Free Markets, Free People


Actually Republicans got exactly what they wanted with the Keystone XL pipeline decision today

And that, of course, was a “no”.   It’s still a temporary “no”, but it is  a “no” nonetheless.  What it does is place the Obama Administration in the awkward position of claiming to be all in for creating jobs while nixing a project that both sides admit will create them.

Obama had hoped to delay this decision until 2013, well after the election.

The decision today doesn’t kill the pipeline by any stretch, unless Trans Canada decides not to resubmit applications for permits that would reroute the pipeline from Nebraska’s Sand Hills.  That’s unlikely.  Word is they already have an alternative plan developed.

So what has happened today plays into the politics of the moment.  In last month’s payroll tax cut extension signed by President Obama, Republicans had included a provision that precluded the administration from delaying a decision on the pipeline.  In fact, it required a decision by Feb. 21st.

Now, apparently, the White House has complied with the law and blocked the pipeline.  This, of course, comes on the heels of the President’s Jobs Council recommending the administration go “all in” on exploiting North American oil and gas assets.  That included recommending fast approval for key pipelines, of which Keystone is among the top.

This then gives the GOP plenty of political fodder for the upcoming campaign.  It’s hard to claim to be the jobs president when you disapprove projects that would clearly provide jobs and further,  disapprove the project in the face of your own Jobs Council’s recommendation to do otherwise.   It is also rather difficult to claim to “share the goal of  expanding domestic oil and gas production” as Presidential spokesperson Jay Carney said yesterday when you’re turning down a project that could do exactly that.

And, of course, a key constituency, who has been all for the construction of the pipeline has now been thrown under the bus.  I’m talking about unions.

So, politically speaking, not a good one for the O. 

Oh, and one more thing that can be made very clear to those upset by the administration’s decision.  If you want to see the pipeline built there is a fairly easy solution. 

Make Obama a one-term president.

~McQ

Twitter: @McQandO

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16 Responses to Actually Republicans got exactly what they wanted with the Keystone XL pipeline decision today

  • Obama blames the GOP for pushing an arbitrary and short deadline. How long has this project been in the works?

    • @tkc882 : It’s been in the works since 2008, or at least the Keystone XL part of it. The company building it thought they could get the approvals and land and the pipeline built within a year. So by 2009, it could have been done. Even in 2010, when the GOP put pressure on Obama, there was enough time for him to get it done by now (he said it’ll take a year to redesign the route). But yet, he did nothing. Even today, there is still a month to try to get it up and running- and yet, he does nothing.

  • How many times did Obama chant, “We do big things” in his lying, lie-filled SOTUS…??? We DO NOT do big things. We don’t even do SMART things.

  • Yes, this will be valuable political fodder for the GOP in the run up to the election. Sadly, for we American consumers, it sucks. Should I be more disgusted at Obama for his overt nannystatism, or at the GOP for enjoying just a bit too much the political advantage my suffering affords them?

    • @Roug Personally, I pick reality over delusion, but that’s just me….

      • @Ragspierre @Roug And that, my dear Rags, is why you will NEVER EVER be selected to represent the Democratic party (and possibly the Rebumplikin) here in Texas.

        • @looker @Roug Yeah. It has been hard to accommodate…went though the mourning phase an’ all… Too bad, too. I coulda been a contenda…!!!

  • Obama will probably reverse this *when* it will be most advantageous to his campaign.

    What really really really gets me about that is that there are supposedly serious people in this country, with lots of influence, who will take that as a wonderful sign that Obama is coming around.

    Obama will “come around” for about as long as it takes to get himself re-elected, and then it will be back to destroying America.

    Republicans should never see “positive signs.” They helped put the country in this mess. George Bush was crucial to the election of Obama. Republicans should be defending swearing off their nonsense, because there is more at stake now than the Stupid Party and its crony backers, especially the ones in Salt Lake City.

  • Obama will probably reverse this *when* it will be most advantageous to his campaign.

    What really really really gets me about that is that there are supposedly serious people in this country, with lots of influence, who will take that as a wonderful sign that Obama is coming around.

    Obama will “come around” for about as long as it takes to get himself re-elected, and then it will be back to destroying America.

    Republicans should never see “positive signs.” They helped put the country in this mess. George Bush was crucial to the election of Obama. Republicans should be swearing off their nonsense, because there is more at stake now than the Stupid Party and its crony backers, especially the ones in Salt Lake City.

