The Biden Administration’s Policies Could Be Very Expensive For Taxpayers

Townhall is reporting today that a Canadian company is suing the Biden administration over the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The article reports:

Weeks after TC Energy officially terminated the Keystone XL pipeline because President Biden revoked a key permit, the company announced it is seeking billion in damages from the U.S. government.

On Friday, the company behind the project filed a Notice of Intent with the State Department, Office of the Legal Adviser, “to initiate a legacy North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) claim under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement to recover economic damages resulting from the revocation of the Keystone XL Project’s Presidential Permit.”

TC Energy is seeking over $15 billion due to the U.S. government’s “breach of its NAFTA obligations.”

In pulling the order, Biden said that “leaving the Keystone XL pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with my Administration’s economic and climate imperatives.”

The article concludes:

“Since his first day in office, President Biden has made it his mission to undo all the progress of the previous administration, with complete disregard for the Constitutional limits on his power,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. “His decision to revoke the pipeline permit is not only unlawful but will also devastate the livelihoods of thousands of workers, their families, and their communities.”

There are also 21 states suing the Biden administration for the cancellation. Unfortunately, if these lawsuits are successful, American taxpayers will be paying the bill.

Pushing Back Against Damaging Decisions

Sara Carter is reporting today that 21 states have filed a lawsuit to sue the Biden administration over the cancellation of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

The article reports:

21 states, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, submitted a complaint Wednesday to a Texas federal court arguing that the President does not have the authority to cancel the permit.

Revoking the permit is a “regulation of interstate and international commerce” that should be left to Congress, the complaint said.

Some of the states included in the lawsuit have Democratic governors, including Kentucky and Kansas, however, all of the states have republican attorneys general.

The proposed 1,200-mile pipeline would have carried oil from Canada to the U.S.

“This pipeline was set to go through six counties in extreme Eastern Montana… five of those counties are already designated as high-poverty counties,” Montana AG Knudsen told Fox News. “The project was set to become the largest property taxpayer in all of those counties… That’s out the window. Just shy of 4,000 jobs, that’s out the window.”

The article concludes:

Kundsen called Biden’s cancellation of the permit “an empty virtue signal to his wealthy coastal elite donors.”

“The power to regulate foreign and interstate commerce belongs to Congress – not the President. This is another example of Joe Biden overstepping his constitutional role to the detriment of Montanans,” he added.

Opponents of the pipeline argue that the U.S. should not be importing carbon-intensive tar sands oil. Native American tribes have also shown opposition for the pipeline, saying the Trump administration ignored their treaty rights when approving the pipeline.

However, pipeline supporters argue that the project would bring in revenue for the states and thousands of jobs.

A victory in this lawsuit would be a victory for the American economy and a step toward continuing America’s energy independence, which is a national security issue.

 

The Road We Are On

Today the Dan Bongino website posted an article about five far-left promises the Biden administration has kept since taking office.

This is the list:

1. Revoking the Keystone XL Pipeline

2. Ending Migration Controls

3. Pledge to Get Back into the World Health Organization (W.H.O.)

4. Rejoining the Paris Climate Accord

5. Halting Deportations for Most Illegal Aliens

Please follow the link to the article to read the details given.

I would like to mention the impact of a few of these policies. Revoking the Keystone XL Pipeline moves America away from energy independence. It costs Americans involved in the project their jobs and puts small supporting businesses in the area in jeopardy. Ending migration controls is resulting not only in a crisis at our southern border, but also in the release of people who have the coronavirus into the general population throughout the country. Getting back in the W.H.O. is simply giving taxpayer money to a corrupt organization that is responsible for the deaths of many people worldwide because it bought the Chinese propaganda about the coronavirus. Rejoining the Paris Climate Account will result in Americans losing their jobs and a lower standard of living for everyone. Halting deportations for most illegal aliens puts a drain on the social safety net in cities and towns where the illegals choose to go. Again, that is a drain on American taxpayers.

Nothing in the above five policy moves helps the average American. We have gone from four years where our President was willing to fight for the average American to a time when only the elites are considered when crafting a policy.

Ending Success In The Name Of Politics

There are a lot of reasons why the Democrats (and some Republicans) hate President Trump. He had the audacity to show that some problems in Washington could actually be solved by common sense and without raising taxes and increasing regulation. The Washington Swamp hated that. Aside from that, he was the ultimate outsider. He wasn’t part of their elite club, and no matter what he did (or didn’t do), they weren’t going to let him in. The hatred has led to a rush to undo anything President Trump did, even in undoing it hurts America and Americans. Unfortunately that is where we are right now.

