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Okay.  Tar Sands bad,  

Pipeline delay gives boost to Obama's political base

(Reuters) - The latest delay to a final decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline will reinforce a White House strategy to energize President Barack Obama's liberal-leaning base before fall elections in which Democrats risk losing control of the U.S. Senate.

Environmentalists, worried about the project's effect on climate change, have put enormous pressure on the president to reject the pipeline from Canada's oil sands, staging demonstrations outside the White House and protests in states where he travels.

A decision to approve it now could have prompted that vocal group, which was instrumental in electing Obama in 2008 and 2012, to sit out the November 4 congressional elections.

Many Democrats are vulnerable to attack, and some worried that the delay on the pipeline decision could undermine moderates such as Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu and Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor whose re-election bids will help determine whether Republicans gain control of the Senate.

After the State Department's announcement, Landrieu promised constituents in her energy-producing state that she would wield her power as chair of the Senate Energy Committee to get the Keystone project approved.

Landrieu was one of 11 Democratic senators who urged Obama in a letter a week ago to make a decision on the project by May 31. But even if she and her colleagues joined Republicans to pass a bill compelling Obama to approve Keystone XL, they would have a difficult time reaching the necessary two-thirds majority in the 100-person Senate to override a presidential veto.

I have said this before.  With all due respect to MB.  This is no longer where we make our stand.  Democrats will lose in certain States based on this decision.  Redstate and Fossil-fuel producing/processing states Dems are left out to dry between this and ACA (for all the wrong reasons) it only makes it more difficult, imho.

Some day, the Admin will choose between Labor and Enviro.  But, not today.  For those interested, you can find the response from multiple Labor Unions that don't like this at all.

They're gonna ship by truck and rail regardless.  They are already doing so.  All we're doing is pissing off our beloved Canadian neighbors and making election more difficult for those Dems seeking re-election.

We're f'ng this up people.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    "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 Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 12:37:24 PM PDT

  •  Senator Landrieu wants immediate approval. (5+ / 0-)

    Immediate nonapproval may cost Harry the Senate this year.

    Later disapproval may be a working strategy.

  •  With democrats and diaries like these (9+ / 0-)

    no Democrat is re-elected for the right reasons.

    This is a farce.

    Your link even doesn't work.

    Jeez.

    With due respect to MB?

    Is this an issue that concerns MB alone? Since when?  

    Can we admit that this is a political issue? Yes, we can, that's why we don't re-elect bad democrats.

    Some day, the Admin will choose between Labor and Enviro.  But, not today.  For those interested, you can find the response from multiple Labor Unions that don't like this at all.
    Yeah, it would be too much to ask for people to understand that chosing Enviro would mean a lot of Labor, good labor, lots of labor, never ending labor. Exactly the labor the 98% need. The Unions have stopped thinking? Looks like it ...

    Here it goes:

    Reject the bad democrats, protect the good ones. And don't get confused who are the bad ones and who are not.

    I speak for myself only. No offense, but it's just too darn disappointing what is happening. You are strategerizing yourself to death.

    •  Geez (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Victor Ward, annecros, AlexDrew

      Fixed the link.  

      No, this does not just concern MB.  He and I have disagreed on the meaning and ramifications of the delay.  Relax.

      Who say's we're electing "bad democrats"?  You like a majority?  Yes?

      Thank you for agreeing that this is political and has nothing to do with 1 pipeline among thousands that will be built.  It is the Maginot Line for Enviros over Labor.

      "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 Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:04:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Rec'd for the good snark if nothing else! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EdMass, MGross, AlexDrew
    All we're doing is pissing off our beloved Canadian neighbors
    I'd write more but I'm frantically trying to complete my ode to baby seal meat and Justin Bieber .. . . . (somehow a lot of people don't connect the two things, but they DO go together quite nicely!)
  •  Another way to look at this is that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Victor Ward, AlexDrew

    the Dems messaging just has to improve - insofar as moving the product by rail rather than pipeline WILL result in a (slightly) higher number of jobs.

    This is an area that we are constantly out-done by the RWers.  D'ohh!!

    •  But Rail incident rate over 2x that of Pipeline (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annecros, nextstep

      Are some of those against the Pipeline environmentalists?

      Undoubtedly.

      But I'd be willing to bet that many of the Dems hosting fundraisers against Keystone have carbon footprints several hundred times that of the median American.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. www.hamiltonproject.org

      by PatriciaVa on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 01:22:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  To me it seems like a lot of people on (8+ / 0-)

        this site don't fully think through the consequences of their positions - for example, many of those who have copiously praised the POTUS for "saving" General Motors (and by extension this company's SUV-heavy product line) are the same people who are against KXL, which is at least somewhat ironic insofar as the existence of corporations like GM is what makes KXL (and tarsands extraction more generally) necessary in the first place.

        Strange, strange stuff to be sure

        •  a magazine that covers environmental issues that I (0+ / 0-)

          subscribe to just had an entire issue on travel. Someone said tourism is between 5% and 15% of transportation CO2 depending on how you count it.. the rest of the issue was all about how great travel is.

