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Keystone XL pipeline route
Nudged along by freshman Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, 11 senators have written a letter to President Obama requesting a May 31 deadline on his decision regarding the Keystone XL pipeline. If approved, that pipeline would transport 830,000 barrels a day of bitumen, an especially polluting form of petroleum, to Texas Gulf Coast refineries. The southern leg of the pipeline is already operating. Under review is the 1,167-mile northern segment—from Hardisty, Alberta, to Steele City, Nebraska—which requires a presidential permit because it crosses an international boundary. Among other things, the letter states:
After taking all of this additional information into account, the Final SEIS still reached virtually the same conclusion as previous reviews, that construction of the Keystone XL pipeline is “unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the United States based on expected oil-prices, oil-sands supply costs, transport costs and supply-demand scenarios.”  Also, over half of the extraction today employs more traditional in situ drilling technologies, and will be used to recover a large majority of the resource. Given that there has been little change from previous conclusions reached, we believe that an ultimate decision should not be delayed any longer than is reasonably necessary. [...]

The time to act is now Mr. President, please use your executive authority to expedite this process to a swift conclusion and a final decision so that we can all move forward on other energy infrastructure needs in this country. We ask that you bring this entire process to an end no later than May 31, 2014, and that your final decision be the right one, finding that the Keystone XL pipeline is in the national interest.

In addition to Heitkamp, the senators are Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester and John Walsh of Montana, Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Warner of Virginia and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia. Begich, Hagan, Landrieu, Pryor and Walsh are all up for election in November in states Obama lost in 2012.

Other Senate Democrats who have indicated they favor building the pipeline, notably Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado, who is also up for election this year, are conspicuous by their absence. "Sen. Udall still believes Congress should not be injecting politics into this process,” said Mike Saccone, a spokesman for the senator.

The pipeline is near the end of its final review. In addition to evaluating public comments that were submitted in the 30 days ending March 7, several federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency are looking over the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement to assess whether building the pipeline is in the national interest, a requirement for approval by the administration. Although approving or rejecting the pipeline is, by executive order, the prerogative of the Secretary of State, Obama has made clear that the decision will be his.

The 90-day review should be completed the last day of this month. The senators want Secretary of State John Kerry to make his recommendation within 15 days of that and for the president to make his at the end of May.

There is a possible hang-up, however. A Nebraska judge has ruled that the state's approval of a new route for the pipeline was unconstitutionally transferred to authorities that shouldn't be the deciders. Unless appeals reverse that ruling, the Nebraska Public Service Commission will decide whether the route is okay. That process could take seven months or longer. Approving the pipeline as being in the national interest before a final route is chosen would seem to be a violation of the spirit of honest review.

The full text of the letter is below the fold.

Dear Mr. President,

We are writing to request that you use your executive authority to implement an explicit timeline for Secretary of State John Kerry to make a national interest determination on the Keystone XL pipeline permit application. At the expiration of the current 90-day comment and consultation period for certain federal agencies, there should be a date certain no later than 15 days after that date for Secretary Kerry to provide you with his national interest determination recommendation. Finally, we ask that you commit to making your final decision on the permit application no later than May 31, 2014.

We respect the need for a final 30-day public comment period, a period that closed on Friday, March 7, 2014. It is important that at every step of this process that the public and other stakeholders are able to provide their feedback in response to the Environmental Impact Statements released through the State Department as part of the permit application process.  We also respect the need for relevant federal agencies and officials to weigh-in with Secretary Kerry, pursuant to Executive Order 13337, so that they may express their views and assistance in order for Secretary Kerry to make a fully informed national interest determination.

However, this is a process that has now gone on well past five years, has involved two applications, five federal reviews, multiple open comment periods, and numerous opportunities for consultation and comment  at either public forums or at staff-level meetings. The Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), released by the State Department on January 31, 2014, was well over 2,000 pages and included an expanded analysis of potential oil releases; an expanded climate change analysis; an updated oil market analysis incorporating new economic modeling; an expanded analysis of rail transport; and additional analysis regarding alternative modes of transportation beyond rail.

After taking all of this additional information into account, the Final SEIS still reached virtually the same conclusion as previous reviews, that construction of the Keystone XL pipeline is “unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the United States based on expected oil-prices, oil-sands supply costs, transport costs and supply-demand scenarios.”  Also, over half of the extraction today employs more traditional in situ drilling technologies, and will be used to recover a large majority of the resource. Given that there has been little change from previous conclusions reached, we believe that an ultimate decision should not be delayed any longer than is reasonably necessary.

This process has been exhaustive in its time, breadth, and scope. It has already taken much longer than anyone can reasonably justify. This is an international project that will provide our great friend and ally Canada, a direct route to our refineries. These refineries were specifically built to process and refine heavy crude, and Canadian crude will help replace heavy crude imports from unstable and unfriendly countries like Venezuela. Canada has done its part and has been a willing and patient partner throughout this process. This project will enhance our relationship with Canada and increase our drive towards North American energy security and independence, and there is no consultation required to arrive at that conclusion.

Given all these facts, we believe that after the 90-day period in which certain executive agencies and officials can provide comment and consultation to Secretary of State Kerry has expired, there should be a date certain no later than 15 days after that date for Secretary Kerry to provide you with his national interest determination recommendation.

We cannot miss another construction season, given the long cold winter this year along the Keystone XL route and the time required for ground thaw, we could be looking at a very short season. We need a definitive timeline laid out, a timeline that reduces the comment period for federal agencies, officials and other entities. A timeline that requires Secretary Kerry to present you with his national interest determination shortly after the comment and consultation period ends. This decision must not drag on into the summer.

