Green groups to Obama: “Let’s make a deal” on Keystone? Don’t even think about it.

posted at 1:21 pm on September 24, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

It’s now been just over five years since TransCanada first filed an application for a presidential permit to build a cross-border pipeline, but that hasn’t done anything to temper the radical eco-lobbies’ relentlessly combative campaign based on nothing more than untenable arguments and outrageous outrage. Points for their steadfast commitment, I suppose, but those points are completely negated by these out-of-touch green groups’ and millionaire donors‘ refusal to contend with the facts that the southern portions of the Keystone pipeline are already in operation or nearly complete, that the pipeline will be used to ship domestic oil too, and that Canada is already finding other means to ship their resources in the absence of the pipeline’s northern extension. These self-proclaimed environmentalists are determined to block the (cleanest, safest, most efficient) path of least resistance with the biggest political hissyfit you’ve ever seen. A spectacular example of “cutting your nose of to spite your face,” truly.

Back in July, President Obama casually dropped what may-or-may-not have been a vague hint about what it would take for him to finally approve the longstanding project in an NYT interview: “I’m going to evaluate this based on whether or not this is going to significantly contribute to carbon in our atmosphere. And there is no doubt that Canada at the source in those tar sands could potentially be doing more to mitigate carbon release.” If Obama ever does end up approving this thing, he can’t just up and do it outright; he’d need some kind of political cover with which he could counter and assuage the rabid fury that many well-monied and Democrat-donating groups that would lunge at him, and perhaps a friendly, neighborly agreement with Canada with some kind of new climate regulations could be just the ticket for him.

It didn’t take long for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to drop a line to the White House wondering if “joint action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the oil and gas sector” between Canada and the United States could help grease the political skids for the president — but alas, the eco-radicals have made much too huge a public investment in turning Keystone XL into some kind of federal stake in the ground to allow that to happen. Ergo, they are letting the president know their feelings on such a transaction; from their letter, with 25 signatories including the League of Conservation Voters, 350.org, MoveOn.org, Greenpeace, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Friends of the Earth, and etcetera:

We are pleased to hear reports that Canadian officials may be considering new policies to mitigate global warming pollution from the oil and gas sectors. Increased regulation of these sectors is long overdue in both Canada and the U.S. in order to protect our communities and climate.

However, on behalf of our millions of members and supporters nationwide, we oppose any deal-making in return for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Our rationale is simple. Building Keystone XL will expand production in the tar sands, and that reality is not compatible with serious efforts to battle climate change.

While the tar sands industry makes claims of reducing the intensity of their emissions profile, in fact the absolute carbon pollution from the tar sands is rapidly increasing. The Harper government previously promised to take action to cut pollution across industry, but never followed through with its 2008 plan. Carbon pollution from the tar sands is now projected to be twice as high in 2020 as envisioned under that plan. Simple arithmetic shows that the only way to reduce emissions from the tar sands is to cap expansion where it is now and reduce production over the coming years.

That means rejecting the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, a project that would enable the expansion of tar sands production. The tar sands pipeline and the carbon emissions it would generate are not in the national interest.

And, via WaPo, the Sierra Club is sending their own similar letter warning of a “backdoor bilateral agreement”:

Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, is sending a separate letter Tuesday making the same point.

“Mr. President, please do not make a bilateral agreement approving the Keystone XL based on the government of Canada’s mitigation promises,” Brune wrote. “While this may seem like a generous offer, Canada simply cannot mitigate the carbon pollution from the pipeline; those emissions would simply be too big. Keystone XL would be directly responsible for the equivalent annual emissions of 51 coal-fired power plants or 37.7 million cars. As a point of comparison, Canada has about 26 million cars on the road.”

Once more, with feeling: It is still profitable for Canada to develop their natural resources with our without our help, and they have every intention of doing so. Yes, Keystone XL might be the safest, least expensive, and most environmentally friendly way to do so, but it certainly isn’t the only way, and these groups’ fake argument that the United States has any real control over what Canada does with their oil in the world market is wishful thinking at best.


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Drill, baby drill!

OmahaConservative on September 24, 2013 at 1:22 PM

… and they say it’s the Republicans who are holding America hostage?

UltimateBob on September 24, 2013 at 1:23 PM

Obama embraces our enemies and disrespects our friends.

22044 on September 24, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Is this where bayam will try to assert that conservatives are anti-science and anti-engineering?

gwelf on September 24, 2013 at 1:26 PM

What if Obama is an employee of the Saudis?
Is it in the best interest of OPEC and the Saudis to have the Keystone pipeline?
The Saudis and Qatar want to run pipelines across what is now Syria. What would their employee be doing to facilitate that? (Russian vs Arab oil to Europe is the game here.)
Who else is on the Saudi payroll? McRino? …

Besides funding “environmental groups” buying politicians is a good practice. The House of Saud likes having American slaves.

