse to accept the scientific findings that make Keystone XL a no-go: climate change science.

To all but boneheads, climate science makes clear what continuing to extract and burn fossil fuels have in store for us. The climate chaos we're now seeing that scientists have been predicting would be caused by global warming will be far worse in the future unless we quickly ramp down fossil fuel use starting with the dirtiest fuels first.

Keep digging this stuff up and putting a flame to it and all those impacts we've been informed about will be enhanced—from the rise of temperatures to the rise of the seas, from the wiping out of whole species to the destruction of whole cultures, from heavier than normal snows to worse-than-historically-encountered droughts, from the creation of vast numbers of climate refugees to the generation of resource wars. A decidedly unpleasant world. Even the lucky few with piles of money to shield them from some of the effects will not escape unscathed.

The argument that has emerged in the wake of Friday's release of the State Department's supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) is not new. It's all about whether building the pipeline will make things worse than if it weren't built. That is the standard President Obama committed to in his June climate speech. A standard that an administration official reiterated on Monday. To wit:

"The President clearly stated in his speech at Georgetown in June that 'national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.' That’s the exact same standard we’ve reiterated ever since—it hasn’t changed," the official said.
The SEIS states that the difference between not building Keystone XL and building it would not significantly boost carbon emissions into our already overburdened atmosphere. The authors' argument behind this conclusion is that other means of transporting the bitumen from the tar sands—notably railroads—will replace Keystone XL if it is rejected. And thus the tar sands will be extracted at just as fast a pace as before.

One big problem with this theory. TransCanada CEO Russ Girling, president and CEO of Statoil Steve Tungesvik, CEO of Cenovus Energy Inc. Brian Ferguson and the International Energy Agency all have said that Keystone XL is crucial to rapid, expanded development of the tar sands.

Canada's Environment Minister Joe Oliver said (to Greenwire, subscription required) last August:

“In order for crude oil production to grow, the North American pipeline network must be expanded through initiative, such as the Keystone XL Pipeline project.”
Are they all bluffing? Do they not mean it when they say Keystone is essential to expansion efforts?

Anthony Swift writes:

State’s environmental review found that tar sands are significantly more carbon intensive than conventional crude. In particular, State concluded that tar sands crudes are more carbon intensive than other heavy crudes and are 17 percent more carbon intensive on a lifecycle basis than the average barrel of crude oil refined in the United States in 2005. According to State, the tar sands in Keystone XL would have total emissions of up to 168 million metric tons CO2e—equivalent to the tailpipe emissions of 35 million passenger vehicles. Even when you consider the increased emissions from tar sands flowing  (over and above the emissions that would occur if the pipeline carried conventional oil), Keystone XL would add 27.4 million metric tons CO2e, equivalent to the tail pipe emissions of 5.7 million passenger vehicles.

Over Keystone XL’s projected 50 year lifetime, State estimates that Keystone XL’s increased greenhouse gas emissions could be as high as 1.4 billion metric tons of CO2e. Under the Administration’s Social Cost of Carbon guidance, these increased emissions from Keystone XL (over and above what would happen if the pipeline carried conventional oil) would generate up to $100 billion in costs.

That is the reality.

Of course, if alternative means for transportation can be substituted and an equal amount of tar sands petroleum can be moved without Keystone XL, then that massive carbon pollution would, indeed, happen anyway. And the State Department claims in the SEIS that this would be the case, with rail being a crucial factor. But its own accounting, plus the views of many in the oil industry, throw this conclusion into doubt.

Moving tar sands by rail to the Gulf Coast, the SEIS concedes, would cost $7 to $12 more per barrel than by Keystone XL. No small difference. One that fluctuating oil prices could make even larger. And as Swift points outs, State's claim 10 months ago in the Draft SEIS that 200,000 barrels a day of tar sands petroleum would be making it to the Gulf Coast in 2013 turned out actually to be 30,000 bpd. That's the kind of botched prediction that calls into question State's assumptions on a whole range of other matters in the SEIS.

As environmental advocates have quite rightly argued, the SEIS has given President Obama the information he needs to reject the pipeline once one gets past the flawed executive summary. Building Keystone XL will significantly increase carbon emissions because that means a more rapid development of the tar sands than not building it. All the science is there for the president to make the right political decision in this matter.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 12:56 PM PST.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks for keeping this up-front, MB (31+ / 0-)

    FishOutofWater has an excellent diary just now about a study published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Its about a particular type of carbon would move _in_directly into our air, water, and atmosphere and endanger our health.

    Please forgive the pimpage, but this is an important time to be well-versed in the science of KXL so we don't have to rely on the corporate media.

