Ringing the White House with Environmental Activists It Turns Out Is a Good Way to Get the President …


…to dither over the decision to permit the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada's oilsands to Texas' refineries.

Scared the president didn't it?

As Reuters reports:

The United States will study a new route for the Keystone XL Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline, U.S. officials said on Thursday, delaying any final approval beyond the 2012 election and sparing President Barack Obama a politically risky decision for now.

The delay was a victory for environmentalists who say oil sands crude development emits large amounts of greenhouse gases. It would deal a blow to companies developing Alberta's oil sands and to TransCanada Corp, which planned to build and operate the conduit.

Analysts have said a long delay could kill the $7 billion project because it would cause shippers and refiners to look for alternative routes to get Canadian oil sands crude.

It was not immediately clear what effect the decision—which sources briefed on the matter said would delay any final approval for the $7 billion project by at least a year—would have on U.S.-Canada relations.

The Keystone XL project is seen as the most important North American oil pipeline plan for several decades and was strongly championed by Canadian officials.

One source familiar with the matter said that studying a new route for the pipeline would likely take 12-18 months, putting a final decision after President Barack Obama's bid for reelection on November 6, 2012.

Obama 2012 campaign slogan: Let's not change anything in the hope of being re-elected. See my column where I explain that the president doesn't need to be afraid of the Keystone XL pipeline, except for reasons of politics.


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  1. Well, that decision will cost Obama all those Canadian electoral college votes.

    Oh, wait…

    1. He’s definitely lost BC and Nunavut.

    2. NE Advances Bill to Re-Route Keystone
      By Bradley Olson – Nov 10, 2011 11:29 AM ET

      Nebraska lawmakers in a special session have signaled early support for a bill that would give the state’s governor authority over pipeline routes, potentially threatening TransCanada Corp. (TRP)’s proposed Keystone XL.

      Governor Dave Heineman has said he opposes Keystone XL’s proposed path because it crosses an ecologically sensitive area in Nebraska and threatens drinking water sources to 1.5 million people.

      The State Department is weighing whether to ask TransCanada to reroute the line away from Nebraska’s Sandhills region, a marshy, dune-like expanse that overlies the Ogallala aquifer, which supplies much of the state’s water for drinking and agriculture.


      1. marshy, dune, aquifer, water….an environmentalist’s wet-dream.

  2. Another “Profile in Courage” from our Fuhrer.

    1. Obama is a eunuch.

    2. Analysts have said a long delay could kill the $7 billion project
      can we stop pretending that Obama sees the current state of the economy as a bad thing?

  3. NPR did a story on this. It needs federal attention. Because NPR did a story on this.

  4. The Ditherer-In-Chief isn’t delaying his decision. He’s made his decision.

    Permits delayed are permits denied.

    What I don’t understand is, why can’t we build a big-ass refinery up north of the Oglalla somewhere, so we don’t need a pipe running over the aquifer?

    For that matter, why are the Canadians so eager to pass the jobs and revenue they would get refining this themselves?

    1. Oh come on RC. Give them a break, they’re still trying to find someplace to put nuclear waste that doesn’t have any threat of earthquakes, drinking water contamination, terrorist attacks, or powerful politicians connected to it.

      1. Or David Suzuki losing his shit over it.

  5. I’m amazed Canadian refiners aren’t all over this US Market Fail and looking to refine the crude in the Home Country. Canadian Energy Independence! It’s Aboot Time?!

    But I don’t know a whole lot about the oil bidness, so I’m sure there’s a good reason they’d pipe that shit all the way to for-fuck’s-sake TEXAS rather than just refine it where it came out the ground.

    1. Refineries are a bitch to build, and we already have them in Houston.

      1. I’m making an assumption there are refineries in Canada, given their vast oil reserves.

        That may be a bad assumption.

        1. They have distilleries in Canada. That might be the source of your confusion.

            1. Most of those are at full capacity, too.

        2. Most of them are at full capacity.

          The biggest problem with building a refinery in Alberta right now is the shortage of qualified workers. Alberta is going to other provinces for ANY qualified workers right now. They are also pressing the feds to ease restrictions on US workers coming in to Canada to work on energy projects*.

