Keystone decision: Voting for the stone age?

posted at 8:35 am on January 21, 2012 by Jazz Shaw

More than a few liberal voices are doing something of an end zone dance over the presumed demise of the Keystone XL pipeline. Of course, similar to a quip by Mark Twain, reports of its death may be greatly exaggerated, since President Obama’s decision left the door open for alternate proposals to be submitted. (The reality, of course, it that this likely gives him a chance to simply kill it entirely once he presumably wins a second term.) But the push to stop this also highlights a disturbing trend among domestic energy opponents, as highlighted by Warren Myer at Forbes Magazine. Are some of us voting for a return to the stone age?

Yesterday, as expected, President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, a private infrastructure project meant to bring Canadian oil to Gulf Coast refineries. In doing so, he was not quibbling over the pipeline’s route, but pandering to a group of his supporters who want nothing so much as to roll back modern industrial society…

Some would argue that these opponents aren’t anti-energy, they just want to shift energy use from fossil fuels to “green” energy like wind and solar. This is either disingenuous or unbelievably naive. The Keystone XL pipeline would have single-handedly carried more energy to the United States than the sum of all the green energy projects funded by the Obama Administration. And it would have done so entirely with private funds rather than the Administrations increasingly ill-fated and ham-handed attempts at venture capitalism with taxpayer funds. The fact of the matter is that, for the foreseeable future, opposing fossil fuels is equivalent to opposing energy use.

The Keystone decision only makes sense in the context of a general push to limit energy supply and roll back our industrial economy and all its amazing gifts.

Meyer likens pipeline opponents to global warming alarmists, finding each equally puzzling and ironic in the lengths they will go to in order to “prove” their point. One of the most recent objections to fracking, for example, is that it is causing earthquakes. (No, that’s not a link to The Onion. I’ll give you a moment to pick your jaws up off the floor and click through to the story. There are actually people saying this, oblivious to the fact that earthquakes are caused by shifts in the Earth’s tectonic plates.)

There seems to be no end to the arguments which can be made against industry, even if there is, as yet, no viable alternative to meet society’s energy needs. The only remaining alternative would be to return to some sort of hunter gatherer structure, which might cause problems for some of the green warriors. (The author notes the irony of this, saying, “I’m blogging against the modern economy from my iPhone”)

But it’s in the three postscripts to the article where Meyer truly gives us something to chew over. The first:

Does anyone doubt that had this exact same route been for high speed rail, rather than a pipeline, it would already have been approved and President Obama likely would have been proposing to throw a pile of taxpayer money at it to boot? This despite the fact that high-speed rail almost certainly has more environmental negatives than an underground pipeline.

His final point highlights the amazing reverse logic which seems to be in play here, once again comparing the Keystone XL project to California’s high speed rail line. In the latter, the White House is continuing to push a project which virtually nobody seemed to have wanted by tossing vast amounts of taxpayer money into a plan which seems almost predestined to fail. In the former, they are fighting tooth and nail to stop a project which would have been paid for by private investment and created jobs in states which desperately need them, costing the taxpayer nothing and resulting in a downstream flow of cash back into government coffers through increased commercial activity and employment.

What is to be gained from this general approach unless you’re actively looking to turn out the lights? And yet, in perhaps the greatest irony of all, the same week that Barack Obama rejected Keystone, his reelection team began running an advertising campaign touting his achievements in energy production. (Those of you tweeting this thread may now insert the #headdesk hash tag.)

Our friends at the Energy Tomorrow set the record straight on this bizarre claim. In a new study they commissioned, it was found that any advances on the domestic energy front took place in spite of Barack Obama’s energy policies, not because of them.

  • New leases on federal lands were down 44% in 2009/2010 compared to 2007/2008.
  • Permits and new wells drilled were both down 39% for the same time frame.
  • The economic downturn in 2007 was a factor in this decline, but leasing, permitting and drilling have rebounded on private lands; the decline in new permits in the West is significantly greater on federal lands (-39%) than non-federal, private lands (-20%) over the last two years.
  • Returning permitting, leasing and drilling to 2007/2008 levels would create 30,000 jobs over the next four years and increase federal royalties by $2 billion.

Federal policies – like slow permitting and leasing rates, and the outright rejection of the Keystone XL – are clearly slowing the development of vitally needed energy, and costing jobs, energy production and revenue to the government.


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If that’s true it is taking petty to new heights.

