Posts Tagged ‘Keystone XL’
January 6th, 2015 at 4:23 pm
Senate GOP Eyes Keystone XL Approval

Now in the majority, GOP Senators are moving quickly to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, a transcontinental project that would link Canadian oil to refineries in American Gulf states.

“The president is going to see the Keystone XL pipeline on his desk and it’s going to be a bellwether decision by the president whether to go with jobs and the economy,” Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), said on Sunday.

President Barack Obama has played games with the approval process over the past few years. Initially, his State Department supported the project and was ready to go forward until environmental activists successfully lobbied for delaying tactics, such as additional feasibility studies.

Without a Democratic Senate running interference, Obama will now have to govern. Though it prefers to partner with the United States, Canada has said it will export its oil to China if the Obama administration remains beholden to the environmental lobby.

The truth of the matter is that the oil is being pumped and its $3.4 billion economic contribution will have to go somewhere. Ultimately, Obama’s decision boils down to whether he wants Canadian oil to boost the American economy or China’s.

November 11th, 2013 at 4:13 pm
Shady Environmental Extremist May Have Succeeded in Buying the Virginia Governor’s Race

Last month, I wrote a piece exposing the shady dealings of sleazy environmental activist and billionaire Tom Steyer. If you haven’t been following Steyer’s shenanigans, he has poured millions into a media campaign and a PAC in hopes of preventing the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

While Steyer claims his efforts are rooted in his environmentalism, it turns out his opposition to Keystone are entirely economically motivated. As I pointed out, Steyer stands to make millions of dollars because of his investment in the TransMountain pipeline. Without Keystone in the way TransMountain would have a monopoly in transporting oil from Alberta to refineries and shipping terminals in the U.S. and Canada.

Politico released an article today outlining Steyer’s role in the recently concluded Virginia governor’s race between scandal-plagued Clinton crony Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli. Steyer poured $8 million of his personal fortune into McAuliffe’s campaign, perhaps making the difference in a race decided by just 3 percentage points.

Steyer’s campaign “investment” appears to be just another in his continuing effort to fill the top rungs of government in Washington and beyond with environmental loons and lawmakers who will offer tax breaks and other deals that benefit his investments.

October 8th, 2013 at 1:08 pm
Meet the Sleazy Environmentalist Who Could Make Millions by Standing in the Way of Keystone XL

Why hasn’t the Keystone XL pipeline been built yet? After all, it would benefit the United States with tens of thousands of jobs, reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, generate millions in state and local tax revenues and reduce energy costs for Americans.

A major reason seems to be the behind-the-scenes arm twisting and the very public advertising assault led by Tom Steyer. The shady billionaire and progressive campaign funder claims his opposition to Keystone XL is rooted in environmental concerns, which seems more than a little puzzling since the federal government completed an “exhaustive environmental review… with a finding that the pipeline would have limited adverse environmental impacts during construction and operation.”

In a piece I authored for The Daily Caller, I explain Steyer’s real motivation for trying to kill the pipeline.

It turns out that if Keystone XL fails, Steyer stands to make millions of dollars because of his investment in the TransMountain pipeline. Without Keystone in the way TransMountain would have a monopoly in transporting oil from Alberta to refineries and shipping terminals in the U.S. and Canada. Cha-Ching!

Oddly, Steyer has refused to criticize the TransMountain pipeline – even though TransMountain pipeline is functionally identical to Keystone.

Read the whole disgusting story of Steyer’s sleazy behavior here.

March 8th, 2012 at 6:41 pm
When Losing 56-42 is a “Win”

Today, the United States Senate voted 56-42 in favor of building the Keystone XL pipeline terminated by President Barack Obama in January.  But unfortunately, since this is the U.S. Senate, losing 56-42 is actually a win for the Democratic Senate Leadership whipping votes in opposition, since the proposed law needed 60 votes in order to pass.

Sure, there’s reason to bemoan the artificially high number of yes votes needed to get legislation passed – or judicial nominees confirmed – but there is a silver lining here for conservatives.  Every Republican Senator present voted for the pro-Keystone bill, and the two that were absent, John Thune (SD) and Mark Kirk (IL), would have been yes votes.  That puts the real tally at 58-42.

