Accusations Vs Facts

Congressional hearings provide an opportunity for member of both parties to grandstand on behalf of their pet causes. It is no secret that Democratic New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is opposed to fossil fuel in general. However, she needs to get her facts straight before she makes her claims.

The Daily Caller reported yesterday on Representative Ocasio-Cortez’s latest gaffe:

The Daily Caller reported:

Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blamed the Keystone XL pipeline for leaking about 5,000 barrels of oil in rural South Dakota about two years ago.

There’s just one problem: The Keystone XL pipeline has not been built yet.

During a House hearing Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez claimed that “Keystone XL, in particular, had one leak that leaked 210,000 gallons across South Dakota” while she questioned Wells Fargo president and CEO Timothy Sloan.

…The existing Keystone pipeline, however, was responsible for leaking up to 9,700 barrels in South Dakota in 2017. The initial estimate for the spill was about 5,000 barrels, or 210,000 gallons of oil. Both Keystone and the planned XL line are operated by Canadian pipeline giant TransCanada.

TransCanada said it repaired the pipeline and cleaned-up the spill, Reuters reported in 2018, though the event has been used by environmental activists to gin up opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline.

Ocasio-Cortez, who recently introduced the Green New Deal resolution, also took aim at Wells Fargo’s financing of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which sparked violent protests along the project’s planned route throughout 2016.

For those of you new to this site, I have previously posted the reason for some of the opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline during the Obama administration. In a 2014 article I stated:

If the Obama administration holds firm on blocking Keystone, the big loser will be TransCanada Corporation. But who will the big winners be? American railroads:

And of them, the biggest winner might just be the Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate controlled by Obama supporter and Omaha billionaire Warren Buffett. In December, the CEO of BNSF, Matthew Rose, said that his railroad was shipping about 500,000 barrels of oil per day out of the Bakken Shale in North Dakota and that it was seeking a permit to send “crude by rail to the Pacific Northwest.” He also said the railroad expects to “eventually” be shipping 1 million barrels of oil per day.

…The freshman Democrat (Senator Kaine) has between $15,000 and $50,000 invested in Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, according to his most recent financial disclosure. Kinder Morgan is looking to build a pipeline that would directly compete with Keystone.

Kinder Morgan is considering expanding its Canadian pipeline infrastructure with an expansion of the Trans Mountain Pipeline, which carries oil sands crude from Alberta to refineries and export terminals on Canada’s west coast.

The expansion would boost Trans Mountain’s capacity to 890,000 barrels per day. Keystone, a project of energy company TransCanada, is expected to carry about 830,000 barrels per day if fully constructed.

Observers have said a rejection of Keystone would be a boon for Kinder Morgan, since the Trans Mountain pipeline presents a viable alternative for exporting crude from Canadian oil sands.

The second scenario is a blatant example of how freshmen Congressmen arrive as middle-class Americans and leave as millionaires. The first example shows how environmental policy can be easily influenced by money.

Company-Provided Astroturf

Have you ever wondered where all the protesters with the professionally made signs come from? Have you ever wondered how so many people seem to be able to take a day off from work to don silly hats or make noise? Well, today’s Daily Caller has the answer.

The Daily Caller reports:

If you’re looking to stage a march or rally and need fake protesters to legitimize your cause, a company now exists solely to provide you with as many actors as you require.

Crowds on Demand provides its clients with people who will form protests, flash mobs, rallies, paparazzi events and other inventive stunts. The company serves every major U.S city, metro area and small city, and executes clients’ specific plans or provides strategies for more general plans.

“We can organize rallies and get media attention for your causes and candidates,” the Crowds on Demand website claims. “We also assist individuals, companies and political organizations with protests and picketing campaigns. We’ve protested governments, corporations and everything in between.”

The company cites measurable results in ending institutional discrimination, receiving compensation for hundreds of homeowners who bought hazardous land and affecting campaign results. The company specializes in political rallies, but has also been hired by foreign governments ‘to help generate positive receptions for newly elected leaders..’

I don’t know about you, but right now I am feeling manipulated. One of the strengths of America is its people and their right to protest. If you attend a protest, you can sometimes learn about an issue by seeing the people involved and their attitudes.The tons of garbage left behind after the Dakota Access Pipeline protest is a good example of this (article here). ( As an animal lover, I was really bothered by the number of dogs left behind when the protesters left.) Would people genuinely concerned about the environment have left so much garbage behind?

At any rate, we are entering a new political era where protesters can be bought and paid for whenever they are needed to manipulate the American public. Now we not only have fake news, we have fake protests. Buyer beware!

The Other Side Of The Dakota Access Pipeline Story

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal posted an article about the protests surrounding the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The story you have been told in most of the media is simply not true.

The article reports a few basic facts the media has overlooked:

• This isn’t about tribal rights or protecting cultural resources. The pipeline does not cross any land owned by the Standing Rock Sioux. The land under discussion belongs to private owners and the federal government. To suggest that the Standing Rock tribe has the legal ability to block the pipeline is to turn America’s property rights upside down.

• Two federal courts have rejected claims that the tribe wasn’t consulted. The project’s developer and the Army Corps made dozens of overtures to the Standing Rock Sioux over more than two years. Often these attempts were ignored or rejected, with the message that the tribe would only accept termination of the project.

• Other tribes and parties did participate in the process. More than 50 tribes were consulted, and their concerns resulted in 140 adjustments to the pipeline’s route. The project’s developer and the Army Corps were clearly concerned about protecting tribal artifacts and cultural sites. Any claim otherwise is unsupported by the record. The pipeline’s route was also studied—and ultimately supported—by the North Dakota Public Service Commission (on which I formerly served), the State Historic Preservation Office, and multiple independent archaeologists.

• This isn’t about water protection. Years before the pipeline was announced, the tribe was working with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Army Corps to relocate its drinking-water intake. The new site sits roughly 70 miles downstream of where the pipeline is slated to cross the Missouri River. Notably, the new intake, according to the Bureau of Reclamation, will be 1.6 miles downstream of an elevated railroad bridge that carries tanker cars carrying crude oil.

Further, the pipeline will be installed about 100 feet below the riverbed. Automatic shut-off valves will be employed on either side of the river, and the pipeline will be constructed to exceed many federal safety requirements.

Other pipelines carrying oil, gas and refined products already cross the Missouri River at least a dozen times upstream of the tribe’s intake. The corridor where the Dakota Access Pipeline will run is directly adjacent to another pipeline, which carries natural gas under the riverbed, as well as an overhead electric transmission line. This site was chosen because it is largely a brownfield area that was disturbed long ago by previous infrastructure.

This isn’t about the climate. The oil that will be shipped through the pipeline is already being produced. But right now it is transported in more carbon-intensive ways, such as by railroad or long-haul tanker truck. So trying to thwart the pipeline to reduce greenhouse gas could have the opposite effect.

We would probably know exactly who was paying the protesters (many of them are paid) if we knew who owns the railroad or the tanker trucks currently transporting the oil. In the case of the Keystone XL Pipeline, the railroad could be traced to Warren Buffett, a friend of President Obama. Things are often not as they are portrayed in the major media. Please follow the link above to read the entire story. It is very different to what you have been told.