Keystone Pipeline politics
Yesterday, Barack Obama rejected the Keystone Pipeline application, saying that Nebraska wasn’t ready. But is he playing a triple game?
Keystone Pipeline external facts
At first, the man now holding office as President seems to have decided not to allow TransCanada, Ltd. to build the Keystone Pipeline. Not now, not ever. Certainly that is what his environmentalist supporters want. Dr. James Hansen, formerly of NASA, told CREDO-Action that building the Keystone Pipeline would be “essentially game over” for the climate. The staff of CREDO-Action sounded more Chicken Little alarms:
The Alberta tar sands are a carbon bomb. The 3rd largest oil field in the world, the difficult extraction and transportation of the tar sands oil ultimately produces up to three times the carbon emissions of traditional oil. (And extreme environmental devastation along the way.)
The Keystone XL pipeline is the fuse to this bomb – a highway to swift consumption of this dirty, dangerous crude. As if that wasn’t enough, it poses a massive spill risk in the six states along the pipeline route, including over the Ogallala Aquifer which provides up to 30% of our nation’s agricultural water.
That was the nominal sticking point: the State of Nebraska objected to the original route of the pipeline through this aquifer. But they did not refuse to consider the pipeline under any circumstances. Governor Dave Heineman told Fox News that he will tell the Obama administration in writing, as soon as September or even August, that his advisers have an alternate route to suggest, one that TransCanada should have no problem with.
Right now, I think they’re looking for a convenient excuse to get it beyond the election. Let’s do what’s right for the country. Let’s put America back to work.
PolitiSite.com describes an interview with MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Time‘s Joe Klein and Mark Halperin. They know that Obama has two constituencies, labor and environment, that are fundamentally at odds. Labor wants to put its members back to work; the environmental lobby wants to “build absolutely nothing anywhere near anyone.” In that interview (see below), Klein said that Obama “wants the base” of environmentalists. Halperin said that the unions might not forget or forgive.
But all of this might be a sham. Or is it?
Keystone Pipeline timeline built in?
CNBC reports that TransCanada Ltd. has taken no alarm from Obama’s decision. Obama did not say that he would never allow TransCanada to build the pipeline. He said that TransCanada should re-apply with a complete route, including the Nebraska segment. According to CNBC, TransCanada has quietly told its shareholders that they expect to build the Keystone Pipeline by 2014—exactly on schedule. Several professional analysts agree.
We view this announcement as politically driven and do not believe that it precludes Keystone XL from eventually receiving a Presidential Permit in early 2013, as the company previously expected.
Add to it that TransCanada has the pipe tempered, shipped, and ready to lay. These facts seem to show that Obama is playing games with three other players: the environmental crowd, the unions, and his opponents.
He’d better stop playing games, if that’s what he’s doing. Rachel Glickhouse at the AS/COA site says that Canada will lay that pipe toward British Columbia, to ship its shale oil to China. Bloomberg.com agrees.
Obama might have another, hidden motive for not clearing the Keystone pipeline. Last June, Obama signed an Executive Order to set up a Rural Council, to further UN Agenda 21. UN Agenda 21 is a sweeping federal land-use planning program designed to favor the environment over people. The common buzz phrase is “sustainable development.” What that really means is:
- Forcing rural people to move to the cities.
- Forcing city dwellers to live in “dingbat” apartment complexes, each having “approved” shops on the ground floor, and give up their cars, because they will not “need” them.
- Returning rural farm and other lands to the wild.
Plentiful motor fuel would make any such land-use plan unnecessary and unattractive. So Obama must restrict the amount of motor fuel available, to make UN Agenda 21 look like the only way to live, moving forward. Stopping the Keystone pipeline is the way to do this.
By no coincidence, Obama released his first campaign ad today. The ad complains of “secretive oil billionaires attacking President (sic) Obama” and defends, or rather brags about, his environmental record. He does not yet dare brag about curtailing the country’s fuel supplies. But that might come next. His environmentalist friends are serious about ordering the American people not to use fossil fuels, if they could ever give an order like that. If Obama wins re-election, that order might come.
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