The President’s self created trap on Keystone XL

posted at 1:01 pm on April 13, 2013 by Jazz Shaw

At this point it’s feels as if we’ve been debating and fighting and waiting for some sort of resolution to the Keystone XL pipeline question since roughly around the beginning of Eisenhower’s third State of the Union address. Are we at least close to the point where President Obama is going to finally make a decision on this? Don’t hold your breath.

Got questions about the Keystone XL oil pipeline? Don’t ask the White House.

Amid growing anticipation over the decision on the controversial project, the White House is swatting away reporters’ questions, directing them to the State Department, which is deep into a lengthy analysis of the pipeline. The State Department is the ultimate decider on the pipeline, not the president, White House aides say.

“Again, this is a decision that’s housed within the State Department and made on the merits,” press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Thursday, reiterating his long-standing response to questions about Keystone.

This is truly a case of trying to eat your cake and have it to. Having turned this into a huge political wedge tool in his early days, Barack Obama is now looking for an escape hatch where he can sluff off the blame – no matter which way it goes – on somebody else. To do so, he’s relying on an executive order signed by his predecessor (it’s still Bush’s fault!) which says that the Secretary of State can make the call if all eight related agencies agree. But given the fact that Obama can sign new E.O’s whenever he feels like it, that doesn’t hold much water.

But why should the President care at this point? He doesn’t need to win any more elections and his base absolutely despises domestic energy that doesn’t come from windmills or buckets of algae. Why not just nix the whole thing and take credit for it? The Wall Street Journal may have solved this puzzle for us, and the president has literally billions of reasons to keep walking the tightrope on this one.

President Obama hit California for some fundraising this week, including stops with various billionaires who fervently oppose the Keystone XL pipeline. The visit had the virtue of showing how Mr. Obama is cross-pressured between his superrich green friends who don’t need to worry about a job and the blue-collar types who wouldn’t mind laying oil pipe for $25 an hour.

Our favorite anecdote from the tour, however, came when some protesters against Keystone XL chanted outside another rich man’s home, ‘What do we want from the President? No pipeline for the 1%.” These protestors need to have their consciousness raised too. The 1%-ers writing checks to Mr. Obama loathe the pipeline. The folks who need and want it are the 99%. They’re the working stiffs who are ‘struggling to get by’ in this economy.

My, that is a bit of a sticky wicket, isn’t it? He wants to punish the evil millionaires and billionaires, but he needs some of them to keep writing checks. He wants to pit the 1% against the 99%, but it’s a big chunk of the 99% who would like to have some of those jobs which are waiting – literally – in the pipeline. So what’s a chief executive to do?

Punt it to John Kerry, of course.


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Keystone isn’t going to happen under Obama. At this point, it’s like Lucy swiping the football from Charlie Brown.

blue13326 on April 13, 2013 at 1:09 PM

Not to forget, NO-Keystone means more filthy lucre for the slob Warren Buffett. The REB has to pay him back for advancing the Buffett Rule somehow.

slickwillie2001 on April 13, 2013 at 1:10 PM

bho actually making a decision that just might help the US? bho will never make a decision that he can’t blame on someone else when it goes down the crapper!
L

letget on April 13, 2013 at 1:11 PM

The latest green person spin is all wrong! They are upset about the Arkansas spill, but I wish I could talk to president Obama about this. People are suffering, Mr. President.

And U.S. pipeline incident records show that. With more than 40 years of moving crude oil from the Canadian oil sands, there’s not been one pipeline accident in the United States caused by that and — caused by the type of crude from the Canadian oil sands. And the Department of State, when they have been exhaustively reviewing the Keystone XL pipeline, have similarly found that there are no more corrosive elements of crude from Western Canada as there are from California, Venezuela, Mexico. Crude has been safely moved for decades. comment by ANDREW BLACK, President, Association of Oil Piplines on PBS.

Source:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/environment/jan-june13/oilspill_04-03.html

Sir, if you approve this, I might be more likely to develop my innovative low temp. energy sources….

