Democrats Want To Know Who Will Profit From Keystone Pipeline

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The worst kept secret in America is that the Democrats do not want the Keystone Pipeline to go forward. The reasons they use as an excuse for their resistance to Keystone escape anyone with a modicum of common sense. They publicly worry about the possibility of a spill from the pipeline causing an environmental disaster. The statistics I was able to find suggest that there are somewhere around 2.5 million miles of pipeline throughout the United States. Not all of these transport crude oil, with some carrying natural gas and other types of fuel. Do accidents happen? Most certainly they do. Does that mean we should not build the Keystone Pipeline to take advantage of the tar sands oil in Canada? Most certainly not. To make that leap of logic, one would also have to stop building cars because people have accidents in them. The list of examples that apply could go on for quite a few paragraphs, but I think you get the idea.

But, with the Democrats desperate to stop Keystone, they are using every excuse they can manufacture to put on the brakes. With the Republicans in charge in Congress making it known they will pass a bill approving the final construction of Keystone to go forward, they are getting even more desperate. Even though President Obama is sure to veto the bill, his friends in Congress want to keep him from having to make that very public choice. Therefore, they have been offering amendments to the Senate bill that will approve Keystone. I found two of those amendments to be unusual, but not so much surprising.

Fox News – Among the Democratic amendments killed by the Senate was a proposal to put an 8 cent fee on every barrel of oil which would move through the pipeline and also require financial disclosure of those who benefit from the tar sands project in Canada.

Okay, so the Republicans in the Senate were able to kill the amendments. That’s a good thing. But it begs the questions to be asked. Why single Keystone out to tax the oil that passes through it? Yes, I know they call it a fee, but that’s just a tax in disguise. Just to give you an idea of the revenue that would raise, every 1 million barrels would $80,000. You can see that would grow exponentially as more oil flowed from Canada.

To the other amendment that was killed, which is what prompted me to write this post, why is it so important for the Democrats to know who will profit from the tar sands oil being pumped south to Texas? I thought that’s how this country is supposed to work. If you see a particular product or service that you are interested in furthering, and you have the money to back that particular venture, then you are free to invest to your heart’s content. To the liberals in America who seem to miss the point, making a profit is the point of the entire process. Making said profit is not an evil deed.

Are the Democrats so worried that someone will make a dollar besides their liberal friends in the alternative or green energy sectors? Or do they just have a particular dislike of all things related to the oil and gas? They clearly embrace the jobs that are supposedly being created in the green energy fields. In contrast, they shy away from the jobs that the Keystone Pipeline will create. It appears to me their priorities are fairly clear.

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Sen. Jim Inhofe Outfoxes Dems on Climate Change in Keystone Vote

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jim inhofe
Senator Jim Inhofe, R-OK

Hat/Tip to Melissa Clyne at Newsmax.

For those of us who are political junkies, or even those of us who are simply trying to keep the newly minted Republican-controlled Congress’ feet to the fire, we’ve all noticed the posts making the rounds on Facebook, and the other social media sites stating that we’ve been sold out. Headlines like, “GOP Senate votes in favor of man-made Global Warming!” have been getting lots of “likes” and “shares” along with comments that really can’t be reprinted here.

But wait, oh faithful minions of the Tea Party movement, not so fast there!

In what The Washington Post characterizes as a “nifty, if insincere, bit of politics,” Republicans successfully parsed language in an amendment to the Senate’s Keystone XL pipeline bill that stated climate change “is real and not a hoax.”

Democrats had been trying to force Republicans to state, on the record, their positions on human contributions to climate change.

In an act of chicanery, Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, who authored a book on the subject entitled “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future,” argued in favor of the amendment, stating climate change is not a hoax.

 Senator Inhofe explained himself on the floor of the Senate.

“Climate is changing, and climate has always changed, and always will, there’s archaeological evidence of that, there’s biblical evidence of that, there’s historic evidence of that, it will always change,” Inhofe said.

“The hoax is that there are some people that are so arrogant to think that they are so powerful that they can change climate. Man can’t change climate.”

The hoax, according to Inhofe, was the idea that man was responsible for global warming.

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Then, just before the vote, Sen. Inhofe tweeted this unusual message:

 


After the vote, when all was revealed, the Democrats walked away looking petty, and had a whole bunch of egg on their collective faces.

Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island had attached the “hoax” language to the Keystone bill.

It was expected to fail, but Republicans successfully altered the wording so that they could vote for the bill while continuing to argue that climate change was not man-made.