On Sunday, Breitbart posted an article about three of President Trump’s foreign policy successes that President Biden is undoing.

Here are the three:

Border policy: President Trump signed agreements with Central American countries that slowed the flow of migrants. In June 2019, he announced a deal with Mexico under which it would deploy troops to its southern border and allow asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico while their cases were adjudicated in the U.S. That fall, he reached deals with the “Northern Triangle” countries to keep asylum-seekers home. There is no reason for Biden to have dismantled these humane policies, which kept vulnerable migrants out of the hands of cartels and deterred thousands from undertaking a risky journey (and sending their children to do the same). He could have kept them in place even while changing U.S. immigration policies….

Middle East: President Trump signed the Abraham Accords, creating a network of peace deals between Israel and many Arab and Muslim states. Biden has punished many of the key players: raising tariffs on the United Arab Emirates (UAE); withholding arms sales to the UAE and Saudi Arabia; de-listing the anti-Saudi, pro-Iran Houthi militia as a terror group; publishing an intelligence report naming the Saudi Crown Prince as a key player in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi; and appointing the same pro-Iran diplomats who crafted the disastrous Iran nuclear deal….

Keystone XL Pipeline: It was understood that Biden would rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement — even though the U.S. reduced carbon emissions without it, and experts admitted it would not be enough to make an real impact on the global climate. However, he went further, canceling the permit for the Keystone XL — a pipeline that would have created tens of thousands of “good, paying, union jobs” (to quote Biden’s favorite refrain) on both sides of the border. The pipeline is the cleanest, least carbon-intensive way of transporting oil that will now most likely be moved by rail and by truck. Canada’s Liberal government, under Justin Trudeau, was only too happy to see the project canceled, never mind the economic cost. But all Biden needed to do was leave the Keystone XL in place.

Policies in the Middle East will also be impacted by the fact that the Biden administration has already had a very negative impact on America’s energy independence. Those of us who remember the gas lines of the 1970’s are very aware of how energy policy impacts international relations and how foreign policy impacts America’s energy supply. None of the above policies are helpful to Americans. Hopefully they can be reversed with a future Republican Congress.

 

Unintended Consequences?

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an article about some of the unintended consequences of shutting down the Keystone XL Pipeline.

The article reports:

MIDLAND, S.D.—“My husband just called me … he just got fired,” said Laurie Cox, her voice trembling ever so slightly as she put on a brave smile. But it was impossible to ignore her now-crestfallen demeanor.

Cox is the owner of a hotel in Midland, a quaint town with a population of about 100. She had just finished talking about how business was booming late last year during which she had befriended people working on the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Workers would return from their shifts from a handful of nearby pump stations to unwind at the hotel since it was just a short drive away. Cox recalls having dinner together with the workers and lively chats night after night, many became close with her pet dog—a cute canine called Heidi.

Her husband, Wallace Cox Jr., was an industrial mechanic who had been setting pumps in Minnesota before he was laid off on Feb. 10. He was also scheduled to work on the Keystone XL pipeline—specifically on pumps in Montana in the upcoming summer.

The hotel’s picturesque scene crumbled almost instantly after President Joe Biden shut down the pipeline on Jan. 20 through an executive order. The cancellation was among one of his first moves as president.

The article also notes:

There are limited opportunities in small rural towns like Midland, Wallace said, as he described the pipeline project as “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for extra revenue for all our businesses to accumulate for the future.”

When asked if he had any message for the Biden administration he said he wanted to tell the president to “reconsider his course on the American oil and gas industry.”

The Keystone XL pipeline was a massive project that was expected to generate $3.4 billion in U.S. GDP growth, including millions in state and local tax revenue, according to the U.S. Chamber Global Energy Institute. The pipeline would have generated millions of dollars of economic opportunity for South Dakotans.

Laurie estimates there were at least 100 workers at each pump station when counting all the different kinds of trades involved. Anyone who had rental homes along the route, or who owned hotels were “pretty much full” due to the influx of workers.

