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The stuff you won't see in the liberal media (click "Replies" for top stories)
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Beckwith

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Just a simple Independence Day economic comparison

"Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe."
 -- Steven Chu [2008], Barack Obama's Secretary of Energy

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"Drill baby, drill."
 --  Rick Perry [2017],  Donald Trump's Energy Secretary

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Beckwith

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Mr. Obama, you owe America an apology

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"We can't just drill our way to lower gas prices," Barack Obama told an audience four years ago at the University of Miami.

Marita Noon (WesternJournalism) says like this year, it was an election year, and Obama was running for re-election.

Later in his speech, he added: "Anybody who tells you that we can drill our way out of this problem doesn't know what they're talking about, or just isn't telling you the truth." He scoffed at the Republicans for believing that drilling would result in $2 gasoline -- remember, this was when prices at the pump, in many places, spiked to more than $4 a gallon. "You can bet that since it is an election year, they're already dusting off their three-point plans for $2 gas. I'll save you the suspense: Step one is drill, step two is drill, step three is drill."

Well, Mr. Obama, you owe America, and the Republicans, an apology. Your snarky comments were wrong. The Republicans' supposed three-point plan, which you mocked, was correct.

Today, on the four-year anniversary of another of Obama's inaccurate predictions, we have drilled our way to $2 gas -- despite the fact that he has supported the anti-fossil-fuel movement's efforts to impede and block oil production. In fact, due to American ingenuity and initiative that successfully combined horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, we are producing so much, it has resulted in a global glut of oil and a national average gasoline price of $1.70.

He bragged: "Under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years." True, but not because of Obama's support. A Congressional Research Service report released last year found that since fiscal year 2010, oil production on federal lands is down by 10 percent, while it is up 89 percent on state and private lands. Obama aligns himself with those who want to "keep it in the ground" -- who count his "no" decision on the Keystone pipeline as their biggest victory to date.

He then launched into his requisite rhetoric on renewables: "The United States consumes more than a fifth of the world's oil. But we only have 2% of the world's oil reserves. That means we can't just rely on fossil fuels from the last century. … Because of investments we've made, the use of clean renewable energy in this country has nearly doubled. … As long as I'm President, I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy. I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China."

Wait! Wind and solar do not reduce our need for oil. Wind turbines and solar panels do produce electricity -- albeit ineffectively, inefficiently and uneconomically. But we do not have an electricity shortage. We do not import electricity. Automobiles run on gasoline made from oil -- for which the president's new budget includes a $10 a barrel tax that translates to about 24 cents per gallon.

Four years ago, in Miami, he said: "…high gas prices are like a tax" straight out of everyone's paycheck. Yet today, he wants to increase the nearly $.45 a gallon we currently pay in taxes to $.69.

Obama's false, "We can't just drill our way to lower gas prices" prediction was made during an election year. This election year is a good time to be reminded that, without government "investment," we did drill our way to lower gas prices. At the same time, taxpayer-supported renewable projects continue to go bankrupt and be shuttered -- taking with them our money and the jobs they were supposed to create.

Yes, Mr. Obama, you owe America an apology.


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Beckwith

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Pipe dreams revisited

Stilton Jarlsberg says the cartoon and commentary below are from four years ago, showing just how long Obama has been stalling on the Keystone XL pipeline until finally killing it last week. He did so not because it would cause environmental harm (the State Department determined it wouldn't), and not because it wouldn't produce jobs (it would have produced plenty), but because he thought approving it would have made him look like less of a "leader" when he goes to Paris to conspire with the other anti-capitalists in the climate change club. What a schmendrick...

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Only a few short weeks ago, a wee-wee'd up Barack Obama called a joint session of congress, told them that he had a plan for creating jobs, and demanded loudly (and repeatedly) that they "pass it now!"

Which is why it's more than a little jaw-dropping that this same president has taken a look at a plan to create thousands of new high-paying jobs which wouldn't cost taxpayers a penny...and decided to "pass on it now."

The Keystone XL project would build a pipeline to bring oil to the United States from lovable, maple-syrup distilling, beaver-pelt wearing Canada instead of sending our oil money to the "Death to America" lunatics in the Middle East... thereby giving us more of that "energy independence" that Obama usually can't shut up about, while creating jobs out the wazoo.

But despite Obama's usual dedication to "the fierce urgency of now," he's decided to postpone a decision on the pipeline until after the next election...for fear of losing the votes of environmentalists who are terrified of long pipes for reasons only their Freudian psychoanalysts can understand.

And he's softened the blow by implying that Americans really wouldn't be up to the job of building the pipeline anyway...recently referring to us as soft, lazy, and lacking in the will and imagination to tackle "big jobs."

Unfortunately, Canada can't afford to wait to sell their oil...and so they're preparing to sell it to China instead. Which will be disastrous for the environment that Obama claims to be so concerned about...and probably disastrous for the United States since China is devoting a lot of their energy use these days to building up their military.

But the job of the president is to make tough decisions, and Obama has decided that his re-election is far more important than jobs, energy, or national security.

Toon27.jpg



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Beckwith

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Obama vetoes Keystone

James Beattie is reporting that -- as expected -- Barack Obama vetoed legislation approving the "Keystone XL Pipeline" yesterday. The pipeline would have transported oil from Alberta to the United States Gulf Coast.