Cindy Munford on January 21, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Isn’t petty what this administration is all about? Do anything they can to reward their supporters, do anything they can to hurt their “enemies”, no matter the costs to the nation as a whole?

LibraryGryffon on January 21, 2012 at 11:52 AM

LibraryGryffon on January 21, 2012 at 11:52 AM

I know, I guess it’s silly but I’m still shocked by it.

Cindy Munford on January 21, 2012 at 11:54 AM

I know, I guess it’s silly but I’m still shocked by it.

Cindy Munford on January 21, 2012 at 11:54 AM

I wish I could still be shocked by it. 8(

It’s to the point where I just want enough money to buy some land, build a nice, earth-sheltered hobbit-hole type home, plant a large garden and get some goats and chickens.

LibraryGryffon on January 21, 2012 at 11:56 AM

The oil industry should describe oil sands production in terms the Greenies could love. Frame it as a giant oilspill cleanup – after all the oil companies are removing the oil from the sand. The end result is clean sand and as a bonus – the heavy oil is collected and put to use to benefit everyone.

Even the most hardline Greenie benefits from oil. Without oil the Greenies would be without their top-of-the-line iPhones and laptops, their Hybrids and their high-speed trains, and even their kitchen plates. Basically the lights would be out in half the country and we would be resorting to burning wood and coal just to stay alive.

Ogabe on January 21, 2012 at 11:59 AM

LibraryGryffon on January 21, 2012 at 11:56 AM

I don’t know if you have spoken to Bishop but he is a commenter that has such a place. He calls it the bunker. It sounds like a great option.

Cindy Munford on January 21, 2012 at 12:00 PM

The pipeline will be built. The Canadian firm that wants to build Keystone is planning a pipeline from Montana to Louisiana. They don’t need federal permission to do that and once the new president is in office, they will build the connector from Alberta to Montana. Obama will find a way to screw it up though, just wait!

Boats48 on January 21, 2012 at 9:14 AM

If they build following that plan, that is perfectly fine by me. But they should make sure that not a single overpaid, overperked, underworked union thug is ever hired to work on the project.

AttaBoyLuther on January 21, 2012 at 12:06 PM

One of the most recent objections to fracking, for example, is that it is causing earthquakes. (No, that’s not a link to The Onion. I’ll give you a moment to pick your jaws up off the floor and click through to the story. There are actually people saying this, oblivious to the fact that earthquakes are caused by shifts in the Earth’s tectonic plates.)

But, but I thought it was we on the right that was against science.

chemman on January 21, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Karl Magnus on January 21, 2012 at 11:35 AM

You would be amazed at the words that are filtered. The name of a large furry Star Wars character was added(maybe even a Star Trek Lt.) due to the rude correlation of said character to current First Lade. Most unfortunate.

Cindy Munford on January 21, 2012 at 11:40 AM

How did I manage to get the word in the title of Ayn Rand’s book through the filter?

Dr Evil on January 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM

OldEnglish on January 21, 2012 at 8:47 AM

Won’t even have to do that. Without the infrastructure to bring them food and energy to their front doors they will quickly die in their cold dark apartments. They don’t have the skills to take care of themselves.

“Professing themselves to be wise they became fools”

chemman on January 21, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Dr Evil on January 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM

I don’t know, I am sure the list is constantly updated, I just want people to consider the filters when their comments disappear instead of thinking they are going to get banned. Especially the new folks who are experiencing their first WTF moment.

Cindy Munford on January 21, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Dr Evil on January 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM

The word mill apparently is quite arbitrary, as a new one here, I didn’t even know there was one. Until this, “Man its cold as witches t_ts here tonight.” I use a lot of nautical references like that. Who knew?

Bmore on January 21, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Dr Evil on January 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Sorry not finishing my thoughts well yet today. Who they didn’t like t_ts here?

Bmore on January 21, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Liberal tree huggers won’t be happy until all of us are riding horses. Then they can complain about all the horsesh*t!

vietvet68 on January 21, 2012 at 12:31 PM

I was really suprised Obama was considering not allowing it to go forward, so I decided to read more about it in DailyKos and Huffington Post. What they are saying is the rout of the pipeline will cause serious water contamination issues for millions on people in one state and there are huge law suits from the oil refinary industry

residentblue on January 21, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Fixed.

From National Geographic, September 2011:

Last month, the U.S. State Department said in an environmental review that the project would have “no significant impacts to most resources” during “normal operation.”

