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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Keystone XL pipeline bill clears Senate hurdle despite veto threat

    Keystone XL pipeline bill clears Senate hurdle despite veto threat

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., arrives for work at the Capitol as the Republican-controlled Senate moved ahead on a bill to construct the Keystone XL pipeline. (J. Scott Applewhite, AP)

    By Tribune wire reports contact the reporter

    Legislation approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline cleared an initial Senate hurdle Monday, a victory for newly empowered Republicans angling for a quick veto showdown with President Barack Obama.

    The bipartisan 63-32 vote was three more than the 60 required, and well above the level the highly controversial measure ever gained in recent years when Democrats controlled the Senate.


    The measure has sparked intense debate over the Canada-to-Texas pipeline's potential impact on employment and the environment. While the project was proposed six years ago, the White House opposes the legislation as long as the administration is still conducting its formal review.


    GOP-controlled House votes to approve Keystone pipeline

    But with more than enough votes at their command, Republican and Democratic supporters said they hoped the legislation could win final approval and be sent to the White House by the end of next week.

    "President Obama has every reason to sign the jobs and infrastructure bill that we will pass," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. He noted that the Nebraska Supreme Court had recently rejected a legal challenge brought by opponents, an obstacle the White House had cited.

    lRelated
    NATIONAL POLITICS Nebraska high court ruling paves way for Keystone XL vote, veto SEE ALL RELATED

    Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, made the case for the opposition. He said that if constructed, the pipeline would carry "some of the dirtiest, most dangerous and most polluting oil in the world." He called the project "anti-clear water, anti-clear air, anti-public health."

    The proposed 1,179-mile pipeline would begin in Canada, enter the United States at Morgan, Montana, cut across South Dakota and connect with an existing pipeline in Steele City, Nebraska, that in turn reaches refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast. It would carry an estimated 800,000 barrels of crude oil a day.


    The White House has repeatedly threatened a veto. If Obama follows through, it will become the first of what are expected to be numerous clashes with the Republican majorities now in control of both houses of Congress.


    Keystone XL pipeline: Here's what both sides are saying on the issue

    Since Congress convened on Jan. 6, the White House has issued a total of five veto threats, including two Monday.

    By bringing the legislation to a vote swiftly after taking over the Senate majority, Republicans hope to achieve two goals at once.


    Passing the measure is the first. Ushering in a new era of open Senate debate, with the opportunity for lawmakers to seek votes on proposed changes, is the second.


    "It's the latest example of Congress getting back to work under a new Republican majority," said McConnell, in a jab at Democrats who have generally blocked votes on amendments over the past few years.


    Democrats said they welcomed that, and some readied proposed changes that would try to put Republicans on record concerning climate change.

    The Republican-controlled House passed pipeline legislation last week, as it often has in recent years. This time, for the first time since the project was proposed six years ago, the Senate is in Republican hands and the legislation commands enough bipartisan support to assure its approval — if not enough to override a veto.


    The most recent Senate vote, held in November, was on passage of a bill identical to the one voted on Monday. That gained 59 votes.


    This time, 52 Republicans, 10 Democrats and one independent voted to allow it to advance. All the votes in opposition were cast by Democrats.


    The pipeline project has unanimous support from Republicans in Congress, but it divides Democrats. Environmentalists generally oppose the legislation, while several unions support it for the jobs it would create.


    In fact, there was significant debate over both the proposed project's impact on the environment and on the economy.


    An environmental impact statement prepared by the State Department estimated that construction spending "would support a combined total of approximately 42,100 jobs throughout the United States for the up to 2-year construction period."


    It added that not all the employment would be newly created, though. It said some of the jobs would be "continuity of existing jobs in current or new locations," a distinction often overlooked by the bill's supporters.


    Once the proposed project opens, it will require "approximately 50 total employees in the United States: 35 permanent employees and 15 temporary contractors," the State Department estimated.


    The project would have a bewildering range of possible impacts on the environment. They range from the effect on the Great Plains Aquifer under southern Nebraska to the fate of the American Burying Beetle, one of 14 species that could be affected that are proposed or currently receiving protection.


