Obama to State: Don’t approve Keystone if it adds greenhouse gas emissions

posted at 4:41 pm on June 25, 2013 by Mary Katharine Ham

Some environmentalists are pumped about this announcement as an indication of President Obama’s occasional, political, unprioritized unwavering dedication to protecting the environment. But really, isn’t it just a way to send the Keystone Pipeline back into Obama’s favorite political purgatory so he doesn’t actually have to make a decision?

Didn’t we already do this? Yes, twice. In the latest State Department study of the Keystone Pipeline’s effects, released in March after EPA declared the department’s first study insufficient in 2010, State concluded that Keystone would not have a major impact on net carbon emissions:

The Obama administration today moved one step closer to approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, concluding in a draft environmental impact statement that the project would not accelerate global greenhouse gas emissions or significantly harm the natural habitats along its route.

The report, done by the State Department, suggests that the proposed 875-mile pipeline, which would carry 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, to Steele City, Nebraska, has cleared a significant hurdle on its way to President Obama’s desk for final consideration…

Government analysts found that Keystone XL would each year produce the equivalent carbon dioxide emissions of 620,000 passenger cars operating for a year. But they concluded that whether or not the pipeline is approved, those emissions would still likely occur because of fuels produced and obtained from other sources.

So, that would mean we’re moving forward on this sucker, right? That’s what Tim Carney thinks, but I don’t think so. The L.A. Times says this is a “strict” new guideline even though it’s one that’s already been met. The very same environmental groups applauding the president’s announcement that the Keystone Pipeline can only go forward if it meets the standard it seems to have already met denounced the State Department’s conclusions in that draft study as “absurd.” The EPA asked for a “more thorough” examination of the pipeline yet again. I’m thinking the environmental activists know more about whether the conclusions of the revised draft study constitute an approval of the Keystone Pipeline under Obama’s rubric or we’re in for another study in stalling. They want another study, not a pipeline, and they think they got it, although their logic escapes me:

“The President definitely changed the terms of the debate on Keystone—making clear that we need to evaluate its impact on the climate,” said Navin Nayak, a vice president at the League of Conservation Voters. “So while there’s still a decision to be made, it’s definitely a game changer.”

Leadership at CREDO, the progressive group with a list of tens of thousands of people who have promised to get arrested if Keystone is approved, called Obama’s remarks a “breakthrough.” Executive Director Becky Bond said that her group will continue to pressure Obama on Keystone through public action, but suggested that the bulk of the work was now done thanks to protesters like hers.

“No one expected President Obama to address the Keystone XL pipeline in his first major climate speech. But because of massive grassroots pressure, including a Pledge of Resistance signed by over 62,000 Americans pledging to risk arrest in peaceful civil disobedience, the president announced that he could not approve Keystone XL if it increases the carbon emissions that fuel climate change,” she said. “And the consensus from EPA and scientists could not be more clear — it does.”

Obama himself offers rather squishy standards in his Keystone passage today and intimates the process is far from over:

“Allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built requires a finding that doing so would be in our nation’s interest,” the president said in a Tuesday speech on climate change. “And our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution. The net effects of the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward.”

I imagine there will be an announcement of another study. And, we will bicker about who’s conducting the study and how its conclusions will be calculated, and Obama will offer naught but vague entreaties that the study and result meet the “principles [he's] laid out.” During all of this, we must “wait for the facts to come in,” at which point if we have already reached the end of Obama’s second term or he requires a big decision announcement for some other political reason, there will be an announcement of a decision. More likely, we’ll be in for another round of study on this, the most studied construction project in modern humankind.

When it comes to this particular issue, it makes no difference that “Americans across the country are already paying the price of inaction” or that ignoring scientific studies conducted by his own State Department would qualify as a meeting of the “Flat Earth Society” if the person ignoring them weren’t Obama.

Follow along with the president’s plan in clip art form, here, and a critique from the left, here.

Heart-ache:


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Cloward-Piven continues.

njrob on June 25, 2013 at 4:43 PM

There are what, 250k miles of pipelines in this country? This one is 1,500 miles. Plus, if we don’t refine this crude, China will.

How come Obooba allowed me to know this? Didn’t he realize I’d tell?

Akzed on June 25, 2013 at 4:44 PM

Case 1:
USA uses oil. Greenhouse gases change by x.

Case 2:
China uses oil. Greenhouse gases change by x.

Delta zero. You’re welcome, State Department.

The Schaef on June 25, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Man the algae tanks!!!