  • Wow, I expected at someone to at least give lip service to the rational behind delaying the decision, but from the post itself, and every single comment, not one single mention.
    There is NO precise pipeline route currently proposed because the previous route was rejected by Nebraska, so while Congress decided it would be clever to force the issue, there was never any chance of approving a pipeline that TransCanada can’t even tell where it will be going other than 14 possible options that even TransCanada isn’t sure about, so how could the State Department make a call. The State Department called for an assessment of alternative pipeline routes that avoided the uniquely sensitive terrain of the Sand Hills in Nebraska. The Department estimated, based on prior projects of similar length and scope, that it could complete the necessary review to make a decision by the first quarter of 2013. In consultations with the State of Nebraska and TransCanada, they agreed with the estimated timeline.
    So here’s the deal kiddies, when you tell daddy you want an answer NOW, you’ll get an answer NOW, and the answer will be NO. Do you imagine that TransCanada will start building the thing before they know the route it will be taking?
    This is a good project, and it should (and will) be approved, but it’s juvenile to expect the approval before the final design is ready.

    • @CaptinSarcastic Well, yeah, because we all know they can’t build these things without vast wastelands being created, we just don’t have the technology, we just don’t have the know how, they’ll probably propose a big roman aqueduct type thing that will slop tar sand oil all over the countryside for miles. I mean, that’s the real plan right, to lose .5 gallons of every gallon pushed through the line so we can destroy the countryside. It was never about energy, it’s always been about being the foes of Captain Planet and causing devastation for the sake of evil.

      And as someone pointed out below, they came up with this whole idea just before Christmas of 2011, so they haven’t done anything at all by way of evaluating anything, and it all has to be done from scratch, so, yeah, what’s another year of standing around talking about making a decision going to take before they make a decision?

      Now, snark off. Yeah, they pushed it for politics, just like the administration’s been screwing with oil leases, and drilling permits and god knows what else for politics and some wild eyed tree hugging plan to get free power without any environmental impact of any kind, any where (well, maybe some, but it will be in a red state in flyover country, so, who cares, no important people live there, and the coastie treehuggers won’t have to see it mar their landscapes).
      We can all pretend this is a new path here and we’re just recently trying to discourage any kind of drilling or mining instead of a fairly consistent plan to prevent us from utilizing our own resources and forcing the price up world wide till crappy solar and wind look like sane alternatives in comparison.
      We can keep trying to get the perfect final design, till doomsday, that’ll be just fine with a certain voting segment.

      • @looker @CaptinSarcastic “Kiddies”…??? “Tell Daddy.”..???

        Yep. That closes the book on you.

        “Do you imagine that TransCanada will start building the thing before they know the route it will be taking?”

        Why the hell not, given it would not become critical until WAY later in the building process?

        Idiot.

    • @CaptinSarcastic If people refuse to even give lip service to the rational behind the decision, it’s because the rationale behind delaying the decision doesn’t pass the giggle test.

      The administration had dithered on this for more than a year BEFORE the GOP’s shit-or-get-off-the-pot requirement. That was ample time for the administration to sit down with TransCanada and work to resolve outstanding issues, never mind that the precise route isn’t defined down to the last yard of pipe. Moreover, every regulatory agency EXCEPT State, including the EPA, has already green-lighted the project; even Nebraska’s congresscritters have signed off on it. State’s review ought to have been an entirely perfunctory, “Yes this project is in the national interest, and should move forward,” rubber-stamp taking all of fourteen minutes, not fourteen months.

      The delay and rejection is crassly, transparently political. For all this administration talks about the importance of job creation and energy security, absolutely everything is secondary to Obama’s re-election. Approving the project would have alienated the breathtakingly stupid greens, who believe that scuppering Keystone XL means preventing the development of the Canadian oil sands altogether, who occupy a position of some consequence in his electoral coalition. He can’t afford to be jamming fingers in their eyes eight months out from a tough re-election fight: they won’t vote for Romney but they might stay home, and that could be enough to tip the scales in some swing states.

  • Bruce, as you note, the president is rejecting the advice of his own Council on Jobs and Competitiveness that the U.S. needs an “all-in” energy strategy that pursues more American oil and natural gas, as well as the means to deliver those resources. His rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline is also a rejection of much-needed American jobs – 20,000 of them in the pipeline’s construction phase and up to a half-million more over time. The bottom line is that the President can’t say he’s for infrastructure and for jobs – while ruling against actual projects that create jobs.

    Mark Green, EnergyTomorrow.org

  • Looks like can-do business types are going to wire around the Luddite Obama.

    Heh.