Keystone is Dead

As predicted, the Keystone XL pipeline has now been officially rejected by the Obama Administration after the Republicans chose to hasten the timeline for approval with a rider inserted into legislation that extended payroll tax-cuts and unemployment benefits for 2 months.

The Obama administration will announce it cannot approve the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline today, after Republicans inserted a rider into the payroll tax cut legislation that forced an executive-branch decision before the pipeline route is finalized. TransCanada, the foreign company that wants to build the 1700-mile pipeline to transport tar sands crude from Canada to Texas refineries, is rerouting the planned pipeline around Nebraska’s sensitive Sand Hills after local outcry.

It seemed likely the Obama Administration would reject the pipeline anyway after a series of damaging reports emerged alleging the State Department flubbed it's own assessment of the pipeline, however the pipeline's demise was almost assured after John Boehner used the pipeline as a rider to pass the tax-cut extension.

That won't stop Speaker Boehner from whining about this today though, and when he does you should keep this in mind.

Environmentalists note that in December 2010, according to Boehner’s financial disclosure forms, he invested $10,000 to $50,000 each in seven firms that had a stake in Canada’s oil sands, the region that produces the oil the pipeline would transport. The firms include six oil companies — BP, Canadian Natural Resources, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Devon Energy and Exxon — along with Emerson Electric, which has a contract to provide the digital automation for the first phase of a $9.4 billion Horizon Oil Sands Project in Canada.

SOPA is dead. Keystone is dead. Hopefully we'll soon be able to say PIPA is dead. On to November!

  • trgahan

    I’ve worked pipeline before. Keystone XL would have employed about 1,000 to 2,000 people for about 16 months then taken about 100 people to monitor and maintain throughout its uselife. Most the jobs would have been skilled labor, so it would have used migrant people already trained (coming out of Texas and northern Canada) and not hired locals or people new to pipelining.
    Also, did anyone else find it strange that a pipeline claiming it will supply “Americas Energy needs” was by passing several refining hubs in Americans heartland to tie in with hubs in Texas designed for refining oil for export? Just asking.
    The brass reality, it that if they can’t get Tar Sand oil transported to a new market, the industry will likely collapse due to falling regional prices in Canada.

  • This is all wonderful news, except that we may have to see Boehner cry again. Time for the brain bleach…

  • mrbrink

    I gotta tell ya, I was a little worried about the possibility that the president might go ahead and approve this disaster-waiting-to-happen after I read a Rolling Stone dot com article last month during the payroll tax extension debate that was, in my opinion, cushioning the blow and greasing the wheels for this thing to get approved.

    In the article, “Keystone Pipeline Endgame: Three Scenarios” Jeff Goodall explained that since the Obama administration implemented new rules for regulating mercury pollution, this would have given him cover with environmentalists basically saying, “I gave you this, now get off my back.”


    Everything that happens in Washington right now is about the upcoming election. To win, Obama needs to keep his base happy; two key constituents are environmentalists and labor. Obama gave enviros a big win with the initial decision to delay the pipeline last month. But he gave them an even bigger win this week when he issued the first-ever rules to control toxic air pollution, including mercury from coal plants. This was a huge deal, a move that will save tens of thousands of lives every year and likely lead to the shut-down of dozens of old coal plants. By virtually any measure (including reduced carbon pollution), the impacts of this rule far outweigh those of denying the pipeline.

    Politically, this puts Obama (and his political team) in a sweet spot. He can now go to enviros and say: I gave you mercury regulations, now I’m going to OK the pipeline in order to make my friends in the labor unions happy and get Big Oil off my back. In this scenario, he wins with enviros, he wins with labor, and he gets to point to the pipeline as a big infrastructure project that is creating jobs and keeping Americans working (although the number of jobs the pipeline will actually create has been wildly inflated). He keeps Big Oil from hammering him in the election, and – best of all – he doesn’t look captive to enviros. The risk, of course, is that he will have to back-track on the administration’s much-praised decision to stall the pipeline. And hard-core anti-pipeline activists are likely to kick up a shitstorm. But most enviros will buy the argument that the mercury regulations were a much bigger deal than the pipeline, and thus criticism of the president will likely be muted. All in all, it could be a smart political play. That is, if your goal is to win re-election, rather than to actually break America’s addiction to oil.

    I read that and nearly threw up.

    And the pro-XL Pipeline t.v. ad put out by the API, which can be found at the top of their shitty website has been playing in heavy rotation here in Illinois, and Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio and D.C.

    This prompted Greenpeace to put out an ad that was much more truthful.

    The pressure is immense, with some unions duped into thinking this is a jobs bill, but if the unions really wanted a jobs bill they should have been lobbying for the president’s American Jobs Act. Fuck em’ if they’re too stupid to know what a jobs plan is.

    And Big Oil contributes to Republicans over Democrats by a margin of 3-1 anyway, so we’re not going to miss their candidate contributions. Fuck them, too.

    • Scopedog

      “I read that and nearly threw up.”

      You’re a better man than me. But I do love how the writer can somehow get into the President’s head and figure out EXACTLY what he’s thinking. Proof that telepathy and mind-reading exist, perhaps?