CrazyGene on September 24, 2013 at 1:27 PM

… and they say it’s the Republicans who are holding America hostage?

UltimateBob on September 24, 2013 at 1:23 PM

And we hate science and engineering.

gwelf on September 24, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Canada, just give it to the Chinese.

Punish the utter fools, harshly.

They deserve NO less!!!

Schadenfreude on September 24, 2013 at 1:36 PM

These conservation groups used to have noble objectives…many, many years ago. You know, actually trying to clean up the earth and save the whales.

Now they’ve been co-opted and taken over by nutjob, anti-human, Malthusian, neo-Luddite, reactionary, backwards, anti-science, hypocritical economic illiterates.

visions on September 24, 2013 at 1:37 PM

That’s okay. I’m sure shipping oil by rail works for the eco-terrorists. Once we have a train derail and spill that oil all over the area where the northern leg of the Keystone would have been, the little green monkeys can pat themselves on the back for a job well done.

Turtle317 on September 24, 2013 at 1:38 PM

I oppose the President’s “authority” to approve a Presidential Permit to construct the Keystone XL pipeline. This should be left to each of the states along the route to decide whether or not in can move forward.

It is bogus that a foreign company can build a pipeline through multiple states with only the approval of the President.

The states should be able to approve the pipeline (route included) through their states without having to wait for approval from Obama (like what was done with the section leaving Cushing OK).

The President and State Dept should only be looking at the project in terms of the border crossing. For them to have the ability to approve a broader scoped project violates States’ rights.

To put it another way. Why are people backing Obama’s ability to tell a state, like Nebraska, where and how a pipeline can cross their state?

I support the pipeline if each state is allowed to determine the best way for the pipeline to move through their state. I oppose the President of the United States being able to dictate the route and the approval of pipelines going through individual states.

weaselyone on September 24, 2013 at 1:48 PM

The eco-freaks are holding this country hostage, forcing us all to pay more for energy and oil and gas, yet you NEVER hear the media talk about THAT. They’ve dragged the Democrats so far to the left, we can barely even see them anymore, yet you NEVER hear the media talk about THAT either. I’m so tired of hearing how it’s the Right that’s moved so far from center and about so-called ‘extremists’ on the Right, when it’s Democrats who are the ones who have moved so far from center, and their party is chock-full of a whole spectrum of extremist whackos. Our ‘extremists’ seem to consist solely of those who I’d consider ‘Constitutionalists’.

JenBee on September 24, 2013 at 1:48 PM

You would have to be a complete fool to believe that Obama would ever approve the pipeline.

alanstern on September 24, 2013 at 2:00 PM

What if Obama is an employee of the Saudis?

CrazyGene on September 24, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Nah. Even the Saudis have standards.

bigmacdaddy on September 24, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Don’t forget Warren Boofay owns O’Barky at least as much as George Soros.

O’Barky owes Boofay big time for the campaign loot, endorsements and probably deal Eric “Mark Rich Pardon” Holder would rather the peons not know about…

viking01 on September 24, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Well, they must have the southern end running already. The price of gas here in Texas is just about to break below $3.00 a gallon. I filled up yesterday at the Sam’s in Tyler and it was $3.029. And dropping fast.

trigon on September 24, 2013 at 2:14 PM

visions on September 24, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Batshit crazy too.

Dr. Frank Enstine on September 24, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Building Keystone XL will expand production in the tar sands, and that reality is not compatible with serious efforts to battle climate change.

Where do I start???

Do the econuts actually believe that never building the Keystone will keep the tar sand oil from ever being extracted? In what dream world are they living?

Canada has been extremely patient with Ogabe, much more patient than is prudent for Canada. It is way past time for Canada to do what is best for Canada — build a pipeline to the Pacific coast and ship it to China. Maybe once the greenies see that thwarting the Keystone does not make a whit of difference in the development of the tar sand oil, they will come to their senses. (And maybe fat pigs will fly to the moon on fairy dust and unicorn farts.)

catsandbooks on September 24, 2013 at 2:42 PM

Where do I start???

Do the econuts actually believe that never building the Keystone will keep the tar sand oil from ever being extracted? In what dream world are they living?