          I do think saving GM was good and CAFE standards have been reduced. We are simply a carbon guzzling people. I'd wish KXL unnecessary, but the biggest harm comes when we put it in our cars.

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

          by ban nock on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 07:53:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I don't think this pipeline should be okayed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LeftCoastTom, True North, Sunspots

    until they clean up the mess in the Kalamazoo River from their first tar sands pipeline. I also believe we shouldn't even consider a single wall pipe. Tar Sand Bitumen is just too abrasive for a single walled pipe, it needs to be doubled with electronic leak detectors over the entire length of the pipeline. We also need to eliminate the tar sands exemption from the spill contingency fund.

    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 Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:01:42 PM PDT

    •  You said: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neuroptimalian, ban nock, bailey22
      Tar Sand Bitumen is just too abrasive for a single walled pipe
      This is an urban legend which has been conclusively repudiated in a National Research Council Report:

      http://www8.nationalacademies.org/...

      http://www.nap.edu/...

      Heavy sour crude from tar sands did not cause the pipeline failure in the Kalamazoo River spill.   That event was caused by external corrosion and stress cracking, so tar sands crude was not the cause of that incident (but certainly did severely contribute to the severity of the effects of the spill because of the physical properties of tar sands crude).

      You can easily verify this by reading the national transportation safety board report on that spill.

      •  The Kalamazoo River incident happened when (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sunspots

        that pipeline was less than a year old. If it was an external problem as you contend, I don't want the same people running this sludge through our heartland and over important water sources. Why would you?

        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 Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 05:17:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The pipeline segment that broke in the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bailey22

          Kalamazoo river event was over 40 years old and the corrosion occurred because of a minor defect in the plastic coating that had been applied to the pipeline when it was constructed.

          I'm more concerned about the pipeline crossings over the Great Lakes connecting channels and Michigan rivers, and such crossings should be converted to and required by law to use pipeline bridges rather than submerged pipe, as now recommended by governor candidate Mark Schauer.

          •  Come on, you don't need to lie (0+ / 0-)

            The Kalamazoo River spill happened about 4 years ago and not 40. That particular pipeline was less than a year old when it happened. There were over 70 spills on this new pipeline, that was supposedly state of the art, in it's first year of service.

            Like I said before, the Kalamazoo River needs to be cleaned up before we allow another larger version of this pipeline moving Tar Sands Bitumen. The exemption also needs to be removed, these companies need to contribute to the spill fund if bitumen flows through these pipes too.

            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 Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 06:27:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You are seriously mis-informed about Line 6B (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bailey22

              The pipeline that broke in the Kalamazoo River spill event in 2010 was over 40 years old.....it was NOT less than a year old.....you are spreading erroneous claims and bad information by saying the Enbridge Kalamazoo River spill occurred in a one year old line.

              Enbridge Line 6B is being replaced, but the replacement pipeline has not started operating yet.

              There is not any regulatory basis to require that the KXL pipeline be denied because Enbridge has not yet completed cleanup of the Kalamazoo River.

              You can easily verify all of the matters about Line 6b by reading the NTSB report on the 2010 accident.  If you read that report, you'll also see how Enbridge was completely irresponsible and that this entire pipeline accident could have been prevented and avoided.

              How about spending some time educating yourself instead of tossing off flip accusations of dishonesty?  

              You'll be more effective in environmental stewardship if you take some time to become informed;  most notably you'll see that the tar sands heavy sour crude did not have anything to do with the physical cause of the Enbridge Line 6B accident:

              http://www.ntsb.gov/...

              https://www.ntsb.gov/...

              http://www.ntsb.gov/...

              http://www.ntsb.gov/...

              •  You miss the point and it's not completely (0+ / 0-)

                true that bitumen had nothing to do with this accident.

                Bitumen slurry requires both higher pressures and temperatures than sweet crude. It is very likely that the higher pressures and temperatures require to push tar sands bitumen through this pipe was at least a contributing factor in the pipeline failure. It was gross criminal engineering malfeasance to push bitumen at high pressure through a grossly under engineered and poorly maintained pipeline designed for sweet crude.

                Until these companies can prove they can safely move bitumen through a pipeline without creating these types of disasters we shouldn't allow an extra large version. At least not a single wall pipe. And yes they also need to prove they can effectively clean a spill up before they be allowed to build new larger pipelines.

                Why don't you address the exemption to the spill cleanup fund enjoyed by the bitumen producers?

                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 Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 09:04:02 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  It's sludge when it leaks out of the pipeline (0+ / 0-)

            which will happen. Tar Sands slurry (dilbit) is not precisely the same thing as heavy sour crude either. Various unknown proprietary chemicals have to be added to the semi-solid bitumen so that it will flow through the hundreds of miles of pipeline. It is similar but not the same thing as the sour crude oil extracted (fracked) from the North Dakota and Montana shale oil fields.

            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 Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 09:41:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Well, you have a point, in a way. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EdMass

    Remember what Jesus said about spitting the lukewarm out of his mouth.  That's how Americans are with politicians.  We're more likely to vote for a candidate with whom we disagree than a candidate with no discernible convictions; the former has convictions and thus at least a certain degree of persuasive force.

