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Keystone XL and tar sands oil are emissions-free wonders that will do everything good you ever thought possible.  (At least according to the American Petroleum Institute.)  Let's take a look at the organization that has been lobbying their heart out to get Keystone XL approved.

The environmental review process and the recent announcement by the State Department help reveal the behind-the-scenes work of the American Petroleum Institute.  This group is headed by Jack Gerard.  You know, the guy who used to head the National Mining Association and the American Chemistry Council.  (Chemicals, coal, oil, it's all the same to ol' Jack.)  Dig a little deeper and you find that API has been spying on environmental groups (okay, paying for "intel") and has a member-company giving environmental advice to the State Department.

In their report, the State Department did not say there will be no negative environmental impact from the Keystone XL pipeline, they just said that with or without the Keystone XL pipeline, emissions from tar sands oil were going to happen.  Sad but probably true.  Share, comment and let people know what's going on and who is behind the drive for the pipeline by sending this cartoon around the Internets.  And remember, you can find out more about the news behind this cartoon here on my website.

[soothing, confident female corporate voice]

We're innovation.  We're jobs.  We're American.

We're the American Petroleum Institute, and we're your best friends.

We're pleased to announce the State Department reported no significant greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the Keystone XL pipeline.

Because, like it or not, more tar sands oil is on the way.

Sometimes a pipe, is just a pipe.

Under the leadership of our CEO, Jack Gerard, we made sure the State Department hired a member of our organization to help conduct the environmental review . . .

. . . A member who has previously worked for the very company who wants to build the beautiful and necessary pipeline they're reviewing!

We at API have spent the most we ever have on lobbying, and it's paying off:  With global warming confusion and a long-term commitment to fossil fuels.

But just to be sure, we've also been spending to spy on environmentalists.  

Because you can buy peace of mind.

Jack Gerard is confident that after Obama's full-throated endorsement of natural gas, he'll soon give a fuller-throated endorsement of oil.

[Gerard:  He'll be gargling oil for breakfast, if he knows what's good for him!]

We're almost there, thanks to the American Petroleum Institute.

Soon, the Keystone XL pipeline will be delivering clean, emissions-free tar sands oil that will do everything good you ever thought possible.

Leave the worrying about oil spills, eminent domain and carbon footprints to those unstable farmers, homeowners and hippies.

Real Americans will sit back, relax . . . and do what we tell you to do.

[endslate:  "Build the Keystone XL.  Now, dammit.  Paid for by the American Petroleum Institute.]

Originally posted to Comics on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 06:50 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And we are old men (4+ / 0-)

    so we don't really care what happens to the Earth after we enjoy our own personal lavish senior extravaganza.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 06:55:48 AM PST

    •  Sorry for break in ... (0+ / 0-)

      Serious disagreement:


      the State Department did not say there will be no negative environmental impact from the Keystone XL pipeline, they just said that with or without the Keystone XL pipeline, emissions from tar sands oil were going to happen.  Sad but probably true.  
      Not "probably true".

      Keystone XL will greatly ease the ability to increase tar sands movement to the Gulf Coast, relieving bottlenecks that increased production would create, while greatly increasing the profitability (by ending a glut of fuel in the Midwest -- thus increasing the price -- and reducing the cost of movement to the Gulf Coast -- combined, roughly $10 or more in increased profitability per gallon).  With Keystone XL approved / building, there will be accelerated and increased investment in Tar Sands exploitation.  E.g., Keystone XL would enable more tar sands emissions sooner ...

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 12:33:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If This Pipeline Was Such A Great Idea (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MyLeftMind, luerwulf

      then why doesn't Canada build it IN Canada?

      What benefit does the USA receive from this Pipeline?

      We buy oil from Canada, do we get a lower price?

      Our mineral resources supposedly belong to ALL Americans, held in trust for us by the Federal Government, as are the airwaves...

      If corporations are people now, can we build pipelines through THEIR headquarters?

      •  Canadians told them "pound sand" (0+ / 0-)

        When they proposed the pipeline to the west coast across Canada.  
        Another pertinent question is, WHY need it be shipped to a port city, if it's for American consumption? There are numerous refiineries across the northern tier, that could for probably far less, be retrofitted for tar sand refining. The product could then be shipped directly to those Americans they seek to soothe with cheaper fuel prices and lots of product.
        We all know why they need to go to Texas, because they will OFFSHORE it, onto the world market, for the highest profit, with US dependency on foreign oil, the last possible consideration given. It's all about profit, nothing less, nothing more.