The time to act is now Mr. President, please use your executive authority to expedite this process to a swift conclusion and a final decision so that we can all move forward on other energy infrastructure needs in this country. We ask that you bring this entire process to an end no later than May 31, 2014, and that your final decision be the right one, finding that the Keystone XL pipeline is in the national interest.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 09:46 AM PDT.

Also republished by Gulf Watchers Group, Climate Change SOS, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

    •  350.org did a great job keeping KXL fate in limbo (30+ / 0-)

      for this long given all of the forces arrayed on the other side.   1/5 of Senate Dems are demanding it go forward, and polling data usually runs > 60% for approval.  Granted, the public minority is more passionate than the majority is on this issue, but it's clearly an uphill battle.

      Since labor hasn't gotten much else from this WH, its (sadly mistaken) support for KXL doesn't help, either.  Nor does the fact that the Very Serious People generally don't understand what the fuss is all about.

      I've long felt that presidential approval is a question of when, not whether.  If I am correct, I will be curious to see what kind of civil disobedience campaign arises.  It's always handy to have NSA eavesdropping data available under such circumstances.

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

      by RFK Lives on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:19:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Has there ever been a CD campaign of 100K arrests? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        navane50mg, mzkryz

        If it's approved the response will be huge and could result in the radicalization of a generation.  

      •  What is the evidence that the oil companies (0+ / 0-)

        will produce less tar sands oil because this one specific pipeline is not built?

        If you want to stop using tar sands oil, then simply advocate for the Govt spending $100B or more each year in renewable energy. We don't need any taxes to pay for it, thats not how federal spending works so we don't have to sell a tax increase to the american people. We can simply just spend the money and let the people enjoy the benefits of all that extra deficit spending and a cleaner planet for the future.

        Whats the negative? How come not every single Kossack is pushing for something like this? No emissions in 10 years, where's the downside?

        "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens. The gold standard ended on August 15, 1971, its time we start acting like it. If we can afford full employment killing Germans, we can afford full employment during peace-time.

        by Auburn Parks on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 06:03:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  KXL will equal total U.S. 2013 carbon output (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          catilinus

          See the excellent analysis by the Carbon Tracker Initiative at carbontracker.org/kxl on how the economics of a pipeline will increase production of Tar Sands Oil, versus other modes of transport:

          "KXL enabled production will produce lifecycle emissions of around 5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide through to 2050. This output from a single pipeline is equivalent to the total carbon pollution from the whole of the United States in 2013."

          The train is running full speed toward the cliff of climate catastrophe.  Let's at least stop stoking the engine.

          •  Damning statistic. Thanks suek, and (0+ / 0-)

            welcome to DKOS

            Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

            It will never happen for the first time until it does.

            by catilinus on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 07:36:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for the reference. I will check it out. (0+ / 0-)

            Rejecting or approving the KXL will not be definitive in any attempt to halt carbon emissions. The only way we will ever get to 100% renewable in time will be through massive public govt investment. And as long as progressives think the US must get dollars from China and the wealthy and as long as conservatives wont allow tax increases.....then nothing significant will get done until its too late.

            "The Earth is my country and Science my religion" Christiaan Huygens. The gold standard ended on August 15, 1971, its time we start acting like it. If we can afford full employment killing Germans, we can afford full employment during peace-time.

            by Auburn Parks on Sat Apr 12, 2014 at 01:08:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  And I notice that only two of those senators... (19+ / 0-)

      ...Tester and Walsh, will have the KXL crossing their state. I would have expected better of Tester, being a farmer.

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:39:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You mean: with enemies like these (10+ / 0-)

      what exactly is the point of a Big Tent, again?

      Trust, but verify. - Reagan
      Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

      When the rich have tripled their share of the income and wealth yet again, Republicans will still blame the poor and 3rd Way Democrats will still negotiate.

      by Words In Action on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:57:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As much we hate to admit it (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bobatkinson, Creosote

        social issues drive us to the polls as much as the GOP.  Thats one of reasons I was hoping Sen. Warren would run.
        We push for Red State Dems for control of courts etc...They are rarely progressive when it comes to econ issues.

        New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

        by AlexDrew on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 01:26:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's just it (16+ / 0-)

      The parties are not exactly the same but NEITHER party is our friend.

      As for this particular issue, Noam Chomsky got it right back in 2012.

      In 2008, both party platforms had devoted some attention to how the government should address climate change. Today, the issue has almost disappeared from the Republican platform – which does, however, demand that Congress “take quick action” to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency, established by former Republican President Richard Nixon in saner days, from regulating greenhouse gases. And we must open Alaska’s Arctic refuge to drilling to take “advantage of all our American God-given resources.” We cannot disobey the Lord, after all.

      The platform also states that “We must restore scientific integrity to our public research institutions and remove political incentives from publicly funded research” – code words for climate science.

      The Republican candidate Mitt Romney, seeking to escape from the stigma of what he understood a few years ago about climate change, has declared that there is no scientific consensus, so we should support more debate and investigation – but not action, except to make the problems more serious.

      The Democrats mention in their platform that there is a problem, and recommend that we should work “toward an agreement to set emissions limits in unison with other emerging powers.” But that’s about it.

      President Barack Obama has emphasized that we must gain 100 years of energy independence by exploiting fracking and other new technologies – without asking what the world would look like after a century of such practices.

      So there are differences between the parties: about how enthusiastically the lemmings should march toward the cliff.

      "Americans have a strong devotion to afflicting the afflicted and comforting the comfortable. They have a hard time contemplating any meaningful overhaul of the rules of their political system" -- Alec Baldwin

      by Sagebrush Bob on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:59:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  When voters are faced with the choice (10+ / 0-)

      between a real Republican and a Republican lite Democrat, they'll choose the Real Republican.

