Krauthammer: The Keystone pipeline is the “most open and shut case I’ve ever seen”

posted at 1:21 pm on February 19, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

Like Ed noted after Sunday’s rather underwhelming anti-Keystone XL pipeline protest in DC, the project really is a no-brainer across all imaginable fronts — and the Obama administration’s continue stalling is getting politically incorrigible. It’s completely understandable that the president would want to wait to make such a controversial high-profile decision until after the election, but the fact that the White House is still dithering and hiding behind State Department reviews is just ludicrous, and the issue is only gaining steam the longer they wait.

Preach, Krauthammer.
 


Look, you know, the president is in his second term. Normally, you then can put aside political or partisan considerations, you’re not going to be re-elected and you would act in the national interest. The Keystone issue is the most open and shut case I have ever seen. Not only will it reduce our dependence on Hugo Chavez, in the Middle East, we would get it from Canada, and not only would it be an insult if we sort of slam the door on Canada, our closest ally, but refusing the pipeline, or not building it would have zero effect on the environment.

The Canadians stumbled on the largest reserve of shale oil around; they’re the Saudi Arabia of shale. They are not going to keep it in the ground if we don’t input it. It’s going to go to China, they have said so. So, it has zero effect on the climate, global warming, whatever you want. The fact that Obama is still mulling over this — I can understand last year, he wanted to hold the left wing base, he wanted re-election. But now? After he has won re-election? It shows how — if he refuses it, which I think is still possible, it will really show how partisan considerations way outweigh the national interest. I think it would be shocking.

More than four years of extensive reviewing and still no decision, really? The environmentalists’ arguments against the project belie all rationality, considering that those oil sands are going to be used no matter what, and the relatively safety and efficiency of terrestrial pipelines — not to mention the jobs, energy security, economic growth, and economic growth.

At a time of rising global competition for energy resources, the pipeline would bring reliable new oil supplies to a U.S. that still imports 40% of its crude, 7.6 million barrels a day last year. And 40% of those imports come from OPEC nations such as Venezuela, Iraq and Nigeria. Keystone is expected to supply 830,000 million barrels a day, a key step toward the long-sought goal of North American energy independence, which suddenly seems attainable.

Much of the opposition to Keystone has come from critics who say running a big pipeline through the heart of the USA is too risky. Haven’t they noticed that tens of thousands of miles of oil pipelines already crisscross the United States? As long as the nation’s quarter-billion vehicles rely almost exclusively on gasoline and diesel, pipelines are the safest and most efficient way to move it.

I’m with Krauthammer on the pipeline’s fate; I thought it would have been a post-election done deal, but now I’m wondering if it isn’t actually possible the administration might be toying with nixing it as a once-and-for-all testament to their grandiose ‘climate-change seriousness.’ I’m thinking that the most likely explanation, however, is that they are looking for something major with which to couple the pipeline’s approval — for instance, I doubt we’ve heard the last about that “Energy Security Trust” initiative Obama mentioned in his State of the Union that would tax oil-and-gas companies (i.e., consumers) on behalf of funding anti-fossil fuel, renewable energy research… but good luck getting Congress to sign on for voluntarily jacking up people’s energy prices (which amounts to a wildly regressive tax, by the way!).


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Think of the sheer economic boom that pipeline would create. Alaska 1970′s all over again.

Logus on February 19, 2013 at 1:25 PM

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It just amazes me how obtuse the chattering classes are on this. Even the Kraut here. There’s no partisan consideration involved here.

Obama hasn’t approved this because he doesn’t want to. It’s as simple as that. He wants to do all the damage he possibly can on the fossil-fuel industry in his time in office.

Period.

Typhoon on February 19, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Unless the Keystone pipeline is used to deliver algae, Obama isn’t interested.

Bitter Clinger on February 19, 2013 at 1:26 PM

it will really show how partisan considerations way outweigh the national interest. I think it would be shocking.

