published Friday, January 20th, 2012

Phony pipeline controversy

President Obama made the right decision Wednesday to reject, at least for now, an impossibly rushed approval process for the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Canada's acidic tar-sands reserves in Alberta to a Texas Gulf coast port. The artificial deadline was shamelessly contrived last month by Republicans. It had to be rejected.

Nebraska's Republican governor and many irrigation-dependent farmers and ranchers in the six Midwestern states that the risky pipeline would cross reasonably fear its potential for damaging their vital water supplies, especially the mainstay, high-plains Ogallala aquifer that it would bisect in Nebraska. Given two leaks in the past year from acidic crude in Canada's first north-south pipeline, it's imperative that the EPA have enough time to finish its environmental review of the new pipeline proposal.

But never mind the facts.

Republicans were locked and loaded in their contrived quest to create a phony issue pitting construction jobs and oil supplies against environmental protection. Their hair-trigger assault Wednesday on Obama's decision clearly proves their intention to conjure a campaign issue regarding the pipeline. The issue deserves a more objective analysis.

The pipeline would not, for example, provide "tens of thousands of jobs," as House Speaker John Boehner claims. Analysts say it would create from around 2,000 to possibly 5,000 temporary construction jobs over a two-year period.

The environmental issues are too large to ignore. Extraction of oil from tar sands is far more energy intensive than regular oil-drilling and refining, and generates a much higher volume of greenhouse gases. The product is heavier and harder to process. The destruction of land and forests is immense. And the risk of environmentally damaging spills in metal pipelines from the acidic crude is undeniable.

Americans, moreover, would get little to no benefit from the pipeline's conveyance of the heavy tar-sands crude to the Gulf. Most of the oil would be sold abroad.

Of the six companies that already have contracted to buy 75 percent of the crude, five are foreign. They would buy it for export to their markets. The sixth company, Valero, an American company, is export-oriented. The rest of the crude would go to the highest bidder, which means its price would be fixed against the regular international commodity markets for oil.

Republicans and the big oil companies to which they kowtow know all this. But you couldn't tell it from their rhetoric and the political campaign ads that will soon center on the pipeline.

Yet there is no doubt this issue is contrived and distorted for purely political reasons. It was barely a month ago, on Dec. 22, that Republicans fixed the 60-day February deadline for a final decision on the pipeline by Obama. They attached the deadline demand as a condition for their agreement to the bill which extended the current payroll tax cut for one year to help keep the economy moving forward.

Obama and Democrats had proposed to pay for the tax cut, which lowered Social Security payroll deductions from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent, through a modest surcharge on annual incomes of over $1 million. Republicans rejected that, but came up with the pipeline condition for obvious political reasons: They intend to use his rejection of the current pipeline proposal -- the TransCanada pipeline company has already promised to resubmit it -- to make phony claims about the president's jobs, economic and environmental policies.

But contrary to Republican claims, it proves nothing of the sort. His forced decision was simply a phony set-up job to advance a political campaign farce. It proves nothing but Republican deceit.

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Facts aren't important, when people have opinions!

January 20, 2012 at 12:54 a.m.
acerigger said...

Thanks for providing the truth about this pipeline "controversy".

I know facts won't matter to the Obama-haters and low-info voters,but it's still good to have the truth presented to the public.

January 20, 2012 at 9:13 a.m.
Facts said...

"Rushed"? As I've read from other accounts, this was first approved in 2008.

January 20, 2012 at 9:16 a.m.
Haiku said...

And foreign companies operating in Africa refuse to pay for the cleanup or damage it has done to their ecosystem. Nigerian farmers have had their farmland basically destroyed. What do you think such a massive leak would to do Americas eco system? The risk is too great.

according to All Africa:

Lagos — The Mobil Idaho spillage which occurred when a 12-inch pipeline belonging to Mobil Producing Nig. Unlimited, ruptured in January 1998 is on record as one of the worst singular cases of oil spillage in Nigeria. The exact quantity raised some controversy. While Mobil put it at 40,000 barrels, environment watchers believed it was more. But an undisputable truth is that the spillage caused wide spread damage and nuisance that overran the Niger Delta coastline up to the shores of Lagos.