      Democrats have an excellent agenda to appeal to the majority of voters.  They just need to follow that agenda.

      Let the GOP be the party that wants to take Grandmas Social Security Check and Medicare.  Let them be the ones who want to deny benefits to the disabled.  Let them be the Scrooges that take bread from hungry children so they can send tax money to the wealthy and corporate.  Let them own refusal to expand Medicaid as they shrink food stamps, Meals on Wheels, and Head Start.  Let the Republicans OWN that.

      Democrats need to be Democrats:  friends of workers and their rights, in favor of a family-supporting minimum wage, supporters of a healthy safety net and regulations to protect the public, supporters of Social Security and Medicare, and in favor of EQUAL justice and responsibility for ALL (I'm looking at you corporations, banks, and Wall Street).

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

      by Puddytat on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 01:26:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  For a deadline, I suggest (31+ / 0-)

    when CO2 emissions return to the same levels they were at the time of the Founding Fathers.

    I'll wait.

    Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding"

    by Bob Love on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 09:55:11 AM PDT

  •  Sen. Hagan..WTF! (7+ / 0-)

    "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

    by smiley7 on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 09:59:21 AM PDT

  •  Really? (4+ / 0-)

    There are so many pipelines.  Instead of just another pipeline, this is some how the line in the sand? (entendre intended).

    This is not the fight anymore (imho).  

    Move on.  I doubt the Admin will deny even after stalling for years.  Labor trumps Envirows.  

    Find something else.

    "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

    by EdMass on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:06:31 AM PDT

    •  Right. Why not four pipelines from now? (13+ / 0-)

      We're not digging our heels in on the Class War. Why this? We can live with auctioning off government. Why not unmitigated climate change?

      And what is this obsession with equal pay for women?

      We ended DADT. We got private-provider ACA. Lilly Ledbetter.

      Why can't Democrats just let it go?

      Trust, but verify. - Reagan
      Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

      When the rich have tripled their share of the income and wealth yet again, Republicans will still blame the poor and 3rd Way Democrats will still negotiate.

      by Words In Action on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:03:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thousands of miles of pipelines (7+ / 0-)

      Image Hosting by PictureTrail.com

      There's an image of all the piplines crisscrossing this country.  Some of the highest concentrations of existing pipelines are right on top of the Ogallala Aquifer.

      Make up your mind already, Mr. President.  Geeez...

    •  Sure (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RMForbes

      Let's go with the appeasement strategy. That always works. I am sure approving this pipeline will guarantee peace in our time.  Or something

    •  A shift to green and sustainable energy (7+ / 0-)

      would produce hundreds of times more good living wage jobs in our domestic economy than the relative handful of jobs that this project will create. If jobs is really the primary focus we should stop building all fossil fuel infrastructure and shift totally over to green sources of energy. That's were the good domestic jobs are.

      Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

      by RMForbes on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 03:16:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do you really see this happening (0+ / 0-)

        even if we had the Presidency, 300 House seats and 75 Senate seats? We would lose control of the government if we pushed this in any major way.

        It has to come from the private sector, most likely Silicon Valley.

        New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

        by AlexDrew on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 04:56:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Right, putting Americans to work in good green (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cocinero, Creosote

          sustainable living wage jobs in every community across the nation would be a political loser? More and more people everyday are waking up to the reality of how fossil fuels are destroying our environment and our economy. If we don't wean ourselves off of carbon sequestered millions of years ago we will too go the way of the Dodo sooner than even I would like to admit.

          We can no longer continue to add millions of tons of ancient carbon to our modern environment everyday...it will be the death of us. We can't breathe CO2 and methane. It just doesn't make sense to continue down this path when we have the technology to produce energy and biofuels in every community using currently sequestered carbon instead. The time is now to change our path to a decentralized and sustainable energy production model and to trash the current centralized fossil fuel model.

          Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

          by RMForbes on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 05:26:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Beyond the first sentence, I agree with you (0+ / 0-)

            But if you think getting there will be painless, you should run for office and show them how to do it. It has to be done in stages to show that it can work.

            The record, when looked upon without emotion, is mixed. Write two long paragraphs explaining the politics of getting there. Most importantly, how to get Dem pols on board. Despite what the DKos Frontpage might have us think, other than MB, some on our side are yet to be convinced.

            New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

            by AlexDrew on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 05:48:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Unfortunately we don't have the time (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Creosote

              If we don't completely wean ourselves off of fossil fuels within the next 15 years we are looking at an extinction level event in our children's, or on the outside, our children's children's lifetime. We just don't have the time to ease into anything.  

              Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

              by RMForbes on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 06:14:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  According to every third diary (0+ / 0-)

                we are on the cusp of total Dem electoral domination. But deep down I think you know it will be members of the Dem Party that will block the legislative revolution you seek. So incremental it will have to be, on the national level at least.

                There is nothing stopping blue states from taking the lead.
                Good luck with getting everything at once.

                New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

                by AlexDrew on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 04:28:32 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm not talking about politics, I'm talking about (0+ / 0-)

                  what we need to do to prevent a sixth mass extinction event. If the national politicians want to fiddle while Rome burns, so be it. We don't really need the politicians of either side to get things done that will both create permanent domestic jobs and wean us off of fossilized energy.

                  We could produce all of our basic needs locally including food and fuel if we really tried. The era of massive centralization is over and the communities that are the most self sufficient will come out of this period of great change better off than those that rely on centralized form of production. Like they said back in the 70's...Think Globally and Act Locally.    

