President Obama Bows to Special Interests: Refuses to Approve Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada


The new non-Decider in Chief

The 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta, Canada, would daily transport more than 500,000 barrels of oil derived from oil sands to the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. already imports about 2 million barrels of oil per day from Canada. Since the pipeline crosses our border the president has the reponsibility to decide if it is in the national interest. President Obama under pressure from the environmental lobby punted on approving the pipeline—bravely putting off his decision until after the elections in November. In December, the Republicans in Congress passed legislation that required the president to make his decision by February 21st. Apparently, he now has.

Proponents of the pipeline point out that the project is shovel-ready and would create 20,000 construction jobs. In addition, the pipeline has passed environmental muster twice already. And the company has agreed to re-site a portion of the pipeline in order to allay exaggerated fears that a leak from it might harm the Ogallala aquifer. Nevertheless, the National Journal is reporting

The State Department is expected to deny a permit for the controversial Keystone XL pipeline on Wednesday afternoon ….

The announcement is expected at 3 p.m. by Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, the sources said.

Rejection of the permit would not necessarily kill the 1,700-mile project to carry oil from Canada's tar sands to refineries in Texas, however.

The Obama administration has said it simply could not adequately review the proposed project in time to meet a 60-day deadline for a decision on the permit imposed by Congress in the payroll-tax package enacted in December.

In a statement emailed to the media, Daniel Weiss, Senior Fellow and Director of Climate Strategy at the left-leaning Center for American Progress in Washington, DC, praises the decision to further delay the project: 

Today President Obama made a courageous decision that says that special interests will not decide our clean energy future.

Depends on what the meaning of "special interests" is. 


NEXT: Mitt Romney, Political Shape Shifter

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  1. Daniel Weiss – courageously in the pocket of Big Unicorn Farts.

    1. This chat room is more fun than a barrel of money!

      1. i’ll barrel your room

        1. okay that one was a stretch

          1. That’s what she said!

    2. “…to serve the Port Arthur, Texas marketplace.”

      peddle the agiprop elsewhere. libertarians are too smart.

      1. So it’s official; The environmental lobby has more money and is more effective than Unions.

        1. ahh, that’s the pipeline cos site.

  2. I see the Kochs are already upset.

    1. This whole situation has created great incentives for a certain something to find its way into the pockets of the powerful. I wonder what that certain something is…

    2. Yeah because making it harder to exploit new reserves doesn’t raise the value of existing reserves. The Kochs will make more money because of this you half wit.

      1. These people never seem to get this basic economic dynamic. If you already own other resources in that market, restricting other companies from producing makes you more money, not less.

        1. No they don’t. And it is the reason why big oil loves the greens. To hear the greens rant and rave about big oil is high comedy.

        2. Once again, the Obama Administration works at cross purposes with both the best interests of Americans and common sense.

          I’ve said it before: this White House is malevolent. When things go bad, that is intentional. Absent chaos, Obama cannot accomplish that which he hopes to do.

      2. Just because we don’t build the pipeline doesn’t mean that Canada won’t exploit this resource. They’ll just sell it to Those stewards of the environment, China. If the “environmentalists” really had environmental protection as their goal, they’d want US business involved, not communist dictators

  3. So, while I’m not great fan of Obama’s, I’ve resisted the urge to consider him anti-American. I’m a reasonable guy. I mean, he just has a different view of what America should be like than me, right?

    But when decision after decision is made that will weaken our country’s economy and increase our vulnerabilities to enemies, or seems calculated to benefit only the narrowest of special interests and actively damage the country as a whole, what other conclusion can I come to?

    1. I am thinking the same thing. In Obama’s defense a large section of his supporters really are that stupid. They actually think the country can run on unicorn farts and this is a good thing. But he is not. And he is their leader. He gets paid to ignore the stupid people. In the end he is either just as stupid as they are or cares more about making them happy than doing the right thing. Either case has the same result as meaning the country harm.

      1. What I find most frustrating here is that this is a gift. A resource vital to our economy that is largely controlled by our enemies, but new technology makes it feasible for a friently neighbor to supply it to us. And he just wants to throw away this Ming Vase because it doesn’t match our current home decor.

        1. It is like he is worried the Saudis and the Venezuelans might make less money.

          In the end I think he is just that stupid. The Greens really do believe in unicorn farts. They honestly think that the country can live without oil if we just make it happen. And his view is that every drop of oil we pump out of the ground puts that glorious day further off. The environmental movement is mad. They have no sense and will not listen to any sort or reason.

          1. He’s not stupid, he is an absolute whore for special interests. Without fail.

            1. But the unions are special interests too. Did their checks bounce?

              1. The trades unions are mostly redneck white guys. He has written them off anyway. Better to try and keep the girly men’s votes.

