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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, February 03, 2012

Obama Admin Approved Canadian Oil Pipeline In 2009; Sen. Landrieu (D-LA): "Why Aren’t They Approving This [Keystone]?"

This morning the House approved (248-168) H.R. 658,the Conference Report on the FAA Reauthorization bill. The House also passed (235-177) H.R. 3578, the Baseline Reform Act. This is one of the bills Republicans wish passed to fix the broken budget process. The bill would end the practice of setting budget baselines for discretionary spending that are equal to the prior year's budget plus inflation. The Hill already has comments and positions on this bill.  Unfortunately, this bill like all previous Republican backed spending control bills will have a tough time being either voted on or considered by the US Senate controlled by big spending Democrats.

The Senate is not in session today and will reconvene at 2 PM on Monday to consider the conference report on the FAA Reauthorization bill, H.R. 658.  Yesterday, the Senate voted 96-3 to pass S. 2083, the STOCK Act, which would prohibit Members of Congress from using nonpublic insider information for trading or personal gain.

Prior to passage, the Senate voted on several amendments to the bill. By a vote of 48-51, the Senate rejected an amendment from Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) that would have prevented future Solyndra situations where executive branch appointees have positions giving them oversight, rule-making or loan-making abilities over industries where they have a financial interest. However, the Senate adopted an amendment from Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) by a vote of 58-41 that extends stock disclosure requirements to the executive branch.

National Journal reports today, “Despite environmental opposition, the Obama administration has approved a controversial oil-sands pipeline. No, not the Keystone XL pipeline that Washington has been fighting over for months. More than two years ago, on Aug. 20, 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton approved a 1,000-mile pipeline that has the capacity to send 800,000 barrels of oil a day from Canada’s oil sands to Wisconsin. That pipeline is owned by the Canadian company Enbridge and began operating in October 2010. Sound familiar? The Keystone XL pipeline, as proposed by another Canadian company, TransCanada, would send up to 700,000 barrels of oil a day 1,700 miles from Hardisty, Alberta — the same town where the Enbridge pipeline known as the Alberta Clipper originates — to U.S. refineries on the Gulf Coast.”  Makes one wonder where the voice of the liberal environmentalist were hiding when the decision was made. Obviously, the administration had to placate its democrat's union base in Wisconsin.  Change was already in the wind and Wisconsin still moved to the right in 2010.

After National Journal looked into the Clipper pipeline that was approved in 2009, they asked several senators about it. Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) said, “It speaks to the fact that the Keystone XL debate has been infused with presidential politics, partisan politics, and has not had enough to do with the discussion of how do we truly become energy self-reliant.” He added, “I think there is a legitimate argument that it’s in the national interest to build the pipeline.” Well, Mr. Democrat Senator, the partisan politics was really all on your political side of the table. Does Udall truly speaks for Colorado? Or, is he is just a liberal progressive mouth piece for Big Government like the ones depicted in the movie "Atlas Shrugged-Part One"? Not to ruin the movie, but the people of Colorado get "sc----" by the federal Government.

National Journal writes, “‘The same administration approved that one?’ said Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who also didn’t know that the Obama administration had backed the Enbridge project. ‘Then why aren’t they approving this one? I don’t know.’” Looks like another Senate Democrat who is being easily ignored (run over) by her fellow democrats. Could the reason be that she now represents a State which has become Republican.

According to the NJ story, “Lobbyists and other experts following the Keystone debate argue, however, that most of the environmental opposition to Keystone is not really about Nebraska; in fact, numerous pipelines already cross all parts of the state, including environmentally sensitive areas. Environmentalists are primarily concerned about the effect that producing oil from the carbon-rich tar sands could have on climate change and how the pipeline project fits with America’s commitment to clean energy. . . .  [P]roponents of Keystone say that politics has turned what is normally a routine approval process on its head. ‘A lot of folks in the industry have been amused by the fact that the Clipper project went through without much fanfare but that Keystone XL has generated an “all hands on deck from liberal Hollywood” moment,’ said Stephen Brown, a top lobbyist for the refiner Tesoro. ‘I think the disconnect just underscores how the Keystone pipeline has been hijacked by the politics of the time rather than decided on the merits of the project itself.’”

Interestingly, National Journal points out, “The State Department said at the time that the Clipper pipeline would increase ‘the diversity of available supplies among the United States’ worldwide crude-oil sources in a time of considerable political tension in other major oil-producing countries and regions.’ On the economic benefits, the State Department said that approval of the pipeline would send ‘a positive economic signal, in a difficult economic period, about the future reliability and availability of a portion of United States’ energy imports, and in the immediate term, this shovel-ready project will provide construction jobs for workers in the United States.’ These are the same arguments that proponents of the Keystone XL pipeline, led by congressional Republicans, cite as reason to approve that project without delay.”

The Keystone XL pipeline is supported by job creators, labor unions, Democrats, and editorial pages across the country, and yet President Obama rejected it. USA Today called it “is the most craven sort of election-year politics” and declared, “The biggest loser in this game of political football is the national interest.”

As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said the day Obama rejected the pipeline, “His decision to block the development of the Keystone XL pipeline, thousands of jobs, and increased energy security is stunning.  His decision shows a fundamental disconnect with job creation in this country, and sadly, that his focus is on appealing to his liberal environmental base rather than taking steps that can lead to thousands of jobs and energy security for our nation.”

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Posted by Bill Smith at 1:45 PM - Post Link


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