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Washington Post Editorial Board Prints Absurd Keystone XL Rant

After the Obama administration announced a couple Fridays ago that we are postponing the decision on the construction of the proposed 1,100-mile Keystone XL pipeline, which would stretch across the country– from exploited Canadian tar sands to outdated refineries in Texas– delivering yesterday’s dreams of a combustible planet to the global market of finite tomorrow, Republicans called the decision, “shameful,” while a spokesman for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said, “We are disappointed that politics continue to delay a decision on Keystone XL.”

The CEO of Calgary-based TransCanada Corp., Russ Girling, said Transcanada Corp. is “extremely disappointed and frustrated” over the Obama administration.

Everyone is so disappointed!

But this is also interesting because there are, of course, eminent domain issues to deal with, even as the GOP insists that the federal government should stay away from rural nuts like Cliven Bundy and get off “his” land, it should immediately seize Nebraska’s land and divvy it up among oil corporations, all in the name of cognitive dissonance!

On Wednesday, the Washington Post editorial board channeled the Twitter feed of Reince Priebus to promote the idea that a few Blue dog Democrats in oil crony states siding with the entire Republican party constitutes a bipartisan no-brainer.

In short, the board wrote:

The president should end this national psychodrama now, bow to reason, approve the pipeline and go do something more productive for the climate.

End the psychodrama now. Bow to republicans and Big oil, or what they’re calling, “reason.” Now, go play with a windmill, or something.

Instead of promoting a massive pipeline, how about we improve our rail lines and transportation infrastructure, and invest in alternative energy research & development– rural and urban planning– instead of subsidizing our own expedited death spiral?

These are the forces that “nice things” are up against.

  • Draxiar

    An oil company is disappointed? Good! That means that the decision was the right one.

  • Sabyen91

    “bow to reason, approve the pipeline”

    Oxymoron. The pipeline does us no good.

  • joseph2004

    Divvying up and “seizing” Nebraskans’ land is a poor description of what happens when companies lay pipeline. The land is not “seized” in the sense of being removed from typical use. Farm and grazing land, once the pipes are in place (typically at least 4 feet, sometimes more, beneath the surface), is put back into use as such by its owners, as long as such use does not interfere with or threaten the pipeline. The technical part about that is that the owner may not, in the end, have much say as to whether the pipeline crosses their land, and additionally, the presence of the pipeline requires an easement, which of course gives the pipeline company legal access to the pipeline on public and private property. It’s not unlike any “utility easement” on private property. The owner can pretty it up however they please, but if a utility company needs access, your landscaping within the bounds of the easement may get trampled.
    This is nothing new; it’s the case for 10’s of thousands of miles of pipeline crisscrossing the country, and remarkably, over time the evidence of a pipeline’s existence can be nearly invisible but for occasionally placed markers.
    Oh, sorry, you were talking about GLOBAL WARMING ARMEGGEDON! I’ll leave that to others.

    • mrbrink

      Standard operating procedure for oil and coal barons flanked by their unthinking, visionless toadies in state legislatures, media, and the U.S. congress. Seizing and divvying land that does not belong to you was a major motivating factor for the lies that led to the bombing of Iraq and pretty much every war in history. I’m sure the GOP has no problem with halting and preventing state supreme courts to appoint presidents, keep the brain dead alive, or hesitate to deregulate the Gulf of Mexico and the state of Alaska into a tar pit. There is no benefit to an oil pipeline that requires the disruption of democratic resolve just so some right wing punks can power high five and burn themselves with cigarettes for bringing home another Geronimo scalp along the perpetual Trail of Tears. No benefit. We can do better. So can you.

  • muselet

    What Charlie Pierce calls “the intellectual monkeyhouse that Fred Hiatt’s running at The Washington Posthas supported Keystone XL before, equally nonsensically. What’s new this time is the condescending—and infuriating—”go do something more productive for the climate,” as if the editorial board of the Washington POS would support any other environmental efforts.

    These are the forces that “nice things” are up against.