Do any of these people have the slightest understanding of the left? Reid, Pelosi, Obama? How could you have missed their behavior for the past couple of decades, and the increasingly radical bent in recent years?

sharrukin on February 19, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Why is Juan Williams concerned about the extraction process? That’s Canada’s problem, not ours.

blammm on February 19, 2013 at 1:29 PM

I’m with Krauthammer on the pipeline’s fate; I thought it would have been a post-election done deal, but now I’m wondering if it isn’t actually possible the administration might be toying with nixing it as a once-and-for-all testament to their grandiose ‘climate-change seriousness.’

Or D’Souza’s anti-colonialist theory really does have some teeth to it. That’s actually the only logical explanation I’ve heard thus far for this and giving billions to Brazil, Mexico, Columbia for offshore drilling while blocking our own efforts.

Doughboy on February 19, 2013 at 1:29 PM

gas is $3.50 and everybody’ coolwth it for some reason. Guess $4.50 can’t be far.

“under my plan,energy prices will necessarily skyrocket” give the guy credit for being honest on that statement

DanMan on February 19, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Amen. 2nd terms used to mean throwing your opposition a few inevitable bones to pass your own agenda & cement your own legacy. But when the media is now writing articles about how Obama pulls they’re strings and they are powerless to his puppetry skills… No pipeline for you

drivingtheview on February 19, 2013 at 1:30 PM

But … but … two of obama’s biggest supporters, Daryl Hannah and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., say that the Keystone Pipeline is bad and stuff … and they zip-cuffed themselves (with zip-cuffs made from petroleum) to the White House fence to prove it …

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/daryl-hannah-rfk-jr-arrested-keystone-pipeline-protest-article-1.1263324

Pork-Chop on February 19, 2013 at 1:31 PM

‘their’ correction..

drivingtheview on February 19, 2013 at 1:32 PM

the project really is a no-brainer across all imaginable fronts — and the Obama administration’s continue stalling is getting politically incorrigible.

But will the Legacy Media do an non-partisan, honest assessment of the situation? Of course not.

visions on February 19, 2013 at 1:33 PM

that old addage about dems do best when the country does worse is amplified with Obama He don’t care about dems either now.

DanMan on February 19, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Perhaps Kraut needs to consult with FOX noobs Brown and Rove? He needs to be brought back on the FINO rez PDQ.

Mr. Arrogant on February 19, 2013 at 1:33 PM

I’m thinking that the most likely explanation, however, is that they are looking for something major with which to couple the pipeline’s approval

‘Deal? Did someone say deal? I’m in for that! I haven’t proved I can do a deal since, like yesterday.’

– Lindsey Graham

Dusty on February 19, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Think of the sheer economic boom that pipeline would create.
Logus on February 19, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Reason enough for Barky and the Greenies to oppose it.

Money in the wallet makes folks citizens; dependency makes folks subjects.

Game -set- match.

Bruno Strozek on February 19, 2013 at 1:33 PM

gas is $3.50 and everybody’ coolwth it for some reason. Guess $4.50 can’t be far.

“under my plan,energy prices will necessarily skyrocket” give the guy credit for being honest on that statement

DanMan on February 19, 2013 at 1:30 PM

It was $3.59 for me this morning when I filled up. That’s around 40 cents higher than just one month ago. I don’t even wanna imagine what it’ll be come June or July. I’ll bet we see ones of stories about it in the media.

Doughboy on February 19, 2013 at 1:35 PM

We are in a race to kenya.

He won’t be satisfied until we are all living in mud huts, cooking on dung fired stoves and wiping our behinds with our hands.

he’ll feel he’s at one of his family reunions when we achieve that lofty status.

acyl72 on February 19, 2013 at 1:39 PM

It was $3.59 for me this morning when I filled up. That’s around 40 cents higher than just one month ago. I don’t even wanna imagine what it’ll be come June or July. I’ll bet we see ones of stories about it in the media.

Doughboy on February 19, 2013 at 1:35 PM

When gas prices soared briefly in 2008 under Bush, the media went into a five alarm panic. Now, under Obama, it’s a big ‘meh’, i.e. the New Normal.

