Tag Archives: Keystone XL Pipeline

Obama and the Politics of the Keystone XL Pipeline



The Politics of the Keystone XL Pipeline

President Barack Hussein Obama, in order to extend the payroll tax cut he favored, was forced to make a decision regarding the Keystone XL Pipeline by February 21, 2012. Legislation, passed by the Democrat-controlled Senate, required that the Keystone XL Pipeline go forward unless Obama declared that it was not in the national interest. Obama did that Wednesday, January 18, 2012. Then, in an amazing display of chutzpah, he blamed Republicans for forcing him to make the decision. He says that Republicans “forced his hand” to make the decision. Obama said, “I’m disappointed that Republicans in Congress forced this decision….”

Representative Fred Upton (R-MI), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said: “Canada is going to develop this no matter what, and that oil is either going to come to the United States or it’s going to go to a place like China. We want it here.”

After announcing his decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline that killed 20,000 jobs, Obama went to DisneyWorld to promote tourism jobs. Ironic? With Cinderella’s castle as his backdrop, Obama said: “America is open for business.” He then went up to NYC, to Manhattan, for campaign fundraisers, charging up to $38,500 per partier. On the same day he killed the Keystone project, Obama released his first campaign ad of 2012, highlighting his record on energy jobs. Even more ironically, the ad touted his ethics record. And as the outrage over the Solyndra scandal (and others) grows, Obama had the nerve to sprinkle his inaugural campaign spot with solar panels.

And here are reactions from Democrats about Obama’s Keystone XL Pipeline decision:

  • Rep. Jim Matheson (D-UT): “This delay is just playing politics with American jobs and American energy security.”
  • Rep. Jason Altmire (D-PA): “The rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline permit is a missed opportunity to drastically turn this economy around. This pipeline would have created thousands of new jobs and helped to ensure our energy independence.”
  • Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV): “President Obama’s decision on the Keystone XL pipeline is a major setback for the American economy, American workers, and America’s energy independence.”

Keystone XL Pipeline Rejected

Obama announced that he will deny a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and blamed Republicans for imposing a “rushed and arbitrary deadline” which he said did not give officials enough time. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said that the “arbitrary deadline” made an adequate review “virtually impossible.” Obama said that his decision was not based on the “merits” of the plan, but on the forced timeline. “As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment,” Obama said. “As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree.” But the State Department has been reviewing the initial proposal for three years.

Conservative and Industry Reaction To Cancellation

Jack N. Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, said: “How can you say you are for jobs and reject the largest shovel-ready project in America today? Mr. President, what are you thinking?” Kevin Book, an energy analyst at Clearview Energy Partners, said that even an approval in 2013 could still have “important implications for North American supply” because it would establish a six- or seven-year process for approval of pipelines that cross national borders. US Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Thomas Donohue said: “This political decision offers hard evidence that creating jobs is not a high priority for this administration.” He continued, “By placing politics over policy, the Obama administration is sacrificing tens of thousands of good-paying American jobs in the short term, and many more than that in the long term.”

Keystone’s rejection will “sell American energy security to the Chinese,” a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said on January 18, 2012, that President Barack Obama is breaking his promise to create jobs by rejecting a plan to build an oil pipeline from Canada to Texas.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said: “Keystone was an obvious choice: everybody in Washington says they want more American jobs now. Well, here’s the single largest shovel-ready project in America – ready to go… The labor unions like it. Democrats want it. It strengthens our national security by decreasing the amount of oil we get from unfriendly countries. And it wouldn’t cost the taxpayers a dime. The only thing standing between thousands of American workers, and the good jobs this project will provide is President Obama.”

Environmentalist Reaction To Cancellation

Environmental advocates, disappointed with his failure to achieve climate change legislation, and his decision to delay new smog standards, have made it clear that approval of the pipeline would weaken enthusiasm for Obama’s re-election bid. Some liberal donors even threatened to stop donations to Obama’s re-election campaign to protest the project, which they say would transport “dirty oil” that requires huge amounts of energy to extract.