Del Dolemonte on January 21, 2012 at 12:31 PM

I talked an ardent Democrat friend the other day about the Keystone decision by Obama. She said that well we need to go green, get off non-renewable fuels. And, of course she said the pipeline was not really shovel ready and that more study needs to be done. My conclusion is that I was talking to someone who lived in a fantasy land. It is pointless to discuss such issues with some people.

SC.Charlie on January 21, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Liberal tree huggers won’t be happy until all of us are riding horses. Then they can complain about all the horsesh*t!

vietvet68 on January 21, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Let them eat it.

Del Dolemonte on January 21, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Have a look at a map of existing pipelines over the aquifer – there are literally thousands of miles of old pipelines there already. To say this new high-tech pipeline is a danger is ridiculous compared to what has been there for decades already.

Ogabe on January 21, 2012 at 12:36 PM

The word mill apparently is quite arbitrary, as a new one here, I didn’t even know there was one. Until this, “Man its cold as witches t_ts here tonight.” I use a lot of nautical references like that. Who knew?

Bmore on January 21, 2012 at 12:26 PM

I am from Western Montana the Rockies, that’s is one of our favorite expressions as you can imagine it comes up a lot in our conversations:)

Dr Evil on January 21, 2012 at 12:37 PM

Liberal tree huggers won’t be happy until all of us are riding horses. Then they can complain about all the horsesh*t! – vietvet68 on January 21, 2012 at 12:31 PM

True. We should collect it all and send it to Washington.

SC.Charlie on January 21, 2012 at 12:38 PM

They don’t have the skills to take care of themselves.

“Professing themselves to be wise they became fools”

chemman on January 21, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Sure they do. The leftists have rioting and looting skills. Assuming there is the kind of widespread collapse the anti-humans want, those skills will be essential to survival, for a while, giving them time to adapt to the new, ‘smaller’ world. Rioting and looting aren’t much different from hunting and gathering.

It is the brainless fools who consider themselves ‘independent’ and ‘moderate’ yet vote to the left because they think the left are the ‘nice’ people who ‘care’ who are going to get the moving end of the chainsaw.

fadetogray on January 21, 2012 at 12:38 PM

chemman on January 21, 2012 at 12:11 PM

I have long contended that the left is just as anti-science as the right. Both willfully ignore science when it’s inconvenient for their world view. You can find an article by Jonah Goldberg where he discusses some examples.

vermin on January 21, 2012 at 12:40 PM

thuja on January 21, 2012 at 11:18 AM

The poisoning of the well by the leftists is why I refuse to call myself an environmentalist. I am a conservationist. I have yet to meet a leftist environmentalist that will live they way the demand others to live. They are all hypocrites.

chemman on January 21, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Dr Evil on January 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM

I don’t know, I am sure the list is constantly updated, I just want people to consider the filters when their comments disappear instead of thinking they are going to get banned. Especially the new folks who are experiencing their first WTF moment.

Cindy Munford on January 21, 2012 at 12:17 PM

I know that Spud’s old website “Inside Cable” had a filter for Gay and Homo:) The need to filter those terms, speaks to some lofty conversations that must have been going on about cable news LOL! I have been informed by my daughter, that it’s Ghey not Gay so I just try to remember to use that now.

Spud’s new website is ICN2

Dr Evil on January 21, 2012 at 12:41 PM

I have been informed by my daughter, that it’s Ghey not Gay so I just try to remember to use that now.

Dr Evil on January 21, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Thank God for daughters, eh? Otherwise, we old farts would be as dumb as we look.

platypus on January 21, 2012 at 12:45 PM

Thank God for daughters, eh? Otherwise, we old farts would be as dumb as we look.

platypus on January 21, 2012 at 12:45 PM

That’s the truth right there.

It’s why my new favorite saying is “Try and keep up” GRIN

Dr Evil on January 21, 2012 at 1:01 PM

Just in case it’s not been pointed out, TransCanada has already started construction on the Canadian end of XL. In fact in the course of my meanderings due to work and such I ended up onsite briefly while they were hydrotesting several sections of the pipeline that are being put in place for river-crossings in southern Alberta.
So this thing is as shovel ready as you can get.

darkannulus on January 21, 2012 at 1:10 PM

While the Greenies (with fat checkbooks) would love to see to see the evil, dominant, wasteful Amerika… de-evolved.

Don’t over-look the obvious… China wants that oil.