    This endless dilly-dallying over Keystone XL is making NOBODY happy.  Better to just approve the damned thing (which is what the Administration has really always wanted to do do anyway) or reject it (which IMHO would be the right thing to do) . . . but instead this never-ending charade.

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

    by corvo on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:08:28 PM PDT

  •  Your Canadian neighbours don't want it either (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sunspots

    Big Oil (or Big Tar) wants approval to build pipelines through British Columbia, and through provinces to the east. We've heard from BC: huge opposition.

    For some oddball reason, they're bothered by the possibility that their spectacularly beautiful territory would be awash in bitumen and assorted (secret) chemicals when the catastrophic spill happens.

    Prime Minister Harper represents a Calgary riding, and Calgary is HQ-Central for Big Oil in Canada. So of course he's going to pitch this as pro-Keystone = pro-Canada.

    But don't assume that everybody in Canada thinks that TransCanada's interests are the same as Canada's.

  •  Tell me what's in it for the U.S. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sunspots

    The bitumen, with all the secret chemicals added to make it capable of sloshing through a pipeline, will head to Texas to be refined and exported abroad. Not much is destined for the US domestic market.

    As far as I know, the US won't even get tariffs or taxes on the stuff as it enters the US, because it is en route to a Foreign Trade Zone. And no tariffs/taxes when it leaves the Trade Zone. (But someone correct me if I've wrong.)

    As far as I can see, what the US gets is:

    - huge, huge risk to its prime agricultural land in the midwest;
    - even more huge risk to the Ogallala Aquifer, which eight states rely on;
    and
    - some temporary jobs.

    Plus a bunch of jobs cleaning up the catastrophic spill, but those will be jobs offset by the lost jobs and lost homes of those spilled upon.

    I read a report that North Dakota (maybe South Dakota) released on its experience with TransCanada's promises of jobs! jobs! jobs! in the construction of a pipeline there. The report sounded a little bitter. TransCanada brought in its own people for the highly-skilled jobs that paid well. Locally, TransCanada hired people for unskilled jobs with low wages.

    The union members probably aren't in line to get good jobs for the construction in those three states, if past practices indicate anything.

    So what does the United States get if it approves this? All I see is that the U.S. gets the risk, without compensation, and Canada's Big Oil outfits get the profits.

    •  You said: (4+ / 0-)
      The bitumen, with all the secret chemicals added to make it capable of sloshing through a pipeline, will head to Texas to be refined and exported abroad. Not much is destined for the US domestic market.
      There are no secret chemicals added to make flow of heavy sour crude from tar sands be able to be pumped through a pipeline.   It is not a secret as the diluents are typically natural gas liquids, petroleum naphtha and other hydrotreated hydrocarbons.

      Most of the refined petroleum products produced by refineries in the gulf region are consumed in the United States and not exported.  KXL would not change that since commencement of the operation of the KXL pipeline would not have an effect on the production capability of gulf coast refinery process units, which have been taking heavy sour crude from a variety of sources for at least the last decade.

      The union members probably aren't in line to get good jobs for the construction in those three states, if past practices indicate anything.
      Last I heard is that TransCanada has signed a project labor agreement with the union laborers and pipefitters, so KXL construction is going to be a union shop for union democrats interested in construction jobs.
    •  You just don't get it (0+ / 0-)

      They have been moving it for 3 years by rail and truck with a larger carbon impact than moving it by pipline.  This is all a farce and misdirection and you have bought it apparrently.

      "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 Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 07:05:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  More crude spills in 2013 than previous 40 years.. (0+ / 0-)

        These are US spills only and does not include Canada.

        "As a direct result of the Bakken shale oil boom, more crude oil was spilled from rail cars last year than in the previous four decades combined. That’s according to a McClatchy analysis of federal data from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which governs rail transport of liquid fuels like crude.

        The analysis revealed more than 1.15 million gallons of crude spilled in 2013, considerably more than the 800,000 gallons spilled from 1975 through 2012 combined."  there is a massive boom in crude-by-rail throughout North America, with a nearly 2400-percent increase in crude rail car shipments in five short years from 2008-2012."  
        http://www.desmogblog.com/...

        The oil IS going to move whether you like it or not - moving it by pipeline is the ONLY safe way to move oil.  As for the refineries in the southern US - I guess you all prefer to import and refine crude oil from Venezuala, Nigeria and other OPEC countries (you know - the countries where their citizens are treated so good).

  •  I don't follow the issue closely but I recced (0+ / 0-)

    for your attempt to take a view that emphasises realistic appraisal of the issue. The diary elicited some interesting comments too.

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

    by ban nock on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 08:01:42 PM PDT

  •  Exactly where should we make our stand... (1+ / 0-)

    ...and when regarding the burning of fossil fuels? Shall we let coal and oil-state Democrats (and, of course, Peabody, the American Petroleum Institute and Koch Brothers) set the appropriate timeline?

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

    by Meteor Blades on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 10:08:44 PM PDT

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