Bitter Clinger on February 19, 2013 at 1:41 PM

830,000 million barrels a day,

I doubt that this will supply 830 BILLION barrels of oil a day! Doctor Krauthammers needs better proofreading. 830,000 is surely what he meant.

KW64 on February 19, 2013 at 1:41 PM

It was $3.59 for me this morning when I filled up. That’s around 40 cents higher than just one month ago. I don’t even wanna imagine what it’ll be come June or July. I’ll bet we see ones of stories about it in the media.

Chuck Todd & Politico confirmed today that there is no liberal bias… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oaq2fHiOOY&sns=em

drivingtheview on February 19, 2013 at 1:43 PM

In situations like these the answer is always the same – follow the money.

tommyboy on February 19, 2013 at 1:43 PM

I don’t think the left wants to stop buying from the Middle East. How will Muslims get money to attack the “evil” Jews and continue their takeover of the west if they don’t sell us oil?

darwin on February 19, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Yeah Charles, and no one in the nation was a better person to argue and win that battle than Sarah palin, but you shot her down for your elitist friends in the GOP lest they be forced to reform their destructive hold on power.

Don L on February 19, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Exporting guns into Mexico? Good.

Importing oil into the United States? Bad.

Bruce MacMahon on February 19, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Dear Leader is either waiting for, or possibly creating, some oil spill in the US so he can condemn any pipelines moving forward.

SWChance on February 19, 2013 at 1:55 PM

OT – Hey Hot Air! I don’t want your freakin’ t-shirt, okay?! Would it kill just one website not to have these damn popups? For crying out loud!!

HiJack on February 19, 2013 at 1:55 PM

gas is $3.50 and everybody’ coolwth it for some reason. Guess $4.50 can’t be far.

“under my plan,energy prices will necessarily skyrocket” give the guy credit for being honest on that statement

DanMan on February 19, 2013 at 1:30 PM

95% of Obama voters are either too poor to drive, too rich to care about gas price, too stupid to figure the connection, or governmental employees who charge their gas bill to us.

Archivarix on February 19, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Tell Odumbo if we don’t get the pipe line built, he won’t be able to ride on Air Force One everywhere. That ought to do it.

birdwatcher on February 19, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Time to get back out with the Post it Notes on the gas pumps. Tell everyone these gas prices brought to you by Barack Obama!

rockmom on February 19, 2013 at 1:59 PM

If it’s good for the country, Barry is opposed to it.

GarandFan on February 19, 2013 at 1:59 PM

830,000 million barrels a day,
I doubt that this will supply 830 BILLION barrels of oil a day! Doctor Krauthammers needs better proofreading. 830,000 is surely what he meant.

KW64 on February 19, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Agreed!!! Also, what was transcribed as “They are not going to keep it in the ground if we don’t input it.” was probably supposed to mean “They are not going to keep it in the ground if we don’t IMPORT it.”

Krauthammer is an intelligent man and would not make such mistakes, but there were probably some errors in transcription by some FOXy
steno-babes.

Still, even if the pipeline capacity was 830,000 bpd, that would still reduce our crude oil imports by 0.83 / 7.6 = 10.9%, and it would probably be much cheaper than oil from Venezuela or the Middle East, which would lower prices at the pump.

Steve Z on February 19, 2013 at 2:01 PM

$3.59 a gallon? I wish it was that low here. In one week gas went up 20 cents and in the last month, 60 cents. It’s now $3.89-3.99 a gallon when it was $3.27 and lower in January. We’ll be at $5.00 a gallon by Summer. But hey, no one believed this f*cker when he promised high energy prices.

totherightofthem on February 19, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Why is Juan Williams concerned about the extraction process? That’s Canada’s problem, not ours.

blammm on February 19, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Juan Williams is a moron, he is just repeating talking points he heard somewhere. Asking ‘why’ is meaningless.

slickwillie2001 on February 19, 2013 at 2:03 PM

Troll-free thread?