          (Last time I looked, there were something over $250 Billion in major projects planned in Alberta.)

          *IOW: Please come and take er jerbs!

          1. I mean this in all seriousness–Canadians and Americans should be able to come and go freely, including to work in each other’s countries. We’re two halves of the same culture, for God’s sake.

            Passports? We don’t need no stinkin’ passports!

              1. Not terrorists, silly. There’s a war on.

              2. Now that he has an anchor baby, he’s yours!

            1. We’re two halves of the same culture, for God’s sake.

              Canada: supposed to be a country with French Culture, American Know-how and British law and order.

              Instead, it ended up being a country of American culture, French law and order, and British know-how.

              1. I don’t know whether to feel offended or flattered.

        3. Refined petrochemicals are not always easy to transport, so you want to refine them nearer to demand and distribution centers as possible. You could build a refinery in Canada, but could not build the distribution network which exists in the midwest and gulf coast areas.

          1. That makes sense.

    2. We have a labor shortage.

    3. Actually, I think the appropriate Canadian response to BHO’s decision is to shut down all of the existing pipelines carrying oil and natural gas from Canada to the US.

      Plus disconnect all of the Canadian hydro-electric power supply from the North American grid.

      1. That would fucking rule.

        “It’s aboot time we went on strike until the world shows us some respect!”

        “Listen, Pal!” “I’m not your pal, friend!” etc.

        1. The best part is that the areas of the US most dependent on Canadian oil, gas and electiricity are strongly Team Blue.


      2. Been studying Russia’s energy diplomacy, eh?

  6. Also, they should totally run Keith Stone ads in support of this project.

    “The Keystone XL pipeline will be smooooth, always. I’M KEITH STONE….”

  7. Obama: leading the way into the indecisive future.

      1. Maybe. We can decide later.

        1. When we’re shivering in the dark.

          1. Could Obama drone the Canucks for that?

  8. I’m looking forward to how “Jobs, Prevented or Delayed” gets tallied across the Ledger from “Jobs, Saved or Created”.

    1. Screen’s not big enough for that number.

  9. This should put to rest any thoughts that Obama will try to adjust his policies to improve the economy. If he didn’t jump on this opportunity to get things going, he’s not going to do anything that will turn it around.

    1. this assumes he wants to improve the economy, which is becoming increasingly dubious. Transformational change requires chaos.

  10. Steal land and give it to Pfizer? Bad.

    Steal land and give it to the New York Times? Bad.

    Steal land and give it to Columbia University? Bad.

    Steal land and give it to the Brooklyn Nets? Bad.

    Steal land and give it to TransCanada? Good.

    Nice work, Reason.

    1. No one was stealing land to give it to TransCanada. The environmentalists promulgated gross misstatement of how right of way works in this country to get conservatives on their side. In no way was what TransCanada doing comparable to Kelo or whatever other legal doctrines you think you understand.

      1. Eminent Domain Fight Has a Canadian Twist

        Randy Thompson, a cattle buyer in Nebraska, was informed that if he did not grant pipeline access to 80 of the 400 acres left to him by his mother along the Platte River, “Keystone will use eminent domain to acquire the easement.” Sue Kelso and her large extended family in Oklahoma were sued in the local district court by TransCanada, the pipeline company, after she and her siblings refused to allow the pipeline to cross their pasture.

        “Their land agent told us the very first day she met with us, you either take the money or they’re going to condemn the land,” Mrs. Kelso said. By its own count, the company currently has 34 eminent domain actions against landowners in Texas and an additional 22 in South Dakota.

        That’s not right of way. Don’t let the facts confuse you, though.

        1. Poised to pop!

          1. You could be right.

            The 1979-80 oil price bubble did.

            And maybe Solyndra II will actually discover rainbow shitting unicorns a way to produce cheap solar energy.

        2. If you read the article, you will notice a mention that pipelines are considered to be in the same category as railways, which have had the right of way (and the right to acquire land at fair market value) for over a century. The only wrinkle in this case is that the federal government has not approved the pipeline yet, so Trans Canada may have jumped the gun. Of course, once the deal is approved they will be able to get the land much cheaper than they can now.