Polish Rifle on June 25, 2013 at 4:48 PM

Unless the pipeline has internal combustion engines for the pumps, I don’t see where it could emit greenhouse gases. Unless, of course, State will say the power stations for electric pumps emit greenhouse gases, so the Administration’s rule is covered.

Liam on June 25, 2013 at 4:49 PM

OK union workers who voted for him – you own him.

22044 on June 25, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Obumble needs to stop breathing – since he produces greenhouse gases every time he exhales.

dentarthurdent on June 25, 2013 at 4:49 PM

But really, isn’t it just a way to send the Keystone Pipeline back into Obama’s favorite political purgatory so he doesn’t actually have to make a decision?

Of course it is.

Curtiss on June 25, 2013 at 4:49 PM

If Canada were smart they would build a set of refineries in BC and offer political asylum to GOP members.

I cannot believe that he is in the 40s with this resume.

harlekwin15 on June 25, 2013 at 4:50 PM

And his trip to Africa will add how much CO2 to the atmosphere?

His campaign fund raisers (for a campaign that will never happen) add how much CO2 into the atmosphere?

aniptofar on June 25, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Warren Buffet owns the railroad alternative for shipping the oil. That’s why he’s been giving Obama cover. This isn’t environmentalism, it’s good old fashioned bought and paid for Chicago Politics.

trubble on June 25, 2013 at 4:53 PM

The Schaef on June 25, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Actually, I think that there would be slightly fewer greenhouse gas (or at least CO2) emissions if China uses the oil. China’s energy tech is dirtier than ours, so combustion of the oil will be less complete. This will result in more actual pollutants being generated than if we used it, but slightly less CO2.

Ergo (according to lib calculus) it’s better for the environment if China uses the oil.

sadarj on June 25, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Warren Buffet owns the railroad alternative for shipping the oil. That’s why he’s been giving Obama cover. This isn’t environmentalism, it’s good old fashioned bought and paid for Chicago Politics.

trubble on June 25, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Or, that crony capitalism the trolls keep accusing us of favoring.

Liam on June 25, 2013 at 4:57 PM

sadarj on June 25, 2013 at 4:56 PM

I just remembered that for China to use the oil, they have to ship it across the Pacific Ocean. Unless they suddenly started using nuclear-powered oil tankers, that means that China getting the oil will cause more pollution and more CO2 emissions. Not that the greens actually care about that, but…

sadarj on June 25, 2013 at 5:00 PM

This is insanity. When will someone stand up for those of us most affected by rising energy prices?

It really passes me off that a bunch of rich, elitist, Leftists have this much influence over energy policies that affect us all.

When will the GOP go on the attack against the EPA? It would be a very populist and popular effort.

I have read and heard that 50% of the EPA’s budget is given away in grants to radical environmental groups who use our money against us. The GOP needs to sash the EPA’s budget and deny these groups taxpayer funding. If they can’t raise money on their own that ought to tell them something.

I really hate the environmentalists. They are even more destructive of our industrial economy than Obama.

Charlemagne on June 25, 2013 at 5:01 PM

Some environmentalists are pumped about this announcement as an indication of President Obama’s occasional, political, unprioritized unwavering dedication to protecting the environment. But really, isn’t it just a way to send the Keystone Pipeline back into Obama’s favorite political purgatory so he doesn’t actually have to make a decision?

Keeping it in “purgatory” is far “better” (at least from the Cloward/Piven/SCOAMT view) than outright rejecting it. Remember, markets abhor “uncertainty”, even if that “uncertainty” is merely illusionary. By holding out the very-false hope that Keystone XL “might” be approved, Obama hopes to continue to freeze TransCanada into doing absolutely nothing as they said that if they can’t do XL, they’ll build to Canada’s Pacific Coast so the oil can be shipped to Red China.

Steve Eggleston on June 25, 2013 at 5:02 PM

Coward.

itsspideyman on June 25, 2013 at 5:04 PM

The Keystone pipeline will NOT be built. If it is built it will create jobs, creating jobs means people are off welfare, which means less dependent on government, which means the thugs in the white house can’t control them by suggesting oh you aren’t going to be able to feed your kids or pay for your house if you start thinking to much.Start thinking might not vote Democrat and we can’t have that so … nothing that actually creates jobs will ever get passed.

Regulations that destroy jobs, yup. Immigration policy that imports and places more people on the government dole yup. Everything is about creating more Democrat voters.