Canada has been extremely patient with Ogabe, much more patient than is prudent for Canada. It is way past time for Canada to do what is best for Canada — build a pipeline to the Pacific coast and ship it to China. Maybe once the greenies see that thwarting the Keystone does not make a whit of difference in the development of the tar sand oil, they will come to their senses. (And maybe fat pigs will fly to the moon on fairy dust and unicorn farts.)

catsandbooks on September 24, 2013 at 2:42 PM

…and the day that an oil supertanker loaded with tarsands oil breaks up on a beach in California or Washington state, I will laugh myself silly.

slickwillie2001 on September 24, 2013 at 3:11 PM

“I’m going to evaluate this based on whether or not this is going to significantly contribute to carbon additional monies in our Democratic campaign chests atmosphere.

FIFY Barry.

GarandFan on September 24, 2013 at 3:18 PM

While the tar sands industry makes claims of reducing the intensity of their emissions profile, in fact the absolute carbon pollution from the tar sands is rapidly increasing. The Harper government previously promised to take action to cut pollution across industry, but never followed through with its 2008 plan. Carbon pollution from the tar sands is now projected to be twice as high in 2020 as envisioned under that plan. Simple arithmetic shows that the only way to reduce emissions from the tar sands is to cap expansion where it is now and reduce production over the coming years.

Earth to “Friends of the Earth”: A barrel of oil from the Alberta “tar sands” produces the same amount of CO2 if it is refined and burned in the US (via the Keystone pipeline) or in China (if the Keystone pipeline is not built).

But a lot more energy is required to ship Canadian oil across the Pacific Ocean in a tanker than to pump it through a pipeline across Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska, and oil tankers need to burn something and emit carbon dioxide to move across the ocean.
So the total CO2 emissions from the Canadian oil will be LESS if it is pumped through the Keystone Pipeline than if it is shipped across the Pacific to China.

Steve Z on September 24, 2013 at 3:58 PM

The Canadians have held hearings on construction of facilities to refine and ship oil from Kitimat, B.C.

oldbearak on September 24, 2013 at 4:00 PM

Looks like it will be piped to the east coast Canada, refined and sold out of New Brunswick and a convenient place to feed New Englands needs as your east coast refining is slowed.

BL@KBIRD on September 24, 2013 at 4:01 PM

Is this where bayam will try to assert that conservatives are anti-science and anti-engineering?

gwelf on September 24, 2013 at 1:26 PM

I’ve been meaning to ask bayam why the Democrat Media has been so silent about that recent massive spill in O’bama’s “home state” that’s already killed 26,000+ tropical fish in Honolulu Harbor.

I’m guessing the silence is because it was a molasses spill, not an oil spill. But I’d think they would still want to report it, after all it was caused by Big Sugar!

Del Dolemonte on September 24, 2013 at 4:27 PM

These conservation groups used to have noble objectives…many, many years ago. You know, actually trying to clean up the earth and save the whales.

Now they’ve been co-opted and taken over by nutjob, anti-human, Malthusian, neo-Luddite, reactionary, backwards, anti-science, hypocritical economic illiterates.

visions on September 24, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Yeah, the Sierra Club has been corrupted the most for sure in that regard.

Sadly here in the Far East the Appalachian Mountain Club is heading down the same path. They are prominent in trying to block cheap hydro-power coming down to New England from Quebec, because the towers will be (gasp!) 100 feet tall. And yet they’ve happily accepted towers twice that tall for wind turbines, even when they’re located directly across the valley from a Peregrine Falcon nesting site.

Del Dolemonte on September 24, 2013 at 4:31 PM

…and the day that an oil supertanker loaded with tarsands oil breaks up on a beach in California or Washington state, I will laugh myself silly.

slickwillie2001 on September 24, 2013 at 3:11 PM

I’m with you .. but then they will sue Canada and maybe end up owning Vancouver.

AesopFan on September 24, 2013 at 4:49 PM

…and the day that an oil supertanker loaded with tarsands oil breaks up on a beach in California or Washington state, I will laugh myself silly.

slickwillie2001 on September 24, 2013 at 3:11 PM

I’m with you .. but then they will sue Canada and maybe end up owning Vancouver.

AesopFan on September 24, 2013 at 4:49 PM

Nope, it will be a Chinese tanker with a Chinese crew.

slickwillie2001 on September 24, 2013 at 5:25 PM

FIFY Barry BAMSTAHHHHH!!!!!!!! YOU DA MANNN BAMMMMY BABBBBYY !!!! LOVE YA BARRY OL BUDDY OL PALLLL!!!!!!!!!!!! YAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
andFan on at 3:18 PM

cableguy615 on September 25, 2013 at 5:49 AM

Cui bono? My vote for an answer is the owner of Berkshire Hathaway, owner of BNSF, the alternate oil carrier. Yes, I expect Warren Buffet to benefit from this more than anybody else.

It’s more big government, big business, big money alliance against you and me, their serfs.

{^_^}

herself on September 25, 2013 at 6:46 AM