Bill McKibben, a Vermont writer and environmentalist, said that the victory [Keystone XL Pipeline rejection] is a tribute to people who set aside their natural cynicism about the possibility of change, instead went to jail, wrote public comments, surrounded the White House shoulder to shoulder five deep. They managed to bring reality to the forefront, and that reality – the leaky pipeline, the oil destined for export, the carbon overload from the tar sands – managed to trump, for now, the bottomless pockets of the fossil fuel industry.

Union Reaction To Cancellation

If he rejects the pipeline, Obama risks losing support from organized labor, a key part of the Democratic base, for thwarting thousands of jobs. Brent Bookers, director of construction at the Laborers’ International Union of North America, said: “For many members of the Laborers, this project is not just a pipeline, it is a lifeline. Too many hard-working Americans are out of work, and the Keystone XL pipeline will change that dire situation for thousands of them.”

LaborUnionReport.com weighed in on the Keystone XL Pipeline controversy, vowing not to forget Obama’s betrayal of killing 20,000 jobs. The web site continued, “For more than three years, the State Department has conducted its “transparent, thorough, and rigorous review.” However, apparently, the Obama Administration believed that three years wasn’t enough to be transparent, thorough, or rigorous enough.” Christopher Helman, in Forbes, said: “In the process of selecting the proposed route, TransCanada plotted and studied 14 different pipeline paths and submitted 10,000 pages of environmental studies. They’ve already studied this thing to death.”

Obama’s purely ideological decision does not serve the national interest at all. Obama’s decision harm – not help – the nation’s interests since China will be the likely recipient of the Canadian oil. Additionally his decision will be the destruction of 20,000 union jobs.

For a synopsis of the Keystone XL Pipeline, including several information links, see this link.

His decision harms our relationship with Canada and sends the message that the US is not serious about reducing its dependency on unstable and hostile sources of the oil that we need to power our economy.
But that’s just my opinion.

Access to other articles like this one can be found at RWNO, my personal web site.

Keystone Pipeline: Why Obama Said No; And What Happens Now?

Yesterday the Obama administration announced he was declining the Keystone XL pipeline application due to the Republicans setting an “unreasonable timeline” of February 21, 2012 for a decision. That George W. Bush, still causing problems for Obama!!! Obama wanted to put it off until after the 2012 elections so he could continue to draw campaign money from both sides. As it is now, he will only get money from the “environmental” nut cases unless the supporters of the pipeline are willing to pay him for a favorable decision after he gets re-elected in November (snicker!!!).

This decision has all the markings of his pledge before the 2008 election to “fundamentally transform” the United States of America. Remember when he said that he would bankrupt the coal companies and that energy prices would “necessarily skyrocket”? Here we are, a chance to keep that campaign pledge to his left wing zealots who want to see America become a Third world hell hole dictatorship. Remember when he closed off all drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, ignored a court order to resume permits, and sent $4 billion to a George Soros invested company in Brazil so we could be “their best customer”?

As Obama once again applies his “laser focus on jobs” we see the prospect of 5,000 immediate jobs, 20,000 jobs over the next few years, and the potential 200,000 long term jobs fizzle in an orgy of pandering to his left-wing base. Of course, there is the magnificent prospect of the unemployment payments that will actually rescue our economy. This came from that paragon of economic brain trusts, Nancy Pelosi. Remember when she said that every dollar of unemployment payments generates $1.87 to the economy? That is very good news indeed. There certainly isn’t any sense in losing such an economic boost by providing thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of jobs. We once again see our country being taken down the road to financial ruin by those desiring to rule rather than govern. This is not new as we have seen what the radicals who have taken over the Democrat Party have been doing for several years.