IlikedAUH2O on April 13, 2013 at 1:17 PM

sticky wicket

Entirely too many witchy-women British descended HA influences around here.

Axe on April 13, 2013 at 1:18 PM

OK. Just kidding. Or bragging.

IlikedAUH2O on April 13, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Is it too simplistic to say that Obama’s M.O. is to bully other people into making executive decisions and then [blame them/take credit] for it, depending on the results?

Socratease on April 13, 2013 at 1:26 PM

I think what Obama is doing is to hope that if he delays long enough, the Canadians will give up and start the pipeline to Vancouver. Then Obama’s decision becomes moot and he can avoid blame for doing anything.

Steven Den Beste on April 13, 2013 at 1:27 PM

President Obama hit California for some fundraising this week, including stops with various billionaires who fervently oppose the Keystone XL pipeline.

I only went to the Hog school for the Challenged but remember some form of political structure where the government controls the means of production. Is this getting close?

arnold ziffel on April 13, 2013 at 1:47 PM

0 will delay and delay until the Canadians decide to just keep it all in Canada and ship direct to the Chinese.

Then it’s not the 0′s fault. It is all some conservative white guy’s fault.

jukin3 on April 13, 2013 at 1:48 PM

Punt it to John Kerry, of course.

Punt it to Waffles? It’s probably the most clever thing Obama ever did.

thuja on April 13, 2013 at 1:50 PM

This is going to take forever.

The State Department is super super occupied right now providing all the details, thousands and thousands of pages, too, of that Benghazi thing to Congress and the public…and then there is that little matter of that foreign service officer killed in Afghanistan last week…seems the official story does not compute…so there’s yet another layer of bureaucracy to gin up a new improved story…gonna take some time with that, too.

So this Keystone thing…

Well, after State gets its act together, it’ll all be referred over to Commerce…then over to Labor…then back to Energy, those original Energy studies are sooo out of date by now…then the EPA has to chime in…

By the time all this gets pushed through, President Joe Biden (in his second term) will come up with some reason as to why the United States of America, God love ‘em, is involved with the Keystone Kops, and didn’t that Canadian, Max Sennett already take care of them?

Yep.

coldwarrior on April 13, 2013 at 1:51 PM

Leadership? from The Chosen One? hahahaha! The guy excels at avoiding making decisions.

GarandFan on April 13, 2013 at 1:55 PM

That thing holding the sign in the picture probably drove to the event in mommy and daddy’s 10mpg SUV while they were flying in their private jet to golf with oblamo.

acyl72 on April 13, 2013 at 1:59 PM

The Progressive War on America.

Battlefield: Energy independence for the U.S.

Any chance the Saudis will be supporting the Obama Library like they are the Bush 43 colossus in Tejas?

PappyD61 on April 13, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Any chance the Saudis will be supporting the Obama Library like they are the Bush 43 colossus in Tejas?

PappyD61 on April 13, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Those Wahhabi Saudis will be supporting the Obama Presidential Mosque and Library and providing “free” textbooks to all public schools extolling the virtues of Obama (and of course, Mohammedism…)…but not in Chicago…to dangerous…and not in Hawaii, too green and lush for the average Saudi to deal with. Probably build it in Nevada, next to the test site…just the right amount of sand and desolation for ‘em.

coldwarrior on April 13, 2013 at 2:06 PM

If only we had a America lover that had experience getting pipelines opened up…….mmmmmm.

I bet Maggie Thatcher would have no problem acting decisively in the best interests of her nation.

http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/345014/grocer-s-daughter-sarah-palin

Today we say goodbye to a towering figure of the 20th century. With the passing of Margaret Thatcher, we’ve sadly lost the last living member of that great triumvirate that included Ronald Reagan and John Paul II — those giants who defeated the evil empire of Soviet Communism and allowed the liberation of its captive nations. We’ve also lost one of the great champions of economic freedom and democratic ideals.