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The Hill reported Tuesday the veto came without too much fanfare and in private.

In his veto statement, Obama said:

"Through this bill the United States Congress attempts to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest."

Circumventing "longstanding and proven processes?" Are you kidding me?

John Kemp says Obama's veto came after more than six years of environmental reviews

The exhaustive review process has generated literally thousands of pages of analysis -- covering everything from its impact on groundwater, vegetation, threatened and endangered species, and socioeconomics -- to take just a few examples.

Keystone has kept dozens of lawyers, lobbyists, economists, bureaucrats and specialists in environmental impact statements in highly-paid full-time employment for years, and still Obama says it needs more time to study the issues and reach a decision on whether the pipeline is in the national interest.

Environmental activists have mastered techniques that, at a minimum, serve to delay energy projects and make them more costly, but that in many instances also succeeded in killing projects altogether.



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Beckwith

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Obama seeks wilderness designation for Alaska

Fox News is reporting that Barack Obama has announced a plan to "preserve" Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He's asking the GOP-led Congress to designate more than 12 million acres -- a land mass the size of Nebraska -- as a protected wilderness, which includes the potentially oil-rich Coastal Plain.

The designation would halt oil exploration in Alaska's northeast corner and give the region the highest degree of federal protection available to public lands.

The refuge's Coastal Plain has long been at the center of the struggle between conservationists and advocates of greater energy exploration in the United States, and Obama's efforts to win wilderness designation will likely face stiff resistance in the Republican-controlled Congress.

Alaska's top elected officials -- including Gov. Bill Walker and senior Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, both Republicans -- have already reacted angrily at the administration's moves.

Obama announced the move in a 60-second White House video.

"Alaska's National Wildlife refuge is an incredible place -- pristine, undisturbed," he said. "It supports caribou and polar bears, all manner of marine life, countless species of birds and fish, and for centuries it supported many Alaska native communities. But it's very fragile."

Obama said the move is part of a comprehensive Interior Department plan to protect the refuge and designate new areas for preservation and that he will call on Congress "to make sure they take it one step further" by designating the area as wilderness.

If Congress agrees, it would be the largest wilderness designation in the country.

Obama's move to halt oil exploration comes at the same time that Team Obama is claiming credit for the downturn in gas process.


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Beckwith

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Obama mocked drilling -- now claims credit

Keith Koffler says this video provides a great look at the contrast between candidate Obama, who mocked Republicans for chanting "Drill baby, drill," and Obama Oil Opinion Version 2.0, in which he claims credit for the very $2 gas he said we wouldn't achieve.

"You know, we can't just drill our way to lower gas prices," Obama said in 2012, less than two years before we did just that.

"Oil production on federal lands fell six percent since 2009, whereas production on private lands increased 61 percent, gains that happened not because of Barack Obama, but in spite of him," said Fox News correspondent William La Jeunesse.

I'll be back soon. I'm going to the gas station to fill up. I don't care that I've still got half a tank, I just enjoy it too much.


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Beckwith

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Obama says "gas prices aren't gonna be low forever"

Talk about a party pooper.

Keith Koffler is reporting that yesterday, in Phoenix, Scold-in-Chief Barack Obama warned everyone that gas prices will inevitably rise, and don’t start going out and buying "gas guzzlers," which of course must be disappointing to the thousands of American workers involved in building gas guzzlers, but whatever.

Low gas prices of course are a threat to Obama’s green agenda and his plans to get us all in electric vehicles and low-weight cars that wrap easily around telephone polls and kill lots of people for the sake of theoretical global warming which fuel-efficient cars wouldn't make a dent in anyway.

You can bet that Obama will do everything he can to see higher gas prices.

Obama condemns Americans for buying "gas guzzlers," but do you know what Obama drove before he had taxpayer-provided transportation?

A gas-guzzling Chrysler 300!

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Beckwith

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We sent men to the moon in less time than Obama's dithered over Keystone

John Merline says Barack Obama said Tuesday he would veto any bill that tries to start construction on the Keystone XL pipeline before a federal review is finished -- a process in its seventh year.

You can argue whether Obama is being sincere in his desire to follow procedure, or just trying to run out the clock so he doesn't have to make a decision, but by any measure, six-plus years is a long time.

Jason Russell tries to put this in perspective at the Washington Examiner by calculating what other things someone could do while Obama's reviews held up the pipeline.

Among them: Walk 160,000 miles, read the Bible 1,200 times, play 17,520 games of Monopoly, listen to Taylor Swift's "1989" 64,752 times.

This is amusing, but there's another way to measure how ridiculously long the Keystone delay has been. That's by putting it in the context of other major U.S. construction projects, some of which Obama himself loves to highlight as grand achievements.

In six years, you could:

Design and build the Apollo spacecraft and send the first humans to orbit the moon.

Complete the Hoover Dam with time to spare.

Build the Golden Gate Bridge more than once.

Construct the Empire State Building nearly six times.

Complete the Transcontinental Railroad.

Finish most of the Erie Canal

One can only be grateful that federal reviews didn't drag on for years a time when the country was embarking on these other prosperity-enhancing endeavors.