    "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

    by cotterperson on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 01:19:29 PM PST

    •  There is another political reality & it's ominous: (13+ / 0-)

      From a detailed, well sourced report last October by the International Forum on Globalization,

      Billionaires' Carbon Bomb - The Koch Brothers and the Keystone XL Pipeline (PDF), (emphasis below added by me):

      Koch Exploration Canada (KEC) is one of the two Koch subsidiaries at the core of the Kochs’ tar sands interests... Their current land holdings appear to be significantly larger than those of Chevron, Exxon and ConocoPhillips combined. Not one of these three leading American oil companies can rival the political-influence network of the Kochs.

      KEC’s potential profits due to KXL could easily reach
      $100 billion, more than the Kochs’ current combined
      net worth of $92B.
      These profits can be roughly projected by multiplying two key figures: 1) 15 billion
      barrels of recoverable, profitable-to-produce tar sands
      crude oil that KEC could have on its reported two
      million acres in Alberta’s tar sands territory; multiplied
      by 2) $15 gross profit from production per barrel due
      to KXL.

      Given the incredibly precarious state of our democracy thanks to our right-wing SCOTUS (a situation that Obama himself has decried), all of those additional billions make for an unlimited deluge of $$$$$$$ which will be poured into untold scores of phony foundations, think tanks, media outlets and election campaigns, all to spread disinformation, discredit science, and elect compliant, know-nothing, anti-regulation right-wing nut cases, who will forever work to stymie green energy, regulation, and all progressive legislation. As is already happening, the source of the funding will be carefully hidden.

      Dear President Obama: If you really care about your legacy, not to mention the future of this country, our civilization and our planet, you MUST NOT approve KXL. The people who voted for you did not elect you to approve such a monstrous, disastrous and unnecessary affront to everything you professed to stand for.

      And if you think caving on KXL would help elect Dems in 2014 and 2016, you are severely deluded. This would much more likely pave the road for electoral disaster. Especially if combined with fast-track passage of the TPP, your approval of KXL will contribute mightily to the demise of the party of FDR, the end of the middle class, and with that, the end of the American Dream.

      "We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few. But we can't have both." - Justice Louis Brandeis

      by flitedocnm on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 02:35:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson

      I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

      by Just Bob on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 03:24:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Public comments start tomorrow. (26+ / 0-)
       A 30-day public comment period begins on February 5, 2014 and will close on March 7, 2014. During this period, members of the public and other interested parties are encouraged to submit comments on the national interest determination to http://www.regulations.gov. Comments are not private and will be made public. Comments may also be mailed directly to:

        U.S. Department of State
        Bureau of Energy Resources, Room 4843
        Attn: Keystone XL Public Comments
        2201 C Street, NW
        Washington, DC 20520

    How can it possibly be in our national interest to even take the huge risk of more polluted water and air (both the basis for life itself)? More pipeline leaks and/or explosions? More deaths/pollution from moving dirty dilbit by rail??

    "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

    by cotterperson on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 01:22:36 PM PST

  •  For whatever reasons Ed Shultz is pro XL (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    La Gitane, 6412093

    I don't listen to him often and so hadn't heard his take on it before. I listen if I happen to be driving in the morning. IT's him or Limbaugh (or best choice music)

    Call ins were averaging about 110 anti to zero pro, XL. Ed got exasperated sometimes, some of the callers were more than concerned. I think the pipleline has been elevated to a kind of dog whistle to the left like Bengazi is to the right. "Koch brothers, tar sands, aquifers", all while I'm tooling down the snow covered roads in my 19mpg diesel.

    American public still resoundingly pro by latest Pew, even Dems, only us libs split less than 50/50.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 01:41:04 PM PST

    •  Do you know what a political dog-whistle is? (16+ / 0-)

      Here, I'll help you out: http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      Do you really think Keystone is fucking lefty code for something else, as Benghazi unmistakably is to the right?

      Both sides do it my ass. How very Villager of you.

      I think the pipleline has been elevated to a kind of dog whistle to the left like Bengazi is to the right.

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

      by PhilJD on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 01:57:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think that's a little harsh (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        marsanges, Eyesbright, ban nock

        ban nock is simply stating facts - that heavy opposition to the pipeline is almost exclusively on the far left.  I think your passionate response is evidence of that; a dog whistle is intended to invoke an emotional response.

        I have stayed on the sidelines of this issue, because I have seen my liberal friends go on the attack like this.  I have questions, and MB has done a very good job of addressing those questions in this diary.

        I don't want those tar sands extracted any more than you do, and I'm sure ban nock would agree.  My only concern was/is whether not building the pipeline would stop the extraction.

        If there is no pipeline, and say Canada builds one, and they export using dirty ships to dirty refineries in China, I don't think we're doing the world any favors.

        So, I would really appreciate it if we could get back to what we liberals do best - debating issues with science, fact and reality, as opposed to emotional reactions.