    The review also said other options for extracting the oil and moving it toward refineries by rail or tanker ship would have a worse impact on climate change, in some cases far worse.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/n...112-story.html
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    MW
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    Geez, what's wrong with me? I think I'm the only conservative in the country that doesn't support this stinking pipeline!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MW View Post
    Geez, what's wrong with me? I think I'm the only conservative in the country that doesn't support this stinking pipeline!
    What's wrong with this pipeline? Americans love pipelines. Americans love oil and gas. Americans need to drill baby drill and that means we need pipelines to carry the oil and gas. Why not bring Canada oil in? Maybe one day, the pipeline will be used to bring in more oil from Alaska. This is infrastructure. We need more of all of this. But, we need to do it right, and with the relocation of the pipeline out of the Sand Hills in Nebraska I think it was, there really shouldn't be any problem, at least not any more problem than with any other pipeline. Look, we wasted billions of dollars trying to push solar panels and wind farms. The solar panel companies went broke and of course they have tons of toxic pollution in their process and the wind farms the cleanest and simplest of them all are designed in such a way that they are killing our precious birds. Nothing is without a problem or risk of some sort.

    You like water? Do you like bottled water? A lot of people live on this bottled water, even cook with it. Well, those plastic containers are an environmental problem like all plastics. Most of them end up in garbage sent out on barges and dumped in the ocean. How about disposable diapers? They end up in the same place. The one good thing about raw crude is that it's natural, it's carbon, which means it's biodegradable and degrades pretty damn quick compared to plastic containers and disposable diapers that don't degrade at all.

    The Keystone Pipeline is a good thing. I hope they eventually build the other pipeline that will bring natural gas in through Canada. That's the one Sarah Palin put together and Trans-Canada and Exxon-Mobil I believe are the companies moving that one forward.
    Last edited by Judy; 01-13-2015 at 05:25 AM.
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    MW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judy View Post
    What's wrong with this pipeline? Americans love pipelines. Americans love oil and gas. Americans need to drill baby drill and that means we need pipelines to carry the oil and gas. Why not bring Canada oil in? Maybe one day, the pipeline will be used to bring in more oil from Alaska. This is infrastructure. We need more of all of this. But, we need to do it right, and with the relocation of the pipeline out of the Sand Hills in Nebraska I think it was, there really shouldn't be any problem, at least not any more problem than with any other pipeline. Look, we wasted billions of dollars trying to push solar panels and wind farms. The solar panel companies went broke and of course they have tons of toxic pollution in their process and the wind farms the cleanest and simplest of them all are designed in such a way that they are killing our precious birds. Nothing is without a problem or risk of some sort.

    You like water? Do you like bottled water? A lot of people live on this bottled water, even cook with it. Well, those plastic containers are an environmental problem like all plastics. Most of them end up in garbage sent out on barges and dumped in the ocean. How about disposable diapers? They end up in the same place. The one good thing about raw crude is that it's natural, it's carbon, which means it's biodegradable and degrades pretty damn quick compared to plastic containers and disposable diapers that don't degrade at all.

    The Keystone Pipeline is a good thing. I hope they eventually build the other pipeline that will bring natural gas in through Canada. That's the one Sarah Palin put together and Trans-Canada and Exxon-Mobil I believe are the companies moving that one forward.
    Spoken like someone who is in no danger of having land that has been in the family for generations taken through imminent domain.
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    MW
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    Six reasons Keystone XL was a bad deal all along



    By Sally Kohn
    Published January 18, 2012FoxNews.com


    Facebook3908 Twitter0 livefyre1 Email Print

    In announcing his decision to not grant permission for the Keystone pipelineextension, opponents of President Obama argue the president gave in to pressure from environmental activists.
    In reality, the president was resisting an artificial deadline from Republicans trying to force his hand.
    But the fact is, for the good of our country and our economy, rejecting the Keystone XL deal was the best decision possible.

    Here are six facts about the proposed Keystone XL deal that make clear why the pipeline was a bad deal for America and why it deserved to be rejected:

    1. Keystone XL Would Not Reduce Foreign Oil Dependency

    The oil to be sent through Keystone XL pipeline was never destined for US markets. In its own presentation to investors about the proposed pipeline extension, TransCanada (the company behind Keystone XL) boasted that most if not all of the extracted and refined oil would be exported --- sold in oversees markets where oil fetches a higher price (and thus turns a higher profit for the company).

    2. Keystone XL Would Have Increased Domestic Oil Prices

    Currently, Canadian oil reserves stored in the Midwest help suppress gas prices in the United States, particularly for farmers in our nation’s heartland.

    In its permit application for the pipeline, TransCanada noted that the Keystone XL pipeline would allow the company to drain these reserves and export that fuel as well. According to TransCanada’s own statements, this would raise gas prices in the United States, especially in the Midwest.