                1. The trades unions are mostly redneck white guys.

                  You’ve met pipeliners too, eh?

                  They’re the guys you want on your side if you ever get into a barroom brawl with ironworkers.

                  I guess the Pipeliners Union didn’t manage to deliver enough graft to the Obama administration. Maybe they should have gone to some of those “town hall meetings” and beaten up a few old folks.

            2. Hey, not every whore is saving up for college.

              1. Look, I tried, but I have material needs, OK?

                (runs off crying)

            3. he’s not stupid; he’s evil. Virtually everything his administration does is aimed at making the country weaker and more dependent on a central bureaucracy.

          2. To me, this appears purely political. The repubs put his back up against the wall to act and he simply said “No I won’t”. Why? Eff you, that’s why.

    2. But when decision after decision is made that will weaken our country’s economy and increase our vulnerabilities to enemies, or seems calculated to benefit only the narrowest of special interests and actively damage the country as a whole, what other conclusion can I come to?

      Obama has done exactly what he said he would do here: reduce our dependency on foreign oil. Canadian oil = foreign oil.

      Oh… you thought… never mind.

      1. You know, the Canadians should declare war on us. This is not an act of friendship. And if Canada–CANADA!–declares war on us, Obama would have to (1) give back the Nobel Peace Prize and (2) resign in utter and permanent humiliation.

        1. resign in utter and permanent humiliation.

          Of Obama gives us four more years of the previous four years… this may happen regardless.

          If Amy Goodman’s show uses “majestic disappointment” to describe him, he’s in deep yogurt.

        2. Maybe the General Staff in Ottawa is dusting off Defence Scheme No. 1.

          Just thinking how embarassing it would be if Minneapolis was occupied by Princess Patricia’s Light Infantry makes me smile.

          1. Not sure we Minneapolitans would even notice. Minnesota is basically Canada without the Mounties.

            1. Good one. 😮

    3. So, while I’m not great fan of Obama’s, I’ve resisted the urge to consider him anti-American.

      Feel free to stop resisting at any time. The common sense team is a big tent and would love for you to join in.

  4. President Obama Bows to Special Interests: Refuses to Approve Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada

    Does this make him pro-science or anti-science?

    Today President Obama made a courageous decision that says that special interests will not decide our clean energy future.

    Is the president’s supposed preference for so-called “Clean Energy” make him pro-science or anti-science?

    I am sure it doesn’t make him pro-private property, pro-contract law or even pro-rule of law. I wonder which is more important in the end.

    1. It makes him anti-business in the middle of a recession.

    2. Is the president’s supposed preference for so-called “Clean Energy” make him pro-science or anti-science?

      Fantasy may be a sub-genre of science fiction, but it has nothing to do with real science. This is straight up political calculus.

    3. OM: Anti-science.

      1. Re: Ron Bailey,

        Thank you. I now have a baseline.

    4. Anti-objective reality.

  5. As if there was any doubt he was going to kowtow to special interests. It’s what he does.

    1. The environmental lobby isn’t a special interest.

      List of non-special interests:

      Sierra Club

      1. non-special as in run-of-the-mill influence seekers?

      2. I think they are special.

      3. Here i thought it was “special” as in short bus special. Silly me.

  6. I’d like to thank Obama for giving every conservative the club to beat him with for the next 11 months.

    1. are you kidding? don’t say “beat” we’ll lose all the independents and blue dog demos…
      say “coerce”, it sounds much nicer. especially when blood is dripping off the end…

      1. And instead of saying “urinate,” could you way “wiz” instead?

        1. I don’t know . . . we don’t want to antagonize the Cheese Wiz people.

          1. I was just thinking that.

          2. Pretty sure Obama’s got the Whiz Khalifa fans. Word is, he’s the next poet laureate.

      2. Shell Oil analysts predict five dollar per gallon gas in the US by the end of the year. How is that going to play out during an election? How is that going to help the economy? And who is making money-Soros in Brazil-seriously, Obama has to be either clueless or something.

        1. no, he’s not clueless; he is evil. This is intentional. The sum total of his policy actions are to weaken the economy, to create more dependence on the federal govt, and to instill as much chaos as is necessary for him to implement whatever he wants to do. If it harms the nation, a good bet is that Barack Obama supports it.

          1. he must be satan, the antichrist, a demon masquerading as a human being. you cannot think of any other possible explanation and that settles it.

            1. I would have expected Satan to be more competent.

    2. You mean the assassinations, air wars, usurpations, and cronyism weren’t big enough clubs?

      1. Think of it like that scene in Pulp Fiction where Bruce Willis is about to leave the pawn shop.

        1. I would have settled on the chainsaw.

          But Tarantino and his Japanophilia will not be denied.

