December 20, 2011

Is There Nothing That Obama Can't Do?

Now is the time at SDA when we juxtapose!

Montreal Gazette, Nov. 19th;

The White House sent new signals Sunday that President Barack Obama may be forced to kill TransCanada Corp.'s Keystone XL oilsands pipeline if his administration is forced to make a decision on the project within 60 days.

Gene Sperling, a senior economic adviser to Obama, told CNN that legislation requiring a final ruling on Keystone XL within two months could doom the pipeline because there's not enough time to complete a new environmental review.

John (free subscription);

"Which brings us to the rather strange case of the Keystone XL Pipeline project...."


(bumped, because this graphic deserves wider distribution)

Posted by Kate at December 20, 2011 12:00 PM

Just what this bankrupt congress needs, a big free trade law suit.

Posted by: Occam at December 19, 2011 10:46 AM

Well no, not a free trade lawsuit. But it will be impossible for the President to claim he's doing anything for the economy if he rejects the US's biggest infrastructure project. Worse, it's precisely the kind of infrastructure project that creates jobs and it's all paid for by private industry.

What it will prove is that he has no leadership whatsoever, that he can't persuade his supporters to follow his lead, and that he is entirely a captive of the enviros even at the expense of his union support.

Now that's a wedge issue, and Obama is going to be impaled on it.

Posted by: cgh at December 19, 2011 11:05 AM

Oil Sand oil is obtained by digging it out, not fracking. The oil is below about 75 ft of overburden, and above an impermeable rock layer in the areas where it can be surface mined. The oil sands are then transported by pipeline to the separation facilities. The nearby water are not polluted by this, as all of the waters on site remain there and are reused or ponded until it is cleaned. New technologies are decreasing the ponded water ie: Using polyacrylamides to drop the suspended particles in the water. The amount of energy used to create usable heavy oil is not that much greater than that needed for conventional pumping methods. Too many people believe everything they hear from the propagandized information spewed out by the environmental industry who have created a cash cow supported by the uninformed.

Posted by: Gil Barber at December 19, 2011 11:06 AM

Nobody seems to comment on the fact that 30% of the oil in the Keystone will be land locked US oil coming out of the North Dakota Bakken play. Forget the pipelines go with the CN Pipeline on rails plan. No pay offs for Indians, no enviromental review...and can move up to 4m barrels a day if fully implemented...

Posted by: RFB at December 19, 2011 11:12 AM

The above was a comment posted on John Maudlin's site in reply to misguided and uninformed comments.

Posted by: Gil Barber at December 19, 2011 11:12 AM

"Too many people believe everything they hear from the propagandized information spewed out by the environmental industry who have created a cash cow supported by the uninformed".
These are the voters Zero can't Pi-- Off. He must keep them in his La La sphere until the election or he thinks he will never get their vote.
I think it does not matter what he does he will still get their Okee Dokee on erection day. "SAD".

Posted by: capt_bob at December 19, 2011 11:18 AM

We have heard quite a bit about how the greens in Canada, particularly in B.C., have been funded manipulated and turned into useful idiots by foreign funding opposed to the oil sands. So far the money trail points to American and European sources. It was pointed out that this funding has resulted in the closing of west coast Canada to tanker traffic, effectively forcing Alberta to sell to the Americans instead of exporting to Pacific rim countries. But has anyone looked at the money trail funding the greens who are involved at blocking the Keystone to the U.S.A.? Where does it come from and who benefits from it?

Posted by: T.C. at December 19, 2011 11:20 AM

Obama the Job Killer.

Where are the unions on this issue?

Posted by: set you free at December 19, 2011 11:25 AM

What no one in the media has properly called the White House on here is that TransCanada has already met ALL of the requirements for Environmental Assessment set forth by the State Department. It received acceptance of it's environmental impact plan. The US Government has already said it's good. Obama is just playing politics.

Posted by: Taliesyn at December 19, 2011 11:35 AM

Big oil in the usa have money invested off shore where they have a good return right now. Smaller return from Canada so use off shore now. But don't let Canada sell to China. They want it for later. This is why so much money is coming into Canada to fight Gateway.

Posted by: a@c at December 19, 2011 11:37 AM

The administration might " be forced " to kill it?

I am afraid that's just another lie, told by Obama to get himself off the hook.

This decision was in Obama's hands for over 18 months, during which time he did nothing, eating up the clock.