It is sad that a President can do this much damage with an executive order. This much power concentrated in one place makes every business in America subject to the whims of the President. What if the President decided to declare in an executive order that ice cream promotes obesity and that all ice cream manufacturing and ice cream parlors have to be shut down immediately? How is that different from shutting down the Keystone XL Pipeline? It’s time for the unions whose members lost their jobs because of this executive order to get their lawyers together and start giving people their jobs back.

Unintended Consequences

Yesterday The Epoch Times posted an article about one of the unintended consequences of canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline. The cancellation is evidently having a large negative impact on at least one rural electric company.

The article reports:

MURDO, S.D.—For more than a decade, Jeff Birkeland had been waiting expectantly in the hope that the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline would finally materialize and bring with it a much-needed boost to his rural community. His dreams were dashed overnight.

Birkeland is the CEO of West Central Electric Cooperative, which is located in Murdo, a small city in South Dakota with a population of less than 1,000. TransCanada, now known as TC Energy, the firm that commissioned the KXL pipeline, first approached his company back in 2008.

In 2011, he signed a contract with TC Energy to build a transmission line and two substations that would serve power along the KXL route. West Central Electric was meant to start producing power for pump stations along the XL route as early as November 2011, before the pipeline was put on hold.

In March 2019, then-President Donald Trump granted TC Energy a presidential permit to construct and operate the XL pipeline. Biden revoked that permit via executive order in one of his first moves as president.

“It basically shut a lot of what we were doing down overnight,” Birkeland told The Epoch Times. “We’re out $90 million, that’s what that means to us.”

Electric co-ops are private companies that deliver electricity to their customers, also known as members. Rural electric cooperatives serve 56 percent of the nation and account for about 12 percent of total electricity sales in the United States, according to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

There are multiple co-ops in the area that range in size in terms of employees and areas they cover. West Central Electric has more than 3,671 members and covers more than 7,000 square miles, and Birkeland said the cancellation of the project hits small rural communities like Murdo especially hard.

The article concludes:

Keeping electricity rates down is key for co-ops, since these companies serve “92 percent of persistent-poverty counties in America,” according to the association. The opportunity that the pipeline would have provided would have been a “key pillar” to reducing the company’s electricity rates, Birkeland said.

“The larger revenue base you have, you get to spread your expenses out,” he said. “That’s just simple economics. It makes your rates lower. When the administration talks about wanting to create new jobs—here it is.”

There are also countless other local businesses in Murdo, as well as in nearby towns and cities, that had spent money to juice up their businesses in response to the construction of the KXL pipeline. Now, their money and their investments have gone down the drain, Birkeland said.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is not fair to American businesses that a new administration can come into power in Washington and simply shut down an ongoing construction project, particularly by Executive Order. I hope that some of the court cases against this Executive Order are successful.

Has America Become A Banana Republic?

In Friday Issues & Insights posted an article titled, “Biden’s Banana Republic.” That seems a rather harsh charge until you begin to look at some of the things that have happened in the past weeks.

The article notes some of the things the Democrats have recently done that are moving America into the direction of a banana republic:

    • How the Democrats want to turn the economy into one that’s “operated as a private commercial enterprise for the exclusive profit of the ruling class.”
    • The Democrats’ retribution-filled, Reichstag-fire response to the breach of the U.S. Capitol by a group made up mostly of odd characters and some everyday Americans who got overheated and were shocked by their own behavior, all of them apparently unarmed.
    • How a summer of real riots was tacitly, and at times, overtly supported by Biden’s party.
    • The second impeachment of Trump that is not an attempt to seek justice but a campaign to prevent him from running again for president and marginalizing his supporters.
    • The lies about the promise of unity.
    • Phony charges against political opponents designed to dehumanize them. See: “Biden accused Trump of being a mass murderer, of killing hundreds of thousands of coronavirus patients because he ‘did nothing’ to fight the virus.”
    • Government by executive command rather than through proper legislative channels.
    • Shutting down politically unfavorable businesses. See: Biden’s Keystone XL pipeline decision.
    • The leader of a national government deciding alone what the property role of that government is. See: “Biden Proclaims ‘Racial Equity’ as Goal ‘Of the Whole of Government.’ ”

Elections have consequences. It’s time to make sure our 2022 congressional election is an honest election and to remove those politicians who are a threat to our freedoms from office.