Environmental groups opposed the pipeline saying it could harm the Oglala Reservoir under Nebraska. That is a huge concern to all of us I am sure. There is no doubt this pipeline will do as much damage to the environment as the Alaska Pipeline did to the tundra and the herds of deer, moose, elk and whatever. I have read many stories about the Alaska pipeline and the results of that coming “environmental disaster”. If I remember right, and I don’t have the stories before me, the herds are thriving because the heat from the pipeline is keeping the grass growing under it without damaging the permafrost. The food being provided by the vegetation in what was a total wasteland in winter, not to mention the heat off the pipes providing warmth for the herds, is actually increasing the numbers of animals.
The big question is what are the Republicans in Congress going to do about this situation? Yesterday we heard Republicans come out and denounce the decision with tough talk and big words, but will they actually do anything to reverse this decision? I have my doubts. As a matter of fact, I will be bold enough to say “No, they won’t!!!” The leadership in the Republican Party is so weak and so busy being “civil” and “reaching across the aisle to work with our Democrat friends” that I don’t expect them to do any more than they have done with the stimulus, TARP, debt ceiling, etc.

Unless We the People elect true conservatives in November we will continue to lose our freedoms daily. We used to lose a freedom here and there but now we see them disappearing in droves. It seems as if every piece of legislation that comes out, unread of course, takes another freedom away from us.

Obama and members of both political parties in Congress are combining to destroy what was once the most prosperous nation in the history of the world. Our economic security, our physical security, and or liberty are all being taken from us by those who got elected by promising a better life for all Americans. If it isn’t already too late November will be the pivotal point of my lifetime. If we don’t make drastic changes, assuming Obama allows elections in November, we will lose what is left of our liberty.

We can’t just blindly vote for Republicans as they have proven to be unreliable, and as dangerous as Democrats. Only 22 of the 87 freshmen TEA Party members elected to the House of Representatives in 2010 voted against the debt ceiling increase last fall. If we have another freshman class like that in 2012 we are doomed to a lifetime of tyranny. Our future is at stake and the Keystone XL Pipeline permit denial is just one more nail in the coffin of the Republic of the United States of America.

I submit this in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, in faith, with the responsibility given to me by almighty God to honor His work and not let it die from neglect.
Bob Russell
Claremore, Oklahoma
January 18, 2011

The payroll tax gambit, eggs and the GOP miscalculation

The phrase “couldn’t find their butts with both hands tied behind their backs” comes to mind as I analyze the feat of stupidity undertaken by the leaders of the House and Senate in the Social Security revenue cut proposal (a.k.a. payroll tax holiday).

A news outlet I do not often quote, The New York Times,  has an opinion piece that puts it succinctly:

After a long stretch of high unemployment, legislative turmoil and, in turn, slipping public approval, President Obama seemed to regain his political footing this week with the help of House Republicans, whose handling of a standoff over payroll taxes had even leading conservatives accusing them of bungling the politically charged issue.

Obama has done absolutely nothing right, yet the GOP leadership is handing him a populist issue upon which he can turn his entire campaign around.

There is no way the GOP and Conservatives can come out of a tax battle smelling like a rose when the Democrats are voting for an increase that the right is willing to vote against. Harry Reid, Barack Obama and their puppet masters have played a masterful gambit and Senate Majority Leader McConnell and House Speaker Boehner bit – hard.

Despite the fact that the Senate passed a bill they knew would not pass the House and got on the first train out of the swamp, the Republicans stayed behind “doing their work” and will have nothing but egg on their faces for it.

The Senate bill offers a two month, 2% tax holiday on payroll social security taxes. The House bill offers the same holiday but over a year’s time. The Democrats have to swallow a provision that puts the Keystone XL pipeline on the front burner.

Boehner tried to point out that the House had conferees ready to work out a compromise in joint committee over the differences in the two bills. He just asked that the Senate send their own conferees to join in the discussions so that they could work out a compromise that could be passed by both houses.

Obama came out in a press conference this week and demanded that the full House come back from vacation and vote on the Senate’s plan – echoing Reid’s commentary (or vice-versa – it’s so hard to tell now adays).

Both plans include a push to get a decision made on the Keystone XL pipeline, an extension of unemployment benefits, the Medicare doc-fix and a payroll tax holiday – so what’s the problem?