        "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

        by La Gitane on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 02:24:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  "evoke" - sorry... nt (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eyesbright, ban nock

          "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

          by La Gitane on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 02:25:19 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree. I don't think my response is either (15+ / 0-)

          harsh or "far left." I proudly plead guilty to being "far left" in most regards, but opposition to Keystone is a mainstream position among even quite moderate environmentalists.

          With a Democratic Administration in power, it should have been laughed out of the discussion years ago.

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

          by PhilJD on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 02:31:14 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  unless... (12+ / 0-)
            it should have been laughed out of the discussion years ago.
            the administration has supported it all along. exhibit a: the southern half of the pipeline is built.
          •  You said: (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hooper, cville townie, La Gitane, ModMark
            With a Democratic Administration in power, it should have been laughed out of the discussion years ago.
            I think this is tremendous understatement of what we're asking President Obama to do.   We're not asking for a small thing in requesting that KXL be turned down.   We are asking the President to make both a major national change for the nation and a significant personal change for the President's policy.

            What we're asking for is something unprecedented and difficult to do.   We're asking the President to consider the greenhouse gas emission consequences in his national interest  determination in making decisions about the importation of foreign hydrocarbon liquids from tar sands and whether the United States national interest is served by making the U.S. more dependent on high and higher greenhouse gas emission intensity hydrocarbon sources.

            A particular complicating factor is that KXL is not the first time the United States has authorized tar sands import pipeline.

            Another crucially important factor is that the United States isn't even close to beginning preparations for a cessation in the use of liquid hydrocarbon fuels.   And environmental organizations have not placed as first priorities what would have to happen in the United States transportation and energy sectors if cessation of the use of liquid hydrocarbon fuels were able to be achieved.  

            That we are not presently prepared for or moving toward  what would be needed for cessation of liquid hydrocarbon fuels as a nation is another complicating factor if you are asking President Obama to articulate a defensible position.

        •  Why do the tar sands companies want it? (9+ / 0-)

          If they can ship just as easily by rail, why do they want this pipeline?

          that heavy opposition to the pipeline is almost exclusively on the far left.
          Are you saying that science has a far left bias?

          "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- Sinclair Lewis

          by expatjourno on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 02:49:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I said nothing about why (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eyesbright

            the companies want it.  Of course they want it to increase production; that's obvious.

            I'm saying that polling has shown that the mainstream position is pro-pipeline; the majority of opposition is on the left.  Show me a poll that shows otherwise?

            I'm also saying that this is one issue that I hear many of my fellow liberals completely losing their shit over.  That's why I've stayed out of it because this is exactly what happens.

            Asking questions and responding with facts is how we do things around here, right?

            "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

            by La Gitane on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 02:58:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Increased profit ... (0+ / 0-)

            ... the transport costs are, pragmatically, $22 higher (the biased State Department environmental impact analysis says $6 higher, but that is not credible), and that is $22 taken straight from the profits of the production that is still viable at an increase of $22.

            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

            by BruceMcF on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:14:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  TransCanada wants it (0+ / 0-)

            since they are a pipeline company.

            Pipelines are cheaper and easier, just sit in a control room and redirect the flow in Exxon's tank farm feeding it's refinery.

            Rail is more flexible, it can reach markets like San Francisco

        •  Wrong. (10+ / 0-)

          "If there is no pipeline, and say Canada builds one, and they export using dirty ships to dirty refineries in China, I don't think we're doing the world any favors."

          If it is bad, then it is bad.  It won't matter whether we do it or someone else does--except that it will be our hands that are dirty.

          It's like saying we have to nuke Iran because someone else will do it anyway.  
          Silly nonsense.

          "Our problem is not that the glass is half empty or half full, but that the 1% claims that it is their glass." ---Stolen from a post on Daily Kos

          by jestbill on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 02:50:56 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No. It's nothing like that. (0+ / 0-)

            See - this is exactly what I'm talking about.  You guys are sounding like something out of RS.  Do you even realize that I am not an evil-right-wing-anti-environmentalist??  I don't want those tar sands out of the ground any more than you do.  But....

            If the net result is more pollution, then isn't that bad?

            All I'm saying is stop attacking people with illogical, emotional bullshit just because they ask a valid question:

            What happens if we don't build the pipeline?
            Meteor Blades, as usual, has done an excellent job responding intelligently to mine and others' questions in this diary; I suggest you follow his example.

            "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

            by La Gitane on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 03:04:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not looking to pick a fight. I don't respond (10+ / 0-)

              well to phrases like "far left" though... as if there even is such a thing in 21st century America. In a healthy body-politic, a politician like Bernie Sanders would be considered mildly left-of-center, akin to the Social Democrats in Europe.

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

              by PhilJD on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 03:40:59 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Fair enough (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PhilJD

                I guess I didn't mean it like that; but it is true that polling shows the opposition distinctly left of center, and mainstream is in favor of....

                And I totally agree with you - there is no such thing at the moment. The Overton Window needs to swing back our way, and I believe that it has already started....