By the way, if Obama really wanted this pipeline, he would simply ask Congress to insert language granting a waiver for any remaining environmental reviews. Such a move could not be challenged in court, as Congress is sovereign on any but Constitutional questions.

If Congress shoves this pipeline approval down Obama's throat, he is doomed. Only the Republicans can save him, now.

Posted by: small c conservative at December 19, 2011 12:06 PM

Why can t we refine the oil in Alberta and then ship it South or West, or both.At least then we would have the benefit of more jobs for Canadians.I don t understand the logic of shipping raw natural resources to another country and creating jobs there that we should be creating here.Tell the enviro-whackos its a matter of national security when they start whining.Canada needs a stable and reliable energy supply we shouldn t bargain it away to anyone.

Posted by: Frankemm at December 19, 2011 12:30 PM

You've gotta love it. While not the red blotch that Oklahoma is, Nebraska is close with hundreds or thousands of pipelines. One more, the safest and most modern was such a danger. Are people in Nebraska really that frigging stupid?

Posted by: Scar at December 19, 2011 12:31 PM

capt_bob 11:18 AM

"Too many people believe everything they hear from the propagandized information spewed out by the environmental industry who have created a cash cow supported by the uninformed".
These are the voters Zero can't Pi-- Off. He must keep them in his La La sphere until the election or he thinks he will never get their vote.
I think it does not matter what he does he will still get their Okee Dokee on erection day. "SAD".

Frankemm 12:30 PM

"Tell the enviro-whackos its a matter of national security when they start whining."

Take it from an old COLD WARrior...that COLD WAR was fought and won in OUR LIVING ROOMs as much as the bleak mountains of North Korea or the jungles of Indochina.

The enviro whackos are the same element that we battled here at home. It's not that they have no interest in National Security but the direct opposite. When they say better RED than DEAD...they really mean it. Just as they line up against Isreal and support the Islamo-fascists, they will vote for the Kenyan communist reflexively. Their votes are already cast.

Scar 12:31 PM

"Are people in Nebraska really that frigging stupid?"

Well.....a critical mass is......

Posted by: sasquatch at December 19, 2011 1:06 PM

Further to Gil Barber's comments.


Everything you do, every move you make, each step, each breath affects the environment in some way.

That's why so many politicians and reformers are enthusiastic about "saving the environment." Virtually the entire crusade is about you.

"Conserving resources" means taking them from you and putting them under political control.
"Ending global warming" means forcing you to pay higher taxes for gas, oil, and electricity.
"Recycling" means vast power for those who will decide what you must recycle and what you'll be allowed to throw away.
"Protecting endangered species" means the power to seize your land.
"Controlling pollution" means controlling you.

Further ...

When environmentalism became a popular topic in the 1970s, little attention was paid to the ownership of the properties being polluted. Important questions were never asked publicly:

Why would the owner of a lake or river allow it to be used for dumping chemical waste — a practice that would destroy the value of the property?
Why would the owner of a forest cut the trees for profit, and then ignore the future profits to be made by replanting?

At first glance the polluting doesn't seem to make sense. Why would anyone destroy the value of his own property? Would you intentionally pollute your front lawn, knowing this would make your home worth less than what you paid for it? It's not very likely.

And yet, many properties throughout America are losing value because the owners allow them to be polluted.

Who owns these properties?

In most cases, they are owned by governments —federal, state, and local.

The key to understanding and correcting pollution problems is one simple fact: Most pollution occurs on government property — on government lands, and in government rivers, streams, and lakes.

There are three ways pollution can occur:

Private companies can pollute their own property.
Governments can allow private companies to pollute government property.
Governments can pollute their own property.

Very rarely do we hear of a private company that is destroying the value of its own property. And we would be hard put to understand why a company would do such a thing.

But destroying someone else's property is a different story.

Read it all HERE if you wish From the late, great, Harry Browne.

Posted by: Abe Froman at December 19, 2011 1:27 PM

sasquatch @ 1:06 , you have that right. This war with the enviro-wackos will be largely fought in the living room in front of the television and in the kitchen by the radio.

Posted by: Ken (Kulak) at December 19, 2011 1:40 PM

A life of voting "present" did not prep the TOTUS
For a decision point

Plus as they say. "No cohones" nil
Nada nads

Posted by: cal2 at December 19, 2011 1:49 PM

The American voters should thank Obama for his "diligence" by not re-electing him.