If you are rich, either buy you off with an energy subsidy (Solyndra,etc) or the FBI, IRS will hound you.

If you are poor you are easier to manipulate. It’s simply vote our way or else your kids starve! So create more poor people, if you can’t create enough thru EPA regulations, Obamacare, then import them and give them foodstamps!

odannyboy on June 25, 2013 at 5:13 PM

Phew! Good thing CO2 isn’t a pollutant. All the libs might have to kill themselves for exhaling.

kirkill on June 25, 2013 at 5:14 PM

In the latest State Department study of the Keystone Pipeline’s effects, released in March after EPA declared the department’s first study insufficient in 2010, State concluded that Keystone would not have a major impact on net carbon emissions:

Why even lend any credence to the idiot global warming BS by making this point? “greenhouse gases” is a BS idea. There is no anthropogenic (catastrophic or not) global warming due to the dreaded “greenhouse gases” (of which water vapor is a huge one!).

The whole global warming scheme has been blown wide open and you’re still arguing that keystone doesn’t emit the fanciful “greenhouse gases”?? WTFFF?

Come on, people. Get with it. You don’t cede an argument that the left lost long ago. Barky is excused from not understanding this because he’s a brain-dead 84 IQ moron. You have no such excuse.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on June 25, 2013 at 5:16 PM


Obama to State: Don’t approve Keystone if it adds greenhouse gas emissions

So, I guess we now know what this was all about.

rogaineguy on June 25, 2013 at 5:16 PM

How far off the deep end are Democrats such as Obama?

http://www.wattsupwiththat.com

Off the deep end, 20 foot out from the cliff looking back, lost in space.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on June 25, 2013 at 5:19 PM

China uses oil. Greenhouse gases change by x.

The Schaef on June 25, 2013 at 4:45 PM

It’s far worse than that.

China uses oil. Greenhouse gases change by 10x.

China has four times the population of the US and no emission standards whatsoever. Power plants have turned the skies over China a shade of gray. The industrialized areas are heavily polluted and polluting the nearby residential areas.

Obama is the King of Fools.

fogw on June 25, 2013 at 5:20 PM

I found a good blog. Here’s an excerpt from Cult of the Warm:

The Warmists have pushed their agenda through with alarmist claims and hysteria… They have smeared and intimidated anyone who stood up to them.
If you believe that freedom is at the core of what it means to be human, then the Warmists and what they stand for are instinctively repulsive to you. On the other hand if you believe that human society must be organized into a moral collective for the betterment of all, then the Warmist idea provides a wake up call compelling us to form into ranks and goosestep in recycled rubber boots into the Green future.
…No matter what research emerges, the edifice of the lie cannot be allowed to come down…If the Cult of Warm were to come tumbling down, then the first victim of it would be the technocratic society built on an unreasonable confidence in experts and Harvard men who always know what they’re doing and know how to do it better than we do.
Global Warming is not just a failure of a sizable chunk of the scientific establishment to put theory before ideology…It is a demonstration of how a handful of people in prominent positions can push through otherwise unacceptable measures by manufacturing a crisis and pipelining it through business and government. It’s a hack of our entire system of government…

anotherJoe on June 25, 2013 at 5:21 PM

the agitprop runs strong, but a little clumsy in the hands of Shep Smith. In 1988 the infamous work of Wirth and others caused the room that the first climate warming hearing to look like a sauna. So Hansen in was sweating as he proclaimed that we’re all gonna die from co2.

well, barry trotted that out again, wiping his brow with a big thick towel of a hanky…and Shep dutiful as ever showed the clip, mentioning that it was Hot in DC…90 degrees!!!!!!!

ah, shep…chris matthews isn’t the only one that tingles at agitprop

r keller on June 25, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Yes, we will not burn that oil here but not to worry, the Chinese will be more than happy to burn it over there…

ojfltx on June 25, 2013 at 5:32 PM

The answer to “Global Climate Change” is to lessen the impacts here in favor of even higher impacts in China. Great logic.

See definition of “Carbon leakage” for why this policy is idiotic.

weaselyone on June 25, 2013 at 5:41 PM

It’s common for the bs artists to try to ridicule someone by saying “he’s not a climate scientist.” But that’s upside down. Fact is Climate Scientists are not credible on issues regarding… climate. At least the post 1990 vintage, who had to exhibit agreement with the Chicken Littles in order to get into the club. NO exceptions that I know of.
Far far from being the great lab-coated experts to be trusted, Climate Scientists are generally the agenda-driven opposite.
And the notion of consensus is falling. We need to take pot shots at the contrived consensus wherever we can. While post-1990 climate scientists might march in lockstep, meteorologists, who are more credible on climate (see 1st paragraph), don’t have 97% agreement with agw, or 87%, or 67%, or 51%, or 36%…

No. Only 24% of meteorologists agree with warmist theory.

