WaPo: Greens have drawn “the wrong line in the wrong sand” on Keystone XL

posted at 6:21 pm on February 6, 2014 by Erika Johnsen

Here’s yet another testament to the fact that, in the context of actually cutting carbon emissions, continuing to block the Keystone XL pipeline makes absolutely zero practical sense — as even the liberals who generally root for environmentalist causes and favor measures like carbon taxes can willingly attest. Say the editors of the Washington Post in arguing that it’s time for the president to finally set politics aside and “resolve this bizarre distraction”:

Even if the president rejects Keystone XL and no other pipelines out of Alberta are built, the crude could still travel by rail and barge — with marginally higher greenhouse emissions and a higher likelihood of accident. One hundred eighty thousand barrels of Canadian crude already moves on train cars every day. …

Environmentalists try to justify of their opposition to Keystone XL with a series of unlikely assumptions. If world oil prices end up significantly lower than projected for a long time, and if the Canadian government proves incapable of establishing any pipeline and sea routes out of the country, and if the price of rail transport remains as high as the State Department’s generous projections, then some tar sands extraction projects wouldn’t be economically viable. Advocates also contend that the passionate movement against the pipeline can be useful to achieve more consequential ends and therefore should be supported, as though cultivating irrational thinking is an acceptable basis for public policy. Neither view — one unconvincing, one cynical — reflects well on the country’s environmentalists.

You know, environmentalists — if protecting the environment really is your endgame, that is — your time could be spent much more effectively fighting battles you could actually hope to win, especially if you could manage to pick ones that don’t necessarily have to strive against the grain of economic prosperity.

WaPo gets it; Big Labor wants it; Obama’s own former environment officials can’t deny it; Congressional Democrats are gunning for it: And President Obama is really going to keep stalling on the issue to satisfy the apparent whimsy of some well-monied and self-anointed “green” donors? Really?


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Because, you know…..I won.

rick_blaines_forehead on February 6, 2014 at 6:24 PM

And President Obama is really going to keep stalling on the issue to satisfy the apparent whimsy of some well-monied and self-anointed “green” donors? Really?

Of course, look at what he’s doing to his union buddies in the coal mines. Happily sacrificing their jobs to keep the greenies happy. Why do you expect a different outcome here?

307wolverine on February 6, 2014 at 6:26 PM

It’s not the Green’s fault. It’s hard to read a map and draw lines when one’s head is up one’s derriere.

thatsafactjack on February 6, 2014 at 6:26 PM

So long as Warren Buffett own the Choo-Choo the pipeline would replace Obama won’t allow it.

This despite the fact that by our Constitution there exists no authority for him to approve OR disapprove except in opinion.

ConstantineXI on February 6, 2014 at 6:27 PM

The environmentalists took lumbering away from this area. Now they’ve prevented drilling for natural gas. Men can’t find jobs. They want to work and they’re good, hard workers. But screw them. As long as some greenie 3000 miles away feels good about himself, that’s all that matters.

vityas on February 6, 2014 at 6:29 PM

There are no logical or practical reasons to reject the construction of Keystone XL.

What we’re being offered as ‘reasons’ are little more than canards and ideological spin.

And President Obama is really going to keep stalling on the issue to satisfy the apparent whimsy of some well-monied and self-anointed “green” donors? Really?

Yes, really. It’s about money and ideology. What’s best for the country doesn’t fit in the calculation.

Athos on February 6, 2014 at 6:32 PM

This was never about the environment, it was always about hobbling capitalism. The Democrats were fine with that for the last fave long years, but now they’re worried about the next two elections to come, when (paraphrasing Obumbles) they won’t have him to carry the ticket. So, suddenly, we find a slow, even grudging movement towards surrender. The energy industry could probably have solved this long ago, if they could have figured out how to openly pay off Bill McKibben.

MTF on February 6, 2014 at 6:35 PM

Just build the darn pipline already. These delays are ridiculous. The Green movement will not rest until we are all living in caves somewhere

Dr.B on February 6, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Should have been “pipeline”, sorry

Dr.B on February 6, 2014 at 6:39 PM

The truck, rail and barge traffic will create more pollution than any hypothetical leak in the pipeline. Zero needs to get off his hypocritical a$$ and move aside so the pipeline can continue. The nation needs this pipeline for the jobs and energy freedom.

