Republicans Vitter, Murkowski Demand More Stimulus

TransCanada Corp. is reapplying for a federal permit to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline, and there are plenty of good conservative reasons to urge President Obama — who kiboshed Keystone in January — to allow it this time. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Sen. David Vitter (R-Louisiana) manage to find none of them

The reasons for approving the pipeline are straightforward: It’s a shovel-ready project that’s great for our economy. It would bring oil from Canada to Gulf Coast refineries, and would pick up American oil produced in Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska along the way.

Keystone XL is exactly the type of world-class, private-sector infrastructure project that a nation mired in debt, deeply dependent on expensive foreign oil and desperate for jobs should embrace. Its construction would ensure a secure, long-term supply of oil from a close ally and provide well-paying jobs for thousands of Americans. 

Writing in the Washington Times, Murkowski and Vitter make no mention of free markets in energy or free trade, nor do they appear disposed to believe the state should avoid interfering in peaceful commerce between its citizens and those of other countries. There isn't even a to-be-sure in there noting the concerns of property owners whose lives and livelihoods stand in the way of the world-class transnational project.

Instead, Keystone XL is worth doing because it's a "shovel ready...infrastructure project" that would boost "our economy" and "provide well-paying jobs." Why not throw in a "multiplier effect" and a "summer of recovery" while you're at it? 

I recently changed my registration to Republican, so maybe I'm overly sensitive when my new GOP buddies talk like Democrats. Undoubtedly the party of constitutional principle and limited government can make real arguments for Obama to allow the project? Sure enough, Murkowski and Vitter have another big reason for supporting Keystone: Because if our government doesn't protect our economy, the Chinese will come and take it: 

At least two projects are now under way that will allow Canada to send more of its oil through alternative pipelines to ports on its west coast, where it can be shipped to markets in Asia.

Chief among those markets is China, which Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper visited just days after Mr. Obama’s initial rejection of Keystone. There’s no question China wants oil - from Canada and anywhere else it can get it. China is already investing heavily in the Canadian energy sector and appears eager to take on the vast supply of Alberta oil that the Obama administration has rejected.

Canada is taking notice - and taking steps to ensure it can meet China’s growing appetite for energy. The latest budget introduced by Canada’s federal government would reduce both the amount of time it takes to complete environmental assessments and the number of reviewers. Mr. Harper and others in Canada’s government clearly recognize the potential for long-term economic prosperity that increased oil production can bring.

America is now in a race with China for Canada’s substantial energy resources. 

I have no hope for any of the Murkowskis, but Vitter voted against TARP and gets a grade of 85 percent (an uncharacterized B!) from Club for Growth. In the Senate, he's what passes for pro-market. The Washington Times isn't exactly the Democrat-controlled media. If there's any place to make the argument that Canadian oil sheikhs in their toques have a right to do business south of the border, this is it.

Instead, Vitter and Murkowski urge the president to approve Keystone for the jobs and the China-bashing. He's already got his union cronies telling him that. 

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  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "I recently changed my registration to Republican"

    Is that why you didn't include your byline in this article, whoever-you-are?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Gasp - the big reveal - it's Tim Cavanaugh!

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Surprised, Mr. Bond? Yes, it was I all along. And now let's end on a *high note* - the meaning of this pun will soon be apparent as I strap you to this laser..."

  • Zombie Jimbo||

    Welcome to the dark side nameless one!

  • Zombie Jimbo||

    See, you're already developing a Republican sense of shame. It works really well if you're Catholic.

  • widget||

    If I were a Republican, I would trade gay marriage for 1 Keystone pipeline, 28 nuclear power plant permits, and an across the board opt-out from Obamacare. Let the negotiations begin.

  • Zombie Jimbo||

    Why should Obama do that? He said he was in favor of gay marriage, he didn't say he'd do fuck-all about it anytime soon. Maybe he'll evolve further in 3 or 4 years.

    Hopefully if he gets a second term, he won't make it mandatory.

  • widget||

    Republicans have an opportunity to exchange triviality for substance, but they won't take it.

  • Sevo||

    "America is now in a race with China for Canada’s substantial energy resources."

    To our distinguished colleague from Louisiana, I call bullshit.
    This isn't some wobbly pass that can be picked-off or caught; it's a commodity. This oil is going on the world market, regardless of whether it passes through the US or on ships to China.

  • SIV||

    Much of he oil will get refined in Texas and Louisiana before it is exported. The Pelican State will benefit from having that pipeline built in a variety of petroleum sector ways.

  • Gannicus||

    Vitter also likes prostitutes. How exactly did that scandal not go anywhere? And meanwhile Spitzer was booted out of office.

  • Killazontherun||

    Spitzer had a history of going after prostitution rackets as a DA, so there is the hypocrisy thing. He is in another circle of Hell altogether, as are all DAs.