Following The Money

President Biden managed to alienate Canada on his first day in office by shutting down construction on the Keystone XL Pipeline. The Prime Minister of Canada was not fond of President Trump, but at least the policies of President Trump did not have a negative impact on the Canadian economy.

The Epoch Times posted an article today about some of the impact shutting down the construction of the pipeline will have–not only on America and American jobs, but worldwide.

The article reports:

Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) criticized President Joe Biden’s revocation of the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, saying the oil that would have traveled through the pipeline will go to China or another country or be shipped to the United States by rail, which Rounds said is less safe.

“Look, they’re going to pump the oil, and it’s going to go someplace. It’s too valuable not to, and we still need the oil. So, it’s either going to be shipped to other countries, including China, which has not the same type of environmental regulations that we have when it comes to the processing of that oil, or it could come back down into the United States to the specific locations where they actually know how to process it, to actually do that crude oil,” Rounds told Fox News in an interview aired on Jan. 23.

“This was the most efficient way to do it. It’s still going to get moved, but now they’re probably going to have to go to rail cars, and when you go to rail cars, it’s not as safe. And so, this was simply the most efficient way to move about 830,000 barrels of crude oil per day, that now will probably go either by rail or it’ll go to another country.”

Rounds said the decision will divert a lot of the oil onto rail cars, displacing grain shipments from his state. He also lamented the loss of 10,000 future jobs, including 2,000 Americans who were on the job when Biden signed the executive order gutting the project.

We might even have to put more rail cars into service. That’s really interesting.

In March of 2017, when the pipeline was delayed by environmentalists, I wrote (link here):

Without the pipeline, the oil would travel by truck and rail. Both of these methods have a higher carbon footprint and a higher risk than a pipeline. It is also no coincidence that without the pipeline the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad is transporting large amounts of oil through the area where the pipeline will be built. The railroad is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, a conglomerate controlled by Warren Buffett, a close friend of former President Obama. The delay of the Keystone Pipeline was truly a case of ‘follow the money.’

Unfortunately that is how our government currently works. As long as no one has the courage (other than a very few people) to drain the swamp, it will continue to work that way.

UPDATE:

A friend posted this on Facebook. Although I cannot vouch for the specific numbers, the basic premise is accurate:

“Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad (BNSF) owns all of the rail lines in the US that connect to western Canada, and they haul 80%-s of the crude from Canada to the Midwest and Texas or charge other Short Line railroads a fee to use their tracks. BNSF charges $30 per barrel to haul the oil while the Keystone Pipeline would cost $10 per barrel by the State Department’s own estimates. BNSF is owned by Berkshire Hathaway whose chairman is Warren Buffet. In the last 2 election cycles, Buffet gave extensively to democrat causes and candidates. He also bundled and hosted numerous fund raisers for Obama. If anyone believes the Keystone Pipeline isn’t being blocked by Obama on Buffet’s behalf, I’ve got a bridge to sell you. Buffet could stand to lose $2 billion+ a year if the pipeline is constructed. He makes the same amount every year that the pipeline is delayed.”

Moving American Energy Forward

The Hill posted an article yesterday stating that the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled Friday that construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline is in the public interest.

The article reports:

The decision paves the way for construction to begin on the heavily stalled gas pipeline project.

Environmental groups who challenged the permit in court denounced the ruling Friday as failing to consider the environmental impacts of the pipeline’s construction.

“It’s disappointing that the court ignored key concerns about property rights and irreparable damage to natural resources, including threats to the endangered whooping crane, but today’s ruling does nothing to change the fact that Keystone XL faces overwhelming public opposition and ongoing legal challenges and simply never will be built,” said Ken Winston, attorney for the Nebraska Sierra Club, in a statement.

“The fight to stop this pipeline is far from over.”

The pipeline still faces further hurdles, including a federal lawsuit in Montana seeking to block construction there, as well as ongoing opposition from Native American tribes throughout Nebraska and South Dakota that have pledged to protest if construction is approved. 

The 1,179-mile pipeline has been in commission since 2010.

Former President Obama rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline plan, which aims to transport crude oil from Canada through the U.S., but it was revived under Trump, who approved a permit in 2017.

When President Obama rejected the Keystone XL Pipeline, he was providing additional income for his friend Warren Buffett.