Hammie on February 6, 2014 at 6:40 PM

And President Obama is really going to keep stalling on the issue to satisfy the apparent whimsy of some well-monied and self-anointed “green” donors?

Yes.

It’s “The Chicago Way!”

GarandFan on February 6, 2014 at 6:40 PM

It’s not about the environment. It’s about population reduction. The misguided greens have bought into the idea that the population is too high and only goes higher when there is global prosperity. Killing the economy today by hobbling productivity through onerous and capricious regulations is step one. Killing the economy tomorrow by hobbling the next generation with overwhelming debt is step two. And ruining healthcare just expedites the mortality of the citizenry of the planet.

Jay Bee on February 6, 2014 at 6:41 PM

And President Obama is really going to keep stalling on the issue to satisfy the apparent whimsy of some well-monied and self-anointed “green” donors? Really?

That’s like asking a toddler: do you really want that toy? Really?

Fenris on February 6, 2014 at 6:41 PM

Its just a ploy to give republicans something to focus on besides 0care and any number of scandals ranging from FnF, IRS, jobs, Benghazi, )care destroying jobs and the will to get a job….etc.

He is going to keep that pipeline like its his only lifeline. Once he gives that up, what can he pivot to that will keep the ADD empty-heads focused on something besides his mountain of failures?

elowe on February 6, 2014 at 6:42 PM

Obama is selfish. The ONLY thing he cares about is himself. I doubt even his own children get consideration much less what is good for the country.

ConstantineXI on February 6, 2014 at 6:46 PM

WaPo: Greens have drawn “the wrong line in the wrong sand” on Keystone XL

From the Democrats mouthpiece, the WaPo?

I guess that means the pro Keystone team must have payed or promised the Democrats some big money.

RJL on February 6, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Warren Buffett hasn’t recouped all the money he put into railroad stocks. Plus the environmentalist whackos have deep pockets, thus have way more influence than their miniscule numbers.

conservative hispanic on February 6, 2014 at 6:51 PM

Per Michael Mann, the WaPo is now firmly in the anti-science camp.

notropis on February 6, 2014 at 6:52 PM

‘O simply wants to play both ends against the middle to make all believe he is still relevant..

vnvet on February 6, 2014 at 6:52 PM

RJL on February 6, 2014 at 6:46 PM

Labor unions are pro-pipeline. WaPo is pro labor unions.

I’m guessing that’s where the influence lies.

notropis on February 6, 2014 at 6:53 PM

“Environmentalists” my azz…..these people are BANANAs:

Build
Absolutely
Nothing
Anywhere
Near
Anything

Say, where are the trolls to defend this….?

JGinGJ on February 6, 2014 at 7:08 PM

Advocates also contend that the passionate movement against the pipeline can be useful to achieve more consequential ends and therefore should be supported, as though cultivating irrational thinking is an acceptable basis for public policy.

Coming from a MSM source, and the Washington Pus at that, my irony meter just blowed up real good.

Gator Country on February 6, 2014 at 7:23 PM

It’s not about the environment. It’s about population reduction. The misguided greens have bought into the idea that the population is too high and only goes higher when there is global prosperity. Killing the economy today by hobbling productivity through onerous and capricious regulations is step one. Killing the economy tomorrow by hobbling the next generation with overwhelming debt is step two. And ruining healthcare just expedites the mortality of the citizenry of the planet.

Jay Bee on February 6, 2014 at 6:41 PM

If libs really, really wanted to do something about overpopulation, they’d kill themselves and lead by example. Seriously, how can they stand it knowing that their mere existence defiles Gaia?

307wolverine on February 6, 2014 at 7:37 PM

If libs really, really wanted to do something about overpopulation, they’d kill themselves and lead by example. Seriously, how can they stand it knowing that their mere existence defiles Gaia?

307wolverine on February 6, 2014 at 7:37 PM

So long as Algore uses cars and planes and lives in houses that have a bigger “carbon footprint” than a dozen of me will ever have I refuse to take a thing he says seriously.

