From the Washington Post editorial board:
We don’t blame Republicans for wondering why the pipeline’s approval is still in limbo, particularly now that a Nebraska court has thrown out a challenge to its routing, which had been the most recent pretext for Obama administration stalling. But the issue isn’t worth wasting more legislative time or inflaming partisan tensions at the start of a new Congress. If Republicans nevertheless proceed, Mr. Obama would be wise to sign the bill and get Keystone off of the national agenda…
Continue reading The most ungracious endorsement of the Keystone Pipeline you’ll read all day.
The Obama administration is rapidly running out of wiggle room on the Keystone pipeline:
The State Department’s long-awaited environmental report on the Keystone XL pipeline leaves President Barack Obama with no real scientific reason to reject the nation’s most fiercely debated energy project.
The sprawling 2,000-page report, released late Friday afternoon, doesn’t issue a clear yea or nay on a sprawling section of pipeline that would traverse from western Canada to Oklahoma. But the report’s key takeaways — including a conclusion that the project would have “no significant impacts to most resources along the proposed Project route” — Obama may have been hemmed in by his own State Department experts.
Politico went on to say “Environmentalists were left sputtering Friday…” over the decision, as if there was or is ever a moment when environmentalists are not sputtering, on Pavlovian cue. Although I’ll concede that they’d have their reasons to sputter, here: the best that the State Department could do to scuttle the project is to conclude that it’d have no real impact on the environment, one way or the other. Which makes perfect sense. Canada will be developing its oil sands, because Canada likes money and oil sands can be turned into lots of money without too much fuss and bother. We’ve known for quite some time how to move large amounts of liquids from Point A to Point B without spilling too much of it. Contra the Greenies, we’re not going to stop using hydrocarbons any time soon. The only question is: How much money is it going to cost American taxpayers to do all of this?
Continue reading State Department: sorry, Mr. President. The Keystone Pipeline can go ahead.
Here’s the background: the current hot topic of conversation in domestic politics right now is whether or not to extend a temporary payroll tax cut. It’s currently an object of some controversy on the GOP side, largely because it would involve effectively another 180 billion in spending; Democrats were in fact kind of gleeful about that, given that it promised to give Republicans a bit of a problem between specifically choosing between less spending and lower taxes (two things that have been long-term fiscal conservative goals). Unfortunately for the Democrats, they aren’t the only ones that can give their opponents uncomfortable choices: Speaker John Boehner made a deal where the tax cuts would be bundled up with provisions towards hastening the development of the ethical oil Keystone Pipeline. This reportedly will ensure that the tax cuts will pass the House.
The problem here is that the White House has decided that it would rather pander to homophobic, racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, and anti-democratic conflict oil regimes abroad – and those regimes’ radical progressive allies at home – than to produce jobs for working class Americans (even the ones that work for private sector unions). The White House has thus announced that it will veto the bill (via @davidhauptmann) if it passes the Keystone jobs program language. Speaker Boehner has already made it clear that he’s aware of the threat, and is not allowing it to affect House business. Continue reading Keystone showdown looms: is Harry Reid a Senator, or Barack Obama’s Lap Dog?