                  Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

                  by RMForbes on Fri Apr 11, 2014 at 05:04:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Some of the politics is regional. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RMForbes

              Wind energy and the renewable fuels standard has strong bipartisan support in Iowa and some other states.  Solar is gaining support too. Most Democratic Senators are not supporting KXL.

      •  Examples, Please - (0+ / 0-)

        Actually, the biggest job creation since the beginning of the Great Recession has been in the North Dakota energy industry and related industries such as transport and oilfield services.

        Average wages 2012 - $70,000
        http://www.willistonherald.com/...

        North Dakota has consistently had the lowest unemployment in the nation. Granted, the cost of living is outrageous - as is always the case in boomtowns. And the waste - particularly the flaring of natural gas - has been egregious.

        But it's big-big money. For the oil industry, for railroads, for politicians, for the kid driving the rig, and for the cocktail waitress at the Highway 85 Saloon.

        •  There is enough wasted energy in our sewage (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          johnnygunn, Creosote

          to replace more than 10% of all our fossil fuel use and we have the technology to turn that sewage into advanced biofuels and electricity while creating hundreds of thousands of good permanent living wage jobs.

          The ammonia in urine and the methane produced by anaerobic decay of cellulose can be use to grow algae that can be pressed into an oil that can be used directly as biodiesel and/or reformed into a bio-gasoline product. The byproducts of this process are clean water and organic fertilizer.  

          I don't want to diminish the Bakken oil boom in North Dakota but it's not at all sustainable or environmentally/economically sound. The jobs will go away very quickly and the profits will leave the communities to enrich the already very wealthy. The future of these Bakken fields is rather bleak. Sustainable green energy systems would be far better for these communities and won't leave piles of toxic waste along the way. There is really no comparison.

          Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

          by RMForbes on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 06:06:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •   (0+ / 0-)

          North Dakota has consistently had the lowest unemployment in the nation. Granted, the cost of living is outrageous - as is always the case in boomtowns. And the waste - particularly the flaring of natural gas - has been egregious.

          But it's big-big money. For the oil industry, for railroads, for politicians, for the kid driving the rig, and for the cocktail waitress at the Highway 85 Saloon.

          Reply:

          That is really nice for North Dakota.  They will reap the benefits, but everyone else will pay for the  long term consequences.  

          How about a cost benefit and risk analysis?   How much short turn gain for North Dakota versus the long term costs  and risks  of climate change?

          It reminds me of relatives who refused to pay the cost of flood insurance and when the flood came, looked to others to bail them out.   As I see it, some  are willing to pick short term gains over long term disasters.  It is no different than eating the seed corn now  and ignoring what to plant when planting time comes.

          Seeking immediate gains while ignoring potential  long tem risks and costs  is the way to disaster.  The pipeline is not a good investment.  The immediate gains in no way compensate for the long term costs.  

  •  The usual Blue Dog suspects (10+ / 0-)

    "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 Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:09:48 AM PDT

    •  FYI there are no Blue Dogs left (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      6412093, Victor Ward

      just Dems in Red States that depend on energy generation for the welfare of their States.

      "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

      by EdMass on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:11:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Like Schumer? (12+ / 0-)

        When was NY red?

        You must be kidding. The entire party leadership is Third Way, perfectly willing to serve plutocracy and abandon the economic and environmental and personal rights elements of the Party Platform. Hell, they even made special modifications to the Party platform when Obama entered office...

        Your comment is akin to: there is no discrimination anymore.

        Oh, really?

        Trust, but verify. - Reagan
        Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

        When the rich have tripled their share of the income and wealth yet again, Republicans will still blame the poor and 3rd Way Democrats will still negotiate.

        by Words In Action on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:06:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Schumer a Blue Dog? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Victor Ward, hooper

          Think you have to be south of the Mason Dixon to qualify

          Schumer is a creature of the evil Wall Street, always has been, always will be.  But he is among our "Leadership"...

          "When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An' go to your Gawd like a soldier." Rudyard Kipling

          by EdMass on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 01:18:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  He's owned by FIRE. (0+ / 0-)

            OWNED.

            Trust, but verify. - Reagan
            Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

            When the rich have tripled their share of the income and wealth yet again, Republicans will still blame the poor and 3rd Way Democrats will still negotiate.

            by Words In Action on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 08:31:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  These people are pretty much covering their asses (18+ / 0-)

    here.
      This letter means absolutely nothing.
       The president seems willing to stall this fetid project off as long as he can.
       Unlike conventional wisdom, I think he'll eventually give it thumbs down because it really does nothing but harm to our Nation and ultimately harms the planet as well.
       KXL is important too as a symbol of which path we go down in the years to come, and I think the president knows better than to choose the wrong path.
       That said, we've got to keep fighting this terrible, terrible thing with everything we've got.

    "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

    by elwior on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:18:38 AM PDT

    •  Damn straight! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elwior, bobatkinson, hbk, Creosote
      we've got to keep fighting this terrible, terrible thing with everything we've got.
      Never, ever give up!

      Sadly, one of them is mine (Mark Pryor), and I will be voting for him again -- though I'd sworn not to. The polls have him even with a tea-bagger who'd curl anybody's hair, Tom Cotton.

      Yes, there is a little vomit in my mouth :(

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

      by cotterperson on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:50:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Koch's own most of the tar sands (20+ / 0-)

    Interesting that the Koch's in person and via their secretive PACs are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to defeat every one of these Senators who are then attempting to further grossly enrich these very plutocrats via a pipeline containing grossly polluting bitumen to the Koch owned refineries on the Gulf Coast then on to foreign countries. My god, the tangled web of campaign finance and oil politics that is poisoning the country body and soul.