“With Inhofe’s re-framing the question, the Democrats, trying to engineer a gotcha moment, ended up empty-handed on the vote, with neither the satisfaction of nailing down opposition to scientific consensus and without a point of leverage for future discussions of addressing the warming planet,” according to Post writer Philip Bump.

Then, after all the hub-bub had died down a bit, Senator Inhofe went back to the Senate floor to offer a bit of context, he also made sure to get it on tape so that it could be posted on Youtube.


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The State of the Union? It Sucks!

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Nancy Pelosi recently said “It is almost a false argument to say that we have a spending problem.” She went on to say that what we have is a deficit problem.  Conservatives have given Ms. Pelosi a lot of flack over her statement and maybe we have been too hard on the less than brilliant Congressman from San Francisco. After all she did use a qualifier; “almost”, which can mean “not quite”. And, she was spot on when she said the US has a deficit problem. Who could argue with that? By saying that we have a deficit problem instead of saying we have a spending problem, the loyal Democratic trooper was setting the stage for President Obama’s State of the Union address tonight. What she was saying is that if the problem is deficits, there are two ways (balanced approached) to reduce deficits: reduce spending investments and increase taxes revenue. Of course that is what you are going to hear from the president tonight, if you bother to listen to him. That plus he will blame the Republicans for his own “sequester” idea. The president has evolved once more and now he believes the cuts in the “sequester” would hurt national defence and could also hurt the great stagnation recovery we are all experiencing. He will tell his listeners that about his “balanced approach”, which is much better because it increases taxes on the evil rich.

So, Nancy Pelosi, with her double-digit IQ, did what little she could for the President. On Sunday, Lawrence Summers wrote an article in the Washington Post giving the President some advice on that “almost fake spending” problem. Mr. Summers was a past president of Harvard, he was Secretary of Treasury under Bill Clinton (bye-bye Glass- Steagall, hello bailouts for the Too Big To Fail banks), and he was an economic advisor to President Obama in 2009 and 2010. It is probably safe to say that larry Summers has a higher IQ than nancy Pelosi. So, let’s see how he would fix our economic woes.

Summers starts out sounding almost reasonable:

There should be little disagreement across the political spectrum that growth and job creation remain America’s most serious national problem. Ahead of President Obama’s first State of the Union address of his second term, and further fiscal negotiations in Washington, America needs to rethink its priorities for economic policy.

The U.S. economy grew at a rate of 1.5?percent in 2012. Last week, the independent Congressional Budget Office projected that growth will be only 1.4 percent during 2013 — and that unemployment will rise. While the CBO says that growth will accelerate in 2014 and beyond, it nonetheless predicts that unemployment will remain above 7 percent until 2016.

Later, he goes on to say:

A broader growth-centered agenda is needed to propel the economy to its “escape velocity.”

Wow! That sounds encouraging. Our Democratic pundit has four recommendations for the President.

First, as the president has recognized, the budget cuts implicit in the sequester scheduled to begin in March should not be reduced but spread over time.

As Ronald Reagan would have said; “There you go again”. Kick those spending cuts down the road. Let the next generation take care of the problem. Of course, cutting government spending will hurt the economy. Government spending is now 25% of GDP. What is it buying us? Nada!

Second, the president and Congress should fix a firm year-end deadline to address the international aspects of corporate tax reform.

It’s true that American companies have about $2 trillion in foreign earned profits that they won’t repatriate because those profits would be hit with a 35% US tax.  So, Summers’ plan is to wait a year to talk about reducing those taxes? Why wait, Larry?

Third, no American, regardless of his or her ideology, should be satisfied with the way the nation’s housing finance system is working.

Sure! Let’s see if we can create another housing bubble. Here is an idea for you, Larry. GET THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF THE HOME MORTGAGE BUSINESS!

Fourth, the transformation of the North American energy sector needs to be accelerated. This will have economic and environmental benefits. This will have economic and environmental benefits….approve the Keystone XL pipeline…Natural gas exploitation, too, could bring huge environmental benefits.

Bingo! One good idea out of four is pretty good for a Democrat. Way to go, Larry Summers.

The “State of the Union” sucks and I fully expect the Obama’s State of the Union speech will suck, as well.  The Republicans could better spend their time at home with their families tonight. It’s going to be more of the same-O, same-O: more taxes revenue enhancements and more spending investments in the future.

Well, now you know what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

Original Post: Asylum Watch

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USA R.I.P. Was it Suicide, Murder or Stupidity?