Now, by the way, would be a grand time to dangle oil over China's head and not deliver. They'll need some doing to contain their buffer state of North Korea.

Just a little mischief.

Posted by: Osumashi Kinyobe at December 19, 2011 2:05 PM

The pipeline will go through, the Chicago Hustler is just waiting for his personal piece of the action. This must have caught him off guard early on with the whole solar scam thing going on and he needs the time to catch up.

Once he gets his piece of the pie, it will be full steam ahead.

Posted by: Knight 99 at December 19, 2011 2:26 PM

Frankemm: this has been answered many times here. You can't build the refineries in Alberta because of several reasons:
1. You need a pipeline for all of the various products coming out of the refineries.
2. There's surplus capacity on the Gulf Coast, and using that is a lot cheaper than building new.
3. There's been no new refineries built in years. The regulatory and environmental process required is prohibitive, given the relatively low rate of return on refining.
4. There's dozens of different requirements for standard gasoline in the United States thanks to different additive requirements. Which one would we produce for?

Posted by: cgh at December 19, 2011 2:58 PM

cgh Good points you might add the cost and time to get a NEW refinery on line. Planning,research, design,drawings and approval. If it would be profitable private industry would be all over the idea.

Posted by: Rob C at December 19, 2011 3:20 PM

Follow the money applies in this pipeline debate. To illustrate: I watched a documentary that dealt with the Dutch building a massive pair of flood gates to control North Sea surges. It also showed the ongoing large investments the Dutch have made in planning for sea level rises. The Dutch will be the leaders in a economy saving and profitable new industry if the theory of rising to flood proportion sea levels is bought into by world governments. I wonder what science the Dutch believe in? The science of money, perhaps.

Posted by: JamesX at December 19, 2011 3:36 PM


That is the genius of this 60 day rule:

If Obama decides to cancel the pipeline - it is well and truly cancelled - the whole process will have to be restarted, taking several years. This will tick off the unions because they were essentially given a nod and a wink that after november obama would resume the project so as to buy off (read get hundreds of millions in campaign cash from) the enviro lobby and its well-heeled supporters.

Thus the rule prevents obama from dodging the issue until after november - he will have to alienate one of the two biggest allies he has - he will not be able to vote "present".

And don't think for a minute that the union lobby will fall for the 60 days isn't enough time to get approvals. They got billions in bailout cash for GM and Chrysler EEs by breaking several rules and stealing from bondholders in a matter of hours - they know what can and cant be done by the executive and obama can make Keystone happen tomorrow if he chooses.

Posted by: Gord Tulk at December 19, 2011 3:36 PM

You think building 1 pipeline is tough... try getting approval for a refinery.

Posted by: james at December 19, 2011 3:40 PM

Stop all the cheap Natural gas or oil exports. Not out of malice, but to show just how insane not supporting this pipeline is. Its the only way to shake folks out of the Obama daze. To show America just how destructive this President is.
There are plenty of Nations who would pay twice what we get from The US. We send cheap fuels their because their our ally, & one time friends. How else to pay back all the military help given?
Now the Muslim in charge wants only blood oil from his new allies in murdering Civilization for a barbarian cult.
How can you reason with a viper out to bite you?
I don't blame Americans for this. I blame a complacent Republican party that only seeks its traditional perks. Along with a socialist coup that has over taken the Media & institutions of governance.

Posted by: Revnant Dream at December 19, 2011 3:41 PM

This map unmasks the psuedo environmentalist facade of "The Sky Will Fall!"

The Chicken Littles will run around in a panic until Colonel Saunder's KFC catches up to them.

Posted by: Larry at December 19, 2011 3:55 PM

Rob / CGH,

There's another (economic) reason why you shouldn't build the refinery in Alberta. Refineries make money when they can 'crack' the oil (complex hydrocarbons) into various constituents and then produce a wide range of products from that oil, (the 'crack spread'). You don't just use oil to produce gasoline, kerosene, and aircraft fuel, you use it to produce a wide range of lubricants, plastics, other polymers, etc... The Gulf Coast is littered with a range of petro-chemical plants that take the oil and make all kinds of neat stuff. In Alberta, we don't have that installed base of petro-chemical industries, (despite what you see around Ft Saskatchewan), to justify the cost of building a refinery.

Posted by: Alasdair Robinson at December 19, 2011 8:43 PM

What if they just started building the damned pipeline?