But what will future generations of Americans say about Obama's can't-do spirit?


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Beckwith

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Obama says, "don't get used to cheap gas prices"

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P.W. Adams is reporting that Obama Barack Obama stated in a speech Wednesday that Americans shouldn't be getting too comfortable with low gas prices.  He told the Detroit News:

Folks should enjoy' the decrease in fuel costs, Obama said, but they should stay mindful that it won't last forever.

I would strongly advise American consumers to continue to think about how you save money at the pump because it is good for the environment, it's good for family pocketbooks and if you go back to old habits and suddenly gas is back at $3.50, you are going to not be real happy,

While visiting a Ford car factory -- that was shut down because of lack of sales -- just outside of Detroit today Obama will trumpet the rebirth of the auto industry and encourage Americans to switch to fuel efficient and hybrid cars like the ones produced in the Wayne, Michigan, plant."

Obama isn't actually concerned about how much money is in American's pocketbooks (except in the case of the top 10% of wage earners). He is concerned that consistently low gas prices will destroy his legacy. The legacy that consists of fundamentally transforming the United States into a more environmentally sustainable nation. Where high energy prices force people to live more "green" is the norm, and centralized monitoring and control of energy resources is the rule of the land.



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Beckwith

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House votes to approve Keystone pipeline -- showdown looms in Senate

Fox News is reporting that the House voted Friday to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, sending the bill to the Senate for a showdown vote next week that could -- for the first time -- put the legislation on President Obama's desk.

The measure passed Friday on a 252-161 vote, with 31 Democrats joining Republicans to approve it. An identical bill is expected to be voted on in the Senate on Tuesday.

The legislation has re-emerged after Democratic Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu began championing it, in a bid to not only help the energy industry but also her struggling runoff Senate bid. In response, Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy, who is running against Landrieu in the runoff, sponsored the House bill that was approved on Friday.

Though the Louisiana election battle is a driving force behind the latest Keystone push, the legislation nevertheless could land on Obama's desk if the Senate passes it next week. Senate supporters said they were confident they'd have the 60 votes needed for passage.

This would force Obama to either sign it -- defying his environmentalist supporters -- or veto it.

The pipeline has been stalled by environmental reviews, objections to its route and politics for six years. The White House has threatened to veto similar attempts to move the pipeline forward.

In response to the latest efforts, Obama, traveling in Burma on Friday, indicated he still wants to let a review process run its course.

"I don't think we should short-circuit that process," he said. He said the administration thinks the project should be judged on the basis of whether it accelerates climate change, and pushed back on claims that it would be a "massive jobs bill."

After Friday's vote, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said it was time for the president to listen to the American people, especially after the Republican gains in the midterm elections, and sign the bill.

"Thousands more Americans would be working today if President Obama had put their priorities ahead of his political interests and approved the Keystone pipeline. Instead, he continues to block the project, and the new jobs, lower costs, and increased energy security it would provide," he said in a statement. "The president doesn't have any more elections to win, and he has no other excuse for standing in the way. It's time he start listening to the vast majority of Americans who support Keystone and help get more people back to work."

The 1,179-mile project is proposed to go from Canada through Montana and South Dakota to Nebraska, where it would connect with existing pipelines to carry more than 800,000 barrels of crude oil a day to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast.

Advocates say it will create thousands of jobs and aid energy security, but environmentalists warn of possible spills and say the pipeline will expedite development of some of the dirtiest oil available.

The State Department said in a Jan. 31 report the project would not significantly boost carbon emissions because the oil was likely to find its way to market by other means. It added that transporting it by rail or truck would cause greater environmental problems than if the Keystone XL pipeline were built.


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Beckwith

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Obama wins -- America loses

Jim Hoft is reporting that Canada is pulling the plug on the Keystone Pipeline and will send its oil to Asia.

The Keystone Pipeline project was expected to create tens of thousands of high paying jobs in the oil industry. The project itself would create 20,000 construction jobs. And the pipeline would bring oil from Canada and North Dakota to refineries in the United States.

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The proposed project would have extended from Alberta, Canada to Illinois, transporting approximately 400,000 barrels of crude oil per day. Estimated cost is $1.7 billion.

But Obama rejected the plan in 2011 and 2014.

Democrats are beholden to the radical green movement -- the poor and middle class be damned.

Now this…

Canada pulled the plug on Keystone and will send the oil to Asia. Watts Up With That reported:

Obama’s inability to make a decision on Keystone has finally yielded a result -- Canada has made the decision for him.

Breitbart reports Canada has just approved the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project -- a major pipeline to ship Canadian oil to Asia.

The Canadian oil will still be burnt -- in Asia, instead of America.

All the jobs and energy security which Canadian oil could have delivered to America, will instead be delivered to Asia.

Rather than purchasing crude from a friendly and allied neighbor, the United States will most likely need to continue its reliance upon hostile sources like Venezuela -- and Iraq.

Only a Democrat-socialist could make such a dangerous and irresponsible decision for the country.