        •  If it were refined right next to tar sands mine, (0+ / 0-)

          it would be easier to pipe.  Tar sands is like macadam paving--solid.  Try to dissolve it with hexane and it will not stay dissolved, the sand is still in it and abrasive.  And the tar is acid and corrosive.  If they refined it where they mine it, it should come out something like diesel.

  •  Great stuff! (5+ / 0-)

    Love the transcript which is helpful.

    We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

    by occupystephanie on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 07:07:36 AM PST

  •  And I wonder (5+ / 0-)

    why I boo every time I see one of the API ads on TV.. Corporate lying at its best..

    Why do Republicans Hate Americans?

    by Caniac41 on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 07:15:09 AM PST

  •  I'm curious how many DailyKossers (0+ / 0-)

    actually buy the products that the API sells . .. . .

    A fairly high proportion, I'd guess.

    Which makes the outrage ring just a tad hollow.

    •  Indeed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And that whole "reducing America's dependence on foreign oil" thing when every drop transported through the middle of the country is going to be sold on the spot market to the highest bidder.

      Of course, if there were alternative methods of generating energy, perhaps we wouldn't have to buy the products the API sells? But that's just crazy hippie talk, that is! We've made our subsidy choice (150 years ago), and now we just have to live with it. Forever.

      •  Of course, there is no basis in fact for this: (0+ / 0-)
        when every drop transported through the middle of the country is going to be sold on the spot market to the highest bidder.
        The Gulf Coast refineries in question predominantly currently primarily send their products to domestic consumers and will continue to do so.

        BTW, there are alternative sources for generating energy, but electric car sales (to give but one example) continue to lag.

        The bottom line is that the evil, evil big corporations are just giving consumers what they are asking for.   IMHO, the consumers share some fraction of the blame for this.

        •  Incorrect (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eikyu Saha, unfangus

          Evil, big corporations decidedly do not give consumers what they are asking for. Oil companies have for decades fouled the neighborhoods of the poorest with toxic sludge, refused to support any program that would clean up their act, bought off politicians, manufacturers and markets with their obscene profits, used all kinds of wedge issues to divide people, and convinced low-information and willfully stupid consumers into thinking that there's no other option. Heck, they even pay mouthpieces to post online apologias for their ruthless, murderous actions, trying to tell the public that all this toxic, noxious befoulment is the public's own fault.

          It would almost be amusing if the results weren't so lethal to so many, and so profitable for so few.

        •  Incorrect. ditto (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dragonlady, Eikyu Saha

          Our local birdcage liner, now a Warren Buffet property, has long boasted, in the businesses section about the benefits of export of refined crude to the markets of the world. They talk about $10 billion reduction in trade deficit.

          On the political pages they beat the drum how the Keystone XL pipeline will make America energy independent.

        •  Electric vehicles ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          "Continue to lag ..."

          hmmm ...

          Electric car sales have not yet hit 1% of new car sales in the US, but sales are growing fast and it looks certain that they will pass 1% in 2014. 2013 pure electric car sales are up 300% in 2013 compared to 2012. And hitting 1% could mean that electric cars are on their way to market domination by 2020. But to dig in even a little further on why a small percentage of sales in 2013 is not indicative of a small percentage of sales forever, let’s look at the history of conventional car sales and conventional hybrid sales real quickly.

          Adjusting for population, after 3 years on the market, plug-in cars (pure electric cars + plug-in hybrid electric cars) have seen about 3 times as many sales as automobiles had seen after their first three years on the market,

          and hmmm
          100% electric car sales are up about 300% in 2013 so far, while plug-in hybrid electric car sales are up about 31% for the same period.
          and ...

          Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

          by A Siegel on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 12:27:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  If they aren't planning to offshore the oil, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          WHY the need to ship to a port city in Texas? Why not refine in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, or, of all places, Canada?
          IF, you think it's because the "only place capable" of refining the stuff is Texas, you suppose the parts and pieces required just can't be assembled in Canada? Come on, and pay some mind to reality. You don't transport it to the train station, unless planning to put it onto a train, and you don't need a shipping port, unless you plan to use ships.

    •  So ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      because we shop at grocery stores, we need to agree with whatever the national organization asserts?

      Because we eat products with corn syrup in it, we should muffle our voices as to efforts to distort science as to health impacts of that corn syrup?

      Because we've used a pesticide, we should simply applaud whatever the Chemistry Council says?

      Etc ...

      Are you serious?