Is Obama going to declare war on Canada? Is he going to lie down in front of the pipelayers?

I say we try it and see what happens.

Posted by: Reginald at December 19, 2011 9:55 PM

Obama wants to kill it anyway. He doesn't need an excuse.

Posted by: RebeccaH at December 19, 2011 10:58 PM

If I am not mistaken, most of the North Dakota oil will be transported by Warren Buffett's Railroad, if the pipeline is canceled.

Mr. Buffett has paid a lot of money to Obama, and Mr. Buffett gets what he paid for.

Posted by: Ed at December 19, 2011 11:18 PM


is what happens when you want to upgrade oil in Canada.

Posted by: imethisguy at December 19, 2011 11:21 PM

Obama's playing a game of chicken that he can't win. Ignore him, pass the legislation and let him veto it if he wants. If he doesn't, America gets a shot in the arm and he looks like he got his bluff called. If he does use the veto, the issue helps bury him, and then the pipeline gets approved a year later.

Thank the Gods we only have eleven more months before we can vote this assclown out of office.

Posted by: Immolate at December 19, 2011 11:26 PM

Ed "most of the North Dakota oil will be transported by Warren Buffett's Railroad, if the pipeline is canceled."

That couldn't possibly affect the environment, now could it?

Have I mention what an A-hole Obama is?

Posted by: Scar at December 19, 2011 11:56 PM

The left wants the U. S. to have to rely on conflict oil (probably all other civilized western nations as well).

That's because they want to disrupt the smooth running of western economies as much as possible.

It's that goddamned simple, really.

Posted by: nv53 at December 20, 2011 2:05 AM

But has anyone looked at the money trail funding the greens who are involved at blocking the Keystone to the U.S.A.? Where does it come from and who benefits from it?

US Coal has the most to gain, followed by OPEC.

Why can t we refine the oil in Alberta and then ship it South or West, or both.At least then we would have the benefit of more jobs for Canadians.

I assume the "it" to be shipped "South or West" is refined fuel? The Keystone pipeline is to feed refineries in Texas that are presently using MidEast oil for feedstock. The plan is to use cheaper Canadian oil to keep jobs for American refinery workers in Texas, while using less OPEC oil. The oil Companies don't want to build additional refinery capacity in expensive Canada while they've got refineries to feed in Texas.

Posted by: North of 60 at December 20, 2011 2:37 AM

The up-side of the down-side: I shall enjoy watching these idiots pounce and cry when nothing comes out of the gas pump and again when their dead cell-phones won't recharge b/c nothing comes out of the wall outlet.

Posted by: egoist at December 20, 2011 6:29 AM

Follow the Money.
Warren Buffett cashes in,
Moving oil by rail.

Buffett is a major Obama supporter and donor. He is making a lot of money hauling oil from Alberta on his railroads. He would lose this money if Keystone was built.

Remember that, and it starts to make sense...

Posted by: Haiku Guy at December 20, 2011 6:49 AM

Here is s simple, foolproof method of determining whether Obama will support any project. Ask the question, "Will the project help the American economy or advance American interests?" If the answer is "yes" then Obama is against it.

Posted by: FrancisChalk at December 20, 2011 6:52 AM

I listened to the regular radio news about the budget deal and you know what the "unbiased" news called the provision about Keystone? A "poison pill," no further description.


Posted by: tim in vermont at December 20, 2011 8:21 AM

BTW, Sarah Palin knew how to get pipelines like this built.

Posted by: tim in vermont at December 20, 2011 8:23 AM

Read the last few chapters of LotR again. The bits about the controls Saruman, as "Sharky" had put on the hobbits. Then read Animal Farm by Orwell again.

Sounds just like Obama and his enviropig chorus.

All they want is all of us on our knees begging them for a handful of rice with no place else to get it.

Posted by: Those weren't bran muffins, Brainiac... at December 20, 2011 9:54 AM

Meanwhile, let's take a look at the last environmental catastrophe on a pipeline predicted by the eco-nazis. Pretty much of a non-event.

Posted by: PJ at December 20, 2011 10:45 AM

Note that there is a large area in Nebraska where no pipelines have been built. This is the area covered by the Nebraska Sand Hills, which is over the deepest part of the high plains aquifer.

I would encourage people to look into the geology of the sand hills and how they are intimately related to the aquifer. Building pipes over the aquifer in general isn't a problem, as evidenced by the large number of pipes already built over it, but the possibility of a leak over the sand hills is a potentially serious threat.