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Beckwith

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Canada OKs oil pipeline to deliver oil to China -- cites Obama's refusal to OK Keystone

Rob Gillies is reporting that Canada's government approved a controversial pipeline proposal yesterday that would bring oil to the Pacific Coast for shipment to Asia, a major step in the country's efforts to diversify its oil exports if it can overcome fierce opposition from environmental and aboriginal groups.

Approval for Enbridge's Northern Gateway project was expected as Canada needs infrastructure in place to export its growing oil sands production. The project's importance has only grown since the U.S. delayed a decision on TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline that would take oil from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast.

The northern Alberta region has the world's third largest oil reserves, with 170 billion barrels of proven reserves.

Enbridge's pipeline would transport 525,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta's oil sands to the Pacific to deliver oil to Asia, mainly energy-hungry China. About 220 large oil tankers a year would visit the Pacific coast town of Kitimat and opponents fear pipeline leaks and a potential tanker spill on the pristine Pacific coast.

Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said Canada's national interest makes the pipelines essential.

He was "profoundly disappointed" that U.S. President Barack Obama has delayed a decision on the Texas Keystone XL option, and spoke of the need to diversify Canada's oil industry. Ninety-seven percent of Canadian oil exports now go to the U.S.

Meanwhile, China's growing economy is hungry for Canadian oil. Chinese state-owned companies have invested more than $40 billion in Canadian energy in the past few years.

"They are watching this very, very closely," said Wenran Jiang, an energy expert and special adviser to Alberta's Department of Energy.

"They told us as recently as a couple of weeks ago that further investment will depend on whether there will be at least opportunities to ship some of this crude to China. Currently all of their investment and production goes into the U.S. They are currently living with that," he said.

Jiang said Canada ships all its oil to the U.S. so it's vital that Canada diversify its energy exports. Canadian oil is sold at a discount compared to the prices elsewhere.

Continue reading here . . .


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Beckwith

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Rolling Stone: Obama "has all but decided" to reject Keystone

Jeff Goodell claims he knows the likely outcome to Barack Obama’s hugely controversial decision of whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. “Although no final decision has been made, two high-level sources in the Obama administration told me recently that the president has all but decided to deny the permit for the pipeline,” Goodell writes in Rolling Stone, noting that doing so would be “a dramatic move that would light up Democratic voters and donors while further provoking the wrath of Big Oil.”

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“Exactly how the president has weighed the decision on Keystone is a closely guarded secret in the White House, known only to a few senior advisors like Valerie Jarrett and Dan Pfeiffer,” Goodell explains. “But it’s no surprise that I was told recently by members of the administration that the pipeline would, in fact, be rejected. ‘If the president is really serious about his legacy on climate change, he can’t have that and approve Keystone,’ an Obama insider told me. ‘The only question now is the timing of the announcement.’”

The print version of Goodell’s feature, an editor’s note adds, was written before the State Department’s announcement, last Friday, that the decision would be once again delayed, meaning we’re not likely to find out if he’s right until after the midterm elections.

On Twitter, White House spokesperson Matt Lehrich denied the report.



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Longknife 21

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If there was any doubt that the Obamunists are abysmally ignorant about economic issues, or intentionally destroying the economy, just consider this compared to the issues they want to move forward with like Amnesty and raising the minimum wage.

Keystone construction will furnish thousands of jobs and the money spent by workers will cause a small economic boom in the areas of the route. Just the promise of it may lower the price of oil and gas, adding some "discretionary income" to most families' budgets.

But the Obamunists want to Amnesty millions of illegals and at the same time push up the minimum wage so most businesses won't be able to afford to hire any new workers, some will have lay-offs. The millions of now legal residents will apply to bring their families here and will be given preference. Those new residents can seek to bring others. This is called "chain immigration" and previous amnesty bill in 2006 estimated 106 million immigrants for approximately 8 million estimated illegals to be amnestied then.

Obama's "economic policies" are preventing new jobs, driving up prices, attempting to force up the minimum wage, and 'legalizing' tens of millions of "new workers" to compete for the few jobs available, while putting millions of American workers on disability because they can't find work, and adding millions to the welfare rolls. With new taxes he is confiscating wealth and destroying the investment and tax base. How is the govt going to pay for all this? "Borrowing" and printing money, which is destroying the value of our currency. If this is not intentional destruction of the economy, what is it?

Keystone XL is just a glimmer of hope on the economic horizon and they are determined to extinguish it.
Beckwith

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On Keystone, action can wait 

Rich Lowry says Barack Obama has urged that we make this a "year of action," and he is going to do his part by acting with vigor and dispatch to continue to study the proposed Keystone XL pipeline project.

The State Department just acted with an 11-volume, 7,000-page environmental review that concludes, like the several reviews prior to this point, that the pipeline poses no environmental hazard. You've got to hand it to the State Department -- when it is determined to act, it moves.

White House chief of staff Denis McDonough went on Meet the Press to explain all the dizzying activity taking place as the U.S. government marshals its resources to see that Keystone is perpetually reviewed.

"We have one department with a study," McDonough explained. "Now we have other expert agencies, the EPA, and many others, who have an opportunity -- the Energy Department, an opportunity to look at this and make their determinations."

For its part, the State Department still needs to evaluate whether the pipeline serves the national interest, necessitating another period of intense action that will include asking "for the views of eight federal agencies identified in [Executive Order] 13337."