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 12:22:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, let's review my home (0+ / 0-)

      Heated by natural gas, water heated by natural gas, stove and oven use natural gas.
      Originally, the home used oil for heating, natural gas for the rest.
      My cars use natural gas, don't have money to try to replace them, so sod off unless you want to pay for a new car or two.
      My electricity is generated partially by coal, partially by nuclear. Can't afford those green providers unless we give up that nasty habit of eating three times a day.
      Some of our medications are partially based on petrochemicals, too bad, we're going to keep using them, we rather enjoy being alive.
      I'm sitting on a plastic upholstered seat, part of a set, I'll not sit on the floor, thank you.
      Our carpets are worn, but were partially petrochemical based, we won't replace them due to both cost and allergens.
      Our curtains are partially petrochemical based, we'll keep covering our windows, thank you. The last time someone saw me naked through the window, well the museum thanked me for the new statue.

      But, you're right, outrage is horrific in my place. I should do the right thing and freeze to death, not take my elderly father to his medical appointments and dialysis until I magically get the electric car I can't afford, we should just have strokes from not taking our medications, hell we should just burn down our homes while inside of them, since we can't hardly afford to live these days!
      We most certainly should not object to the drill, baby, drill bullshit and burning petrochemicals as fast as they can be brought out of the ground for our grandchildrens sake, since we won't kill ourselves to lead by example or some shit.
      So, no, this household doesn't live by example, we can barely afford to eat right now.
      But, we'd really rather not have our grandchildren enjoying beachfront property in Pennsylvania.

  •  Adam Smith (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suzq, Mr Robert, dragonlady, Back In Blue

    Adam Smith rightly saw the dangers of this more than 200 years ago:

    "The proposal of any new law or regulation which comes from
    [businessmen], ought always to be listened to with great precaution, and
    ought never to be adopted till after having been long and carefully
    examined, not only with the most scrupulous, but with the most
    suspicious attention. It comes from an order of men, whose interest is
    never exactly the same with that of the public, who have generally an
    interest to deceive and even to oppress the public, and who accordingly
    have, upon many occasions, both deceived and oppressed it."

    –Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Cause of the Wealth of
    Nations, vol. 1, pt. xi, p.10 (at the conclusion of the chapter)(1776)

    You Don't Happen To Make It. You Make It Happen !

    by jeffrey789 on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 07:29:30 AM PST

    •  Adam Smith, Estates (0+ / 0-)

      Thomas Jefferson cited Adam Smith, the hero of free market capitalists everywhere, as the source of his conviction that (as Smith wrote, and Jefferson closely echoed in his own words), "A power to dispose of estates for ever is manifestly absurd. The earth and the fulness of it belongs to every generation, and the preceding one can have no right to bind it up from posterity. Such extension of property is quite unnatural." Smith said: "There is no point more difficult to account for than the right we conceive men to have to dispose of their goods after death."
      Thomas Paine, like Smith and Jefferson, made much of the idea that landed property itself was an affront to the natural right of each generation to the usufruct of the earth, and proposed a "ground rent" — in fact an inheritance tax — on property at the time it is conveyed at death, with the money so collected to be distributed to all citizens at age 21, "as a compensation in part, for the loss of his or her natural inheritance, by the introduction of the system of landed property."

      You Don't Happen To Make It. You Make It Happen !

      by jeffrey789 on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 07:43:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Adam Smith, Banking (0+ / 0-)

        “It was as obvious 300 years ago as it is today:

        “Though the principles of the banking trade may appear somewhat abstruse, the practice is capable of being reduced to strict rules. To depart upon any occasion from those rules, in consequence of some flattering speculation of extraordinary gain, is almost always extremely dangerous and frequently fatal to the banking company which attempts it.”

        -Adam Smith, quote. Read it for yourself. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, PART III. Of the Expense of public Works and public Institutions, ARTICLE I.—Of the public Works and Institutions for facilitating the Commerce of the Society.”

        Somehow over the last 30 years our economic system, capitalism, has lost its way. Most citizens believe a free market means government should have no control how the private sector operates. This is contrary to the teaching of the founder of capitalism, Adam Smith, and one of its biggest advocates, Milton Friedman.

        "But we cannot rely on custom or conscious alone to interpret and enforce the rules; we need an umpire.These then are the basic role of government in a free society; to provide a means where we can modify rules, to mediate differences among us on the meaning of rules, and to enforce compliance with the rules on the part of those few who otherwise would not play the game.”

        You Don't Happen To Make It. You Make It Happen !

        by jeffrey789 on Sat Mar 01, 2014 at 08:56:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  If The Tar Sands Is Going To Go To Third World (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suzq, dragonlady

    countries whether we build pipelines in the US or not, than why pollute the US with this disgusting tar sand oil.  If it gets in the gulf or ground water the deep well spill in the gulf of Mexico will look tame in comparison.  Water is precious, so why take the chance of polluting ground water for millions of people.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 07:33:16 AM PST

  •  I got a phone call from the API earlier (3+ / 0-)

    this week. It was a robo call. She said, "Enough is enough. President Obama has refused to authorize the Keystone XL pipeline for one more time..."