    3. Keystone XL Overstated Number of Jobs to be Created

    In 2008, TransCanada’s original permit application to the State Department said the Keystone XL pipeline would create “a peak workforce of approximately 3,500 to 4,200 construction personnel” in temporary jobs building the pipeline.

    By 2011, now facing growing opposition to the pipeline, TransCanada had inflated these numbers (using undisclosed formulas) to 20,000. Supporters of the proposal, backed by big oil, have since trumpeted these trumped up numbers.

    4. Current Keystone Pipeline Leaked 12 Times in Last Year

    The pipeline that the Obama administration has rejected the permit for would be an extension of a pipeline that has already leaked -- not just once, but 12 times in the last year.

    While TransCanada tried to dismiss these leaks as “minor” averaging “just five to 10 gallons of oil” each, the leak on May 7, 2011 near Millner, N.D., spilled about 21,000 gallons of oil in total.
    5. The Environmental Concerns About Oil Leaks Are Justified

    Nebraska’s Republican Governor Dave Heineman strongly opposed the Keystone XL project because the pipeline would run through a massive and vital aquifer in his state the supplies clean drinking water to over 2 million Americans plus water that fuels the region’s agriculture industry.

    Building the pipeline might have created a few thousand temporary jobs but even a minor oil spill in or near the aquifer would have jeopardized hundreds of thousands of jobs, not to mention the health and safety of millions.
    Meanwhile, in Michigan where a similar tar sands pipeline spilled over 840,000 gallons of crude oil into the Kalamazoo River in 2010, residents are still complaining of headaches, dizziness and nausea while studies continue to look at the long-term effects of just being near such an oil spill when it happens.
    6. Mining Tar Sands Would Worsen Global Warming

    Assuming you believe, like the vast majority of the world’s scientists, that climate change is both real and of concern, the Canadian tar sands are the second largest carbon reserve in the world.

    Mining these reserves would release all of that carbon into the atmosphere, to detrimental effect on our environment. Sure, Canada might go ahead and mine the tar sands anyway, but the United States doesn’t have to help pollute the planet and our own states in the process.

    No matter how you look at it, the Keystone XL proposal was a slimy, scam of a deal. America is better than that.

    We can create good-paying jobs that build our families and our economy for the future without hurting our environment today.
    We can invest in innovative energy technology that not only reduces our dependence on dirty fuel but also puts us in the lead in critical, emerging markets.
    We can prioritize good jobs and a competitive economy of the future, with all the upsides of American energy production and innovation and far, far fewer of the downsides that Keystone carried.
    Let’s focus on more of those deals going forward.

    Sally Kohn is a Fox News Contributor and grassroots strategist. You can find her online at http://sallykohn.com.




    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/...eal-all-along/

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    MW
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    5 Reasons Why the Keystone Pipeline is Bad for the Economy