    •  They own a substantial interest, but not ... (13+ / 0-)

      ...most.

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

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:28:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  with (3+ / 0-)

          futures to exploit, wreck and make $ on.
           I think if Obama approves it will irreparably fracture the core of the Democratic Party.
           There's a lot of anger at the inequality gap and to reward the instigators of and beneficiaries of that theft by more theft, will be the LAST straw.  

        March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

        by 3rock on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:23:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Largest holder of tar sands leases (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Creosote, wintergreen8694

        "e360 digest

        21 MAR 2014: KOCH BROTHERS BIGGEST LEASE
        HOLDERS IN ALBERTA TAR SANDS, REPORT FINDS
        The largest lease holder in Canada's oil sands is a subsidiary of Koch Industries, the conglomerate that is the source of the fortune owned by the controversial conservative political donors, Charles and David Koch. The Koch's holdings in the tar sands were disclosed by an activist group that analyzed mineral records of the Alberta government. The Koch subsidiary holds leases on at least 1.1 million acres in the northern Alberta oil sands, which span roughly 35 million acres; other industry experts estimate the total Koch holdings could be closer to 2 million acres. That puts Koch Industries ahead of energy heavyweights Royal Dutch Shell and Conoco Phillips, both of which lease significant acreage in the oil sands. The findings are likely to inflame the debate surrounding the proposed Keystone XL pipeline — which would transport tar sands oil to refineries in Texas — although the Koch's company has not reserved space in the pipeline. Activists argue that the Kochs do have a stake in the outcome of the Keystone XL battle because the pipeline would drive down crude oil transportation costs, benefiting all oil sands lease holders."

  •  Well, there's your list of non-Democratic Dems. (9+ / 0-)

    With the exception of Tester, there's really not much there that the party wouldn't be better without. These folks are what keep dragging the party away from doing things that benefit people and then we wonder why our voters don't turnout for off year elections.

    I won't believe corporations are people until Texas executes one. Leo Gerard.

    by tgrshark13 on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:29:00 AM PDT

    •  It's a big tent. (8+ / 0-)

      Big enough for Republicans.

      Trust, but verify. - Reagan
      Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

      When the rich have tripled their share of the income and wealth yet again, Republicans will still blame the poor and 3rd Way Democrats will still negotiate.

      by Words In Action on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:07:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You have a misunderstanding of the modern day (0+ / 0-)

      Democratic Party and what it stands for.

      Care to guess who said this?

      So as I say, we've not yet signed off on it. But we are inclined to do so and we are for several reasons — going back to one of your original questions — we're either going to be dependent on dirty oil from the Gulf or dirty oil from Canada. And until we can get our act together as a country and figure out that clean, renewable energy is in both our economic interests and the interests of our planet, I mean, I don't think it will come as a surprise to anyone how deeply disappointed the President and I are about our inability to get the kind of legislation through the Senate that the United States was seeking.

      "Americans have a strong devotion to afflicting the afflicted and comforting the comfortable. They have a hard time contemplating any meaningful overhaul of the rules of their political system" -- Alec Baldwin

      by Sagebrush Bob on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:56:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Mostly posturing (5+ / 0-)

    especially by those Dems up for reelection. While they likely won't lose votes if Obama approves the pipeline before the election, they are unlikely to gain votes either---with the possible exception of Walsh in Montana. The voting population is small enough there, and the pipeline would go through his state---so it's possible he might win a few votes if he's on record as supporting it & asking Obama to approve it---and then he does.

    In the other states, being pro- or anti-Keystone isn't going to change the outcome. Pryor is likely toast for other reasons, Landrieu is safe (and has lots of pro-oil friends), and Begich's pro-oil position is well-known in Alaska. Alaskans care about oil (and the free money they get from their own pipeline---about $950 per Alaskan last year)---but whether Keystone is approved or not is unlikely to change their votes.

    What those Senators up for election probably are most trying to accomplish is perhaps forestall an anti-Keystone decision before the election, and if such a thing were to occur they are well-insulated from the (untrue) attacks that might come that allege that they were somehow anti-oil.

    I still believe Obama will decide against the pipeline, but because of the lack of an approved route through Nebraska, he will find it very easy to delay the decision until after the election. At that point he can't be "blamed" for some of the likely losses of a few of these Senate seats.

    Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

    by willyr on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:35:49 AM PDT

  •  How sad ... (9+ / 0-)
    With the exception of Tester, there's really not much there that the party wouldn't be better without. These folks are what keep dragging the party away from doing things that benefit people and then we wonder why our voters don't turnout for off year elections.
    ...to see a comment that we'd be better off losing these 10 Democratic seats in the Senate.

    If so, the Senate would force the pipeline through with enabling legislation, and that would only be the start of our national nightmare.

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 10:47:30 AM PDT

    •  Arkansas (4+ / 0-)

      has a lunatic tea-bagger crook we may well send instead of Pryor, as they're polling dead-even.

      Here's a snip from Huffington Post yesterday about that nasty little twerp:

      Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) was reportedly cleared of one House ethics complaint Wednesday, only to have another fired at him.

      The first case was sparked by a Huffington Post article about radio interviews with Cotton in which the talk show host's remarks made it appear that the congressman was fundraising from the House grounds for his Senate race against Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.). If true, that would violate ethics rules.

      The new case comes from a retired Arkansas state judge, who said he is concerned that Cotton may have broken ethics rules by failing to disclose pertinent information on his financial disclosure forms.

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

      by cotterperson on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:57:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the report, cotterperson (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cotterperson

        It's enough to make me miss Blanche Lincoln.