Skeptics scoffed after Obama's State of the Union that he doesn't have much of an agenda for his second term. They failed to appreciate how much of that second term will be devoted to studying what is already one of the most studied proposed infrastructure projects of all time. At this rate, there will be years of action on Keystone -- with no one ever building anything.

Of course, that's the point. When there's no legitimate reason to stop a project that well-funded left-wing donors and a mini-grassroots environmentalist army want stopped, the safest course is to make sure that it is always study-ready and never shovel-ready.

The Keystone project would add roughly 800 miles of pipeline in the U.S. and carry more than 800,000 barrels of oil a day to our refineries in the Gulf from the tar sands of Alberta. It has been under consideration for more than five years, even though Hillary Clinton said in 2010 that the State Department was "inclined" to approve it.

And why not? Already the State Department -- involved because the pipeline crosses an international border -- had issued a favorable draft environmental-impact statement. Paul Knappenberger of the Cato Institute notes that a similar pipeline project, the Alberta Clipper, won approval in two short years back in 2009 with glowing marks from State -- it would "advance a number of strategic interests" and send "a positive economic signal."

Keystone XL was different; it became a hate symbol for the environmental Left. In its fevered imagination, stopping the pipeline became a way to stop the development of the "dirty" tar sands of Canada and to slow climate change. As Brigham McCown, a former administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, puts it, opponents of the pipeline thought it was a Khyber Pass where a glorious stand could be made against Canadian oil.

This was always a childish fantasy. First, because the tar sands will get developed regardless, as the latest State Department environmental review attests, and more fundamentally, because the numbers don't add up.

Conservative writer Oren Cass makes the point that the United States accounts for less than six of the 35 gigatons of annual carbon emissions worldwide, and our emissions growth has been flat, while India and China have been growing at a double-digit rate. We could end all our emissions tomorrow, and the rest of the globe would quickly make up the difference. The oil that would be transported by Keystone isn't a drop in the bucket; it's a drop in a vast ocean.

None of this matters, though, because railing against Keystone is such a potent organizing and fundraising tool for its opponents. Obama is loath to cross them and so will take swift and certain action -- to keep examining the issue closely.


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Beckwith

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Keystone XL oil pipeline clears big hurdle -- pressure grows on Obama to OK project

Ben Wolfgang is reporting that a long-awaited State Department review has raised no serious environmental objections to the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, potentially setting the stage for President Obama to approve the massive, politically charged project and dealing a blow to environmentalists who vehemently oppose it.

The lengthy Environmental Impact Study, the final version of which was released Friday afternoon, determined that the Canada-to-Texas pipeline will have little or no bearing on the overall crude oil market in North America. In other words, the report found that greenhouse gas emissions are unlikely to change significantly if the pipeline is built, since Canada will surely continue to exploit the oil sands from Alberta and move the fuel to market even if the project is denied.

With that conclusion, analysts say the study takes away a key argument from environmentalists who have made Keystone a symbol in their larger fight against fossil fuels and believe Obama’s legacy on climate change is linked to whether he signs off on the pipeline.

“Most of the opposition hinged on this environmental piece. Now that that has been debunked, it’s much harder for Keystone opponents to raise credible arguments against the project,” said Brigham McCown, former administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

State Department officials, however, cautioned against reading too much into the report. It does not offer a final recommendation of whether Keystone is in the “national interest,” the key equation that encompasses not only carbon emissions and environmental concerns but also the jobs the project will create, the national security benefits of getting more fuel from Canada rather than the Middle East and other factors.

While State did conclude that the type of heavy crude oil that would flow through Keystone is about 17 percent more “carbon-intensive” that other types of oil, the overall takeaway is that approval or denial of the pipeline will have little or no impact on the broader issue.

“Approval or denial of any one crude oil transport project, including the proposed project, is unlikely to significant impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the United States based one expected prices, oil-sands supply costs, transport costs and supply-demand scenarios,” the study reads in part.

Continue reading here . . .


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Beckwith

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Obama's Keystone dithering 

John Fund says nowhere has Barack Obama's legendary indecision been on more vivid display than in his bizarre dithering over the Keystone XL pipeline, which would move crude oil from the oil sands of Alberta, Canada, to Gulf Coast refineries some 1,700 miles to the south. The southern leg of the pipeline, from Oklahoma to the Gulf, began operating last week. But the northern end has been in limbo for five years. Last March Obama assured Senate Republicans that a decision on Keystone would be made before the end of 2013. We are still waiting. One more broken promise.

Of course, Obama claims that his indecision has nothing to do with politics. He has his excuses. His own State Department's exhaustive environmental review didn't raise any red flags, but the White House has requested another review. State concluded that "the proposed pipeline would serve the national interest," but Obama says that he needs to learn more. The pipeline would directly create 42,000 jobs over its two-year construction period in addition to tens of thousands of support jobs, but President Obama counters that it would result in only 50 "permanent" jobs for maintenance people once completed. That's like opposing the construction of the new World Trade Center after 9/11 because the only permanent jobs created would be building-maintenance ones. Sean McGarvey, president of the Building and Construction Trades Department at the AFL-CIO respond to Keystone's critics this way: "The interstate Highway System was a temporary job; Mount Rushmore was a temporary job. If they knew anything about the construction industry, they'd understand that we work ourselves out of jobs and we go from job to job to job."