Available data put the number of oil spill incidents in Nigeria between 1976 and 1996 at about 4,560. About 2.6 million barrels of oil were recorded as having been spilled during this period. A survey carried out by Dr. Alex Chindah and Solomon Braide of the Institute of Pollution Studies, Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt claimed that over 80 percent of the oil spilled were left unrecovered in the areas affected.

January 20, 2012 at 10:47 a.m.
jimmycam said...

The application was entered in 2008, three years ago. We won WWII in 38 months. I guess we won the war to fast for Obama.

January 20, 2012 at 3:44 p.m.
Sailorman said...

Some of this has a familiar ring to it

ETA something wrong with the link - search Alaska Pipeline Doomsayings Revisited if you're interested

Anybody know how many pipelines already exist in this country?

Another political football brought to us by our friends in Washington.

January 20, 2012 at 5:21 p.m.
ceeweed said...

Americas #1 export in 2010? (Drum roll,please)...The answer is oil! That is a fact. How many of these Keystone XL pipeline jobs, weather it is 2000 or 20,000, will be filled by illegals?...Our own federal government awarded contracts to construction firms to build fences on our southwest border with Mexico... Some of these firms were using illegals to build these fences...Is that not absurd!...Politicians spouting about Americas need to be energy independent are nothing more than bloated gasbags...their gas emissions serve no useful purpose...The chambers of congress must smell like the worlds largest chamber pot.

January 20, 2012 at 5:47 p.m.
holdout said...

Not oil but refined products. There is a difference. The US still imports the majority of its petroleum. The reason we export so much gas? We have the refining capability and export to areas of the world that do not. There is a myth that we do have enough refinery capability. The only reason some refineries stay in business is because they have foreign customers for their products. They still have to import the majority of the raw material for those exports. What happens if the middle east gets cut off? The imports AND exports dry up and go away, our economy crashes down around our ears, our food exports dry up, world famine leads to world war and the population of the planet drops by half in about five years. What happens if we build the pipeline? The same thing just further out but at least our military will be here protecting oil on this continent.

January 21, 2012 at 9:53 a.m.

What is truly amazing is how there are those on here saying "thanks" for stating the facts. They are the same ones that usually blast the TFP for having it's facts wrong. I do not know all the facts on this project and neither does the TFP or the people on here. But after 2 1/2 years of studying this project there have been as many pros as there have been cons for it. It just seems that if there were true concerns over it's safety, then Pres. Obama would have said "THAT" instead of just we need to look into for a longer period of time.

January 21, 2012 at 10:08 a.m.
acerigger said...

lovetheusaorleave said... "I do not know all the facts on this project ".

thus, you should educate yourself to those facts!(hint,google is your friend!)

January 21, 2012 at 6:31 p.m.

lovetheusaorleave, if you say there's as many pros as cons, then what Obama should say is "we should take the time to see if we can reduce or eliminate some of the cons" which is not what he was allowed to do.

January 21, 2012 at 6:54 p.m.

Hey ace why don't you take your own advice because if you did you would see what I said was true and factual. Instead of having to get your one sided information from a site that people pay for. Gee I wonder why they say what you and other fools like you only want to hear. It's because if they did not idiots like you would not send them money. Any day you want to get into an intellectual debate please let me know. But the old saying trying to talk intelligently to a simple minded "FOOL" is a waste of time.

January 21, 2012 at 9:24 p.m.
acerigger said...

lovetheusaorleave said..."But the old saying trying to talk intelligently to a simple minded "FOOL" is a waste of time."

Yes "love",you've convinced me of that!


January 21, 2012 at 10:09 p.m.

No you have convinced yourself of that a long time before I got on here, with all the rhetoric BS you have slung towards anyone disagreeing with your way of thinking or lack thereof. But I must say, your copying and pasting skills has approved greatly over the past few months. It is good to see you can come up with some type of original thought even if it does only contains 7 words.

January 21, 2012 at 10:54 p.m.
micnally said...


January 23, 2012 at 10:16 a.m.
LaurynGraf said...

wonderful learn, i merely passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he really bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So permit me to rephrase that: Thanks for dinner!

November 27, 2013 at 3:18 a.m.
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