        “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

        by 6412093 on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 05:42:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  "not gonna happen" (4+ / 0-)

    A few weeks ago at his annual "Potato Feast" fundraiser, my Seattle Rep, Jim McDermott, answered a question about TPP like this: "It's not gonna happen."

    He didn't offer any details, but I thought he must have reasons for making such a flat statement before going on to the next question.

  •  When did Mark Udall say he supports Keystone? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    unfangus, Cadillac64

    This surprises me.

    I did a quick gooogly search and couldn't find much.

    There was this vote last year---but he didn't vote for it.
    http://thehill.com/...

    I'm not doubting you, MB, but wondered where this comes from?

    Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

    by willyr on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:03:47 AM PDT

    •  From Mark Udall's Senate website: (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      unfangus, BMScott, Cadillac64, Shockwave

      Here's the page that deals with his positions on energy and environment. He talks a lot about "all of the above," and safe natural gas etc., as well as renewable energy like solar and wind. I see nothing about pipelines, of any kind, or Keystone specifically. http://www.markudall.senate.gov/...

      Here's a brief excerpt from the beginning and end of the page:

      we will need an all-of-the-above strategy that includes all of our energy sources, with a special emphasis on those that are clean and domestic. That means focusing on everything from renewable energy and energy efficiency to natural gas and safe nuclear power. This approach will help diversify the sources of energy we depend on, which will stabilize prices, create new jobs and make our country more secure.....

      ....Global warming is one of the defining challenges of our time, and how we handle the issue will have profound implications for the planet we leave our children. This is clear in Colorado, where rising temperatures, reduced snowpack and ongoing drought have exacerbated recent wildfires that threaten entire communities and our critical water supplies. We can meet this challenge head on, but it will take us working together in our communities, states, and around the world to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, adopt a comprehensive energy policy, develop cleaner-running vehicles and put a common-sense price on carbon.

      Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

      by willyr on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:19:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Voted against the Boxer Amendment (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      willyr, BMScott, Meteor Blades, Creosote

      http://thehill.com/...

      I'll give him a break on this.  He's in a big oil state and he's trying to walk the fence.  Sometimes I think he thinks he can win some conservatives if he tries to look a bit Republican.  I think he's dead wrong and don't believe the XL is going to sway many votes one way or the other.

      •  Ok. He Voted against Boxer but also against Hoeven (4+ / 0-)

        Boxer's amendment was to delay Keystone for more "study" . Hoeven's was to take away Obama's authority to approve Keystone. I'll give Udall a pass on the Boxer vote.

        [On the Hoeven bill]:

        All Republicans voted in favor. The Democrats who supported the measure were Sens. Max Baucus (Mont.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Tom Carper (Del.), Bob Casey (Pa.), Chris Coons (Del.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Tim Johnson (S.D.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Joe Manchin (W. Va.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Jon Tester (Mont.) and Mark Warner (Va.).

        [On the Boxer amendment]:

        To that end, the Senate rejected Sen. Barbara Boxer's (D-Calif.) amendment that called for conducting more studies on Keystone while its application remains pending.

        That amendment, which fell 33-66, aimed to answer questions of how much of Keystone's oil is intended for overseas markets and how much of the pipeline's steel would come from U.S. firms, among other things.

        "It's not true that all the work has been done. We don't know how much of the steel will be American. We don't how many of the jobs will be American. We don't know if our national security people think that dirty tar sands is going to create climate disruption," Boxer said after her amendment fell, before the Senate took up Hoeven's measure.

        All Republicans voted against Boxer's proposal. The Democrats joining them were Baucus, Begich, Carper, Casey, Coons, Donnelly, Hagan, Heitkamp, Johnson, Landrieu, Manchin, McCaskill, Pryor and Sens. Sherrod Brown (Ohio), William Cowan (Mass.), Tim Kaine (Va.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Mark Udall (Colo.), Tom Udall (N.M.). Sen. Angus King (I-Maine) also voted against. 

        Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

        by willyr on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:39:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's the "support." Without a doubt... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          willyr, Creosote

          ...Udall has cautious on this, which is shown by his not signing the letter and not voting for the Boxer amendment. He's got a tough re-election fight ahead of him, which is no surprise. But Colorado has even worse form of petroleum than the tar sands to exploit—oil shale (what the Utes called tempe niache, the "rock that burns")—and it would be nice to see Colorado senators showing that they don't want to see this stuff converted to burnables.

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

          by Meteor Blades on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 01:00:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Why should we give him a break on this? (3+ / 0-)

        When do we start to demand that climate change be taken seriously? It's never going to be convenient, but that doesn't mean it's not necessary. Vitally necessary.

      •  He also has (0+ / 0-)

        A lot of Christian Taliban and white supremacists in his state.  Should we give him a pass on reproductive rights and civil rights?

  •  Mark Warner? (4+ / 0-)

    Hrm...

  •  Udall's a damn whimp! (0+ / 0-)

    He also favored hunting in National Parks (Rocky Mnt) to reduce the overpopulated Elk herds.  Open that door and see where it goes!  He sure as hell is no Gary Hart.

    But, since we need to keep the Senate, I'll be out there with a smiling face pounding the pavement for him, but when I get to the voting booth, I'll be holding my nose.

  •  B illions of dollars in profits for a few (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, Cadillac64, YucatanMan, Creosote

    are far more important than the lives and life quality of a bunch of common moochers.

    At best, Obama can stall the decision until another president makes it.

    I will be hugely surprised if the KXL is defeated.

    Because profits.