It's increasingly obvious that Obama's main reason for delaying the pipeline decision is politics, pure and simple. His environmental-activist supporters, for whom reducing carbon emissions is paramount, have turned the battle into a high-profile cause célèbre. The green camp would view any decision from Obama as an act of betrayal. "It's not going to be pleasant if it is approved," Robert J. Brulle, a Drexel University professor who studies the environmental movement, told National Journal. "One thing we can be pretty sure of is that the marriage between the greens and the Democratic party will be brought under pretty severe review."

The irony is that this delay on Keystone has probably harmed the environment. Domestic oil production has increased by 50 percent since Obama took office, due to the technology revolution in the petroleum industry. Increasingly, as North Dakota Republican John Hoeven says, companies are "forced to deliver their product by rail because they don't have the pipelines." In the last ten months, there has been an average of one large oil spill a month because of rail accidents. One in Quebec last July killed 47 people and decimated an entire town.

Pipelines are inherently safer than rail for transporting oil because they can bypass population centers and fragile ecosystems; rail often rolls through major cities such as Chicago and Philadelphia and has to follow routes laid down 150 years ago.

Hoeven points out that a clear majority of both houses of Congress supports building Keystone. A total of 62 senators voted for a pro-Keystone amendment last March, enough to overcome a filibuster. Hoeven told reporters this month that if Obama doesn't decide soon, he intends to attach legislation authorizing Keystone construction to debt-ceiling legislation or another must-pass bill. "We would try to attach it to something that [President Obama] would not veto," he said.

There are real drawbacks to further delays.

"The time for a decision on Keystone is now, even if it's not the right one," Canadian foreign minister John Baird says. "We can't continue in this state of limbo." Canada's government has made it clear that if the U.S. waits too long or outright refuses further Keystone construction, they will make the Alberta crude oil available to China, leaving the U.S. even more dependent on unstable OPEC countries.

A new report from the American Petroleum Institute concludes that the U.S., in partnership with Canada, has enough energy resources to be completely independent of foreign liquid oil by 2024. Jack Gerard, the president and CEO of the Institute, says bluntly: "The question before us today is whether we have the vision and wisdom to take full advantage of our vast energy resources."

Even some leftists are starting to question Obama's stubborn delaying tactics. New York magazine columnist Jonathan Chait has admitted that blocking Keystone would do very little to slow carbon emissions overall. "The whole crusade increasingly looks like a bizarre misallocation of political attention," he wrote.

But it is easily explained once you realize that Obama in his second term has surrounded himself with advisers who are even more ideological than his first-term team. Take John Podesta. Formerly the head of the liberal Center for American Progress, he recently joined the White House staff -- and he is a rabid opponent of Keystone. He believes it will have a huge negative impact on the environment because of increased carbon emissions, despite the best available evidence. When Obama's inner circle includes advisers with this kind of religious zeal, we can predict that even more of the oil that we need to power our modern economy will be shunted onto rail lines, with all of their attendant pollution and safety hazards. But for fanatics, the facts don't matter; it's the cause that counts. And that's what John Podesta and Barack Obama's environmental allies are all about.

I would disagree with Fund's characterizing Obama's behavior as "dithering."

Obama is opposed to Keystone and his delaying tactics allow him to prevent its construction without paying a political price.


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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #18 

Canada loses patience on Keystone XL, tells U.S. to decide

David Ljunggren is reporting that Canada bluntly told the United States on Thursday to settle the fate of TransCanada Corp's proposed Keystone XL pipeline, saying the drawn-out process on whether to approve the northern leg of the project was taking too long.

The hard-line comments by Foreign Minister John Baird were the clearest sign yet that Canada's Conservative government has lost patience over what it sees as U.S. foot-dragging.

Baird also conceded that Washington might veto the project, the first admission of its kind by a Canadian government minister.

The 1,200-mile (1,930-km) pipeline would carry 830,000 barrels a day from the Alberta tar sands in western Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast. Ottawa strongly backs Keystone XL, which it says would create jobs and provide a secure supply of oil to Canada's closest ally and trading partner.

"The time for Keystone is now. I'll go further -- the time for a decision on Keystone is now, even if it's not the right one. We can't continue in this state of limbo," Baird said in a speech to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Although the State Department is responsible for ruling whether the pipeline meets the national interest, Barack Obama has made clear he will make the final decision.

Obama is under heavy pressure from environmental activists to veto the northern leg, and Washington seems in no hurry, despite the growing irritation in Ottawa. Canada is the largest single supplier of energy to the United States.

The State Department issued a largely favorable initial environmental impact assessment in March 2013, which was followed by a public comment period. On paper, at least, the department should have issued an updated impact assessment and then a final recommendation by the end of 2013.

But the timetable has slipped badly, and political observers expect Obama will act later this year, possibly after midterm congressional elections on November 4.

White House spokesman Jay Carney referred questions about Baird's comments to the State Department, citing the current review. When a decision is made, it will be announced, he told reporters.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said earlier this month that Obama had "punted" the decision but expressed confidence that the United States would eventually approve the pipeline.