  • Gannicus||

    Don't get me wrong, I despise Spitzer and think he should be inside of a jail cell for all the vile things he did in his political career. I just wasn't sure why everyone seems to have forgotten about Vitter's transgressions. Not that I think prostitution should be illegal.

  • Killazontherun||

    I forgot to point out, the key difference is that it happened in Louisiana. It has it's own set of rules, Napoleonic code and all of that.

  • Killazontherun||

    Dead hooker, live boy, maybe, but a live hooker and a happy ending that's hardly worth mentioning in the state that bore Huey Long on the political scale of sin and corruption.

  • SIV||

    "What about David Vitter?" is one of my favorite lefty non-sequiturs. I hope he serves longer than Byrd or Ol' Strom for this reason alone.

  • ||

    I recently changed my registration to Republican

    What the fuck is wrong with you!??!

    First you vote for Obama and now this....

    Dude Gary Johnson is right there. Quit dicking around already and vote for him.

  • ||

    Wait...

    Is this you back-handed review of Matt and Nick's book about the rise of independents?

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    +2

  • Cytotoxic||

    Dude Gary Johnson is right there. Quit dicking around already and vote for him.

    How does changing his party affiliation to GOP exclude this?

  • affenkopf||

    Hell, if you don't like Johnson just don't vote. Don't vote for team red/blue.

  • Sam Grove||

    Think, Johnson has secured the LP nomination, so why would a libertarian register as a Republican?

  • Whamodyne||

    Tim, was there a particular reason you changed your registration? I can't believe it's because of the courage and conviction to small government the leadership has been showing lately.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    It couldn't possibly be that perhaps he lives in a closed primary state and must register for Team RED in order to vote for Paul.

  • ||

    I want to vote for Ron Paul next month and I believe California's open primary law violates the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of assembly. If I'm voting in a party's primary I should be a member of the party.

  • Mike M.||

    If only someone would open the pressure valve while his stupid big-eared head is sitting right there.

  • BigT||

    Murkowski needs 240 volts of stimulus.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    15,000. From space. To be sure.

  • wef||

    Murkowski and Vitter

    The republican party must be destroyed.

  • Sevo||

    wef|5.16.12 @ 10:16PM|#
    "Murkowski and Vitter
    The republican party must be destroyed."

    Strange you never mention dems like Pelosi and make a similar comment about the democrat party.
    Why is that?

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    It's Friday (Funnies) somewhere in the world.

    Almost Bok-Paynesque in its hideousness. A masterpiece.

  • ||

    It needs a label for the pipe.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Cavanaugh is being smart in his registration shift. It is time for all the Libertarians of America to invade the GOP en masse. It belongs to you.

  • ||

    The republicans stop being owned by classical liberals during he first 100 days of the Teddy Roosevelt administration.

    And Hoover made sure we can't even lease it.

  • wef||

    Exactly.

    The republican party must be destroyed.

    Ground into dust.

    Obliterated.

    Forgotten.

  • wef||

    Exactly.

    The republican party must be destroyed.

    Ground into dust.

    Obliterated.

    Forgotten.

  • wef||

    That was odd. But bears repeating.

    Osos también

  • Sevo||

    Strange you never mention dems like Pelosi and make a similar comment about the democrat party.
    Why is that?
    Could it be because you're lacking in brain cells?

  • R||

    Maybe he's actually a Democratic mole, trying to get libertarians to destroy the Republicans and leave off the Democrats.

  • ||

    Republican policy pre-TR is hardly an example of classical liberalism. The nineteenth century GOP was mercantilist through and through.

  • T o n y||

    Undoubtedly the party of constitutional principle and limited government

    So you believe their empty mindless slogans? I must have been sick the day they taught the constitutional clause that demands hard-right theocratic warmongering economic incompetence.

  • Hyperion||

    So you believe their empty mindless slogans? I must have been sick the day they taught the constitutional clause that demands hard-right theocratic warmongering economic incompetence.

    The Dems teach that?

  • Virginian||

    Tony's best moments are when he says something disparaging about Republicans that anyone who actually knows history could tell you applies equally to his beloved Democrats.

  • Sevo||

    T o n y|5.16.12 @ 11:09PM|#
    "I must have been sick the day they taught the constitutional clause that demands hard-right theocratic warmongering economic incompetence."

    Holy cow shithead! You're right! The dems must have run this right by you.

  • Sevo||

    And for more welfare claims (hey, shithead, you should love this!), poor folks want cheaper tuition:
    "But they want lawmakers to pass the Middle-Class Scholarship Act, a bill by Assembly Speaker John Pérez, D-Los Angeles, that would provide a tuition discount for students whose families earn between $80,000 and $160,000 and don't qualify for financial aid."
    Oh, those poor families making only $100K!
    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/.....1OIBS1.DTL

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