          1. Something like a pipeline should have feng shui, in other words, it should be built with regard for shit that already exists. It can’t be that difficult to find something that they can follow and still end up with an efficient path, without disturbing the usefulness of everyone’s property. Put it in or along existing right of ways and easements to reduce the overall disruption. But it seems that pipelines and power transmission builders prefer to just cut directly across property, often duplicating existing infrastructure a few miles away, and in the process altering the ways that land can be usefully developed in the future. This is just how I look at it from an engineering point of view, shit needs to flow.

        3. Excellent point. That self-described libertarians are supporting naked coercion suggests a lot of self-described libertarians aren’t.

    2. Point-to-point infrastructure projects at least have some justification for eminent domain. A government building can be put pretty much anywhere. The pathway of something designed to convey shit needs to be located in a specific spot, or it becomes muss less efficient or non existent.

      However, the general routing of utilities is often half-assed, and I don’t believe people are necessarily entitled to the benefits that such infrastructure provides anyway. Eminent domain is gay.

      They should build a route that doesn’t suck, or build a new refinery, or something. But construction of the thing itself should not require the government’s blessing.

      1. Agreed. And though I ain’t no fancy big city attourney from Nooo Yerk I am smart enough to know that usin’ twenty dollar words to call stealin’ somethin’ else don’t make it not stealin’.


    Looks like Krugman’s space aliens have finally arrived.

    1. I wonder if they rode in on the return trip of Hale Bopp?

      “Everybody! Get on your Nikes! We’re heading back to pick up Paulie!”

      1. I wish. Instead I think Krugman called them in

        1. *Should be a period at the end in order to form a complete sentence.*

          1. We’re basically grammar anarchists, not grammar nazis.

          2. We’re not slaves to Big Punctuation here!

            FIGHT THE POWER!!

  12. The Canadians will be pissed. Officials from Alberta and the Canadian Energy Minister have been in DC for a few days lobbying against this delay. I think Enbridge scored a big win for now. They are going to be able to get nice premiums on forward contracts for capacity if the administration doesn’t back down soon.

  13. A thousands-of-miles-long oil pipeline will spell doom — DOOM, I tells ya — for Earth. Because just look at all the environmental catastrophes caused by Alaska oil pipeline.
    P.S.: I’m fucking stupid as a frozen dick.

    1. Ever heard of the Exxon Valdez?

      1. That wasn’t a pipeline.

        That was a drunken captain plus a single hulled tanker in a very difficult passage.

        1. The oil originally came from a pipeline.

          Game, set, match.

          1. The oil originally came from the Earth, so we should blame Gaia.

            1. Thank you for sharing your reading comp problems.

              If the pipeline weren’t there, the ship wouldn’t have had any oleo in it.

              1. If the oil weren’t there in the first place, there would have been neither pipeline nor ship.

                If you wish to extend beyond proximate cause, then you cannot complain when it is done to you.

              2. this isn’t reading comp, it’s reality comp. Ships have oil in them all the time but their captains usually have the good grace to operate them while sober. Your argument blames the munitions maker because someone misused a gun.

              3. this isn’t reading comp, it’s reality comp. Ships have oil in them all the time but their captains usually have the good grace to operate them while sober. Your argument blames the munitions maker because someone misused a gun.

              4. you would be on Pee-Wee Herman’s bicycle.

    2. Is this a spoof?

  14. mustard: You that fuckin’ stupid? Really? ship not equal pipeline. Me repeat. Ship not equal pipeline.

    1. Huh? I don’t speak redneck.

  15. In the Unintentionally Funniest Post of the day, Naomi Klein goes full retard and makes claim that while paranoid right wingers think climate change is just a stalking horse for global socialism it is in actuality a good reason for global socialism.


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    1. May you suffocate in a handbag.

    2. Marc Jacobs in favor of the $1,000 Guccis and Coaches, not to mention the smart Kmart Fashion collection. So sorry, Marc, so yesterday.

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