    by Brendan Smith
    The American labor movement is once again facing a most controversial issue — the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. While the KXL debate has largely centered around the environmental risks, from labor’s perspective opening up the Canadian Tar Sands is often seen as an economic, not an environmental, issue. And it’s no wonder: Construction unemployment is double the national average and, from a worker’s perspective, Keystone jobs will be good-paying union jobs in an economy that increasingly offers up only minimum-wage service work.
    As AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka explained last year, “mass unemployment makes everything harder and feeds fear. . . opponents of the pipeline [need to] recognize that construction jobs are real jobs, good jobs.”¯ KXL advocates have worked hard to capitalize on this fear by arguing that labor must choose between creating jobs and protecting the planet.
    While labor leaders weigh the pros and cons of building KXL, they should keep in mind that the pipeline is as much a threat to our economy as it is to our planet. After a year of extreme weather — at an extreme cost to the economy — this age old jobs vs. environment debate is emerging as a false choice. Hurricanes, floods, and droughts are already having a devastating effect on American jobs, and that is nothing compared to what will happen if we throw open the spigot to the tar sands from Canada, considered the dirtiest oil in the world.
    Here are 5 reasons why building the Keystone pipeline is bad for the economy — and workers.
    1. Building the Keystone pipeline and opening up the Tar Sands will negatively impact national and local economies: Burning the recoverable tar sands oil will increase the earth’s temperature by a minimum of 2 degree Celsius, which NYU Law School’s Environmental Law Center estimates could permanently cut the US GDP by 2.5%. At the same time state and local economies are already buckling under the real-time economic effects of our nation’s dependence on fossil fuels. In the past two years, the vast majority of U.S. counties ““ 67 percent ““ were affected by at least one of the eleven $1 billion dollar extreme weather events. Superstorm Sandy alone caused an estimated $80 billion in damage. The drought that affected 80% of US farmland last summer destroyed a quarter of the US corn crop and did at least $20 billion damage to the economy.
    2. The same fossil fuel interests pushing the Keystone pipeline have been cutting, not creating, jobs: Despite generating $546 billion in profits between 2005 and 2010, ExxonMobil, Chevron, Shell, and BP reduced their U.S. workforce by 11,200 employees over that period. In 2010 alone, the top five oil companies slashed their global workforce by 4,400 employees “” the same year executives paid themselves nearly $220 million. But at least those working in the industry as a whole get paid high wages, right? Turns out that 40 percent of U.S oil-industry jobs consist of minimum-wage work at gas stations. Instead of bankrolling an industry that is laying off workers and threatening our economic future, isn’t it time to take the billions in subsidies going to oil companies and invest instead in a sector that both creates jobs and protects the planet?
    3. Unemployment will rise: According to Mark Zandi, the Chief Economist of Moody’s Analytics: “Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on the job market in November, slicing an estimated 86,000 jobs from payrolls.”¯ In the wake of Hurricane Irene, the number of workers filing unemployment claims in Vermont went from 731 before Irene to 1,331 two weeks afterwards. Hurricane Katrina wiped out 129,000 jobs in the New Orleans region “” nearly 20 percent. For the U.S. economy as a whole, 2011 cost US taxpayers $52 billion.
    4. Poor and working people will be disproportionately affected: KXL and projects like it result in disproportionately negative impact on already struggling working families. According to a recent report by the Center for American Progress called “Heavy Weather: How Climate Destruction Harms Middle- and Lower-Income Americans, lower-and middle income households are disproportionately affected by the most expensive extreme weather events. Sixteen states were afflicted by five or more extreme weather events in 2011-12. Households in disaster-declared counties in these states earn $48,137, or seven percent below the U.S. median income.
    5. Building the sustainable economy, not the Keystone pipeline, will create far more jobs: Our nation is in desperate need of jobs. Approving the Keystone pipeline locks our nation into a trajectory of guaranteed job loss and threatens the stability of the US economy. Why keep the “job-killing”¯ course, when the alternative-energy path is already out-performing other sectors of the economy. For example, the solar industry continues to be an engine of job growth — creating jobs six times faster than the overall job market. Research by the Solar Foundation shows a 13 percent growthin high-skilled solar jobs spanning installations, sales, marketing, manufacturing and software development — bringing total direct jobs to 119,000 in the sector. And according to the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts”“Amherst, investment in a green infrastructure program would create nearly four times as many jobs as an equal investment in oil and gas.
    A study by Synapse Energy Economics developed a Transition Scenario for the electric power industry based on reducing energy consumption, phasing out high-emission power plants, and building new, lower-emission energy facilities. The study estimated the number of “job years”¯ “” one new worker employed for one year “” that would be created by the Transition Scenario over a decade:

    • 444,000 job-years for construction workers, equivalent to 44,400 construction workers working full time for the entire decade.
    • 90,000 job-years for operations and maintenance workers, equivalent to about 9,000 full time workers employed over the decade.
    • 3.1 million indirect jobs for people designing, manufacturing, and delivering materials and jobs in local economies around the country induced by spending by workers hired in the Transition Scenario.

    Organized labor is right to demand that public policy pay attention to our desperate need for jobs. But the Keystone XL pipeline will only make our jobs crisis worse by making our climate crisis worse. Plus, there are lots of pipelines that need fixing. Construction workers can be put to work rebuilding our crumbling natural gas transmission pipeline system — this will create good union jobs and cut carbon emissions. And these same workers can rebuild our crumbling water infrastructure. If labor is going to fight for jobs, let’s fight for jobs that build the future we want for ourselves and our children, not ones that will destroy that future.

    http://www.labor4sustainability.org/...r-the-economy/
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    MW
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    The Pipeline From Hell: There’s No Good Reason to Build Keystone XL

    No lasting jobs, no cheaper gas, and a chance to kill off one-fourth of U.S. farmland and maybe the planet. Why are both parties going all out to get such a crappy deal?