24%! What kind of consensus is this? See link (this is an old poll I found, but I know there are plenty of newer polls with similar results): http://sbvor.blogspot.com/2010/01/meterologists-are-rightly-skeptical-on.html

anotherJoe on June 25, 2013 at 5:45 PM

It’s a fracking pipe, of which here are plenty everywhere, how could it possibly generate more emissions than, say, transporting oil from Alberta by rail does…which btw will happen anyways in case Keystone doesn’t get approved…he made that much clear…. Guess Buffet has to get his profit from sowhere and then yack about the patriotic duty to pay more in taxes….Never seen in my life such an idiotic, incompetent administration…it’s a just a pipe, stupid!

jimver on June 25, 2013 at 5:49 PM

What about when Obama opens his mouth?

John the Libertarian on June 25, 2013 at 5:49 PM

There are plentry, that is…

jimver on June 25, 2013 at 5:49 PM

What about when Obama opens his mouth?

John the Libertarian on June 25, 2013 at 5:49 PM

The volacanos emissions couldn’t compete with that…

jimver on June 25, 2013 at 5:51 PM

Heh, just saw on twitter that after Obama rudely called us skeptics the “Flat Earth Society”, it turns out that the actual president of the Society believes in AGW!

juliesa on June 25, 2013 at 6:02 PM

Yeah, a green pipeline.

jake49 on June 25, 2013 at 6:16 PM

What creates less greenhouse gas?

1) Pipeline to Gulf where oil is refined into gas.

2) Rail to west coast of Canada, ship to China and/or Middle East to refine oil into gas, ship gas back to US.

Another case of “environmentalists” causing more harm to the environment.

taznar on June 25, 2013 at 6:31 PM

Once again, Dear Leader defers “the decision” to someone else.

We certainly could do with a POLITICAL CLIMATE CHANGE IN WASHINGTON.

GarandFan on June 25, 2013 at 6:33 PM

It may be kind of fun to jerk the Canadians around on this, but maybe we should remember that the U.S. is already purchasing something like 600,000 Gigawatt-hours of electricity from Canada every year, which is around 14% of our total usage. If they were to get pissed, and turn this off for a few hours…

msr on June 25, 2013 at 10:23 PM

Obama has never had one minute where he thought he’d approve the pipeline. he wants us energy dependent not independent.

He wants our country dead in the water. fundamentally changed from prosperous to poor, from militarily strong to week and feckless, from a Constitutional Democratic Republic to a third world nation, and from a strong force in the world to less than noticed.

He has fulfilled his promise to “fundamentally change” our country and the Senate and Congress have given him all the help he needed and are doing nothing to stop the son of a bitch!

Delsa on June 26, 2013 at 2:44 AM

Since Obama doesn’t want to recognize that we the Muslim world is at war with the United States, he wants to declare a war on coal. And, of course not allow Canadian heavy crude to be piped into the United States. But as we all know it will get on the market and be used, even if we don’t use it. I guess the next step for our king is to declare war on Canada and impose an embargo on all outward bound oil shipments. That will save the world, right?

SC.Charlie on June 26, 2013 at 6:54 AM

Case 1:
USA uses oil. Greenhouse gases change by x.

Case 2:
China uses oil. Greenhouse gases change by x.

Delta zero. You’re welcome, State Department.

The Schaef on June 25, 2013 at 4:45 PM

Minor modification needed:

(A) Keystone pipeline is built. USA uses oil, greenhouse gases increase by X.

(B) Keystone pipeline is not built. Oil is shipped by tanker to China, tanker generates Y greenhouse gases.

China uses oil, greenhouse gases increase by X.

Net Increase in greenhouse gases due to building Keystone pipeline =
(A) – (B) = X – (Y + X) = -Y.

Therefore building the Keystone pipeline causes a net REDUCTION in greenhouse gas emissions, and should be built.

This would be the LOGICAL conclusion, but Obamath is different.

In Obamath, greenhouse gas emissions over the Pacific and in China are out of his control, therefore they don’t count. Keystone pipeline increases greenhouse gas emissions by X, therefore Obama says don’t build it.

Steve Z on June 26, 2013 at 9:25 AM