                "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

                by La Gitane on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 04:13:02 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  "distinctly left of center" (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  triv33

                  I defy anyone to give that phrase a meaningful definition.  Is it a surprise that those opposing the pipeline are on the left?  Hell, there's where the environmentalists come from, the left.  Before this site became right wing, it used to be on the left, and the environment used to be a big topic.  Oh, but now it is the "far left", which I think means those not under Obama hypnotic spell.

                  What I see are a lot of excuses for not sticking to principle, excuses wrapped in a reasonable sounding facade:  talk of the "far left", of polls, of Obama's limitations, of resignation to the fact that it's going to happen anyway, blah blah blah.  One would think that we were discussing some less important than the preservation of a liveable planet.

                  Secrecy is a hot bed of vanity. - Joseph Brodsky They who have put out the people’s eyes reproach them for their blindness. – John Milton 1642

                  by geomoo on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 08:26:00 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Unreal. (0+ / 0-)

                    I just asked a FUCKING QUESTION.

                    No wonder you guys are having so much success.

                    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

                    by La Gitane on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 12:54:24 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  AND what a surprise... (0+ / 0-)

                    Unwittingly I have been dragged into an Obama sux/rox debate.

                    I should have known - had the meta stench all over it.

                    For your information I am not a huge fan of Obama. I am a socialist. I am also an architect who specializes in sustainability. So there's a good chance that I have done more things in my daily life that actually do improve the environment, then a bunch of self-righteous hotheads throwing meaningless slogans around that everyone ignores because you sound crazy.

                    When I do something for the environment, I do my best to learn what its true impacts are. Sometimes you would be amazed to learn that what you thought was sustainable is actually worse than the traditional method. It does the environment no good what so ever to advocate for solutions that may make the problems worse.

                    And it does you people no good to shit on people who are on your side but just want some solid answers.

                    Jesus Christ. This is the first time I've been sucked into something like this and it will be the last.

                    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

                    by La Gitane on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 01:04:11 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  That is more a consequence of the ... (0+ / 0-)

                  ... information sensorium in the United States ... given hard right wing biased media sources from the six corporations that dominate mass media, expressed opinion based on that massive onslaught of propaganda will, of course, be to the right of the normal position in countries that are not as heavily under the thumb of large transnational corporate sources of information.

                  Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                  by BruceMcF on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:20:36 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  "No. It's nothing like that." (9+ / 0-)

              Yes, it is exactly like that.

              This is not a case of the lesser of two evils.  This is a case of "It should not be done."  
              The fact that someone else MIGHT SOMEDAY rob a bank does not justify my doing it today.

              "What happens if we don't build the pipeline?"  Well then, we don't build the pipeline.  We don't damage our own groundwater.  We don't carve out a right-of-way across the center of the country.  
              We don't abet the crime.

              "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes
              Arrogance knows neither.

              "Our problem is not that the glass is half empty or half full, but that the 1% claims that it is their glass." ---Stolen from a post on Daily Kos

              by jestbill on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 04:12:35 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wow. (0+ / 0-)

                Where the hell do you get "arrogance" from anything that I have said?

                "Well then, don't build the pipeline" - What are you? A pouty teenager?

                The fact is that you don't know.  What if Canada builds one?  Then ships - that use a lot of fuel - ship it all the way across the goddamned Pacific Ocean to be refined in unregulated China, where people can't see or breathe the way it is.

                Is that better for your self-righteous self?  "Oh, at least it's not OUR FAULT..."  Yeah, well, yes it would be.  Drive a car much?  Use plastic?  Walk on carpets?  EAT FOOD?  I guess that, even though we consume more oil per capita than any country in the world, it's okay to dirty someone else's country with it, right?

                We are all in this together, and the world will not magically become cleaner or better by doing things because it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and not guilty and stuff...

                As I've said - AND PARDON ME IF I SHOUT BECAUSE APPARENTLY YOU DIDN'T HEAR IT THE FIRST FOUR TIMES I SAID IT:

                I AM AGAINST THE TAR SANDS.

                All I'm asking is, if the pipeline isn't built, what happens to them?  And I sure as hell don't appreciate being called names just for asking a fucking question.

                Jesus christ - DBAD.

                "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

                by La Gitane on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 04:27:41 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You're not against the Tar Sands. You're (3+ / 1-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SpecialKinFlag, Nada Lemming, triv33
                  Hidden by:
                  Eyesbright

                  laying ground work to defend what you think is likely to be the Presidents decision to green light the pipeline.

                  We're not obligated to play along like gullible dolts.

                  By refusing to do so, we're not treating you unfairly.

                  You need to find a place with slower people to dupe, or you need to seriously up your game.  But don't get mad at us when you fail.