    (I will not be surprised it gets defeated if people act up sufficiently, which may happen. Please and thank you will not result in essential defeat. )

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:27:28 AM PDT

  •  and these people and many more want a NO (9+ / 0-)

    Reject and Protect.
    and this from
    From Bill McKibben today:

    The fight over the Keystone XL pipeline is entering its final phases—a 60-day public comment period is about to end, at which point John Kerry and Barack Obama will be free to decide whether the giant project is in America’s national interest.
    ...

    But it’s fitting that what may be the final arguments will come from the two groups that have fought longest and most powerfully: ranchers and farmers along the route, and Native Americans on both sides of the border. The members of this so-called CIA (Cowboy Indian Alliance) are bringing their tipis and horses to the Washington Mall later this month; they’ll host an encampment for a week, rallying under the nose of the White House and attempting to buck up the president who once promised he would end the “tyranny of oil.”

  •  Great. Then the perfect politics is for Obama to (3+ / 0-)

    ... deny them, allowing them to run against Obama in red states.

    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

    by Bob Johnson on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 11:43:24 AM PDT

  •  Oh please, I'm so sick of these weak-knee dems. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smiley7, i saw an old tree today
  •  stand with the communties along the line (5+ / 0-)

    http://action.sierraclub.org/...

    On April 22, a group of ranchers, farmers and tribal communities from along the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline route, called the Cowboy Indian Alliance, will ride into Washington, DC and set up camp near the White House to tell President Obama to reject the pipeline.

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

    by greenbastard on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 12:12:02 PM PDT

  •  Cull the herd. (0+ / 0-)

    This is why Democrats need to be willing to cull weak stragglers out of the herd from time to time. Not all the stragglers, of course, but at least one to set an example.

    Withdraw all progressive support from one of these sorry excuses for candidates, and there will be incentive for the others to get on the right side of the issues.

    Sometimes you need to make sacrifices in order to achieve longer-term gains.

  •  Their names in bold (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pakalolo, DawnN

    Let's not pussyfoot around--
    Heidi Heitkamp
    Mark Begich
    Mark Pryor
    Joe Donnelly
    Mary Landrieu
    Claire McCaskill
    Jon Tester
    John Walsh
    Kay Hagan
    Mark Warner
    Joe Manchin

    •  And we need all of their votes on other issues. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hooper

      Starting with the Supreme Court.

      New Republic: So are the left-wing blogs as bad as the Tea Party ones in this case? -------------------------Chuck Schumer: Left-wing blogs are the mirror image. They just have less credibility and less clout.

      by AlexDrew on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 04:59:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The question is why? (0+ / 0-)

      Why do they feel a need to publicly support it?  Because the majority favors it in those states. Which brings me to the sad conclusion on such a wonderfully progressive site....this truly is a center right country.  Whether it's a messaging problem or something else, the conservative ideology, at least in business matters, is winning. And it's very easy to prove just based on some recent voting patterns.

      You've got 11 senators taking the GOP position on this pipeline. How many House Democrats recently voted with the GOP on Obamacare repeal or other GOP-introduced bills? Lots of them.   We're lucky if we get 5 GOP senators to vote with Democrats on any Democratic bills, and every once in awhile we get a few defectors in the house. How many Democrats voted against the House Progressive Caucus' budget? Lots of them.  At least they all voted against the Ryan budget.

      I will always keep trying to vote in those who I feel genuinely want to stem this tide.  But I'm also realistic that most Americans don't see it that way. Keystone will prevail because most Americans want it to be built.  They've bought the argument.  Sorry, but that's what 11 Senators proved with this letter.

  •  I supported Mary Catherine Heitkamp (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobatkinson, Creosote

    enthusiastically when she ran.  I hosted a fundraiser, phone banked, donated, etc.  Even then, I knew she would be a disaster on energy issues.  She was, after all, Vice President or something of MDU, a local utility heavily involved in using coal for electricity.

    I rationalized that she might have been the tipping point between majority leader Reid or majority leader McConnell.  And she was an electable Democrat.  Turns out she wasn't the tipping point.  But she might well be again after the mid-terms.  If the party retains control of the senate by one vote, every surviving member will be that essential one vote, even the odious coward that is Mary Catherine Heitkamp.

    Needless to say, my opinion has changed since she took office.  I will never support her or vote for her again.  I don't care if Dick or Liz Cheney run against her.

    There are other ways to retain control of the senate.  There are other fights to wage.  My limited resources and efforts will go to something I can believe in, not the lesser of two evils.

    It was bad enough that she charged in like a bull in a china shop, going on the Sunday talk shows in her first week in office to bad-mouth the Democratic president.  It was bad enough that she, a lawyer, voted against confirmation of a civil rights nominee because of a client he represented.  Her support of the pipeline I don't hold against her, because I factored that in from the beginning.

    What tipped the scales for me was her vote in support of a Republican filibuster on background checks following Sandy Hook.  Nobody can offer a valid reason to object to universal background checks, because there isn't one.  If we agree that certain people should not have guns, then we must agree that there should be mechanisms to keep those people from obtaining guns.  If Mary Catherine believes otherwise, then she can vote against the bill.   Voting to prevent a vote is simply cowardice.

    Ethical problem: if you had a time machine, would you go back and kill Cheney before he took office?

    by Fiddler On A Hot Tin Roof on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 02:32:38 PM PDT

  •  I Am So Weary of Keystone - (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Davidsfr, AlexDrew

    What a profoundly quixotic adventure -
    And to sacrifice the Senate, too.

    I grant you that Mary Landrieu is no Bernie Sanders - -
    But then again, Bernie Sanders would never get elected in Louisiana.
    And Landrieu's GOP replacement would make Vitter look liberal.

    You know, you can get coke and meth anywhere in North America.
    Both are illegal to produce and to distribute -
    but there's a market and big profits doing so.