And one phone call later, the only other logical customer says… no thanks, and walks out the door.

That many T-bills buys you a lot of leverage.

Happy eco-fascists throwing their wallets to, and singing hosannas to Dear Leader’s victory in 2012 is all gravy.

CPT. Charles on January 21, 2012 at 1:18 PM

darkannulus on January 21, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Are there solar panels? Just kidding.

Cindy Munford on January 21, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Early on, leaders of the fledgling environut movement openly expressed their true goals, not thinking their statements would ever be repeated by the opposition. Now they’ve clammed up, but their radical goal remains:

“A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States… [we] must design a stable, low consumption economy in which there is a much more equitable distribution of wealth.” -John Holdren (1973), Obama’s Science Czar

It’s no accident that when the price of gas was rising rapidly, O said only that he preferred that it rise more slowly. They want energy prices to rise, to “necessarily skyrocket.” And other than what even they know is a fanciful diversion (green energy), they are adamantly against increasing energy supplies, period. They are trying to engineer a siege — an energy siege — of their own people!
The global warming [fabrication] was the perfect vehicle to work to bring their dream to fruition. They proposed 80% CO2 cuts by 2050; you talk about taking a wrecking ball to civilization. This radical proposal was approved in the House! We were that close to succumbing to the leftist environut agenda!
That’s why it is so upsetting to us when conservatives tow the liberal environut line. Like the “conservative” Michael Gerson. Or, in particular, the inexplicable Huntsman. Or the other R candidates (except Santorum!, Paul) who seem to be “behind the times” as far as representing their own R voters. (Pew poll: only 19% of Rs believe in AGW.)
Rebuttal is simple. There is nothing wrong with the climate, and CO2 has nothing to do with it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK_WyvfcJyg

anotherJoe on January 21, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Republicans should use this decision to beat Obama in 2012. He said no to energy independence and no to jobs. Independents will not side with him on this issue.

magicbeans on January 21, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Are there solar panels? Just kidding.

Cindy Munford on January 21, 2012 at 1:23 PM

lol

Not that I saw, but believe it or not alot of remote gas well sites use solar panels and back up batteries for their instruments. Mostly becuase it’s often impractical to run power to a single gas well 40 miles in the bush to run a few low power instruments like flowmeters and preasure sensors.

darkannulus on January 21, 2012 at 1:36 PM

thuja on January 21, 2012 at 11:18 AM

The poisoning of the well by the leftists is why I refuse to call myself an environmentalist. I am a conservationist. I have yet to meet a leftist environmentalist that will live they way the demand others to live. They are all hypocrites.

chemman on January 21, 2012 at 12:41 PM

They are hypocrites indeed. They consume just like everyone else, besides buying a few trendy “environmental products”. I have many stories, but the most relevant to energy is heat and comfort. I keep my house on the chilly side (52 degrees) for winter as they should in theory. (And I keep the small room where I spend most of my time in the low sixties.) But the “environmentalists” keep their houses as warm as everyone else. I point this out and they just say I am weird. But 52 degrees is actually comfortable once you get used to it–especially if you spend most of your time in a slightly warmer room.

thuja on January 21, 2012 at 1:48 PM

In the 2012 campaign Republicans should make an issue of the rise of gasoline prices under the presidency of Obama and his utter failure to increase production within the United States………… and his refusal to work with Canada on the Keystone Pipeline. I just read that one person who benefits from the blockage of the Keystone Pipeline is Warren Buffet. He owns a substantial interest in the rail line that transports crude oil. A pipeline is far more efficient. Also a number of pipelines already crisscross this so-called pristine aquafier.

http://www.theodora.com/pipelines/united_states_pipelines_map.jpg

SC.Charlie on January 21, 2012 at 1:55 PM

…a group of his supporters who want nothing so much as to roll back modern industrial society…

Let’s be absolutely clear & brutally honest here:

… a group of his supporters who want nothing so much as to roll back modern industrial society for everyone except for the few select-World-Citizen-Elites who ‘care’ more than us bitter-clingers and are so much more ‘enlighted’ than us literally-unwashed-masses.

Environmentalists/Liberals have the Saddam-Hussein-mentality: they live in luxury, YOU live in misery. And you WILL like it and you WILL vote for them in perpetuity.

SnarkySam on January 21, 2012 at 1:57 PM

SnarkySam on January 21, 2012 at 1:57 PM

It’s probably why aligning themselves with Islamist was so easy they have the same goal a return to the stone dark ages.

