The truth about “the truth about Keystone”

posted at 6:01 pm on September 9, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

As I’ve argued before, the Obama administration’s relentless dithering on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline — a 1,700-mile transport project that would ship oil from Canada as well as North Dakota to refineries on the Gulf Coast — doesn’t have nearly as much to do with the president’s ostensible desire for so-called green energy as it does with his desire for the green lining the pockets of certain wildly wealthy and woefully out-of-touch Democratic donors.

The environmentalist movement, in their self-imagined righteousness, has determined that the Keystone XL pipeline heralds mankind’s worst development since… well, practically ever, actually, and with all of the fervor of crazed religiosity, they have set their sights and their dollars on thwarting Keystone as the trendy cause du jour. Never mind that, by doing so, they are denying Americans jobs and economic growth, but they just don’t seem able to grasp the concept that Canada will be developing and shipping their natural resources with or without the pipeline. Keystone would still be the best, most efficient way to do so, but if President Obama has a chance to keep flirting with these Democratic donors and teasing them out of their money while he goes off on grandiose tangents about slowing the rise of the oceans and whatnot, he’s going to do it.

Ryan Lizza has an excellent piece today over at the New Yorker about some of these specific anti-Keystone aficionados, starting with one Tom Steyer:

The President flew to San Francisco on April 3rd for a series of fund-raisers. He stopped in first at a cocktail reception hosted by Tom Steyer, a fifty-six-year-old billionaire, former hedge-fund manager, and major donor to the Democratic Party. Steyer lives in the city’s Sea Cliff neighborhood, in a house overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. As the President’s motorcade headed to the party, several hundred activists were assembling along the route to his second event—a dinner hosted by Ann and Gordon Getty, in Pacific Heights, on a street known as Billionaires’ Row. The protesters held banners that represented various causes, but most of them held professionally printed two-toned blue signs that said, “STOP THE KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE.” The “o” in “Keystone” replicated the Obama campaign logo.

Read on for a lot of great details (with such absolute gems as, “After years of watching rich people manipulate and wreck our political system for selfish personal interests, it’s great to watch a rich person use his money and his talents in the public interest”), but one big gist is that Steyer (who, incidentally, is also mounting a ‘bipartisan initiative on climate change’ with NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, ahem, and former Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson) is pushing his own four-part series of anti-Keystone ads with a $1 million ad buy, the first of which you can watch below. Message: Free trade actually is a zero-sum game that doesn’t mutually benefit all voluntarily cooperative parties in the long run, or something. …Even if that were true, the ad neglects to mention that energy companies within the United States — particularly in North Dakota at the moment — would also be using the Keystone pipeline to ship their domestically produced oil to market. Kind of a huge oversight, no?


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No Gas = No Food

BobMbx on September 9, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Syria wouldn’t matter if we were more energy independent. Just sayin’

Energy independence is a national security issue. Not as sexy as launching million dollar cruise missiles at an enemy our “leaders” expect will just roll over and take it.

Happy Nomad on September 9, 2013 at 6:12 PM

But, it’s an incredibly small pipeline.

faraway on September 9, 2013 at 6:12 PM

Nothing is an oversight to a liberal. It’s all just feegoodery and hypocrisy.

patman77 on September 9, 2013 at 6:12 PM

Energy independence is a national security issue.

Happy Nomad on September 9, 2013 at 6:12 PM

Nuke plants, and electric cars for the win.

faraway on September 9, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Red line drawn in favor of green companies—got it.

hillsoftx on September 9, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Even if that were true, the ad neglects to mention that energy companies within the United States — particularly in North Dakota at the moment — would also be using the Keystone pipeline to ship their domestically produced oil to market.

At some point in the next couple of years, the leg of the project from ND to OK will be approved by the states involved w/o federal intervention.

Sometime after Obama has left office, the short leg across the border will be completed.

Is it not fascinating to see the rest of the world trying to cut deals to encourage trade while the US government tries to stop trade?

Freddy on September 9, 2013 at 6:29 PM

At some point in the next couple of years, the leg of the project from ND to OK will be approved by the states involved w/o federal intervention.

Sometime after Obama has left office, the short leg across the border will be completed.

Is it not fascinating to see the rest of the world trying to cut deals to encourage trade while the US government tries to stop trade?

Freddy on September 9, 2013 at 6:29 PM

Yep. It will be hilarious to see oil pipelined to within ten miles of the US/Canadian border, unloaded into the slob Warren Buffett’s railroad, carried by rail ten miles into the USA, only to be put back into the rest of the Keystone pipeline.

Brilliant work democratics!

slickwillie2001 on September 9, 2013 at 6:38 PM

the worst thing is how Harper is trying to do a ‘pay to play’ with barry. Chicago politics writ large. Well, Chicago and your average banana republic

r keller on September 9, 2013 at 6:48 PM

Hey! Warren Buffett owns a railroad. Warren doesn’t want a pipeline to compete with for business.

GarandFan on September 9, 2013 at 6:51 PM

slickwillie2001 on September 9, 2013 at 6:38 PM

that part would most likely be done by CP as they own those tracks IIRC.

dmacleo on September 9, 2013 at 6:54 PM

Yep. It will be hilarious to see oil pipelined to within ten miles of the US/Canadian border, unloaded into the slob Warren Buffett’s railroad, carried by rail ten miles into the USA, only to be put back into the rest of the Keystone pipeline.