      “And Big Oil contributes to Republicans over Democrats by a margin of 3-1 anyway, so we’re not going to miss their candidate contributions. Fuck them, too. ”

      Well…let’s face it, the PL will just say, “both sides do it, and they’re all the same, so a pox on both their houses.” Easier to do that, I suppose…

      “…but if the unions really wanted a jobs bill they should have been lobbying for the president’s American Jobs Act. Fuck em’ if they’re too stupid to know what a jobs plan is.”

      The same thing applies to the Occupy Movement (or at least, some of its participants). The administration put this out there, the President explained it, you could find out about it on the ‘Net….so why the hell was it never mentioned by the Occupy Movement? Why did Michael Moore, Hamsher, GG, Cenk, and the other “cool kids” who co-opted the movement–they couldn’t be bothered to mention this because they hate President Obama that fucking much?


      • mrbrink

        They, like the GOP, need president Obama to fail to prove their worth.

      • nathkatun7

        Bravo, Scopedog! Excellent commentary!

  • And because Keystone and SOPA are dead, the emos are flailing for something to talk about. This is the type of stuff they’re now resorting to—lies and the beating of dead horses:

    David Dayen at FDL lies & beats the dead horse – Oh, NOES, Obama killed the public option!

    Cenk Uygur on Twitter prefers a new lie: https://twitter.com/#!/cenkuygur/status/159640579859419136

    Adding……..what they should be talking about is how OWS protesters threw smoke bombs at the White House last night, causing it to go in to lockdown. Real fucking SMART, Hamsher, who complained early on that the Dems were trying to “co-opt OWS”, and then she turned right around and did it herself.
    and here.

    • BuffaloBuckeye

      Nicole, thank you for reading that stuff, so that I can be spared. Maybe Boehner can get some sort of investment write-off to ease his pain. LOL!

    • i_a_c

      LMAO, campaign finance reform? Cenk is either lying or stupid, and probably a little of both. Has he ever heard of Citizens United? Is he aware that the United States has a legislative branch called Congress? Did he take a civics class to learn that the president cannot install campaign finance reform by edict? What a dick.

      • I don’t think Cenk understands how government works, and I think he’s just fine with being both a ratfucker and a liar.

        • Scopedog

          Hell, in my personal view I think most of the PL have no freaking clue about how government works.

          I mean, they must think that if you don’t vote, you’re going to move the President and then the country to the left.

          Yeah. Sure. If the President were a dictator with absolute power….but he isn’t, and never was.

          Maybe someone should post a link to YouTube with that great SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK episode about “How a bill becomes a law”?

          • Lol. For real. 🙂

            Actually, Matt Osborne did a twitter lesson for the pro left, but it just wasn’t basic enough.

          • Or, maybe the president will act like any good “parent” and ignore their tantrum throwing asses until they learn how to behave.

          • nathkatun7

            “Maybe someone should post a link to YouTube with that great SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK episode about “How a bill becomes a law”?”

            Indeed, scopedog! Do I understand Cenk is a lawyer? If he is, it’s no wonder he is not practicing.

        • i_a_c

          And I see Cenk is trotting out the whole “Excuses, excuses, he had 60 votes in the Senate.” Well, we actually had 60 votes for only a few months. And even less when you consider illnesses of Ted Kennedy and Byrd. Oh, and for those obsessed with 60 votes, I have one word for you: Lieberman. Remember that guy? The guy vying to be McCentury’s VP? Enough said. It’s a miracle we passed HCR with 60 votes considering the range of views in the Democratic Party. The only “public option” that was on the table was incredibly weak, anyway; I’m sure the PL would have called it a “cave” even if it were possible to pass it.

          • Exactly. But then, we know Cenk is just a ratfucker with a simple agenda.

        • incredulous72

          Ratfucker . . . MUST use that more often. 😉

          Cenk is . . . irrelevant. And so are his other buddies.

          LOUD NOISES! those folks are.

        • Republicans pretending to be progressives are like that.

          • incredulous72

            AMEN TO THAT!!!

    • Scopedog

      I mentioned in an earlier post that, since SOPA and PIPA were essentially dead….then why the need for the “blackout” day? I’m against the bills, but I still feel that something needs to be done about Internet piracy so that creators (please note: I am talking about actual artists, writers, musicians) have their works protected against piracy.

      But as to what to do….I have no honest clue.

      But in terms of the emoProgs raising Cain….I reckon they cannot help themselves. They’ve just got to keep moving the bloody goalposts.

      “Real fucking SMART, Hamsher, who complained early on that the Dems were trying to “co-opt OWS”, and then she turned right around and did it herself.”

      Yup. So did Greenwald, Moore, Cenk….the usual players. The cool kids took over, it seems….

      • “The cool kids took over, it seems…. ”

        True that.

        But, I don’t define assholes as “cool” [:)], and DAMN IT, we should have gotten there ahead of them because now we have a movement that is the tool of the liars, scoundrels and ratfuckers!

  • As a Canadian, all I can say is thank you! Whether a future application is approved or not, the more time people have to seriously consider not only the pipeline, but the crude itself – specifically the devastating manner in which it’s extracted – the better.

  • i_a_c

    You obots don’t understand. This is a double-secret Obamacave because Keystone is allowed to apply again for a pipeline in 2013! This is a bone thrown to the base to cover up for his Drill Baby Drill agenda!