                  "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

                  by JesseCW on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 05:30:03 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  HR'd for DBAD n/t (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    La Gitane

                    They don't win until we quit fighting!

                    by Eyesbright on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 05:52:26 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  "Being a dick" is advancing disengenous (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      triv33

                      right wing talking points in defense of the destruction of the biosphere for profit, in a patented Bill O'Reilly "I'm just asking?" fashion.

                      Not calling fuckers out on it.

                      "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

                      by JesseCW on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 08:03:57 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Thank you Eyesbright (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Eyesbright

                      After all my time here on DKos, I've never been accused of being a right wing plant or compared to Bill O'Reilly. I think I've proven over time my liberal and environmental bona fides.

                      I appreciate someone sticking up for me.

                      "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

                      by La Gitane on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 12:48:14 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  I am doing no such thing (0+ / 0-)

                    I asked a question.

                    You couldn't answer it.

                    So you chose to insult me and be a self righteous dick instead.

                    Good night and grow up. This is no way to advance an argument if you want to be taken seriously.

                    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

                    by La Gitane on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 12:45:54 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  But we have the analysis ... (0+ / 0-)

                  ... and the analysis says that that will cost more than the Keystone XL. Therefore, it follows directly that it will be more costly to bring tar sands production to a halt given the Keystone XL than it will be given the pipeline to China tankers than it will be to bring tar sands production.

                  The Keystone XL pipeline is the scenario which makes it costliest to halt production of tar sands oil. That's what the analysis says. So the economic impact of the Keystone XL, if we presume that the United States ever adopts policies to defend itself from destruction, is necessarily negative.

                  Arguments over how much extra cost it imposes are quibbling, since given a negative economic impact, there is no reason to permit it.

                  Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

                  by BruceMcF on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:23:28 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  "You guys are sounding like something out of (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SpecialKinFlag, Nada Lemming, triv33

              Rolling Stone".

              Sad thing is, you honestly prolly' think that was an insult rather than a massive compliment.

              "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

              by JesseCW on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 05:28:10 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Also, building a pipeline and ... (0+ / 0-)

            ... then shipping by sea to China is still more expensive than the Keystone XL, so the carbon tax required to take the tar sands production out of production under that scenario is lower than the carbon tax required to take the tar sands out of production under the Keystone XL scenario.

            There is no scenario in which the Keystone XL does not increase the carbon price required to squelch tar sands production, and not allowing the production of any source as CO2 intensive as tar sands is required for the continued survival of the United States to be feasible. So any non-treasonous analysis by the State Department, which logically has to include the possibility of the United States defending itself from runaway climate change, has to be based on how the construction of the pipeline increases the cost of preventing tar sands oil from being produced.

            Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

            by BruceMcF on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:18:51 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  well ya, exactly, like the way you responded to (1+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        La Gitane
        Hidden by:
        Nada Lemming

        my comment.

        Lots of "fucking" and calling my comment "villager" and lots of recs for the fucking and villager and not much substance. Rush would love to hear from you.

        Keystone, Benghazi, Birth Certificate.

        “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

        by ban nock on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 07:07:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  hr (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PhilJD, triv33, poligirl

          For asshatery and projection.  

          "It rubs the lotion on its skin" is not effective coalition building.

          by Nada Lemming on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 07:46:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Rec'd for the comparisons (0+ / 0-)

          To Benghazi and birth certificate.

          I guess Keystone is now the liberal CT/litmus test.

          Anyone who has questions is automatically branded a right-wing Obama-loving traitor.

          This is exactly why I have stayed away from this debate. And this is exactly why this issue is losing in the polls.

          "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

          by La Gitane on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 01:24:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  "Benghazi" is rightwing code (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          triv33, poligirl, TheMomCat, Nada Lemming

          for "Muslim Kenyan socialist." It's properly described as a dog-whistle, because none of those descriptors have much to do with Barack Obama.

          What is "Keystone" code for? The items on your list, "Koch brothers, tar sands, aquifers," are all legitimately associated in the real world with Keystone.

          It's a bogus comparison. "Both sides do it" is an entirely fair and apt description of your comment. That's quintessential Village-speak.

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

          by PhilJD on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 06:23:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  you respond to the whistle and you don't even know (0+ / 0-)

            why. Pavlov.

            I call you folks the "left village" insular doesn't begin to describe it.

            “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

            by ban nock on Thu Feb 06, 2014 at 01:44:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  For whatever reason? Here's the reason: (3+ / 0-)

      $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
      $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
      $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
      $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
      $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
      $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
      $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
      $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
      $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
      $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
      $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
      $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
      $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
      $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

      And don't forget that MSNBC is related to or directly owned by GE. SO you don't find too many anti nuke comments out of the mouths of Talking Heads there either. (Even though GE plant in Fukushima is the source of that catastrophe. With 24 similar nuke plant models here in the USA.)