Jung stressed the importance of individual rights in a person’s relation to the state and society. He saw that the state was treated as “a quasi-animate personality from whom everything is expected” but that this personality was “only camouflage for those individuals who know how to manipulate it”, and referred to the state as a form of slavery. He also thought that the state “swallowed up [people's] religious forces”,[38] and therefore that the state had “taken the place of God”—making it comparable to a religion in which “state slavery is a form of worship”. Jung observed that “stage acts of [the] state” are comparable to religious displays: “Brass bands, flags, banners, parades and monster demonstrations are no different in principle from ecclesiastical processions, cannonades and fire to scare off demons”.[39] From Jung’s perspective, this replacement of God with the state in a mass society led to the dislocation of the religious drive and resulted in the same fanaticism of the church-states of the Dark Ages—wherein the more the state is ‘worshipped’, the more freedom and morality are suppressed; this ultimately leaves the individual psychically undeveloped with extreme feelings of marginalization.

Dr Evil on January 21, 2012 at 2:06 PM

Somewhat OT:

A wind farm in Minnesota (you know, those federally-subsidized “green power” eyesores that liberals love) has applied for a permit to kill bald eagles and endangered golden eagles (I thought only Evil Oil Companies and “racist white redneck hunters” killed endangered species): http://www.startribune.com/local/137803668.html

MidniteRambler on January 21, 2012 at 2:20 PM

canopfor on January 21, 2012 at 9:16 AM

So an arbitrary deadline for pipeline is bad, but an arbitrary deadline for ending a war is good?

cigarcamel on January 21, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Sadly, no. The greenies of which you speak are spoiled.

climbnjump on January 21, 2012 at 11:22 AM

If you smoke and salt them they still taste ok.

darwin on January 21, 2012 at 11:32 AM

You’d get more bang for your buck to use ‘em as fertilizer cause they’re so full of siht!

Oldnuke on January 21, 2012 at 2:31 PM

If Keystone XL had been a high speed rail line, it would be half way built

Yes it would. At triple the price of the original estimate.

rogaineguy on January 21, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Yes it would. At triple the price of the original estimate.

rogaineguy on January 21, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Triple the price? Excellent!

More stimulus for the economy!

/

fadetogray on January 21, 2012 at 3:41 PM

Barack Flintstone.

disa on January 21, 2012 at 4:54 PM

Heh, from the biggest jail cell on the planet. Do you read? realize it is easier to vent than read. For example the ground water contamination issues, the law suits from the oil industry? I wonder why mods on here do not tacke the root of this probem?

I was really suprised Obama was considering not allowing it to go forward, so I decided to read more about it. What they are saying is the rout of the pipeline will cause serious water contamination issues for millions on people in one state and there are huge law suits from the oil refinary industry

residentblue on January 21, 2012 at 10:54 AM

Reading fiction does not make it become fact. Like most leftists you believe only your own drivel.

climbnjump on January 21, 2012 at 11:04 AM

“But…but…” he cried. “It was written in pixie dust on the butt of a unicorn. It must be true!”

Solaratov on January 21, 2012 at 5:31 PM

How did I manage to get the word in the title of Ayn Rand’s book through the filter?

Dr Evil on January 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Caprice.

Solaratov on January 21, 2012 at 6:23 PM

Liberal tree huggers won’t be happy until all of us are riding horses. Then they can complain about all the horsesh*t!

vietvet68 on January 21, 2012 at 12:31 PM

The great horse manure crisis of 1894…
http://www.thefreemanonline.org/columns/our-economic-past-the-great-horse-manure-crisis-of-1894/

At their peak, the 100,000+ horses in New York City produced 2,500,000 pounds of manure PER DAY.

Solaratov on January 21, 2012 at 6:30 PM

There are actually people saying this, oblivious to the fact that earthquakes are caused by shifts in the Earth’s tectonic plates.

Jazz,

While your statement might be true for about 85 to 90% of events, mid-continent quakes do not occur at plate boundaries.

Also, in addition there are several cases of known shallow quakes induced by thing like filling a large reservoir for the first time, and/or during gas and oil extraction from production wells.

Seismicity is not restricted to only a stress/strain relationship at plate boundaries.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on January 22, 2012 at 2:30 AM

Isn’t the Kansas part already built and online?

cptacek on January 22, 2012 at 9:40 PM

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