If/when Obama approves the Keystone pipeline, the green lobby is going to go berserk

posted at 4:41 pm on April 17, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

The White House’s predicted date for when the president will finally approve (or disapprove, as the case may be) the Keystone XL pipeline has been steadily creepin’ back to later and later dates — by the latest count, we’re looking at the end of this summer/early fall — for no sincerely good reason whatsoever, given that multiple environmental impact studies have cleared the project for takeoff and that the United States already has a vast operational pipeline network crisscrossing the continent.

Of course, one very good political reason for continuing to delay is that the green lobby has managed to turn this into such a controversial and high-profile issue that it’s approval will be a turn-off to some potential Democratic donors, the same ones that President Obama is going to need to help him fundraise in full force to boost his fellow Democrats’ chances of retaking of Congress in next year’s midterm elections. Many Democrats will forgive the president for what he can’t do in the face of all that gosh darn Republican obstructionism going on in terms of gun control and spending and whatnot, but the stubbornly lingering Keystone pipeline decision is all on him, and capitulating on something he can definitely control might be too much to stay in the green lobby’s good graces. Via Politico:

Meanwhile, anti-Keystone activists are preparing to take a State Department hearing on the pipeline Thursday in Nebraska by storm. They’ve even organized a barbecue featuring “tar sands-free beef” from cattle raised along the proposed pipeline route and a prayer circle the night before the hearing.

And leading activists are trying to increase pressure on President Barack Obama to reject the pipeline, warning of dire political consequences if he gives the project the go-ahead.

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune told POLITICO that major Democratic donors are keeping a watchful eye on the president’s Keystone decision. An approval, he said, could hurt fundraising and make activists less inclined to campaign for Democrats facing reelection in 2014.

“We’re already seeing how Democratic donors are discovering the same thing that scientists and ranchers and farmers have, which is that this pipeline is a bad idea. There’s a growing sentiment among the Democratic donor base,” Brune said.

Obama “wants to have a Congress with more environmental champions and the midterms are coming very soon,” he added.

The Senate symbolically approved of the pipeline‘s construction last month, and the House GOP has their own plan in the works to deprive the president of authority to keep blocking the project. I doubt that any Democrats will want to go that far in getting the pipeline approved, but statement is made, and there is definitely bipartisan approval of the project in general:

House Republicans took the first step Tuesday toward forcing approval of Keystone XL pipeline, with a subcommittee passing a proposal that aims to green-light the massive project without President Obama’s approval.

The bill which is designed more to put pressure on the White House than to actually become law would strip the administration’s ability to block the Canada-to-Texas pipeline. The bill also would limit the number of future environmental-impact studies and streamline the judicial review process for legal challenges to the project.

“This is a big step forward,” Rep. Lee Terry, Nebraska Republican, told The Washington Times minutes after the measure sailed out of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s energy and power subcommittee on a 17-9 vote. “I feel a great deal of momentum. I hear the momentum out there. People are just really saying they don’t understand the continued delays that are occurring. So, the people are behind this more than ever.”

Mr. Terry’s proposal now heads to the full committee and he predicted the Republican-controlled House could vote on the bill as early as next month.

Some Democrats, of course, are complaining that Republicans are giving the pipeline special treatment with all of the legislative attention they’re affording it. I fail to see why that’s inappropriate, seeing as how President Obama is also giving the project special treatment in the form of determinedly ignoring it for as long as he possibly can for purely political purposes. Riddle me that.


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Teh SCOAMT will never approve Keystone.

Steve Eggleston on April 17, 2013 at 4:44 PM

I do not understand did this incompetent win re-election or he is already a lame duck? He is losing on every front…

mnjg on April 17, 2013 at 4:45 PM

We all know the real reason he is holding it up. It his is carrot to get the GOP to agree to more taxes, more surveillance, more Uncle Sugar power.

Limerick on April 17, 2013 at 4:46 PM

Would approving the Keystone XL Pipeline help the country? If the answer is ‘yes’, then Obama will surely disapprove. Grounds? He don’t need no ‘st-e-e-e-nking grounds’. Or rather, that is the grounds.