Last September, he told a New York audience that the logic behind the pipeline was "simply overwhelming" and said "you don't take 'no' for an answer.


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Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #19 

Obama takes credit for oil boom he's tried to block

Investor's Business Daily says, "there he goes again."

Barack Obama is taking credit for an economic recovery that isn't happening and a surge in oil production he's had nothing to do with. If he can't be honest, it's up to us to set the record straight.

While touring an Ohio steel mill Thursday, Obama talked about jobs and the economy bouncing back.

He prattled on about factories "reopening their doors" and businesses "hiring new workers." He even went so far as to imply that his administration has "been trying" to "rebuild a new foundation for growth and prosperity to protect ourselves from future crises."

Meanwhile, in the real world, the U.S. economy continues to struggle under his watch.

As we mentioned earlier this month, "his recovery is by far the weakest since the Great Depression."

Let's add a little more perspective:

"Had Obama's recovery been only as good as the average of the past 10 recoveries, the economy would be $1.3 trillion larger. That's $4,038 for every person in the U.S., or $10,451 per household."

Not much to be proud of. Yet the White House has the nerve to brag about the economy.

But shamelessness, not honesty, is the White House's hallmark. Of course it's that lack of shame that also allows the administration to boast about America's gushing oil output, which has surpassed imports for the first time since 1995, despite the Obama war on fossil fuels.

"This milestone is a result of both increased production and administration policies, like increased fuel-economy standards that cut oil consumption, cut carbon pollution and cut consumer bills," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday.

Not only has U.S oil production exceeded imports for the first time in nearly 20 years, America is on its way to being the world's top oil producer, a watershed that will be reached in 2015, according to the International Energy Agency's most recent World Energy Outlook.

We expect the Obama administration will take credit for that, as well. But it is not responsible for any of the progress made in oil production.

Indeed, it has done more to curb oil output than increase it.

While domestic oil production is growing, it is increasing only on private and state lands. The American Petroleum Institute notes that "in areas controlled by the federal government, production has actually fallen on President Obama's watch."

We've made the same point in the past, but we feel that we have to make it again, because this administration continues to mislead on the subject.

Going back just to September, we reported that the Western Energy Alliance was pointing out that the federal government "continues to erect obstacles to domestic oil and gas production" and that the Congressional Research Service had found that "all the increases in production since 2007 have taken place on non-federal lands."

In March, we uncovered federal data that showed that oil production on federal land fell from nearly 1.7 million barrels a day to 1.6 million from fiscal 2007 to fiscal 2012. At the same time, the share of overall production on federal lands contracted from 33% to 26%.

A month earlier, we quoted Bruce Vincent, president of Houston-based Swift Energy, who said the Obama administration had "done nothing but restrict access and delay permitting." The White House, he added, "threatened this industry at every turn."

We also quoted Daniel Kish, who reported the previous October in U.S. News and World Report "that oil and gas production is actually falling on federal lands" with Obama in office. It was Kish who maintained that increased oil production "is happening in spite of the president's polices, not because of them."

Obama ran for president on the audacity of hope. He even wrote a book under that title.

But the audacity he has exhibited almost daily in the White House has nothing to do with hope and everything to do with his willingness to deceive for personal and political reasons.


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Claudia

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Reply with quote  #20 
Thank GOD that Bush signed into LAW that Order giving the rights to go after that shale oil on PRIVATE Lands so that those that own the land outright have the right to gain from the prodution of said shale oil, such as in North Dakota Balkins and those other places in Texas and now coming up to light in many other states. That ONE LAW was the BEST thing that Bush ever did, cause Obama can't undo it no matter how he tries, all he can do is to try to grab all the other lands that might possibly have shale oil inside the depths, and put them under the Fed Rules, which he really can't get away with all that easily. Lands that are privately owed aren't subject to the same restrictions and manipulations by environmentalists and government that public lands are.

In all true reality, Bush saved this Country from total annhilation on the day that he signed that Law..... He put a STOP to certain economic destruction by the Democraps/Liberals/Progressives.
Beckwith

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Shale, the friend Obama spurns 

Robert Bryce says no president in modern American history has bashed the oil and gas industry more than Barack Obama. And none has benefited from that industry more.

Proving that last sentence is easy. It requires only that we imagine what world oil prices -- and the U.S. economy -- would look like in the absence of the shale gale, the multi-state surge in domestic oil and gas production of the past few years, as drillers have figured out how to produce vast quantities of methane and liquids from shale deposits.

Let's start with oil prices. The possibility of a wider conflict in Syria has led to a surge in oil prices. They're up by about $7 per barrel since the August 21 chemical-weapons attack in Syria. Attacks on pipeline infrastructure in Nigeria and Iraq, along with the ongoing conflict in Libya and the continuing shortfalls in Iranian production, have added further uncertainty. In August, according to the Energy Information Administration, the volume of unplanned supply disruptions in the global oil market totaled 2.7 million barrels per day.

Luckily for Obama, U.S. oil production is soaring. Last year, it rose by about 800,000 barrels per day, the biggest annual increase since 1859. And it is expected to rise by more than 800,000 barrels per day this year, which would set another record.