CurtZHP on February 19, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Krauthammer: The Keystone pipeline is the “most open and shut case I’ve ever seen”
================

Wait a tic,Hopey said he’d deal with this after his re-election!

Again,

Le Liar!

canopfor on February 19, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Unless, of course, Obama wants plans to “executive order” away the XXII Amendment and run again.

While he’s at “executive ordering” things away, how about getting rid of the XXVI Amendment — the one granting voting rights to 18-year-olds. Oh, wait, they vote for him don’t they.

polarglen on February 19, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Obama’s second term is about destroying what is left of the USA. That’s the no brainer.

southsideironworks on February 19, 2013 at 2:27 PM

Even if Obama approves it, it won’t be built until at least 2015 now thanks to the new route…
NPPD: Keystone pipeline power won’t be done in 2014

The key take aways:

COLUMBUS, Neb. (AP) — A Nebraska utility said the new route for a proposed oil pipeline that would carry Canadian crude oil through the state will delay work on electric transmission lines for the pipeline.

Nebraska Public Power District officials said they won’t be able to build the transmission lines by the end-of-2014 deadline that TransCanada set.

NPPD Chief Operating Officer Tom Kent said there’s no way the transmission lines will be ready by 2015.
“We have a lot of work to do,” he said.

TransCanada altered the pipeline’s proposed path through Nebraska last year to avoid the environmentally sensitive Sandhills region and a couple of towns’ drinking water wells. Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman recently signed off on the new route.

That new route forces NPPD to redo design and planning work for all the areas where the pipeline route changed. Officials estimated that redoing that work could take 12 to 24 months to complete.

NPPD expects to spend $44 million on the transmission lines, but TransCanada will have to reimburse the utility regardless of whether the pipeline is ultimately built.

weaselyone on February 19, 2013 at 2:38 PM

To promote understanding, you get the leaders to let their hair down.

I don’t know if you can find this but I will find a verification in the public record if pushed.

I was talking to a Sierra Club person, maybe one of the top people, and their position was explained to me.

Specifically, their fight is not about leaks, trust me, they have watched and researched that for years with pretty good engineers. It does remain an issue but isn’t working for the goal.

Now here is the part I will stake a quote on:

Their opposition is related to Climate Change and this is just a small lever to keep the fire burning (excuse the pun) to fight fossil fuels.

I will check this thread later so pass this to Dr. K. I will find a public comment or get my crew and go kidnap one of my left leaning friends. No problem. There are some very attractive people in the e movement. THAT WAS A JOKE, SPECIAL AGENT!

IlikedAUH2O on February 19, 2013 at 2:45 PM

I doubt we’ve heard the last about that “Energy Security Trust” initiative Obama mentioned in his State of the Union that would tax oil-and-gas companies (i.e., consumers) on behalf of funding anti-fossil fuel, renewable energy research… but good luck getting Congress to sign on for voluntarily jacking up people’s energy prices (which amounts to a wildly regressive tax, by the way!).

You write well, boss.

There are technical things going on. Some genius inventor has a patent pending on a Variable Taxation System and Method to charge different rates (ie. per gallon) to people based on income or profligate use of fossil fuels or etc. You could also just jack up excise taxes to cover the infrastructure change over to more Nat Gas or electricity in the same system. The object is to keep those of us with normal budgets and normal demand in a normal price range while we try to shed Mideast fuel and/or cut carbon.

There is also some stuff in the works for tech breakthroughs on lower temp energy but most of that has tradeoffs.

IlikedAUH2O on February 19, 2013 at 2:56 PM

I must be naive. I do not understand how one person or cabinet position (State dept.)can hold up a private enterprise when the affected states approve of it.

Sounds autocratic to me. Something happened to the Republic I was raised in.

FOWG1 on February 19, 2013 at 3:00 PM

But … but … two of obama’s biggest supporters, Daryl Hannah and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., say that the Keystone Pipeline is bad and stuff … and they zip-cuffed themselves (with zip-cuffs made from petroleum) to the White House fence to prove it …

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/daryl-hannah-rfk-jr-arrested-keystone-pipeline-protest-article-1.1263324

Pork-Chop on February 19, 2013 at 1:31 PM

RFK lives in NY and Hannah has residences in both CO and CA, I believe. It is hard to imagine that they both walked to DC to protest in the dead of winter. The irony is painful.