    Alberta oil sands oil is legal to produce and distribute.
    (Even though there are many who would like to make it illegal)
    The Alberta government is hardly likely to stop production.
    The opposition party in Alberta is to the RIGHT of the Conservatives.
    And Justin Trudeau came out in support of Alberta oil.
    So the Canadian federal government will support it.

    Would it be better to ship Alberta oil by rail?
    Because that's what's happening right now.
    And it is even more carbon intensive than pipelines.
    Or would it be better to ship via the Hudson Bay -
    Because Manitoba and Saskatchewan are considering that route.
    Or the Arctic via the MacKenzie Valley?

    Alberta oil will reach the market.
    Perhaps at greater cost both in dollars and carbon -
    But it will get to market.

    Meanwhile Keystone becomes an albatross for red state Dem senators -
    And the Senate flips Republican.

    Congratulations.

    •  So, if the Canadians want it so much why don't (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobatkinson, Creosote

      they build a pipeline east or west on Canadian lands?

      Why do we have to deal with the toxic waste produced by the refining this tar sand bitumen?

      Don't we already have enough pet-coke in our environment causing lung disease and cancer in our American neighborhoods?

      Why should we take all the risk and receive no benefits at all?

      Really don't mind if you sit this one out. My words but a whisper -- your deafness a SHOUT. I may make you feel but I can't make you think..Jethro Tull

      by RMForbes on Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 03:34:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They Are and They Will - (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sybil Liberty

        Although the Northern Gateway pipeline thru BC is onhold, Kinder Morgan is expanding its Trans Mountain pipeline capacity to Vancouver and Puget Sound. And unit trains are heading west. BC's Premier CLark has been pimping Alberta's Premier Redford - basically for more money. Alberta is flush and BC has a huge deficit.

        As for eastward transport, Enbridge is on target to reverse the direction of Line 9 with refining capacity in Quebec and port facilities in New Brunswick. Plus the unit trains, too. Both Quebec and NB are looking at the financial gains of Alberta oil, too - like BC.

        http://www.theglobeandmail.com/...

        Keystone XL is just one small part of the expansion of Alberta oil production.

      •  They are (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        johnnygunn

        "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 Thu Apr 10, 2014 at 04:47:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Nevertheless, we have to halt the pipeline. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote

      We need to ensure that the carbon stays in the ground as much as possible. If forcing a reroute of the pipeline results in increased production costs, then that will be a small step in the right direction. It will shift the cost comparison slightly in the direction of non-carbon energy sources. (I'm not saying that it will be sufficient in itself.)

      Stopping carbon pollution is more important than any other issue on the table. No, strike that. It is more important than ALL of the other issues on the table.

      If you know of a better way to accomplish that, which does not involve focusing on KXL, then please point us to it. I would like there to be a more effective approach than pounding my fists on the table and insisting that Democrats oppose KXL, but I honestly don't know what that approach would be.

      We are approaching a time when the window for political solutions to the carbon problem will close.

      •  I Could Not Disagree More - (0+ / 0-)

        Carbon is not the most important issue on the table - -
        Certainly not for me nor for the majority of folks.

        I am a lifelong progressive and environmental historian.
        I believe strongly that population, consumption, and habitat loss will have a faster and more profound environmental impact than any effects from increased CO2.

        Furthermore, with the ongoing decline in work and income in the developed world, a focus on carbon will result in increasing number of right-wing political victories - which will hardly advance the broader environmental program.

  •  Kay Hagan (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smiley7, wordwraith

    I got a call from a new campaign worker that was going to be in charge of Cabarrus County, NC. He started his pitch for Kay & I stopped him in his tracks ! I said I'm a Democrat & I will vote for Kay in November. But I told him I would not give a dime because of Kay's stance on the KXL pipeline.
    He stumbled for something to say.
    He wanted to meet me for coffee.
    I told him I was to busy to do anything till August.

    So Kay I don't like you signing & sending this letter !

  •  Riddle me this.... (0+ / 0-)

    If this pipeline is such a safe, sure fire, good idea, then why in the Hell don't the Canadians squirt that shit through a pipe across their own country?

  •  Way to play team, jerks! Then they take Netroots $ (0+ / 0-)

    for their campaigns.

    Can we send them a focused get-the-F-out-of-the-way (of fighting climate change) message somehow?

    Repub'ed to CCSOS.

  •  This is going to pass. (0+ / 0-)

    It's not if, it's when.  Obama may be able to stall it until the GOP takes over the Senate in 2014, but even if he manages to stall until 2016,...President GOP or Clinton will approve it the first year.

    For all you Hillary supporters,...what about the Clintons entire history says they won't support this pipeline?  NAFTA.  Glass-Steagle repeal.  Welfare Reform.  The era of big government is over.

    I believe Obama wants to approve this.  He wants the approval of the Powers that Be.  He wants the money and support that comes with this after he leaves office.  He is just waiting for the right time, because he knows this decision will prove once and for all that he is a Conservadem on economic issues.  Nothing more, nothing less.  

    And, he knows the Left will be apoplectic when he does this, and his approval rating will be permanently stuck at 42% or less for the remainder of his presidency.  He just has to decide at what point he can live with that.  

    •  And, BTW... (0+ / 0-)

      If legislation were to pass with 54 Senate votes (including 11 Dems) and a big House majority (which would also include red state Dems), Obama would have to sign it.  I don't see how he could veto it.

      Now, that might not ever happen, because Harry Reid is a real Dem (maybe not a progressive, but not a DINO, either), so he'll never let it come up for a vote unless it's attached to something else.

      Can anyone say Extended Unemployment Benefits???

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