    The Senate will vote Tuesday on whether to authorize the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. The Republican-led House approved the initiative Friday by a wide margin. The Senate’s still-Democratic majority will bring the bill to the floor for the first time because of newfound support for the initiative within the party, mostly to boost Sen. Mary Landrieu’s bid for reelection in Louisiana as she heads into a runoff with Rep. Bill Cassidy, a Republican. Cassidy leads in every poll of likely voters in that race by an average of 5 percentage points.
    Support for the pipeline has surged among Democratic legislators in the wake of the midterm elections, when Democratic senators in red states were swept out of office. Those that remain—among them Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, and Claire McCaskill of Missouri—are eager to boost their pro-energy, pro-business bona fides.

    If Democratic support is new, Republicans’ enthusiasm for the project is not. Friday’s vote was the ninth time the House has approved the pipeline under a Republican majority. As soon as the midterm results had rolled in, the victorious party’s messaging shifted en masse. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus made the TV rounds on Election Night, and by the time he arrived on The Daily Show’s live edition, he had his message down to a T: “I think that what we’re going to see is that the president’s got to come to the table, and both parties are going to have to work together to get things done… It’s going to take the president saying ‘I want to work with you, I want to pass some of these jobs bills, I want to pass the Keystone Pipeline and get things done.”

    It’s a well-worn, exceedingly vague message. From his phrasing, it seems that the pipeline is a no-brainer, a job-creation machine that enjoys support from Republicans and Democrats alike. Priebus mentioned it in seemingly every post-election appearance, references made their way into victory speeches from the GOP’s biggest power players, and they’ve since declared the project’s approval a top priority.

    It seems America’s two major parties are finally coming together in favor of a significant legislative initiative. But should they be?

    Keystone XL would be an addition to the existing Keystone Pipeline System. It would be built by TransCanada Corp. and would run from Alberta’s tar-sands fields through Montana and South Dakota to link up with the system in Steele City, Nebraska. It would transport bitumen and liquefied natural gas drawn from the tar sands to refineries on the Gulf Coast, mainly in Texas.


    The XL addition was proposed in 2008, and studies on the project’s potential economic and environmental impact were commissioned in 2010 and 2011. President Obama rejected the project’s application in 2012 amid protests that it would hurt Nebraska’s Sand Hills region. An adjusted route through Nebraska has since been proposed, and a State Department report declared the project’s environmental effect was “not significant,” but the Obama administration announced in April 2014 that the review of the project has been extended indefinitely.

    So why, you might ask, are many of our leaders so eager to build it? The answer is straightforward: money and political gain.


    Why, if the project will create a lot of jobs and have little environmental impact, does it continue to be met with opposition? To begin with, it won’t actually create many jobs. According to a George Mason University study, via Bloomberg, the pipeline’s construction could create between 2,500 and 20,000 jobs. More likely (PDF), it’ll be between 2,500 and 4,650, assuming that a huge chunk (as much as 50 percent) of steel production will be outsourced to China, Canada, and India. Moreover, when construction ends, the number of permanent jobs could fall to 20. Yes, 20.

    A rosier estimate, from the State Department’s report and Newsweek, puts the number of permanent jobs at 35. A study by Cornell’s Global Labor Institute claims that the project may actually kill more American jobs than it creates due to pipeline spills, additional fuel costs in the Midwest, and other factors. It also claims that 85-90 percent of people hired for the line’s construction will not be from the areas through which the pipeline is running.


    So, it won’t create that many jobs. After all, it’s merely taking oil drilled in Canada to pre-existing refineries on the Gulf Coast. But it’s a $7 billion project, and the State Department has said it will have a minimal negative effect on the environment. Plus, it could increase America’s energy independence and strengthen our position in the Middle East and beyond. These are all good reasons to move ahead with the plan, but unfortunately, none of them are actually true.


    The pipeline is a $7 billion project, but only $3 billion-$4 billion of that would be headed to the U.S. The rest is going to wherever that steel is getting outsourced. The claim of reduced dependence on foreign oil suppliers is also suspect. China has already invested billions in Canada’s oil sands, and Chinese corporations are upping their stakes all the time. Much of the oil transported by the pipeline will be refined in Port Arthur, Texas, where the main refinery is half-owned by the state-owned oil company of Saudi Arabia (PDF). The Keystone project is not an American one, but a global one, financed and favored by major multinational oil interests. Besides, real domestic oil production—oil drilled and refined in the U.S. by nominally American companies—has already increased 70 percent under the Obama administration.



    All of this means that the pipeline’s approval would essentially be a continuation of the status quo, with a few billion dollars kicked the U.S. economy’s way. Except that the project would, in spite of the State Department’s claims, have drastic effects on the environment on both local and global levels. That study published by the State Department was conducted by Environmental Resources Management (ERM), a firm that listed TransCanada, the would-be pipeline builder, as a client in its marketing materials a year before it began the Keystone contract.