In April 2014, I reported:

The friendship between President Obama and Warren Buffett is not news. Warren Buffett supported President Obama’s tax increase proposals saying that his secretary paid higher taxes than he did. The failure of the Obama Administration to permit the Keystone Pipeline to be built allows the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, owned by Berkshire Hathaway, owned by Warren Buffett, to transport the oil (see rightwinggranny.com) from the oil fields to other areas of the United States.

One thing to consider when evaluating the pipeline is the fact that the pipeline is actually the safest way to transport the oil. Pipelines have better environmental safety records than trucks or trains.

As America moves to solidify its energy independence, the Keystone XL Pipeline will be an important part of that effort. Those opposing it are working against the American economy and against American national security.

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.

Sometimes The Lies Are Just Funny

The Daily Caller posted an article today about President Obama’s claim that he started the oil boom in America. Somehow that’s not the way I remember it.

The article reports:

Former president of Shell Oil Company John Hofmeister said former President Barack Obama had nothing to do with America’s increased oil production and actually frustrated many areas of the energy sector.

Obama claimed he was responsible for America’s recent oil boom during an event hosted by Rice University’s Baker Institute on Tuesday night and Hofmeister challenged his assessment.

…“The facts are the facts. And, yes, the production did increase throughout his term,” Hofmeister said on “Fox & Friends” Thursday. “But, frankly, he had nothing to do with it.”

“This was production in states like Texas, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado — North Dakota in particular. And these were all state decisions made with industry applications for permits. The federal government had no role.”

The article notes the roadblocks President Obama put in the way of accessing American oil:

Hofmeister said Obama opposed the energy industry at every turn with his actions against offshore drilling and his handling of the Keystone Pipeline.

“If anything, he was trying to frustrate the efforts by taking federal lands off of the availability list — putting them just, no more drilling [sic]. He shut down the Gulf of Mexico for a period of six months,” he said. “[He] changed the regulations from an average of 60 to 80 pages per permit to 600 to 800 pages per permit. He also never approved the Keystone XL pipeline after dangling all the potential customers for eight years. And it was in the eighth year when he said no Keystone Pipeline.”

“I would say that he was not a leader when it comes to energy,” Hofmeister said.

As far as President Obama’s opposition to the Keystone Pipeline goes, as long as that pipeline was not built, the oil was shipped via the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad, owned by Berkshire Hathaway, owned by Warren Buffett, a close friend of President Obama. On February 21, 2013, I reported the following (article here):

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.

President Obama did not facilitate the energy independence of America. He did, however, do a pretty good job of lining the pockets of some good friends.

A President Who Does Not Follow The Constitution Impacts Other Countries–Not Only America

Today’s Wall Street Journal featured a very good article entitled, “Why We’re Suing Obama Over Keystone.” The article was written by Kristine Kelkus, an executive vice president and general counsel at TransCanada. I strongly suggest you follow the link above and read the entire article, but I am including a few excerpts from the article that illustrate how damaging an out-of-control President has been to our country and our neighbors.

The article reports:

For 65 years, TransCanada has built oil and gas pipelines in North America. It’s a job the company is good at, and one we much prefer to building lengthy legal filings that could take several years to resolve. Still, when TransCanada in 2008 walked its application for a presidential permit into the U.S. State Department, the company was prepared for an extensive evidentiary process—albeit one that has traditionally been straightforward.

Until the Keystone XL pipeline, no U.S. administration had prohibited the cross-border construction of a major oil pipeline. And within the past decade, U.S. regulators approved two very similar, large cross-border pipelines that transport exactly the same type of oil that the Keystone XL pipeline would have carried from the same region in Alberta, Canada, to the U.S.

TransCanada already operates the initial Keystone pipeline, which was approved in 2008. And in 2009 the State Department under Secretary Hillary Clinton and Mr. Obama permitted Enbridge, a direct competitor to TransCanada, to build another. Each of these permit reviews took about two years.

…But environmental activists made rejection of the project a litmus test of the president’s climate-change credentials. The State Department’s official Record of Decision reasoned that permitting the pipeline to proceed would “undermine U.S. climate leadership” because “the understanding of the international community”—contrary to the administration’s own findings—was that the pipeline would increase greenhouse-gas emissions. Permitting construction would “undercut the credibility and influence of the United States” in negotiating with other countries, including at the coming Paris climate conference.

In other words, the pipeline and its benefits were sacrificed to increase the president’s negotiating leverage with other countries.