Many will focus on the fact that Margaret Thatcher’s career was a collection of “firsts” for women — she was the first and youngest female Conservative-party member to stand for election, the first woman to hold the title Leader of the Opposition, and the first woman prime minister of the United Kingdom.

But Thatcher not only broke a glass ceiling; she broke a class ceiling. She was a grocer’s daughter from the back of beyond who advanced to the height of power in a class-conscious society. Like her friend Ronald Reagan, she was an underestimated underdog and political outsider. Simon Jenkins, the former editor of the Evening Standard, once said, “There was no Thatcher group within the Tory Party. . . . She was utterly and completely on her own. She simply was an outsider in every way.”

She was at heart a populist taking on the Conservative party’s old guard, who disdainfully referred to her as “That Woman.” The disdain was mutual. She referred to them as “the not so grand grandees.” As Thatcher later said, “It didn’t matter what they called me as long as I got the job done. I mean, to me they were ‘Those Grandees.’ They just don’t know what life is like. They haven’t been through it. And eventually if they didn’t help our cause, they had to go. But it didn’t bother me too much that they were patronizing like that. Frankly, the people, who are the true gentlemen, deal with others for what they are, not who their father was. Let’s face it: Maybe it took ‘That Woman’ to get things done, and the real reason why they said it was because they knew they just hadn’t got it within them to see things through.”

In taking on “Those Grandees,” she wasn’t afraid of having strong opinions and fighting for them — something the establishment often found distasteful. British ambassador Sir Anthony Parsons recalled a conversation about this: “She said, ‘You know, Tony, I’m very proud that I don’t belong to your class.’ I said, ‘Prime Minister, what class do you think I belong to?’ She said, ‘I’m talking of course about upper-middle-class intellectuals who see everybody else’s point of view and have none of their own.’” And, of course, like all conservatives and trailblazers, she had to endure more than her share of vicious media attacks. Sir Archie Hamilton once recounted how he asked Thatcher whether she read the daily newspapers. “‘Oh no!’ she replied, ‘They make such hurtful and damaging remarks about me and my family, that if I ever read the papers every day, I could never get on with the job I am here to do.’” I know exactly what she meant. And as she said, “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”

Anyone witnessing her brilliant debating skills in the House of Commons can understand why her opponents were reduced to childish attacks. She passionately demolished all their arguments with facts.

Thatcher didn’t have powerful patronage. All she had were powerful ideas, ideas based on liberty. During a meeting about the Conservative party’s best course to take in the economic crisis of the 1970s, some so-called pragmatist was arguing in favor of a Third Way between free-market capitalism and socialism. Before he was even finished, Thatcher reached for her handbag, pulled out a copy of Hayek’s The Constitution of Liberty, threw it on the table, and said, “This is what we believe in!

She put those beliefs into action. Like Reagan, she was a leader for whom word and deed were one and the same. A leader of a conservative think tank behind the Thatcher revolution famously said, “We were not interested in political office for the Conservative party. We were interested in power for them to get things done.” And that’s exactly what Thatcher did. While others in her party were interested in holding on to political office and overseeing “the orderly management of [Britain’s] decline,” she actually radically reformed a broken system and brought it back to free-market principles, leaving her country stronger, wealthier, and a leader in the world when just a decade before it had been dismissed as “the sick man of Europe.” Her push to privatize British industry and lower tax rates led to a substantial economic expansion and became a model for other countries shrugging off the yoke of socialism.

She was a visionary always ahead of her time because her vision was rooted in time-tested truths about man’s fallibilities and aspirations. Today, in light of Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis, all observers can recognize the wisdom of her unflinching defense of national sovereignty and democratic accountability. I’m sure there are many Europeans today who wish their leaders were as prescient as Britain’s Thatcher in her skepticism of ceding control to a centralized continental bureaucracy.

She was above all a patriot who loved her “Land of Hope and Glory” with all her heart and believed in its greatness and its history as the “Mother of the Free.” As her current successor in 10 Downing Street said, “She didn’t just lead our country; she saved our country.” And she changed the world in the process.