    Both ERM and TransCanada told the State Department at the time that they had not worked together for at least five years, a term of the contract meant to limit conflict of interest. Of course, any doubts about a conflict of interest evaporated when it emerged that up until the summer of 2013, a division of ERM had been “working alongside TransCanada on the Alaska Pipeline Project.” These are two in a laundry list of troubling connections between the two companies.


    Considering, then, that the State Department study was conducted by TransCanada’s business partner, it’s little surprise that it failed to find any environmental consequences for the project. The reality is far different. On a local level, pipeline leaks and spills could have a number of drastic effects. Recent leaks from similar lines have been bad. Really bad. A New York Times article cites a 2010 leak of 840,000 gallons of bitumen into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River. The cleanup has cost $1 billion so far, and continues today.


    It also mentions an Arkansas leak that sent 210,000 gallons of bitumen running through the streets of small-town Mayflower and left local residents with respiratory problems, nausea, and headaches. The proposed Keystone route would see it “pass over the Ogallala Aquifer, the lifeblood of Great Plains agriculture,” where the water table is close to the surface. A major leak could poison the water supply of large swaths of the Midwest that add up to one quarter of the nation’s farmland.


    The pipeline also has environmental consequences on a larger scale. The pipeline would encourage accelerated extraction of Canada’s tar sands, which have greenhouse gas emissions 81 percent greater than those of conventional oil. By most measures, it is the dirtiest fossil fuel on the planet. James Hansen, formerly of NASA, claimed in a 2012 op-ed that the tar sands contain twice the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by global oil use in our entire history. If true, its exploitation along with our continued use of fossil fuels at present levels would bring carbon concentration in the atmosphere above the 500 parts per million threshold often discussed by climatologists as the point of no return. That would create an irreversible cycle wherein the climate is beyond our control. Hansen describes it as “game over for the environment.”


    Even if that’s an alarmist prediction, and Canada will exploit their tar sands with or without the Keystone XL Pipeline, there is no question that its construction will not help with controlling emissions, boosting energy independence, or creating jobs. The only people it will benefit are TransCanada, the Canadian oil companies (many part-owned by Chinese and Mideast interests) working in the tar sands, the multinational oil companies who will refine what it brings to the Gulf Coast, and a few thousand workers. Temporarily.


    So why, you might ask, are many of our leaders so eager to build it? The answer is straightforward: money and political gain. The Democrats, feeling vulnerable after a midterm rout, are eager to move to the pro-business center and push through a “jobs plan.” A Nov. 12 Pew Research poll shows 59 percent of Americans favor building the pipeline, which provides some political cover from the backlash Democrats will likely get from environmentalists and other sections of the party’s base.


    It also conveniently caters to the interests of Big Energy, some of the biggest campaign donors to both parties. Republicans, in the House especially, have been pushing Keystone for some time and raking in donations in the process. Now, Blue Dog Democrats like Mary Landrieu are happy to hop on board. After all, some of the world’s biggest energy firms, like Exxon Mobil, have been paying her campaign bills for some time.


    An initiative most thought would be pushed by the Republican majorities in the next Congress will come to the floor in the current lame-duck session. In a rather pathetic political maneuver, the Senate Democrats will try to force the president’s hand before the new Republican majority gets the chance, apparently to help in a single Senate runoff election that will not in any way alter the upper chamber’s political landscape. After all, the Democrats have no chance of keeping their majority even if Landrieu wins.


    For his part, Obama has said he will veto the measure. Pundits widely expected that he would insist on the need to wait for the results of further studies and the Supreme Court ruling on land use in Nebraska. Instead, he came out Thursday with an unequivocal rejection of the premise on which the argument for the pipeline is built: “Understand what this project is: It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else. It doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices. If my Republican friends really want to focus on what’s good for the American people in terms of job creation and lower energy costs, we should be engaging in a conversation about what we are doing to produce more homegrown energy.”


    The president is right in his criticisms, but wrong to reserve them only for the Republican Party. Many from his side of the aisle are now just as wrong on this issue as his opponents are.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...ystone-xl.html
    Last edited by MW; 01-13-2015 at 11:51 AM.