Brilliant work democratics!

slickwillie2001 on September 9, 2013 at 6:38 PM

Except, I suspect it would be put onto CN rails and not BNSF. I know CN runs in the US. I don’t know if BNSF runs in Canada. I do know that BNSF services Tulsa/Cushing Oklahoma and East Texas. I suspect you will see a lot of CN headers and pushers with the token BNSF engines all the way to Tulsa/Cushing.

Old Country Boy on September 9, 2013 at 7:20 PM

The Keystone XL should not be going to TX! We all remember the BP Horizon proved there is a ocean of oil beneath the ocean floor near TX. The pipeline should be going to IL, IN, MI, OH, MD, NY, and PA. Many of these states get the crude oil for their refineries by rail or by ship. (IN/IL get some crude from ND by pipe.) None of these states gets a sufficient amount out of the ground or nearby.

The enviros would really go off is there was and Exxon Valdez accident of the Jersey shore/Boston or Coney Island. Or and crude train crash like the one that happened this summer in Canada. Pipeline spills happen, but are miniscule compared to the amount of stuff they carry and are like comparing airplane fatalities with auto fatalities 10000 to 1 — but all scrupulously documented.

KenInIL on September 9, 2013 at 8:03 PM

The enviros would really go off is there was and Exxon Valdez accident of the Jersey shore/Boston or Coney Island. Or and crude train crash like the one that happened this summer in Canada.

KenInIL on September 9, 2013 at 8:03 PM

Yes, and ELF & Co. are no doubt already having “accidents” in their pants at the prospect of being able to cause such accidents to “dramatize the Cause”.

It’s amazing how much havoc can be wrought on a rail line with a good-sized crowbar and a ten-pound sledge.

And tankers can be made over into “environmental disasters” so many ways. Never mind limpet mines; hacking their navigational software or GPS can redirect them onto reefs, etc., especially at night in the littorals.

Remember that you are dealing with fanatics. To whom the End always justifies the Means.

clear ether

eon

eon on September 9, 2013 at 8:54 PM

KenInIL on September 9, 2013 at 8:03 PM

Do you know anything about crude oil and refining? I doubt it.

There already are pipelines going to those places and billions of dollars has been spent in each of several dollars to enable them to refine this type of crude oil.

On the other hand, APPROXIMATELY a dozen refineries already have those improvements which were made in the 1980′s and 1990′s to refine a similar crude but from VENEZUELA. All of those refineries are in Texas and Louisiana. Keystone XL is about replacing Venezuelan crude with Canadian crude, nothing more, nothing less.

Kermit on September 9, 2013 at 8:54 PM

The fuel exports the video is speaking of is petroleum coke, a by product to squeeze the last little bit of high value product out of the oil. It is produced when the bottom of the barrel enters a coker (industrial version of a pressure cooker) where the last little bit of liquid and vapor is cooked out. The residue is almost pure carbon. We could use it here in the U.S. but the Obama admin doesn’t want coal burning power plants, and petcoke has a higher BTU value than coal.

Kermit on September 9, 2013 at 8:57 PM

KenInIL on September 9, 2013 at 8:03 PM

Map of US petroleum product and natural gas pipelines: http://www.theodora.com/pipelines/united_states_pipelines.html

slickwillie2001 on September 9, 2013 at 9:30 PM

slickwillie2001 on September 9, 2013 at 9:30 PM

It’s missing a number of pipelines, but does give on a glimpse.

Kermit on September 9, 2013 at 9:41 PM

Pipeline 101 might inform many.

http://www.pipeline101.com/reports/Notes.pdf

This is from 2001, BEFORE several major crude oil pipeline projects for Canadian crude blends were completed, such as the Keystone pipeline to the East St. Louis area.

It also explains why all the worry about BNSF/Warren Buffett is a steaming pile of poo.

Kermit on September 9, 2013 at 9:48 PM

If free enterprise is a “zero-sum game”, is anything different in it’s not being a zero-sum game?

But Free Enterprise can be argued to be the same kind of zero-sum as entropy. Ultimately things tend to disorder, but we get order out of relative states of entropy. Thus increasing order in a locality but decreasing order over all.

Thus a country can increase their lot by decreasing the share of other countries and groups. This reveals the people who say free enterprise is a zero-sum game as globalists , because it only is an assured zero-sum at the universal level. They can’t say that it is impossible for a country to prosper by free markets, because America has. They have to be pointing toward all of humanity.

However, what’s so great about equal??!! The universe wants to make everything equal in entropy, and that results in death and decay and ultimate nothingness. Life is imbalance. More life for you, less life for a rock.

Note about above: I am a Christian, the analysis above is Naturalistic and accepts the zero-sum-game claim “arguendo” (for the sake of analysis and argument). I don’t find the zero-sum game argument compelling, but at the very most, I wonder what more than zero sum games the socialists/globalists can point to that would make that statement specific to free markets, but I also analyze it by the ultimate naturalistic zero-sum game, Entropy.

Axeman on September 10, 2013 at 1:25 PM