The grocer’s daughter from Grantham became freedom’s Iron Lady at a time when too many were soft and equivocating. She is sadly gone now, but her intrepid will, her time-tested ideals, her unfailing trust in what is right and just, and her legacy, as solid as iron, will live on forever.

— Sarah Palin, PIPELINE GODDESS, the former governor of Alaska, was the 2008 Republican nominee for vice president.

If only we had a THATCHER XL.

PappyD61 on April 13, 2013 at 2:12 PM

The trap runs even deeper than that. Much deeper.

Clinton’s economic successes came because he and his coalition had zero incentive to jack with the internet. The same cannot be said of 0bama and new fossil-fuels extraction technologies like fraccing. Both technologies had the potential to take those graduate students in underwater basketweaving and employ them lucratively. The internet was realized in the ’90s, and 0bama is forced to suppress fraccing and oil pipelines in the ’10s.

Some time five or six years from now, when some liberal has to come up with some prosperity the American people substantially had under a recent Democrat President, he won’t be able to reach that short distance through 0bama’s reign of error like liberals do today with Clinton’s supposed surplus.

Sekhmet on April 13, 2013 at 2:23 PM

Obama doesn’t really need anyone’s money now. He would like to take the House next year to complete his socialist agenda, but probably understands it is extremely unlikely. Once he leaves office, the wealthy leftists around the world will fete him with million-dollar speaking engagements, just like Clinton.

In his heart, he is a dyed-in-the-wool watermelon environmentalist. Green on the outside, red through and through. His war on fossil fuels is great for exciting the environmental nuts, many of whom give money and time to the cause, but its true intent is to cripple America to avenge the Soviet Empire.

Adjoran on April 13, 2013 at 2:39 PM

To the Canadians Keystone XL is a free trade issue.

Lack of approval of it is restricting over US$20 billion of exports to the US. And sometime in the near future the Harper government will seek arbitration on this under NAFTA, the free trade aggreement between the US, Mexico and Canada. Obama knows this and knows the US will lose.

All the rhetoric about dirty oil, US jobs, green energy, leaky pipelines is meaningless. Alberta oil is already entering this country through the first phase of the Keystone pipeline. That began 4 years ago. The adminstration can’t argue it is a different product from anything entering the US, it’s already being delivered by pipeline and rail. Lack of pipeline approval is a non-tariff barrier, restricting free trade.

The results of a negative decision on XL would be countervailing tariffs being approved for Canada against the US. And they would be sizeable. I don’t think Obama wants to throw the dice on this one.

Corky Boyd on April 13, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Obama doesn’t really need anyone’s money now. He would like to take the House next year to complete his socialist agenda, but probably understands it is extremely unlikely. Once he leaves office, the wealthy leftists around the world will fete him with million-dollar speaking engagements, just like Clinton.

In his heart, he is a dyed-in-the-wool watermelon environmentalist. Green on the outside, red through and through. His war on fossil fuels is great for exciting the environmental nuts, many of whom give money and time to the cause, but its true intent is to cripple America to avenge the Soviet Empire.

Adjoran on April 13, 2013 at 2:39 PM

I can’t see him pulling in the same money that Billy Boy does. He just doesn’t have the political talent, intelligence, or speaking skills that Bill does. Once he leaves office he will lose much of his appeal.

The REB is also fundamentally a lazy man. If he can golf his life away while living on the Hawaii estate that Penny Pritzker bought him, and make millions from another ghost-written autobiography #3, why would he do anything else?

slickwillie2001 on April 13, 2013 at 2:53 PM

In politics, the pipeline is what is known as a “juice” issue.

As long as it’s not resolved, the interested parties will continue to throw money at the legislators, hoping to sway them to their side.

PattyJ on April 13, 2013 at 3:10 PM

OT/Are we a platypus yet?

Axe on April 13, 2013 at 3:12 PM

Keystone XL. Gives us proof that Daryl Hannah isn’t dead, just ugly as sin.

RovesChins on April 13, 2013 at 3:17 PM

If only we had a THATCHER XL.