No other country in the world is growing its oil output as quickly as the U.S., and that production is helping to offset the shortfalls created by the upheavals in other countries. On Tuesday, Anas Alhajji, the chief economist at NGP Energy Capital Management in Dallas, told me that "there's no doubt that the shale gale has helped keep a lid on oil prices."

Although Alhajji wouldn't provide any estimates for what global oil prices might be without the surge in U.S. production, it's easy to imagine their coming close to, or eclipsing, the $150 a barrel they hit back in 2008.

The savings to the U.S. economy from the surge in natural-gas production are equally obvious. Over the six-year period from 2003 to 2008, U.S. natural-gas prices averaged about $7 per thousand cubic feet. Today, the spot price for natural gas is about $3.50. To make the math simple, let's assume a price reduction of $3 per million cubic feet. With the U.S. now consuming about 70 billion cubic feet per day, the drop in natural-gas prices is saving consumers about $210 million per day, or nearly $77 billion per year.

The shale gale has also created a huge economic stimulus. The flood of low-cost natural gas is leading to a resurgence in American manufacturing, in everything from fertilizers to steel. A study released last week by the consulting firm IHS  estimated that development of "unconventional" oil and gas (a term that applies to shale and other "tight" geological formations) added nearly $300 billion -- a whopping 2 percent -- to America's GDP in 2012. IHS also estimated that more than 2.1 million jobs in the U.S. are now supported by unconventional oil and gas activity and that the number could rise to 3.9 million jobs by 2025. Unemployment in America remains stubbornly high -- in August, the rate stood at 7.3 percent -- and new-job creation remains frustratingly slow. The latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that only 63 percent of working-age Americans are now in the labor force. That's the lowest percentage in 35 years.

What might those numbers look like in the absence of the shale gale? There's simply no doubt that unemployment would be higher, perhaps dramatically so.

Recall that in 2007, Obama said he wanted to free America from "the tyranny of oil." In 2011, he called oil "yesterday's energy." He also decried the profits being made by the oil and gas sector and declared that it was time to repeal the tax preferences given to it (which cost taxpayers about $4 billion per year), calling them "oil-company giveaways."

But perhaps -- perhaps -- Obama has begun to see the light. On August 29, the White House released a document bragging about the surge in domestic oil production. That growth, it says, is "yet another reminder" that Obama is focused on "increasing America's energy independence" and that it's part of his "plan to create jobs, expand growth and cut the deficit."

It appears that Obama has decided to jump in front of the shale parade and claim it as his own. Regardless of any White House spin, it's abundantly obvious that without the shale gale, today's economy would be hamstrung by higher oil prices, higher natural-gas prices, higher unemployment, and even slower economic growth.

And no president, no matter how married to the mirage of "green jobs," wants those things during his (or her) tenure.


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CAPTAINMACK

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Reply with quote  #22 
Let us also not forget next years elections! Can you say political football?
Claudia

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Reply with quote  #23 
ODUMBO doesn't care a whit about our Country, when is everyone going to wake up and follow the MONEY in the scheme of the OIL buying that is happening.  ODUMBO wants us totally reliant on Saudi Arabia/Middle East for our Oil because he OWES THEM SO MUCH, for his position, for his life, for his education, for his training, for his false parentage, everything,  he owes US to them........  and the bill must be paid, before he gets removed or relieved of his position, that is the deal and he is living it......   WAKE UP AMERICA......
Longknife 21

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Reply with quote  #24 
If they keep putting off the Canadians may build the pipeline to their west coast to sell the oil to Pacific rim customers, including China, for higher prices than they charge us.

This is an incredibly stupid move to court radical Enviro-idiots, that intentionally damages our economy and trade relations with Canada.
Beckwith

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Reply with quote  #25 

Obama delays Keystone Pipeline decision again -- this time until 2014

Warner Todd Huston is reporting that delay after delay has kept the Obama administration from giving a final go ahead for construction of the Keystone Pipeline and the upwards to 42,100 jobs it would create. Now the State Department is saying the decision will be pushed off again -- this time until 2014.

This newest hurdle was put in place with a demand by environmentalists that the government investigate a supposed conflict of interest with the contractor that was hired to write a report on the pros and cons of the pipeline project. The review rated the project favorably.

The State Department’s Office of Inspector General announced on August 23 that the results of the investigation into whether or not Environmental Resources Management has ties to pipeline builder TransCanada Corp. won't be ready until January.

This late release of the results of the investigation almost assures that the government won't begin making any decisions until 2014.

Obama has done everything he can to distance himself from having to make this final decision. He's demurred many times to definitively say where he stands on the project and has even diminished the number of jobs the pipeline will create, characterizing the whole project as inconsequential.

Earlier in the year, Obama said that the pipeline would only create 2,000 jobs and that the whole project was just a "blip" in the big jobs picture. This is a claim even the left-leaning PolitiFact.com called false.

Not long after that, Obama absurdly downgraded his estimate even further, claiming that only 50 jobs would be created by the project.

Still, even Democrat backers of the project say they are "optimistic" that the whole thing will be approved eventually.

After a recent visit to the Canadian oil sands, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) said she believes the pipeline will eventually get the green light.


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