Subotai Bahadur on April 17, 2013 at 4:47 PM

He will never approve it Erika, this ass bag is completely incapable of allowing something like this unless it benefited someone who gave him money during his last campaign. It also needs to become more well known that Warren Buffet supposedly owns the train line that would lose if this thing ever became reality.

gsherin on April 17, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Obama always looks like a child from sex among Lenin/Mussolini.

Schadenfreude on April 17, 2013 at 4:48 PM

The green lobby is already beserk.

LetsBfrank on April 17, 2013 at 4:49 PM

If/when Obama approves the Keystone pipeline, the green lobby is going to go berserk

No discernible difference in their behavior will be apparent.

Lily on April 17, 2013 at 4:52 PM

How else can I get canopfor to Texas to take advantage of amnesty? Canopfor, Barry is blocking your way to heaven!

Limerick on April 17, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Union workers without jobs hardest hit.

rbj on April 17, 2013 at 4:56 PM

If/when Obama approves the Keystone pipeline, the green lobby is going to go berserk

They can’t get more berserk than they are now, it is simply an impossibility. Besides, the economy would thrive (assuming Keystone it is pursued comcomitantly with the shale gas & oil exploitation) and novody will give a dead rat on what the effin greenies think. Look at Canada, even those rabid socialists there enjoy a booming economy and its benefits and looks like they shut their pie holes about the tar sands when they saw the money flowing into their economy.

jimver on April 17, 2013 at 5:10 PM

An approval, he said, could hurt fundraising and make activists less inclined to campaign for Democrats facing reelection in 2014.

Quid pro quo? Or just balckmail.

Pretty stinky, either way.

iurockhead on April 17, 2013 at 5:10 PM

Elf…they will try and set it on fire.

Oil Can on April 17, 2013 at 5:11 PM

This really is John Kerry’s to approve or disapprove.
I suspect that Kerry, fresh from talks in Asia on Climate Change, will disapprove, forcing the Congress to override.

Meanwhile, the pipeline is being built as you read this.

J_Crater on April 17, 2013 at 5:11 PM

He will never approve it Erika, this ass bag is completely incapable of allowing something like this unless it benefited someone who gave him money during his last campaign. It also needs to become more well known that Warren Buffet supposedly owns the train line that would lose if this thing ever became reality.

gsherin on April 17, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Pipefitter’s and steel worker’s unions? Tough call for Barky.

iurockhead on April 17, 2013 at 5:13 PM

It will get built one day.

After all the white conservatives are in the camps.

And it will be built with black laborers who are now “getting even” with whitey.

The welfare class will have served its usefulness in implementing marxism and the they will be put back to work for the good off all. “They gon put y-all back in chains.”

davidk on April 17, 2013 at 5:15 PM

Remember a few weeks ago when Obama refused to take the authority Boehner tried to give him to prioritize the sequester cuts? This is why. Making decisions is hard ‘n stuff.

DanMan on April 17, 2013 at 5:18 PM

They’ve even organized a barbecue featuring “tar sands-free beef” from cattle raised along the proposed pipeline route and a prayer circle the night before the hearing

Who are they praying to exactly? Gaia? If Gaia hates oil so much why did she make so much of it?

cornbred on April 17, 2013 at 5:19 PM

He should consults his bosses in the Muslim Brotherhood first.

Ward Cleaver on April 17, 2013 at 5:20 PM

Meanwhile, the pipeline is being built as you read this.

with huge encumberances…1.5 hours of daily safety meetings, full wrap hard hats (about 4lbs), shut down 2 hours before dark for the owls, etc. At least that’s what happening in East Texas right now.

DanMan on April 17, 2013 at 5:21 PM

Meanwhile, anti-Keystone activists are preparing to take a State Department hearing on the pipeline Thursday in Nebraska by storm.

Serious question: How are they all planning to get there?

chemman on April 17, 2013 at 5:25 PM

He don’t need no ‘st-e-e-e-nking grounds’.