But wait?  Are there 58 Republicans in the U.S. Senate?  No, 11 Senate Democrats also voted for passage.  That means that the replacement of only two ‘no’ Democrats with ‘yes’ Republicans in this year’s election would get the necessary 60 votes.  Of course, conservatives should go after as many seats as possible since at least a few of the Democrats that voted for the pipeline probably did so knowing the bill would fail, and used the vote to shield themselves from a political challenge in November.

In the meantime, Republicans in Congress should press ahead with another vote to make Keystone XL approval a 50 vote simple majority, instead of the 60 vote supermajority.  Whichever of the 11 Democrats balk can rightly be seen as using today’s vote for electoral window-dressing.

H/T: Politico

January 23rd, 2012 at 9:12 pm
Mapping Obama’s Energy Winners & Losers

A funny thing happens when you overlay two of President Barack Obama’s recent energy proclamations onto a 2008 electoral map: You find out just how political is his decision to kill the Keystone XL pipeline and embrace natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation.

Here’s a map of the Keystone XL project.  And this is a map of the 2008 presidential election.  Note that the path of Keystone XL runs from Canada directly south through six states: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.  All of these states voted for John McCain in 2008.  (Incidentally, not even a sideline to Obama’s Illinois during the pipeline’s initial phase could placate the anti-fossil fuel President.)

Now look at this map of the Marcellus Shale natural gas formation that the Obama White House now says would be a great place to start drilling for America’s energy future.  It touches vast swaths of New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, with a large portion covering West Virginia.  Obama won New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio in 2008, and will need to do so again in 2012 to stay in the Oval Office.

As I said in my column last week, expect to hear Obama make the pitch that natural gas from Marcellus Shale is the new way forward as a way to placate blue collar energy workers in states he needs to maintain – and in the case of West Virginia, possibly pick up.  (Reports are coming in that the President will devote a significant portion of his State of the Union Address to promoting domestic natural gas production.)

It’ll be a tough sale.  Obama’s EPA is trying to regulate the West Virginia coal industry out of existence, while working class voters are rightfully suspicious of a President who promises everything from expanded offshore drilling to solar powered miracles (Solyndra, anyone?), only to be exposed as a fraud.  Natural gas may be the next big thing, but it won’t mean anything to a coal worker out of work because his industry went out of business thanks to Obama’s latest round of picking winners and losers.

The big question is: Will the GOP be able to turn Obama’s politicization of America’s energy future into an articulate appeal for an all-of-the-above approach?

January 20th, 2012 at 12:21 pm
Obama’s Keystone XL Folly Puts Swing States in the Mix

From BusinessWeek:

President Barack Obama’s rejection of TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline permit exposed a split in a core Democratic constituency and handed Republicans a new line of election-year attack.

Unions representing construction workers condemned the move while labor groups including the United Steel Workers, the United Auto Workers and the Service Employees International Union joined with environmental advocates in saying they support Obama’s decision. It also triggered swift criticism from congressional Republicans and the party’s presidential candidates.

Expect Republicans to run ads targeting blue collar workers in Rust Belt swing states like Pennsylvania and Ohio where ties to manufacturing jobs run deep.  When Obama ran against Hillary Clinton in 2008 he consistently lost the white working class vote for stances like picking sky-is-falling environmentalists over John and Jane hardhat.

Dissatisfaction among traditionally Democratic blue collar voters toward Obama has been building for months due to political decisions that – as discussed in my column this week – kill unionized jobs in coal and oil, but interestingly not natural gas.  Obama’s turn away from blue collar voters has been met with a renewed emphasis on ginning up votes among other core Democratic constituencies like recent college graduates (hello, Occupiers!) and other gentry liberals.

But the strategy of maximizing votes in liberal enclaves like college towns and deep blue coastal states that Obama would win anyway doesn’t quite add up for one simple reason: the Electoral College – not the popular vote – elects the President.  Even if Obama gets a larger share of liberals in blue states like California he still nets only 54 electoral votes.  But if he fails to connect with everyday Democrats in swing states in Ohio and Pennsylvania that see their President willfully killing jobs they’d otherwise have, he’ll move entire states into the Republican column.

This kind of divide-and-conquer strategy looks like a recipe for defeat.  Then again, from my perspective, I couldn’t ask for a better campaign strategy.  (Unless, of course, this scenario occurs.)