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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Attn, Obama: Three Reasons to Build Keystone XL Pipeline

    Nick Gillespie|Nov. 19, 2014 11:23 am

    So a bill to push the Keystone XL Pipeline failed to get enough support in the Senate yesterday. It's likely that when the new, GOP-controlled Congress takes over in 2015, something similar will sail through and President Barack Obama will veto or otherwise quash plans to build the thing.

    A year and change ago, Reason TV released "3 Reasons to Build the Keystone XL Pipeline." Take a look above and go here for a full writeup.


    Vote or no vote, veto or no veto, this much is pretty clear:

    There's something seriously wrong when the government is able to stymie the building of a private project. Yes, there are eminent-domain abuse issues surrounding some aspects of the pipeline and those should be dealt with. But there's simply no good argument for the government holding up things. This isn't about jobs (the numbers, real and imagined, in those sorts of scenarios are always guess work and it's not the government's job to create jobs anyway) and it's not about the environment (the Canadian petroleum products are going somewhere, so the idea that not building the pipeline will reduce global warming or whatever is simply cant). But given their willingness to support any sort of taxpayer-funded boondoggle (and the temp jobs those useless projects generate), the liberal Democratic opposition to building the pipeline is really just bald hypocrisy.

    http://reason.com/blog/2014/11/19/at...o-build-keysto


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  9. #9
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    What is the Keystone XL Pipeline?


    Building the Keystone XL will bring 830,000 barrels a day of Canadian crude oil to the Gulf Coast where it will be made into gasoline, diesel or aviation fuel to be sold in the United States.



    KXL will help “fuel the economy”




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    Quit Dragging its Feet


    Recent News



    With Court’s Ruling, It’s Time to Move Forward and Build Keystone XL Now
    Washington D.C.- Consumer Energy Alliance Exec. VP
    Michael Whatley praised the Nebraska Supreme Court for its move today to vacate a lower court’s decision on the constitutionality of L.B. 1161, allowing the law and Keystone XL’s route through the state to stand. “Now that the Nebraska Supreme Court has vacated the lower court’s ruling and…




    Re-Gifting False Carbon Claims on Keystone XL

    This week pipeline critics are championing “new” evidence that Keystone XL will lead to carbon Armageddon. Notwithstanding abundant evidence to the contrary, a handful of anti-Keystone XL organizations presented President Obama with a memo that purports to shed new light on the carbon saga. Unfortunately, the report argues the same unsupported claims – just with a little…




    South Dakota Recertification Will Benefit State and Nation

    Writing for Capital Journal, Consumer Energy Alliance Executive Vice President Michael Whatley argues that the recertification of the Keystone XL Pipeline by the South Dakota’s Public Utilities Commission will bring Americans one step closer to gaining the enormous benefits of the project: Congressional Republicans have long pushed for construction of Keystone XL and have vowed…




    Why Some Communities Are Thankful for Pipelines This Year

    Workers and counties in Texas and Oklahoma along the route of the Gulf Coast pipeline – the southern leg of the Keystone XL system – have more to be thankful for this holiday season due to $3.6 billion in new economic activity generated by the project. A report commissioned by Consumer Energy Alliance found that…




    Read CEA’s Letters of Support for KXL Approval

    In the coming weeks, Congress will vote on H.R. 5682 and S. 2280, measures to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. As part of its mission to encourage the development of American energy infrastructure and keep costs low for consumers, Consumer Energy Alliance submitted letters to leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives in support…




    American voters have spoken – Build KXL Now

    What is one issue that might make bipartisan progress after a GOP midterm takeover? The Keystone XL pipeline. A realignment of the Senate has tipped the scales in favor of the pipeline’s approval. A CEA analysis of previous voting records shows that the election of pro-Keystone candidates in West Virginia, Iowa, and Colorado means that there are…




    If Only Keystone Were on the Ballot in November…

    Writing for Real Clear Energy, Consumer Energy Alliance Executive Vice President Michael Whatley argues that the Keystone XL Pipeline is a no-brainer in an election season defined by close, contentious races. If Only Keystone Were on the Ballot in November… By Michael Whatley If Keystone XL were on the ballot this Election Day the Associated Press…




    Climate Advocate Cites KXL Parent as Progressive Stewards of the Environment

    A nonprofit organization dedicated to partnering with companies to better disclose their environmental impact has named TransCanada, the company proposing to build the Keystone XL Pipeline, as one of 187 companies “which demonstrate a superior approach to climate change…” The Carbon Disclosure Project based in the U.K. includes TransCanada, the builder of Keystone XL, on…