The fight isn’t over whether or not a tax cut should happen, the fight has been over how to pay for it and what to include with it.

The Senate’s 2-month version includes full unemployment benefit extensions at current levels. The House plan cuts the length of jobless benefits from 99 weeks to 79 weeks and requires beneficiaries without a high school diploma to seek education in order to continue receiving benefits.

A better play for the Republicans would have been to agree to the two month extension no strings attached. Then in February when we’re still talking about it, mention that the GOP gave something in December, the DNC gave nothing – just as they have for the last 3 years. The democrats are all take and no give –  no compromise.

Boehner and McConnell  are getting played and played well. If they continue with their ill-thought strategies, it will not be long before neither are leaders of much of anything.

Keystone XL Bill DOA in Senate

The US House of Representatives passed on Tuesday (December 13, 2011), despite a White House veto threat, a bill that had in it two key components: (1) it would force work to begin on the 1,700-mile-long Keystone XL oil pipeline, and (2) it would keep 160 million workers from seeing their payroll tax go up on January 1, 2012, from this year’s 4.2% back to 6.2%. The bill ignores Democrat proposals to place a surtax on people earning more than $1 million annually to offset the payroll tax non-increase. Other bill provisions include renewal of expiring extra benefits for long-term jobless people, and stop a cut in doctors’ Medicare reimbursements. Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said, “It was dead before it got to the Senate. The Senate will not pass it.”

Labor unions (Keystone XL pipeline supporters) and environmentalists (pipeline opponents) are both very big Obama supporters. On Thursday, November 10, 2011, Obama dodged a sensitive situation by deferring the decision on extending TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline. Obama punted. He delayed the decision on the pipeline by supporting the State Department’s move to “seek additional information about the Keystone XL Pipeline proposal.” Obama cited a need for studies of how the pipeline could avoid harming fragile lands in Nebraska when he announced in November, 2011, that work would be delayed until after the 2012 elections. The GOP bill would give the president 60 days to act or the needed work permit would be automatically granted.

Proponents of the pipeline say work on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, proposed to run from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, to Texas oil refineries, would create 20,000 jobs and add $20 billion to the US economy. Additionally, local businesses along the pipeline route will benefit from the 118,000 spin-off jobs the pipeline will create through increased business for local goods and service providers. Opponents say the real figure is more like 5,000 to 6,000 jobs. “This is a stick in the eye [for Democrats],” said House Democrat Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD).

House Republicans and dozens of House Democrats united to pass a bill in July, 2011, that would have kept the pipeline on schedule, but that bill died in the Democrat-controlled Senate. Now that the Keyustone XL pipeline has been linked with a position Democrats favor, they are outraged. Steny Hoyer said that Republicans’ efforts to force a vote on the pipeline by attaching it to legislation that would extend the payroll tax cuts enacted last year was a partisan tactic that would insert a “controversial” issue into a bill it has nothing to do with. Said Hoyer, “I don’t think it has any analogy to anything other than a clear, politically motivated effort to make this a controversial bill, which would appeal to some of their most conservative members who don’t give one whit about compromise.”

So now with the House passage of a bill attaching the pipeline to Democrat favored issues will force the Senate, and Obama since Democrat senators will do his bidding, to “get off the dime” and let Americans know where he stands.

But that’s just my opinion.

Unions (almost) agree with House Republicans on jobs plan

President of the Constriction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO Mark Ayers seemed to support the Republican approach to growing jobs in a Tuesday press release.

Mr. Ayers first expressed that the AFL-CIO unions disagree with Obama’s delay of the Keystone XL pipeline. His statement says that the unions “have been steadfast supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that is truly ‘shovel-ready’ and a privately funded endeavor that would put significant numbers of American skilled craft professionals back to work under a project agreement that ensures safe and efficient construction.”

That’s exactly what Republicans have been saying. The XL pipeline is a jobs and revenue producing monster that needs to be let loose – only Obama stands in the way.