The original Keystone XL route skirts the easternmost reaches of the sand hills. While not building this pipeline would be tragically stupid, building it over the sand hills would be recklessly stupid.

Posted by: Eric in Atlanta at December 20, 2011 10:46 AM

Does anyone still wonder why Texas is a prosperous state?

Posted by: Rick Blaine at December 20, 2011 10:50 AM

Isn't it environmental imperialism to outsource the production and transport of the oil we consume to the no doubt already polluted Persian Gulf? Isn't it environmentally safer to transport oil in a pipeline through two countries that actually enforce their safety standards than to ship it half way round the world from hostile dictatorships that aren't accountable for any damage they do to the environment?

Posted by: Capt Kag at December 20, 2011 11:50 AM

It might make the point more effectively to draw an outline upon that map of the area encompassed by the Ogallala Aquifier that must be protected from this incursion at all costs.

Posted by: AD-RtR/OS! at December 20, 2011 11:53 AM

Careful where you dig!

Posted by: coach at December 20, 2011 1:00 PM

More east more west. No more south.

Posted by: a@c at December 20, 2011 2:36 PM

Build the pipeline over the Sand Hills.

Here's what a true expert says about it: " The pipeline project is supported by University of Nebraska hydrologist Jim Goeke, described as “perhaps the leading expert on the Sand Hills and its water.”

Goeke—described as having sunk hundreds of wells into the Sand Hills during 35 years of research—was quoted as agreeing with the analysis of TransCanada officials that pipeline leaks would have minor, localized impacts because (1) groundwater moves so slowly in the area, and (2) oil and diluting chemicals rise and would be blocked from the groundwater below by layers of sand, silt and clay. " ( from the website of Harold Andersen, Nebraskan and former publisher of the Omaha World Herald.

This is just another obstruction thrown up by the enviros so they can line their pockets as consultants for mitigation of the " environmental effects "of the pipeline.

Posted by: small c conservative at December 20, 2011 2:47 PM

AD, etc.; Eric in Atlanta:

The trans Alaska pipe was built 40 years ago over that sensitive and well-loved patch of ground known as the Arctic, and precisely no damage to the environment has occurred. Before giving advice, you might take a few minutes to acquaint yourself with the extraordinary integrity of US pipelines - there are over 2 million miles of them, already, delivering the fuel Americans demand in their daily lives. To have the oil intended for Keystone transported in railroad tankers would be far less safe, far more polluting ( pipelines have a small fraction of the emissions of rail transport), and far more expensive. The only reason Obama can possibly have for blocking the pipeline is to once again line the pockets of Big Democrats as he did in Solyndra for billionaire George Kaiser.

It really is improper for Obama to help line the pockets of big supporters of his campaign. Warren Buffett may want to get every last dollar in his pocket, but it is wrong for Obama to block the pipeline so that Buffett's Union Pacific railroad gets to carry it instead.

Posted by: small c conservative at December 20, 2011 3:14 PM

I think that map of pipelines for the BC portion is seriously out of date. Even the link below does not show all of the older PNG stuff

Posted by: Colin at December 20, 2011 3:34 PM

The only thing this will doom . Is jobs for Americans & cheap oil. Than again Obama doesn't like Americans very much.
Now we can sell our oil a twice the amount to the Chinese. Build refineries here that would have been in the States.
If US citizens want to pay 10 dollars a gallon for gas for the love of Obama, who are we to deny them?
Time to invest in oil tankers.
I,m just sad to see a Great Republic brought to its knees, by a Muslim charlatan who runs after every Islamist he can bow to.
Allies with every thug on the Planet that shouts allah akbar.
Mean while applying endless pilferage against normal Americans of every penny they have.
Denying them jobs through regulation, & destroying the best health care system in the World.
I literally Thank God every day we have Harper as PM. In his own quiet way hes detaching the PC communists in this Nation, from the people like leeches on our skin.

Posted by: Revnant Dream at December 20, 2011 3:36 PM

Alasdair, absolutely. There's only two places in Canada where that kind of infrastructure exists: southwestern Ontario in the Windsor-Sarnia area, and to a much smaller extent in Saint John NB. The whole idea in the refinery business is to take in crude oil, turn it all into a host of products and have no leftover at the end.

Posted by: cgh at December 20, 2011 10:26 PM