    Pipeline Property Taxes Could Fill Highway Funding Gap

    For nine rural counties in South Dakota, $17.8 million in new pipeline property tax revenue could be an answer to it’s highway funding problem. A study release from Pew Charitable Trust found there is not enough money to pay for upgrades or repairs to the nations highways. Argus Leader: South Dakota, which has more than 80,000 miles of…

    $55 Million in Tax Revenue Stranded by Keystone XL Delays

    The U.S. Department of State estimates rural counties in Nebraska, Montana and South Dakota will collect more than $55 million in property taxes during the Keystone XL Pipeline’s first year of operation. The new infusion will be the “largest tax revenue generated by the proposed project…” County Actual Total Property Tax Revenue…


    http://buildkxlnow.org/

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  10. #10
    MW
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    eporting and commentary from OnEarth editors and correspondents
    Pipeline Inspector-Turned Whistleblower Calls Keystone XL a Potential Disaster
    BY STEPHEN LACEY
    January 4, 2012 | (1) COMMENTS



    Mike Klink: Let’s be clear -- I am an engineer; I am not telling you we shouldn’t build pipelines. We just should not build this one.

    By forcing the White House to make a decision on the politically and environmentally-toxic Keystone XL pipeline as part of an agreement reached in December to extend the payroll tax cut, Republicans are being lambasted by environmental groups for undercutting the federal environmental review process.

    Now a whistleblower is claiming that the company overseeing the development of the proposed project, TransCanada, also has a track record of undercutting quality at the expense of the environment -- further calling into question the decision by Congress to prevent a new federal environmental impact study for Keystone XL.

    Mike Klink is a former inspector for Bechtel, one of the major contractors working on TransCanada’s original Keystone pipeline, completed in 2010. Klink says he raised numerous concerns about shoddy materials and poor craftsmanship during construction of the pipeline, which brings tar sands crude from Canada to Midwestern refineries in the U.S. Instead of actually addressing the problems, Klink claims he was fired by Bechtel in retaliation. He filed acomplaint with the Department of Labor in March of 2010, and made his storypublic last fall.

    Klink, who says he’s speaking as an engineer and not an environmentalist, has just published a scathing op-ed in the Lincoln Journal Star criticizing Keystone XL, a proposed extension of the current tar sands pipeline network that would bring crude down to refineries in the Gulf Coast, crossing a major aquifer along the way:

    As an inspector, my job was to monitor the construction of the first Keystone pipeline. I oversaw construction at the pump stations that have been such a problem on that line, which has already spilled more than a dozen times. I am coming forward because my kids encouraged me to tell the truth about what was done and covered up.
    When I last raised concerns about corners being cut, I lost my job -- but people along the Keystone XL pathway have a lot more to lose if this project moves forward with the same shoddy work.

    A recent environmental impact statement -- outsourced by the State Department to another major TransCanada contractor -- found that there would be "limited adverse environmental impacts" associated with the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline. Opponents of the pipeline cried foul, saying it was yetanother major conflict of interest between the State Department and TransCanada.
    Klink’s assertions about poor management of the first Keystone pipeline provide yet more ammunition for critics of the pipeline:

    What did I see? Cheap foreign steel that cracked when workers tried to weld it, foundations for pump stations that you would never consider using in your own home, fudged safety tests, Bechtel staffers explaining away leaks during pressure tests as "not too bad," shortcuts on the steel and rebar that are essential for safe pipeline operation and siting of facilities on completely inappropriate spots like wetlands.

    I shared these concerns with my bosses, who communicated them to the bigwigs at TransCanada, but nothing changed. TransCanada didn’t appear to care. That is why I was not surprised to hear about the big spill in Ludden, N.D., where a 60-foot plume of crude spewed tens of thousands of gallons of toxic tar sands oil and fouled neighboring fields.

    TransCanada says that the performance has been OK. Fourteen spills is not so bad. And that the pump stations don’t really count. That is all bunk. This thing shouldn’t be leaking like a sieve in its first year -- what do you think happens decades from now after moving billions of barrels of the most corrosive oil on the planet?

    Let’s be clear -- I am an engineer; I am not telling you we shouldn’t build pipelines. We just should not build this one.
    White House officials say the 60-day timeline forced by Congress on the Keystone XL pipeline will force the Administration to deny the project. This is exactly what Republicans want -- but only to make the pipeline an election issue, not to consider the myriad environmental issues being raised.

    http://archive.onearth.org/blog/whis...ntial-disaster
    Last edited by MW; 01-13-2015 at 06:03 PM.

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