Until the warmists start applying TO THEIR OWN LIVES what they want the government to use FORCE to make me apply to MINE, they should be laughed at and mocked mercilessly.

ConstantineXI on February 6, 2014 at 8:15 PM

Absolutely he’ll stall on it, and for two people. First, to get as many donations from the environmentalists to any Democrats being threatened in the election, and second to trick any less than intelligent independents into thinking at the last moment that he’s a moderate and his allies on the left deserve a chance.

Soused_Shark on February 6, 2014 at 8:18 PM

The source of XL pipeline opposition is the Luddite wing of the environmentalists, those are few. But the Communist wing of the environmentalists is large and committed to harming the Capitalist system through any target of opportunity.

So when the Luddites say, Stop the production of oil, Acorn forms a Mothers against Big Dirty Pipelines march. Then, some celebrity like Princess Elizabeth Warren shows up and she leads a few chants, and the first thing you know you have a Hollywood fundraiser going.

The XL pipeline delay is exhibit A in proving something, I’m just not sure what.

ShadrachSmith on February 6, 2014 at 8:21 PM

I suspect the continued stall is nothing more than a hole card, waiting to be played. In other words, Obama will suddenly discover that KXL is a good idea only when he feels the time is right to get maximum advantage for his “discovery.”

Foamy on February 6, 2014 at 8:41 PM

Green “policy” is based on stupidity and dogma. Nothing more. Keystone illustrates that perfectly, which is why WaPo is upset about it.

besser tot als rot on February 6, 2014 at 8:51 PM

I see more ice storms on the East Coast.
Where is Fat AlGore exactly?

DiogenesinSD on February 7, 2014 at 5:31 AM

The Green Left will only be satisfied when we humans all live like
on the Stone Age. You can take that to the bank, period.

Swedish Patriot on February 7, 2014 at 7:35 AM

Some Environmentalists are now abandoning their environmental position to oppose the pipeline from an eminent domain position. Landowners should not be forced to allow the pipeline to cross their property even with overly fair compensation. From an individual rights of landowners perspective that is a good argument.

I initially opposed the pipeline due to States’ rights. The federal government was approving a pipeline and route through Nebraska without any consent or approval from Nebraska or it’s residents. The Federal involvement should only apply to the Canadian border and where the pipeline crosses state boundaries (only if the states cannot work out a deal on their own). Just because the Feds have the right to regulate interstate commerce does not mean they HAVE to regulate it.

The problem greenies have is that they have screamed bloody murder over the pipeline for environmental reasons and lost. I find it hard to believe their support of landowners and states’ rights now are anything less than a fallback argument. They don’t actually believe it, just a different way to get to their ultimate goal. If they are advocating now for reasons they don’t actually believe and support, what is to say that they actually believe and support the opposition for environmental reasons? They are ruining their credibility in their quest for power, funding, and recognition. They are setting back true environmental stewardship for decades. No one trusts organizations pushing for a better environment and that is sad, but it is an end result of their own making.

airupthere on February 7, 2014 at 9:36 AM

I hope Obama finally stops playing with his Chu Chu trains and approves this project. I think he is getting intense pressure from midwest D’s that are hoping and praying he approves it so they can campaign on “We made sure it was safe, got bennies that improve our environment, and now have jobs. Somewhere we got the GOP to stop stalling this vital project”

Jay Galt on February 7, 2014 at 9:56 AM

“Environmentalist” have done more harm to the environment than any other group.

For decades they’ve impeded every small step towards using newer, cleaner technology because to them, it still isn’t good enough. Every time they block the construction of a nuclear power plant, a cleaner burning coal plant, or a natural gas plant, they’ve guaranteed more pollution.

If they truly cared about the environment more than their ego, they’d be pushing real-world improvements & solutions.

taznar on February 7, 2014 at 1:48 PM

Obama will never run for office again, so why does he need the approval of “green” donors? They are not “the 1%” — they are the 0.0000001%. What about the rest of us?

J Baustian on February 7, 2014 at 10:45 PM