The union executive did have one point of contention – he didn’t like the fact that Republicans put the pipeline in as a part of the Middle Class tax relief and Job Creation Act of 2011. In the bill, unemployment insurance is extended, but only if Obama allows the pipeline to pass. The unions are clearly worried that Obama will choose politics and party over the good of the nation.

The union solution? Ayers demands that, “President Obama should immediately grant a presidential permit for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, and congressional Republicans should craft and pass a ‘clean’ unemployment insurance extension.”

The President has so-far been reluctant to concede any ground or negotiate on any point. It is unlikely that Mr. Ayers’ proposal stands a chance – although, it doesn’t sound a whole lot different than the Republican jobs bill .. does it?

Friday Media Dump

Good News on Monday; bad news on Friday. Here’s a little of everything that got dumped on us today:

Trump trumped?

All but two candidates have declined Trump’s invitation to the Newsmax/ION debate that he is to host:

Trump considering alternatives:

NLRB play against Boeing was just blackmail

Obama's Failed "Green Energy" Policy

Energy Policy

How much more proof does President Obama need that his “green jihad” is a failure? The greatest problem is that it has failed on two fronts. First, he and his administration have subsidized and/or granted loan guarantees to green energy projects regardless of feasibility. Second, he has all but shut down fossil energy production and exploration.

Green Energy

Through its Department of Energy (DOE) loan guarantee program, it has backed loans for “green energy” projects for $35.9 billion of taxpayer dollars. Obama’s DOE has a less than stellar record so far. And much of the “stimulus” money earmarked for green energy projects went to companies outside the U.S.

So the question is, “Why does Obama continue, through the DOE, to hand out loan guarantees?” Well, as DJ Redman, in his article about the Federal Financing Bank (FFB), says, “…politicians are stuffing their campaign coffers, crony-capitalists, union bed-pals, friends, and relatives wallets, through mafia-style influence peddling.” And from this source (also provided by DJ Redman), we find that the FFB is giving out billions of dollars in loans to White House pet projects often at interest rates below 1%. So green energy projects are nothing more than for recipients to have money to contribute to favorite politicians. From this source, we find that the Obama administration was motivated by politics in its decisions on green energy loans, and that many of the loan recipients were donors or bundlers for Obama and Democrats. Peter Schweizer, author of the book, Throw Them All Out, wrote that at least 10 members of Obama’s finance committee and more than a dozen of his campaign bundlers took money from administration loan programs. Schweizer said that he believes that many of those who were chosen to receive loan guarantees, were picked almost solely for their success in raising money for the Obama campaign. There can be little doubt that DJ Redman is correct.

Fossil Energy

Two recent incidences characterize Obama’s fossil energy policy: the Keystone XL Pipeline (non)decision and the canceling of a major mineral lease in the Wayne (Ohio) National Forest (WNF).

This source provides information about the Keystone XL Pipeline, and this source provides information about Obama “passing the buck” on the pipeline decision. Ultimately the oil will be sold to China, who is investing heavily in the Canada oil production industry. The green energy environmentalists care nothing for inexpensive American energy, American jobs, or American national security.

President Obama’s Department of Agriculture (DOA) has delayed shale gas drilling in Ohio for up to six months by cancelling a 2006 mineral lease auction for WNF. The cancellation was taken in deference to environmentalists on the pretext of studying the effects of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The WNF study, the DOA says, “will focus solely on how it could affect forest land and not how it could affect groundwater.”

Obama made this decision in spite of the fact that it will delay 200,000 jobs, and that WNF already has about 1,300 oil and natural gas wells. One suspects that Obama took this action out of anger at Ohio. This cancellation comes just days after Ohio citizens voted to reject key provisions of Obamacare.

Foreign Policy

His foreign policy closely follows his energy policy. It can be described in one sentence: punish your friends (Canada, Israel, Poland, Mexico, etc.) and reward your enemies (Russia, Iran, Venezuela, etc.). And he particularly “has it in” for Canada, starting (in 2009) a trade war.

But that’s just my opinion.