PappyD61 on April 13, 2013 at 2:12 PM

If only we had an electorate capable of electing the ones we do have.

astonerii on April 13, 2013 at 3:43 PM

President Obama hit California for some fundraising this week, including stops

…can no one…anyone?…curtail the JugEarred ones constant campaign trips…so he can actually be in the White House for one week…and try Pesidentin’ once?

KOOLAID2 on April 13, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Thread-winner from the Politico comments:

If you’re worried about the radical environmentalists having a fit and filling the news channels with their ire, then just sign the pipeline permit on a Saturday when they’re out communing with the varmints.

Del Dolemonte on April 13, 2013 at 4:09 PM

One thing we can count on…..Obama will never have a pair of Thatchers

BobMbx on April 13, 2013 at 4:14 PM

If only we had a THATCHER XL.

PappyD61 on April 13, 2013 at 2:12 PM

If only we had an electorate capable of electing the ones we do have.

astonerii on April 13, 2013 at 3:43 PM


well, true, there’s that.

PappyD61 on April 13, 2013 at 4:18 PM

If only we had an electorate capable of electing the ones we do have.

astonerii on April 13, 2013 at 3:43 PM

I know I’m repeating myself. Please to forgive. :)

We say we want something different, and we line them up. And then we say the two on the end don’t look President-tall, and we toss them. The one in the middle has no President haircut, poof. By the time we’ve finished, we’ve winnowed ourselves into someone suspiciously like one of the last someones, and we say, correctly, they are Presidential.

Her skill-set (and others’) is perfect, in my opinion. But the skill-set we elect is ridiculous, and “we” will do it again.

Jesus/Tebow 2016

Axe on April 13, 2013 at 4:28 PM

Obama doesn’t really need anyone’s money now. He would like to take the House next year to complete his socialist agenda, but probably understands it is extremely unlikely. Once he leaves office, the wealthy leftists around the world will fete him with million-dollar speaking engagements, just like Clinton.

In his heart, he is a dyed-in-the-wool watermelon environmentalist. Green on the outside, red through and through. His war on fossil fuels is great for exciting the environmental nuts, many of whom give money and time to the cause, but its true intent is to cripple America to avenge the Soviet Empire.

Adjoran on April 13, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Welfare queens, young idealists, drug addicts and gang bangers don’t generally pay to see anyone speak much less a kenyan. The corporate cronies and hollywood types won’t pay much either since he’s yesterday’s news and the worst president ever economically. Even though they’d sell their mothers for a dollar they make sure they get something for their dollar.

He’ll be a pathetic stooge stooge hanging out with magilla and the two wunder kids in Hawaii counting his money and laughing at the stooges that voted for him. He’ll make nixon and carter look like high profile ex presidents.

acyl72 on April 13, 2013 at 4:35 PM

Let’s can this 1 per cent vs. 99 per cent balloon juice… Obama never gave a crap about either of them. Never did and never will. Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for Obama.

Marxism is for dummies on April 13, 2013 at 4:40 PM

What part of ‘these electricity rates, will naturally skyrocket’ and we ‘can’t keep the air conditioning at 76 degrees,’ did you miss, Jazz.

narciso on April 13, 2013 at 5:18 PM

As these ‘protestors’ left, it’s too bad they weren’t told, G

GET OFF THAT BUS! GET OUT OF THAT CAR!

NOW WALK HOME!

GarandFan on April 13, 2013 at 7:18 PM

GarandFan on April 13, 2013 at 7:18 PM

In a sane world, transportation businesses would refuse service to groups like these coffee-club hippy wannabes.

If businesses realized the insideous danger of libtard ideals was far greater than the benefit their customer base was worth (just ask Russian businessmen in the early 1900′s), you might see a lot of people suddenly without bus service or ISP service or a lot of other things.

MelonCollie on April 14, 2013 at 12:43 AM

I can’t WAIT for the day when we are rid of that weak sister in the White House.

RebeccaH on April 14, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Low Information Democrats. LID’s.

MarkT on April 15, 2013 at 11:31 AM