My first reaction to this article was to wonder who runs Enbridge, if campaign contributions were involved, and if Berkshire Hathaway owns the railway that was carrying the oil before the Enbridge pipeline was built (see here).

The article further concludes:

The administration’s actions harm business and public interests that extend far beyond a particular pipeline. The decision calls into question the entire process for cross-border facility approvals. It strongly suggests that investing in the U.S. is subject to a level of “sovereign risk” usually associated with far less developed economies.

Unless they are remedied in court or arbitration, the Keystone decision and the political expediency underlying it will also encourage future administrations to conclude that they, too, can disregard the most basic legal requirements.

We need a President who puts the interests of all Americans above the interests of special interest groups and major contributors.

Will Keystone Make A Difference?

The Wall Street Journal (not linked–the article is subscribers only) posted an editorial in its weekend edition about President Obama’s recent remarks about the Keystone XL Pipeline.

When asked about the pipeline, President Obama responded, “Understand what this project is: It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else. It doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices.”

Either the President is economically ignorant or he is attempting to take advantage of the lack of economic knowledge of the average American (the tactic used to sell ObamaCare).

The editorial at the Wall Street Journal points out:

Someone should tell the President that oil markets are global and adding to global supply might well reduce U.S. gas prices, other things being equal. A tutor could add that Keystone XL will also carry U.S. light oil from North Dakota‘s Bakken Shale. So even if he thinks that bilateral trade only helps Canada, he’s still wrong about Keystone.

…Mr. Obama routinely entreats Congress to spend taxpayer money on “infrastructure” to create jobs, yet he implies that the 1,179-mile Keystone infrastructure project won’t create jobs.

Chances are that President Obama will veto the bill that passed the House and Senate regarding the Keystone Pipeline. The only reason the Senate allowed the bill to be brought up was to help Senator Landrieu win re-election. I am not sure the bill would have been brought up if the Democrats were not sure the President would veto it. I doubt enough Democrats will actually support the bill to override that veto. It would be nice if they did. Keystone would be a wonderful way to boost the American economy without charging Americans more taxes.

 

Rules For Radicals In Action

Saul Alinksy, the original community organizer, wrote a book entitled, “Rules for Radicals.” Rule #4 states, “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)” Unfortunately that rule has been used excessively by many of the American political left. The latest example has to do with the Keystone Pipeline.

Two people the American political left loves to hate are the Koch Brothers. Yesterday John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line describing how the political left is using the Koch Brothers as an excuse to oppose the Keystone Pipe Line. So what is the connection between the Keystone Pipeline and the Koch Brothers? Well, before I go into that, I would like to mention the connection between the Keystone Pipeline and Warren Buffett. Warren Buffett controls Berkshire Hathaway which owns Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. Burlington Northern Santa Fe will be shipping oil by rail if the pipeline is not built. The railroad expects to “eventually” be shipping 1 million barrels of oil per day.

But, back to the Koch Brothers. A website called Grist claims that the Koch Brothers will make “as much as $100 billion in profits if the controversial Keystone XL pipeline is given the go-ahead by President Obama.” So let’s look at the claim. First of all, the construction of the Keystone Pipeline would result in Koch Industries paying more for oil–not less. (See the article at Power Line for details). The article at Power Line also deals with the claim that the Koch Brothers own a good part of the acreage the oil for the pipeline will come from. Actually, it turns out that the Koch Brothers lease the acreage and that if the pipeline is built, it will take 476 years for the Koch Brothers to break even after the construction of the Pipeline.

The article at Power Line concludes:

So what is going on here? Rich liberals hire kids–recent college graduates, or maybe college or high school students–to produce idiotic “research reports” that can be dismantled by anyone familiar with arithmetic, let alone the oil and gas industry, of which these kids obviously know nothing at all. The claims these reports make are completely divorced from reality, but liberals don’t seem to care. The Huffington Post headlines: “Keystone XL Pipeline Could Yield $100 Billion For Koch Brothers.” PolicyMic: “Actually, You Probably WILL Guess Who Stands to Make $100 Billion Off the Keystone XL Pipeline.” TruthDig: “Koch Brothers Stand to Make $100 Billion From Keystone Pipeline.” And, of course, the Kos Kidz are all over it.

This isn’t just stupid, it is insane. It is also, unfortunately, a good example of what modern liberalism has come to. No regard for truth, just blind hatred.

Rules for radicals at work.

 

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