      •  In this case, I think Schultz is more... (4+ / 0-)

        ...in support from the working-class end of things and taking the stance of some unions regarding the pipeline as opposed to suddenly siding with Exxon, the Kochs and TransCanada.

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

        by Meteor Blades on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 02:28:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Probably so, but (5+ / 0-)

          the number of jobs that will be created has been wildly exagerated.  In context elsewhere today, I just started re-researching this morning to see what I could find in the way of non-biased, expert reports on those jobs.  I need to spend more time searching on DK and I haven't finished that yet but here's one article that I've bookmarked so far:

          Just How Many Jobs Would The Keystone Pipeline Create?
          http://www.npr.org/...

          NPR tries to give both sides of the discussion but the reason I bookmarked it is the authoritative cite:  a 40-page research paper from Cornell University's Global Labor Institute.  

          The jobs are temporary during the actual construction only and quite a few are auxiliary at substantially lower pay (restaurants, gas stations, etc.).

          I'd like to find the article I read somewhere that estimates permanent jobs created as 50 - 60.  

          They don't win until we quit fighting!

          by Eyesbright on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 04:20:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  "Keystone XL pipeline job numbers in context" (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            La Gitane, BruceMcF

            The article gives the definition of "person-years" (and that "3,950" number reflects two years) but here are the key quotes:

            The construction of Keystone XL, which would generate 3,950 person-years of work according to the U.S. Department of State, has a job creation potential on par with building a shopping mall or the campus renovations the University of Oregon announced last week.

            Moreover, after it's built, Keystone XL will only employ between 35 and 50 people — and some of those positions will be filled in Canada. That's a small fraction of the long-term employment benefits one could expect from a shopping mall.

            http://www.livescience.com/...

            They don't win until we quit fighting!

            by Eyesbright on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 06:13:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Because 35 jobs will change America? (0+ / 0-)

          I think Ed Shultz is of whatever opinion his bosses want him to be this week.

          "I read New republic and Nation/I've learned to take every view.." P. Ochs

          by JesseCW on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 05:30:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  As you may know, the claim that many... (0+ / 0-)

            ...people (including some unions) have been taken in by is that there are more jobs being created than that. Personally, I don't ever watch Schultz; I don't care for his approach and I often disagree with him. But he does have a record since his switch from the right to somewhere around the center for sticking up for working-class people.

            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 Feb 05, 2014 at 12:49:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I totally disagree with you, MB. (0+ / 0-)

          I heard his opening for his show today.  

          I think Schultz is more in support from the working-class end of things and taking the stance of some unions regarding the pipeline as opposed to suddenly siding with Exxon, the Kochs and TransCanada.
          He basically said we need this because we don't have any other energy choices, period.

          Dallasdoc: "Snowden is the natural successor to Osama bin Laden as the most consequential person in the world, as his actions have the potential to undo those taken in response to Osama."

          by gooderservice on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 05:39:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  There is also the point that ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Meteor Blades

          ... Ed Schultz is against the administration on the TPP, and there seems to be only so much opposition to administration policies tolerated from each MSNBC host.

          Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

          by BruceMcF on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:24:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  It's easy to understand (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilJD, Egalitare, Glen The Plumber

      He's from the region where the oil shales are being extracted and Keystone XL will help them, too.  He's looking at the situation as a regional economic issue and not on a national or planetary scale.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 02:25:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The reason that the Keystone XL has ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... been elevated to such a place on the left is that not wanting the United States to be destroyed by runaway climate change is something that readily unites the radical left, the left, and the center-left.

      It is also useful because it easily distinguishes actual progressives from those adopting a policy in line with the White House that a slower suicide is superior to a faster suicide, and "because of the opposition of the radical reactionaries", all we can do is choose the speed of the suicide and collapse of the United States as a subcontinental human society and economy. After all, this is a decision that can be made be executive decision alone, based on legislation already passed, and which can be defended by the veto pen and a sufficient blocking minority against an over-ride in both the Senate and House.

      Support Lesbian Creative Works with Yuri anime and manga from ALC Publishing

      by BruceMcF on Wed Feb 05, 2014 at 10:11:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  if you understand climate change it isn't (4+ / 0-)

    Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. --Edward Abbey

    by greenbastard on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 01:51:50 PM PST

  •  Analysis has gaping hole (7+ / 0-)

    Look at page 1.4-103 of the Market Supplement to the SEIS.  Obama's whole determination would have to rest on this completely speculative assumption - that there will  be a sudden and dramatic increase in rail capacity starting in 2020 - to conclude that the pipeline will have no impact on whether the tar sands are developed.

    This is pure speculation - there is no basis on which to make these claims about rail transport. This report was written by the TransCanada lobbyists, for the TransCanada lobbyists.

