Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 23, 2014

Senators Scold Obama on Keystone Pipeline

A bipartisan group of senators said Thursday that President Barack Obama and the State Department should not again delay a decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Reports earlier this week noted that construction might not be authorized until an inspector general’s report is completed in 2014.

Sens. John Hoeven, R-N.D., John Thune, R-S.D., Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., said in a joint statement that further delay would be unjustified and would prevent jobs from being created in their states.

“This marks the fourth delay of the Keystone XL project since 2011, when the State Department issued its final EIS finding no significant environmental impact and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton informed me that the agency expected to make a decision by December of that year,” Hoeven said in a statement. “This tactic of delay and deferral must stop. It is depriving America of jobs, hurting the American economy and hurting the American people.”

Landrieu, who is up for re-election in 2014 in a red state, also had strong words for the president.

“Time is up for President Obama to approve the Keystone XL pipeline,” Landrieu said. “This project will ensure we are able to replace oil imports from Venezuela and the Middle East with imports from our longtime ally Canada. It will create 43,000 much-needed jobs, and it will support fabrication and construction industries along the Gulf Coast and throughout the Midwest. Continuing to delay the pipeline will only drive Canadian production to be exported to China and Korea. We cannot miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to grow our economy, secure our energy independence and reduce our oil imports from countries that do not share our values.”

The State Department previously had been expected to issue a decision on the pipeline this fall.

  • tpartynitwit

    Apparently the senators are unaware the two environmental impact studies done for the State Department were both produced by firms which hid their extensive and direct financial ties to TransCanada, invalidating the unusually rosy results and requiring further study. TransCanada undoubtedly knew the fix was in when the first of their partners got the job, and said nothing, That review was disqualified, then a second partner of theirs got the job. They must have been sucking the ice cold Molsons and laughing at that one. Then the second firm was exposed for their conflict of interest, and they’ve switched to a full court press complaining about ‘unnecessary delays.” If they thought they could win approval legitimately, none of this would have happened. I say “take off, hosers!”

    • RoyBeaver

      The pipeline would create some really great jobs like cleaning up oil spills! And there in no need for more review! The Koch brothers stand to make 2 billion bucks a year from getting this dirty oil from Canada and sending it to China. Why on earth would we want to stand in their way?

      • tpartynitwit

        Because it’s fun?

        • RoyBeaver

          I have to say standing up and taking action is fun! All I want is to save the world one little corner at a time! I could use some help!

          • tpartynitwit

            Gotcha. Maybe we could sell pipeline villains trading cards? Pictures and contact info for TransCanada officials and their D.C. supporters would be forever immortalized in this new “Villains of the Environment” collector’s edition card set.

  • JobsForAmericansPlease

    The lefty loons demand a sacrifice from the American people.

  • tjlesko

    the best thing we could do is immediately approve it. Don’t listen to the ignorance of the leftists.

    • hepette

      nothing like turning on your faucet and fire comes out

      • Moreboomplease

        I can light my tap. It’s a sign that there’s likely natural gas in the area. I could light it even before there was a well drilled in the area.

    • TEDjosa

      guess you,ll one day be drinking oil scented water for breqk fast cause that tar sands oil is heavy crude and has a lot of sulphur ,mercury benzene arsenic heavy but what di you care that oil is headed for red chin it wont be used locally like the oil b eing produced intexs right now it doesnt help lower prices its sold onthe world auction inlondon but what do we know

  • Moreboomplease

    NAFTA requires that Canadian oil be available to the US (and vice versa, but at the time of signing it was expected that our oil and your thirst for it would forever prevail). Canada played by the rules. The current US leadership is so disappointing that long held trust has been lost. The line will eventually be approved but maybe not until a less obstructionist president comes to power. In the meantime Canada will spread its business around to include some more market friendly countries. Like Communist China. We gotta do what we gotta do. Whodathunkit?

    • RoyBeaver

      The pipeline will not be approved because it will have a huge environmental impact in the midwestern states.

      You can keep your oil in the ground and ruin the planet later. What is the rush?

      • Moreboomplease

        Eventually sanity will likely prevail and it will get done. In the mean time it could be extended to the planned Baker, Mt terminal. Here, more Bakken crude than planned could be taken on. Rail cars currently hauling Bakken could be redirected to haul bitumen from Alberta to Baker where it could be diluted with the light Bakken product for the trip south on the line. More carbon would thereby reach the coast than under the current proposal. And there would be higher risk with the possibility of rail accidents. But if we’re left with little other choice it could be done.

    • tpartynitwit

      The XL pipeline would bring tar sands oil to Texas, from which it would be exported to China anyway. Why not take a short-cut and build the pipeline to British Columbia? That way, you enjoy the full benefit of dozens of jobs and the environmental enhancements associated with pipelines built with substandard steel from India crossing thousands of miles of pristine, fragile wilderness! Screw the U.S., keep the pipeline all to yourselves!