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Well, the United States of America isn’t dead yet, but she seems to be getting weaker by the day. If she does die, it will not be due to natural causes. Nations don’t die from natural causes. They either commit suicide or they are murdered. America is gravely injured. Are they self-inflicted wounds or is someone trying to kill her? Suicide is a conscious act, where as murder can be either intentional or unintentional. So, which is the case for our beloved America? Some days I am convinced she is committing suicide by way of death of a thousand self-inflicted cuts. In other words, those inflicting the cuts know they are doing harm to our nation. Other times I am equally convinced that the problem is that the majority of our politicians, the majority of our electorate, and the majority of our special interest groups are just too damn stupid to see that their “good intentions” are causing more harm than good.

We could follow this line of thought on any issue affecting America: the Federal Reserve and its monetary policies, too-big-to-fail banks and crony corporatist, insane foreign policy in the Middle East, or we could talk about the Fiscal Cliff negotiations, in which one side wants only to raise taxes and the other side wants only to reduce spending and no one says a word about growing the economy. On any of these issues, one could ask is it suicide or is it murder and, if it is murder, is it intentional or unintentional? These are very complex issues and each is worthy of a post or more. I could have included in the short list above America’s Energy Policy or the lack there of. That too is a complex issue so let’s pick one small piece of it that has been in and out of the news for the last few years.

The Keystone Pipeline

As a quick review, the Keystone Pipeline is a multibillion dollar project to construct an oil transportation pipeline from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf coast of Texas. The pipeline would carry 830,000 barrels of oil per day to refineries in Texas. The EPA has thoroughly reviewed the project and determined there would be no significant impact on the environment from the pipeline. The State Department, because the pipeline crosses international borders, reviewed the project and gave its blessing. But, for political reasons, President Obama decided last year to delay approval until after the elections because environmental groups were worried about the possible contamination of a sensitive aquifer in Nebraska. Since then, TransCanada, the company behind the project, has rerouted the pipeline away from the aquifer in question.

So, Obama won reelection and in theory can now be his own man. The Keystone project would be a real boost to our nearly stagnant economy, it would create a lot of high paying jobs, and it would reduce our dependence on imported oil from what is becoming, due to our own foreign policies, a potentially unstable part of the world, Obama’s approval now would seem to be a no brainer, right? Maybe not.

The author of this Financial Post article thinks Obama will delay the project again. The article suggest that environmentalist are still objecting but doesn’t give us much details except to say that they will demand the project be reviewed for its impact on “Climate Change”. The Heritage Foundation blog, The Foundry, thinks the environmentalist have another plan. They think the environmentalist are planning to use another of their powerful tools, The Endangered Species Act. Apparently there is a carrion beetle known as the American Burying Beetle that resides only in the Oklahoma path for the Keystone Pipeline.

Let’s talk about motivations.

President Obama _ No one is suggesting that he will kill the project but they do think he will delay it. Why would he do that? He has won his second term so there is no need to placate any given special interest group. There is nothing in his background to suggest he was ever an environmental activist. It would seem that president Obama has every reason to want to see the Keystone Pipeline move forward as soon as possible. The economic boost is obvious, but there are also overwhelming national security reasons. The Arab Spring has advanced to Syria. Unlike Libya and Egypt, when Assad falls, there will be no transitional government to step in and return calm to the nation. The civil war in Syria will continue and quite possibly get even worse after Assad is gone. Because of the bitter hatred between the Muslim factions with one group supported by Iran and the other by Saudi Arabia plus the Kurdish situation, this Syrian civil war will likely spill into Iraq. If it spills into Iraq, that could hamper the critical flow of oil from Iraq and drive up oil prices. Then there is the thing that no one wants to talk about. What if the Arab Spring advances to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the Arab Emirates? My point is that for national security reasons our President should want to see the Keystone Pipeline project finished as soon as possible. If he doesn’t, what can we assume about his motivations? Some might say that constitutes a conspiracy to commit murder on the United States of America.

Environmentalist _ What is their motivation? I divide environmentalist into three groups.

  1. The Ignorant _ They really believe that man can learn to live in harmony with the environment without causing any harm to Mother Earth. In other words, they are too stupid to see that their good intentions will do more harm than good.
  2. The True Believers _ They know that mankind can not live in harmony with the environment and they opt for Mother Earth over mankind. In other words, they are willing to help America commit suicide
  3. The Users _ They don’t give a damn about the environment. Environmentalism is a tool they use to benefit their own ends. In other words, they are willing to commit murder on the United States of America.

Okay. We have looked at only one isolated issue. But, you see where I am going, don’t you? We could do this analysis with every issue confronting America. The results would be the same. When America dies, it will be because some were willing to murder her, others were willing to help her commit suicide, and others were too damn stupid to know what they were doing.

Well, now you know what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?

Original Post: Conservative on Fire

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