I really do wonder specifically how Hannah got to DC to protest from her enivironmentally concscious home in CO, while she has clamed to live a petroleum free life? The hypocrisy is so thick with these people…http://www.success.com/articles/1368-off-the-grid

Off the Grid
Daryl Hannah Chooses a Life in Harmony with the Environment
On a farm in the Rockies, Daryl Hannah begins her day. She waters her garden and feeds her animals—a pig, chickens, alpacas, horses, dogs and cats. Her farmhouse is built of wood she salvaged from an old barn that was being torn down. Her last car was a 1983 El Camino with a dull black finish that looked like it had never seen a coat of wax.

Hannah could’ve chosen to live like a movie star. And she does have a place in California where she stays when she’s working—it’s a one-room house. But as early as the 1980s, when the lanky blonde ingénue was becoming a bona fide movie star in the blockbusters Blade Runner, Splash and Roxanne, she began nurturing a passion a world away from the Hollywood lights.

Growing up in downtown Chicago, Hannah always felt more at home at summer camp in the Rockies. In her early 20s she began rediscovering nature. “I had an epiphany of sorts: Wouldn’t anyone want this planet to be as strong and healthy as possible—for ourselves, our health, our future, our children, our loved ones?” she asks.

Step by step, Hannah committed to a life that was more environmentally friendly. Now, she’s been petroleum-independent “since the turn of the century,” she jokes. Her car is powered by recycled vegetable oil once used to make french fries. The house runs on solar power, uses a gray water recycling system and is built with non-toxic materials.

When she decided to stop using petroleum, she researched all the options. Was an electric car the best choice? “Well, no. Not if you’re going to plug it into the grid and it’s going to run off coal.” And she learned that all biodiesel fuels are not created equal. Some are more environmentally friendly than others. “If you buy it at the pump,” she says, “you don’t necessarily know where it comes from.”

That motivated her to co-found the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance (sustainablebiodieselalliance.com), which is working on a certification program to make it possible for people to know whether the fuel they buy is produced in a sustainable fashion.

Living a simple life takes work. But Hannah doesn’t feel she has made any sacrifices. “I just get to make better choices,” she says. “I don’t eat junk food anymore. I don’t have to go to the gas station, and I’m not living in a world full of toxins at home.”

Her biggest challenge continues to be the research necessary to sort fact from fiction. Some “solutions” are actually problems, she says, noting that some big businesses are trying to cash in on the green movement, and not always in a thoughtful manner. “You don’t want to buy organic jeans that are made by slave labor, right?” she asks.

Because of the difficulty finding reliable information, she created a Web site (dhlovelife.com) in early 2006 to share information she found. “We already have answers to a lot of the problems we’re facing. People just don’t know that they’re out there. And if you don’t know something, you can’t make a choice.”

Hannah’s Web site features three dozen short video blogs on topics that range from fasting to fertilizing with worm droppings to watching mountain gorillas in Rwanda. The site offers no clue other than the “dh” initials that Hannah has anything to do with the project. In the videos she appears onscreen, but just as often she’s behind the camera.

She infuses her videos with a playful spirit. At the beginning of the biodiesel episode, she roars down a dirt road in her El Camino. Later, she unscrews the gas cap, brings it to her mouth and licks the inside to demonstrate the fuel is nontoxic. In the Rwanda piece, she leans into the camera and whispers, childlike, “We’re going to get to see the gorillas! Yeah!” Each video concludes with an action the viewer can take or a place to go for more information.

In addition to producing the video blogs, Hannah handles Web design, animation, interviews, filming and production. “I don’t sleep much,” she says with a laugh. Her goal is to make the Web site “as potent and thorough as it can be,” a place where people can get answers to most any environmental question—from, “What kind of shampoo should I buy?” to “What kind of windmill?”

