Obama kills Keystone

Why did Obama nix the Keystone oil pipeline project, which, bringing crude oil all the way from northern Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast, would have created many thousands of jobs and supplied four percent of America’s annual energy needs? The president himself says that a deadline that the House Republicans set on a decision on the project did not give the administration enough time to determine environmental impact. Indeed, the headline of the above-linked story in the print version of the January 19 New York Times announces that “politics”—i.e. Republicans—stood in the way of the pipeline. Thomas Lifson at American Thinker retorts that there are already many thousands of miles of pipelines in the affected area and that there have been no safety problems. He is at a loss to understand why Obama did it, since there was nothing but gain to be had from the project, and nothing but harm from rejecting it—including sending Canada’s business and oil to the Chinese (Canadian PM Steven Harper said he was “profoundly disappointed” by the decision), and greater, not lesser, environmental impact:

… any rational environmentalist understands that the decision will actually harm the environment, because the oil will instead be piped across the Canadian Rockies, to the coast of British Columbia, for shipment to China, instead. The sad fact is that loading and unloading oil from tankers results in spills from time to time, not to mention shipwrecks. Tanker transport of oil is much more environmentally hazardous than pipeline transportation.

Could the answer be—as a correspondent has suggested to me—that Obama simply hates America and wants to harm it?

The New York Times, of course, approves the president’s decision, saying we need to develop alternative sources of energy. Remember that the Times defended the administration’s half-billion dollar throwaway to Solyndra and stalwartly denied that the president had done anything in that affair for which he could be criticized. An attitude which, if it is indicative of Obama’s own thinking, suggests that the motive for the rejection of the pipeline was green ideology: the country must have development of alternative sources of energy, and nothing done in pursuit of that, whether it is eagerly transferring billions in taxpayer money to doomed green companies favored by the administration, or stopping the Keystone pipeline project, can be gainsaid.

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Reader Larry T. did a Google search for “pipelines,” and found the below material at the U.S. Department of Transportation site:

What can you tell me about our nation’s pipelines?

The nation’s pipelines are a transportation system. Pipelines enable the safe movement of extraordinary quantities of energy products to industry and consumers, literally fueling our economy and way of life. The arteries of the Nation’s energy infrastructure, as well as the safest and least costly ways to transport energy products, our oil and gas pipelines provide the resources needed for national defense, heat and cool our homes, generate power for business and fuel an unparalleled transportation system.

The nation’s more than two million miles of pipelines safely deliver trillions of cubic feet of natural gas and hundreds of billions of ton/miles of liquid petroleum products each year. They are essential: the volumes of energy products they move are well beyond the capacity of other forms of transportation. It would take a constant line of tanker trucks, about 750 per day, loading up and moving out every two minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to move the volume of even a modest pipeline. The railroad-equivalent of this single pipeline would be a train of 75 2,000-barrel tank rail cars everyday. These alternatives would require many times the people, clog the air with engine pollutants, be prohibitively expensive and — with many more vehicles on roads and rails carrying hazardous materials — unacceptably dangerous.

Pipeline systems are the safest means to move these products. The federal government rededicated itself to pipeline safety in 2006 when the PIPES Act was signed. It mandates new methods and makes commitments for new technologies to manage the integrity of the nation’s pipelines and raise the bar on pipeline safety.

Larry T. adds:

So there are over 2 million miles of pipelines in the U.S.delivering trillions of cubic feet of natural gas and billion of tons of oil, among other things.

This is a map of pipelines in the U.S. and Canada. As you can see, there are already plenty of pipelines traversing Nebraska:


I’m surprised the pro-pipeline stuff is still up at the Department of Transportation. It certainly doesn’t fit the narrative.

BTW, if Obama was trying to wreck this country, what would he do differently than what he is doing now?

Laurence B. writes:

I think it truly was politics that nixed the pipeline. Although Obama does seem to hate America, I don’t think that was his impetus here so much as a nice bonus. He had to reject this bill because it was spearheaded by Republicans. The tremendous benefits and bi-partisan approval did not matter. Obama cannot let anything come out of D.C. that he can’t personally lay claim to this election year, and no one would have believed that the pipeline was agreeable with him, even if he approved it.

Meanwhile he proclaims an executive order now mandating contraceptives and abortifacients to be covered by health-care/insurance providers. What jobs is that creating?

Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 22, 2012 07:38 PM | Send

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