    I hung up.

    Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

    by hestal on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 08:37:34 AM PST

    •  The pro-pipeline folks are going all out (2+ / 0-)

      We got a robocall this week from the "Consumer Energy Alliance" (search revealed a real organization made up of many fuel users, chambers of commerce, and energy producers). This guy was doing a "survey," along with touting the pipeline because it will "create 42,000 jobs and lower fuel prices." He urged us to stand up to the "anti-energy extremists" and asked "may we add your name" to a petition to tell President Obama to approve the pipeline? Then a pause for us to say yes (fat chance). This was on the answering machine so we didn't need to hang up (that's reserved for the guy in India who's calling about our Windows computer--which we don't have).

    •  "...she's been a bad girl..." (0+ / 0-)
      "...she's like a chemical. though you try to stop it, she's like a narcotic. you wanna torture her. you wanna talk to her..." d.p. macmanus
  •  Fossil Fools Destroying the Habitablity of Earth (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to add to their Billions of Dollars in personal fortune are a clear and present danger to every living thing on the planet -- they should be seperated from civilized society in high-security institutions.

  •  ERM (0+ / 0-)

    I want to correct an assumption about ERM (I work for one of their competitors).

    API actually does a huge amount of relatively legitimate research related to petroleum products that are of use to a wide range of environmental consultants, even those who typically work against industry (ERM works both for the government and for industry; they are engineers, and honestly not particularly biased, they like numbers and they like money and they get it from all kinds of clients).

    API also writes a lot of standards (like ASTM does) related to very mundane technical details of oil facilities design that engineers use.

    Large environmental engineering companies become members of API because their many useful publications are extraordinarily expensive, and if you are going to use enough of them, it's cheaper just to join. That is the only reason ERM is a member--to get cheaper standards and research reports.

    Honestly, ERM usually is hired to respond to environmental problems, so stringent regulations actually are in their favor--the more requirements are layered on oil companies, the more those companies turn around and pay consulting companies to help them navigate and address those regulations. The REAL jackpot for environmental consultants is when a big company gets nailed with a huge judgment for cleaning up an environmental problem. The more stringent the cleanup criteria, the better for them.

    I just wanted to explain the role of companies like ERM, since I think a lot of the discussion about them hasn't really grasped it.

    A man can believe anything he wants, as long as he doesn't frighten my dog.

    by RiotLibrarian on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 09:04:52 AM PST

    •  How many of the standards that they write (0+ / 0-)

      have to do with safety?  

      •  Most of them (0+ / 0-)

        I feel weird defending API, I hate the advocacy of Keystone they are doing, but most of their standards are focused on keeping operations safe. Not because they are such good people, but because accidents cost them a lot of money, and they do actually put a lot of effort into preventing accidents.

        A man can believe anything he wants, as long as he doesn't frighten my dog.

        by RiotLibrarian on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 01:06:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Key issue ... (0+ / 0-)

      from get-go was the signature of a legal document stating -- evidently falsely -- that they had no potential conflicts of interest.  Generously, this could have been from left-hand not knowing what the right hand was doing however it still (if the reports are correct) was an outright false statement on documents submitted to the Federal government.  Individuals have been sent to jail for doing this.

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 12:30:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Conflict of interest (0+ / 0-)

        Is much more complex than that...we deal with it all the time. The fact that one time you have had a certain client doesn't mean that you can never work on any project ever again that may have an effect on that client. If that were the case, engineers would only ever be able to work for single clients, and most firms would go out of business.

        Now, if they currently had a contract to do the design work for the Keystone Pipeline and they were also writing the document advising the agency to approve it's being built--THAT'S a conflict of interest. Not once working for someone at some time that may benefit from your consulting opinion.

        A man can believe anything he wants, as long as he doesn't frighten my dog.

        by RiotLibrarian on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 01:01:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  state dept. said.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Back In Blue

    " that with or without the Keystone XL pipeline, emissions from tar sands oil were going to happen." And gosh darnit America let's roll up our sleeves and do our part!

  •  Boycott Fossil Fuels (0+ / 0-)

    No profits for them, no problems for us.

    A new economy can emerge based on regional trade that creates jobs and sustains us in our locales.   Do it for yourself and for your kids.

    Boycott Fossil Fuels. Find another way, its easier than you think.

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