That means putting together a team, and she’s developing a business plan for that now. “I physically don’t have the time to do much more than what I’ve got going on,” she says, “because I also work.”

By “work,” she means acting. Last summer, she filmed the made-for- television movie Hurricane Hunter in Vancouver. Then she went to Philadelphia to film Shannon’s Rainbow. Recent movie releases include the thriller Dark Honeymoon with Eric Roberts and Roy Scheider, and a documentary, Fierce Light: When Spirit Meets Action, scheduled to premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this fall. It also stars Thich Nhat Hahn, Desmond Tutu, Alice Walker and Julia Butterfly Hill.

Hannah imagines she’ll always act, but she aspires to make activism her full-time gig. She’s not interested in celebrity for its own sake. “It seems to me the only good use for the crazy attention that fame brings is to take the spotlight and redirect it to something of more value and substance,” she says.

She is shopping her dhLoveLife Web video series to television networks in the hope of reaching people who aren’t yet engaged in the issues. (The videos are distributed now only via iTunes and her Web site.) But she wants to do more than inspire people; she hopes they’ll take action to change their lives. “Change is nerve-wracking,” she says, “but once they try it, people like it. Especially if it’s healthier.”

Action is vital, she says: “We’re going to be facing a serious water crisis. We’re facing massive soil depletion. We’re facing one of the biggest extinctions of species in history. Climate change is coming at us. There’s overpopulation. We’ve over polluted. Two billion people are in danger of starving.” But in the face of these issues, she’s positive, hopeful and driven. “We can solve these problems,” she says. “We have everything we need on this planet to not only survive, but to thrive—for everyone. But we don’t have any time to waste.”

My sides are aching. She is “peteroleum independent”, yet she travels long distances to DC, Vancouver, Philly, etc in short amounts of time (perhaps she is riding a Pegasus). She is against big companies profiting off of the green movement while shopping her own videos to network television. She is against electric cars because they use electricity fueled by carbon-sources of energy, yet sets up a website (electricity required), wants her videos on television (electricity required), and makes her money off of starring in movies (electricity required).

These people are the lowest in our society. Sorry about posting the whole article about Hannah, but I thought it was truly needed to point out the overwhelming hypocrisy with these people.

weaselyone on February 19, 2013 at 3:03 PM

<

Still, even if the pipeline capacity was 830,000 bpd, that would still reduce our crude oil imports by 0.83 / 7.6 = 10.9%, and it would probably be much cheaper than oil from Venezuela or the Middle East, which would lower prices at the pump.

Steve Z on February 19, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Agreed.

Venzuelan production has been declining while Candadian production is increasing. Our Gulf Coast refineries that handle sour crude would need to look elsewhere than Venezuela anyway. Plus why should we put money in Chavez pocket.

KW64 on February 19, 2013 at 3:03 PM

Daryl Hannah Chooses a Life in Harmony with the Environment

One man’s harmony is another man’s dissonance!

Why do I sense a proportional relationship between those who have lost their faith in the true God of nature and the degree to which they then zealously attempt to make nature, God?

Don L on February 19, 2013 at 3:33 PM

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: It just amazes me how obtuse the chattering classes are on this. Even the Kraut here. There’s no partisan consideration involved here.
Obama hasn’t approved this because he doesn’t want to. It’s as simple as that. He wants to do all the damage he possibly can on the fossil-fuel industry anything that advances America’s interests in his time in office.
Period.
Typhoon on February 19, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Cleombrotus on February 19, 2013 at 3:48 PM

Don L on February 19, 2013 at 3:33 PM

I’m disappointed that more on our side can’t seem to make that same connection.

Cleombrotus on February 19, 2013 at 3:50 PM

The operative phrase is “reduce our dependence on Hugo Chavez”.

President Bankruptcy Obama isn’t loyal to this country and doesn’t want to see its dependence on the likes of Hugo Chavez reduced.

kd6rxl on February 19, 2013 at 6:14 PM