Subotai Bahadur on April 17, 2013 at 4:47 PM

I bet he drinks tea instead of coffee.

chemman on April 17, 2013 at 5:27 PM

I’ll make the greens a deal. We won’t build a pipeline if they’ll let us build a refinery near the US/Canada border.

hawksruleva on April 17, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Obama will “approve” XL but only with insane “conditions” that the GOP/private sector/Canada/states must abide by or else no deal. The “conditions” will border on insanity (carbon credits, forced “investment” in green boondoggles, etc.) and the deal will fall through. That will give Obama political cover to appear “moderate” and blame the GOP.

visions on April 17, 2013 at 5:43 PM

I’ll make the greens a deal. We won’t build a pipeline if they’ll let us build a refinery near the US/Canada border.

hawksruleva on April 17, 2013 at 5:31 PM

Refineries need a lot of water available for steam generation and/or cooling, so that a refinery near the US/Canada border would have to be either on the Red River between ND and MN, or possibly along Lake Superior near Duluth, MN.

The refined products (gasoline, diesel oil, jet fuel, home heating oil) would then have to be transported to market somehow. The Red River is probably not navigable to large oil tankers, and sending the refined products out via the Saint Lawrence Seaway is an extremely circuitous route. The refined products would therefore have to be shipped either by rail, by truck, or by (drum roll…) pipeline.

So we have the choice between the risk of crude oil spills by building the Keystone XL pipeline, or spills of refined products from railcars or trucks (far more likely), or from a gasoline or diesel fuel pipeline.

There is an existing crude pipeline running eastward in Canada from Alberta to Manitoba, which then turns southward along the eastern edge of ND, SD, and Nebraska, but it is already flowing at capacity. The proposed Keystone XL pipeline takes a shortcut (cutting off over 300 miles), a beeline from Alberta southeastward through eastern MT, western SD, and eastern Nebraska, where it would feed into an existing pipeline leading to existing refineries in MO and IL, which can then ship products in barges along the Mississippi River.

So the Keystone XL pipeline would shorten the trip for the crude oil, thereby REDUCING the chance for an oil spill as compared to rail, truck, or barge transport.

Then again, with all the oil that’s being extracted and fracked from the Bakken field in North Dakota these days, we just might need to build a refinery in ND anyway!

Steve Z on April 17, 2013 at 6:10 PM

He will never approve unless the jobs are given to illegals and all materials needed are produced in Mexico.

Wade on April 17, 2013 at 6:15 PM

If it’s for the good of the country, you can bet Barry will put it off and let the next President decide.

GarandFan on April 17, 2013 at 6:28 PM

He will never approve it Erika, this ass bag is completely incapable of allowing something like this unless it benefited someone who gave him money during his last campaign. It also needs to become more well known that Warren Buffet supposedly owns the train line that would lose if this thing ever became reality.

gsherin on April 17, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Pipefitter’s and steel worker’s unions? Tough call for Barky.

iurockhead on April 17, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Who or what will do him the most good post-Presidentin’? Warren or the Pipefitters and steelworkers? I’m betting Ogabe thinks Warren will pay off much better.

catsandbooks on April 17, 2013 at 6:45 PM

They’ve even organized a barbecue featuring “tar sands-free beef” from cattle raised along the proposed pipeline route and a prayer circle the night before the hearing

PETA and anti-religion activists go berserk at this point.

As for The One, he will never approve the pipeline. He is functionally incapable of doing anything which does not cause harm to Western Civilization in general, and this country specifically. He dreams every night of “turning out the lights” on three millennia of what he regards as an evil experiment in refuting the gods-given principle of rule by a “mystically enlightened elite”.

The civilization he loathes- ours- requires energy. Starve it of energy, it dies. He wants it to die.

It’s really just that simple.

clear ether

eon

eon on April 17, 2013 at 9:25 PM

I predict this project will demand much further deliberation and consideration — at least until the ’14 midterm elections are over with. Careful, slow analysis of is a hallmark of the Obama administration — you know, like the ACA and the upcoming immigration “comprehensive” reform.

tpitman on April 18, 2013 at 6:51 AM

I wish that every opponent of the Keystone XL pipeline should have to wait at a railroad crossing, twice every day, for a 200-car train of tank cars carrying crude oil from Alberta to refineries in the US.

J Baustian on April 18, 2013 at 11:14 AM