    "Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist."

    by oregonj on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 01:56:39 PM PST

  •  its already a done deal (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EliseMattu, Puddytat, expatjourno

    the 1% have obama's ear and he is only going through the motions so he doesn't completely alienate the left or i should say alienate them anymore than he already has if that's possible.
    america is a one party country right and far right with no end in sight.

    save america defeat all republicans and conservatives

  •  interesting (7+ / 0-)
    But I will say that the decision on whether the construction should happen was a political one and not a scientific one.
    past tense. as in the decision already has been made. and perhaps was made before he left the cabinet.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 01:58:27 PM PST

  •  The Koch's get what they want. (0+ / 0-)

    The XL WILL be built.  

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 01:58:41 PM PST

  •  no one thinks this is a good idea (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilJD, JesseCW

    what would the Nazis do?

    by Krush on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 02:03:25 PM PST

    •  I wish I shared your optimism, but in that case, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Krush, JesseCW, gooderservice

      why is it so damn close to happening? Why wasn't it laughed out of the discussion years ago?

      Maybe a more plausible statement is that no one even mildly left-of-center thinks this is a good idea.

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

      by PhilJD on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 02:08:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The thing that really chaps my hide is... (10+ / 0-)

    the fact that the Canadians have already told these people that they don't want this turkey in their backyard.  They told them "get the Americans to let you build it.  They can't say no."

    You will note that the Bill of Rights is now apparently a Bill of Concerns. Charles Pierce, Esquire Magazine Feb 2014

    by spritegeezer on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 02:04:17 PM PST

    •  The ugliest thing, the strip mine, is in Canada (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      La Gitane

      A pipeline isn't that much of a nuisance, unless it leaks.  Those piles of petcoke are dusty and stinky, it seems, so you wouldn't want the refineries in your back yard either.  

      We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

      by david78209 on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 02:48:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It was always going to be a political decision. (0+ / 0-)

    The question was: which constituency would you make unhappy?

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 02:16:45 PM PST

  •  They might not mean it when they say (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    La Gitane, JesseCW

    Keystone was essential for expansion.

    This is politics, after all.
    People say a lot of things they don't mean.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 02:18:27 PM PST

  •  Yes it is a political one. (4+ / 0-)

    Too many decisions are political and not scientific. That's why we keep trashing our environment. Rather, that's why we keep shitting where people eat -- people who don't have political power.

    The narrative has treated everything environmental as a belief system. That way, it can be a political thing. But the environment doesn't give a damn what anyone believes.

    "Broccoli could take down a government. Broccoli is revolutionary." --Kris Carr

    by rb137 on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 02:19:30 PM PST

  •  I hope Obama rejects it. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, Eyesbright

    He has no political loss from rejecting it. I suspect he'll 'table' it rather than outright reject it though.

    Is the Canadian gov anywhere on this? Any diaries or articles on how they might be leaning on the US?

    While you dream of Utopia, we're here on Earth, getting things done.

    by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 02:24:15 PM PST

    •  framing... (0+ / 0-)

      In framing his announcement, President Obama should say, "If you, Mr. or Ms. Average American had exactly the same resource, in the same amount, in your backyard, would you expect that the United States would bend over backward to accommodate you, even though only you and the refineries of your choice would realize billions in profits while the rest of the country (and the world) would be facing risks and getting no rewards?   Would you expect your neighbors to roll over, allowing you to build a pipeline across their front lawns so that you, and not they, could reap billions?   Of course not!  

      The only reason this preposterous idea has been under consideration for so long is that the Koch brothers, with their billions of dollars, have been able to buy studies that suggest that an outrageous project like this would somehow be of benefit to everyone.  It wouldn't!  You know it, I know it, and even the och brothers and the refineries know it.  

      The U.S. is not about to take enormous risks for anyone else, so, absolutely, it will not risk everything for the Koch brothers and a handful of refineries that are already enriching themselves by claiming that America's resources belong solely to them.

      And in addition, considering the track record of BP and the other oil companies, it is both unreasonable and unconscionable of the Kochs and the refineries to even suggest such nonsense!  

    •  I just happen to know of two (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilJD, GoGoGoEverton

      I'm sure there are plenty but since I wrote these, they were easy to find.

      Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister wants answer on Keystone XL Now!

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      "Canada is the dirty old man of the climate world."

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      They don't win until we quit fighting!

      by Eyesbright on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 04:30:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Steve Chu Said: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber
    Chu said, “[My] entire statement should include that the studies looking into what are the long-term effects are in fact scientific and that is the only scientific part of the decision.”
    What I don't have clear from this statement was what "studies" Steve Chu was referring to....   was he referring to Department of Energy comments or review, or to the Dept of State's review, or EPA's SEIS comments,  or was he referring to all federal agency reviews?  

    Is Steve Chu's comment either intended to or is it construed or understood as a defense of the Department of State contractor ERM?   In other words, is this Steve Chu saying what ERM did for State scientifically defensible, or does the statement mean something else entirely?