      • Moreboomplease

        There are two proposals to build west coast capacity. One greenfield line completed public hearings and will be ruled on around the first of next year. And one involving twinning an existing line for which formal application will be made this fall after a successful open season.
        You imply Keystone XL oil will be exported. This is incorrect. It will be refined and products sold into the most favorable market, which could be foreign. After securing refining jobs on the Gulf Coast. The fuel might even be exported to Canada. Are manufacturing exports made from cheaper foreign inputs wrong? Should bauxite or aluminum imports be restricted because Boeing exports some of the planes it is made into? Should Hollywood be prevented from selling movies abroad that include foreign actors? Or is Canadian oil somehow special?

        • tpartynitwit

          Should the U.S. take an environmental risk for Canada’s profit? If it’s so great, why don’t you keep it?

          • Moreboomplease

            We export because you already have the refining capacity and the greatest return for companies here is to produce the crude and let you refine it. It isn’t all ‘Canada’s profit’. Where did you get that idea?
            Some benefits to the US include but are not restricted to:
            TransCanada itself is owned 23% by US investors, approximately the percentage of TC’s operations that will occur in the US. So profits will accrue to the US as well, roughly equal to the portion made on the line.
            Former Montana (Dem) governor Brian Schweitzer said $63 million of tax revenue will be collected annually by Montana when the line is operational. This would be about 1800 jobs at the average salary in that state for as long as the line runs. I presume the figures would be similar in other states. They don’t include those in the permanent jobs figures but they could.
            US companies dominate in the Canadian oil patch. Profits made will be taxed when they come back to the US or the dividends do.
            Much of the equipment and machinery to operate in the oilsands comes from the US.
            If the line carries 600 thousand bpd an investment of $40 to $50 billion will be required. US companies will finance most of that and make the resulting profits.
            Thousands of US workers already work in the oil industry in Alberta. An idea of how many is probably best seen by the numbers (60 thousand) who are registered to vote in US elections with the consulate in Calgary. Canada seeks foreign workers and allows US veterans to participate in the Helmets to Hardhats project to help servicemen transition to civilian life and find jobs. I wonder how many vets the Sierra Club hires?

          • tpartynitwit

            Sounds like great stuff, why not keep it all to yourselves? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?

          • Moreboomplease

            ‘Keep it yourselves’? Can’t happen. Because it’s not ours (as in collectively owned by the people) once it’s out of the ground. Unlike the oil produced in countries like Mexico and Saudi Arabia, oil produced in Canada isn’t owned by ‘ourselves’ but the companies that produce it, except for the royalty interest. It’s not a government monopoly oil company that owns it in the name of the people, thank goodness. These companies are frequently US based and have refining capacity of their own or agreements with refineries in the US to refine the oil. They are free to remove the oil from the country. NAFTA wouldn’t allow Canada to stop oil going to the states. Too bad NAFTA didn’t require the US to live up to its end of the bargain. Foreign oil producers are free to remove their oil from Canada as well. China owns or is building about 250 thousand bpd of capacity. If they want toexport it, then they have the right to. Canada is one of the few exporters to allow removal other than by the state-owned company or by special permit.
            Some is kept in Canada for refining, always has. But new refineries are expensive and capital is best allocated to oil production than to build refineries when they already exist on the Gulf Coast and there is idle capacity in PADD 1 in the NE US.. For example, a new upgrader and refinery for only 50 thousand bpd is being built in Alberta at a cost expected to come in at $5 billion. Or about $100 thousand per bpd capacity. That $100 thousand will enhance the value of each bbl of oil by about $30. Oil production expansion on the other hand can come in at $80 thousand if a mine or $40 thousand if it’s drilled in situ oilsands. That investment will create a bbl of oil worth $80 at Hardisty but over $100 if it could get to Cushing. So oil production and a pipeline is better for us, the companies and the refiners at the Gulf. And better for many other people in the states too.
            In polls that ask the same question about the pipeline in both countries, support usually runs 10% higher for the line in the US than Canada. The last one I saw was over 70% in the states in favor. In Canada it’s lower because some Canadians want the oil refined here and create the jobs for themselves. My response to them is they should build the refineries then, but they go silent at the prospect of that. They want the nasty US oil companies to be forced to build them.

          • tpartynitwit

            So, you enjoy typing.

          • Moreboomplease

            Not really. But if it shows someone an aspect they’ve never heard before it might open some minds, soften some hearts. The pro business point of view doesn’t fit neatly into the 15 second sound bite and most of the other side has never heard it before, hence the tendency of some (not you) to resort to name calling at the early stages (where I come from the definition of a red neck is someone winning a debate with a liberal). It never has been promoted in schools, media or popular culture. But somebody has to make the argument.

  • Don Miller

    Why does it seem that Obama is always on the side of Middle Eastern oil producers instead of protecting the American oil industry? Never in this nation’s history have we had such an anti-American president who’s determined to kill our economy through reckless spending, a foolish take-over of the health industry, and a war against domestic energy sources like oil and coal.

    • RoyBeaver

      For a troll, you are not doing a very good job. Like “protecting the American oil industry”, you and I give them million of dollars per year of our tax dollars while they are making money hand over fist. Anyone with a bit of knowledge can tell you have no idea what you are saying. Give it up and get a real job.

      I could be wrong and you are spouting this from just too much Rush!

  • Defend The Constitution

    Haphazardly using the word “democracy” is dangerous because it implies that the potential goodness of democratic processes requires them to be continuously expanded.

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