  •  Chu Adds to Mountain of Shit Re Keystone. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright

    Nuclear Reactor = Dirty Bomb

    by olo on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 02:26:10 PM PST

    •  If Chu has "no position" then WTF was he ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      ...doing in the Energy Dept.
      He just said “I don’t have a position on whether the Keystone Pipeline should be built."
      If that's true then he is incompetent beyond belief.

      What he is saying in effect is, Sen. Inhofe, serious contender for dumbest congress critter of all time, is just as credible as all the climate scientists in the world, except a few on the grift.

      Nuclear Reactor = Dirty Bomb

      by olo on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 02:36:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The rich have the most to lose. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

    The coming climate catastrophe will mean the end of industrialization along with most of humanity. Their money won't save them because they will have nothing to buy with it, assuming the banking system even continues to function.

    The climate catastrophe is no more survivable than nuclear war.

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- Sinclair Lewis

    by expatjourno on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 02:40:13 PM PST

  •  Geesh. Had to turn off Big Ed. (5+ / 0-)

    He's pushing the Keystone XL.  WTH.

    paraphrasing, "It's not good for the right or the left, but let's do it anyway because Oil runs the show, and my sources say piping is safer than railing, so b'cuz."

    pfft.

    I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

    by KayCeSF on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 02:45:32 PM PST

  •  burning the tar sands oil is suicide (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW

    it will result in catastrophic climate change

    which means we can't do it unless we want to wreck civilization

    yet nobody in d.c. even mentions that

    not even the ones who know it

    why doesn't obama ask and answer that question directly and publicly?

    one simple question: what do our foremost climate scientists say the result will be if the tar sands oil is extracted and burned?

    global disaster

    so only an insane person would help expedite that result and i (president obama) won't do it

    moreover, i (president obama) will do everything in my considerable power to ensure that the tar sands oil is never extracted or burned

    in fact, i (president obama) have already placed calls to my counterparts around the world and i have requested an emergency climate change summit to ensure that the world's political leaders do not put the planet on a course of catastrophic global warming

    •  The climate scientists who said game over (0+ / 0-)
      what do our foremost climate scientists say the result will be if the tar sands oil is extracted and burned?
      James Hansen also called for an all out effort building nukes. That advise was ignore so don't be surprise if his advise on Keystone is ignored.
  •  Of Course it is Political (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber

     It is politics at the higher level.  What is best for the society.  Science informs what is best for the society, but in all cases science can not answer the question.  Science informs us on the effects of Marijuana, but it is a political decision whether if and how it is legal.  Science can inform, but science can not answer.

  •  Nobody dares claim stopping Keystone XL (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright

    will stop Canadian coal tar extraction.  Because the Canadians will wring every dollar out of their oil sands no matter what.   Of course they would prefer to ship it our to the world through America but if push comes to shove, they'll bull a pipeline through their own country.   People who think the Canadfians will back dowsn haven't read the papers recently.  Ottawa has just established an Arctic military command to protect their mineral (that is mainly petroleum) in the warming Acrtic regions.   Obama should in light of this turn down the pipeline.  Not because it will significantly effect global climate change, because it is incidental.  The reasons for America to stop the pipeline going south are 1) while Canadian oil can't reach the Gulf it is being sold to Midwest industries for 16% below world prices, and 2) the political squabbling over the pipeline weakens America's political atmosphere and it is better for the Canadians to suffer than Americans.  In the meantime American environmentalists should embrace Obama's conservation goals and even insist on more.   Because in the end the only thing that will keep oil in the ground is for demand to shrink.  

  •  I don't get Ed Schultz on this one (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gooderservice, Eyesbright

    Generally, I agree with him but I think he jumped the shark on the pipe line.

    first off this has nothing to do with us energy independence.  tar sands oil is likely to be exported.

    second, it will crate very few permanent jobs.

    third, it really is bad to encourage a rapid ramp up of the tar sands.

    Sorry Big Ed but this is a loser.

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

    by noofsh on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 05:10:55 PM PST

    •  He needs access to the White House and (0+ / 0-)

      certain Dems.   So supporting the Dems on this issue is supporting himself.  

      Dallasdoc: "Snowden is the natural successor to Osama bin Laden as the most consequential person in the world, as his actions have the potential to undo those taken in response to Osama."

      by gooderservice on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 05:31:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you like the "political decision" of Keystone.. (0+ / 0-)

    just wait till you get used to the same "political decision" BS blather spewed forth for the rationalization of the  Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.  That legislation will be fast tracked in the name of "National Security" or something like.

    Nobody in DC can make a decision based on the good for, and of the people, but rather the decisions are all political now:  "What's the downside if I vote this way, or that way for MY party?"

    "It's only the giving, that makes what you are." - Ian Anderson

    by LamontCranston on Tue Feb 04, 2014 at 05:32:19 PM PST

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