      2. I’d bet most Americans are comfortable with the assassinations and air wars. Also, “cronyism” is what The Other Team does, what your own political Team does is “standing up for traditional/progressive values.”

        However, Americans will be mad about expensive gas.

    3. Yeah but are you gonna see any pro pipeline arguements presented in any reasonable manner by the lamestream press to club teh wun with? No. The pro pipeline supporters will be presented as extremists, greedy, or un informed. Additionally, if any pro pipeline arguments are presented, in the name of “fairness or balance,” pro pipeline arguments will be offset with a counter argument as the last word. The media, knowing that people tend to remember the last word, rather than the first, will use this to their advantage so as to sway opinion to teh wuns side.

  7. Since the pipeline crosses our border the president has the reponsibility to decide if it is in the national interest.

    And that, it seems, is the heart of the problem. Shouldn’t this be a shared responsibility?

    1. That sounds a little weird, to me.

      Does this mean the President has to decide that its in the national interest before allowing each and every oil tanker to unload in the US? What’s the difference?

      1. Look, the President is the dad, and if you’re going to live under his roof (the US), you will follow his rules, get it? Now eat your vegetables!

        1. Eat your Peas!!! and finish your slurpee!!

      2. Permanent infrastructure != transient delivery

        1. True, but what difference does that make?

          Does the President have to approve every docking facility (is that permanent enough for you) as being in the national interest?

        2. Here’s another one for you, Tulpa: why the fuck does the President have/who the fuck gave the President this authority?

          1. That’s what I’ve been wondering too. Evidently these days the president has exactly as much power as we allow him.

            In the meantime I say we just build a pipeline right up to the border, and have Canadians build one right up to their border, “accidentally” connect them, and everyone wins. At least everyone who likes modern civilization but hates polar bears.

            1. Congress has power over foreign commerce, which this absolutely is, and has passed legislation giving the president the authority to decide whether such projects are in the best interests of the country. No doubt he’s abusing that here, but there’s nothing unconstitutional about it.

    2. Filthy maple-sucking puckslappers might use the pipeline to smuggle Canadio-Islamosnowfacists into Amurika.

      Oh, wait… that’s the other team.

      1. Foreign oil is foreign oil. Terror is terror. I don’t care if they say, “Eh” before they suicide bomb me, it’s still scary.

        1. Good point!

      2. It’s a conspiracy. First they will get us hooked on their oil. Then when the Stanley Cup playoffs start, they will embargo the US. This will mean US based teams will not be able to travel and have to forfeit their matches. This will leave only Canadian teams to play for the Cup. This is the only way Canada will ever win another Stanley Cup. Don’t fall for the trap.

        1. Don’t be silly. Canada wins every Stanley Cup, we’re just too dumb to realize it. The Bruins, for instance, won the Cup with 17 Canadians, a few Americans, and some other nationalities.

          1. Canadian hockey fans don’t see it that way.

            1. Sure they do. They just lie to you. We’re hosting a huge league, paying for arenas, teams, etc., putting it on TV, all so Canadians can watch other Canadians play hockey. By itself, Canada couldn’t support more than a handful of teams. With U.S. subsidies, it now has thirty.

              1. You mean every English Canadian isn’t really a long suffering Maple Leafs fan?

                1. Oh, sure, they like it when the Canadian Canadian team wins. But, really, what difference does it really make? It’s all Canadian. Our Canadian commenters are laughing at your naivete right now.

          2. In Canuckistan, you are only a Canadian if you play for a Canadian team. If your paycheck is signed by an American, you’re an American. Well, until the Olympics and then it’s “OMG Crosby let me suck your dick!”

            1. Want to get even more weirded out? Basketball is also Canadian.

              1. James Naismith was a Canadian transplant. HMM

                1. And the roots of baseball and football aren’t entirely clear, either. Could the American sports obsession be the product of Canadian chicanery?

                  1. Just keeping us distracted, happy, ripe for slaughter.

                    1. Look how they’re all bunched up near the border. Doing that in Europe set off WWI. We’re just pathetic sheep, waiting for the slaughter.

                    2. You notice they don’t make fun of all the bowl games any more. Used to be that the Toilet Bowl had satirical value.

        2. I laughed at this for 5 min.!!!
          I laughed so hard I cried!
          Then when I read the Canadian response, I laughed again!

          It is a plot lead by non other than Ike (3 yrs old adopted Canouk) from South Park!

      3. Worse, they could ship down their legalized marijuana!

        1. Nah…the Mexican cartels would take them out for cutting into their territory.

      4. Canadio-Islamosnowfacists

        Polargooks. ‘nough said.

  8. Rejection of the permit would not necessarily kill the 1,700-mile project to carry oil from Canada’s tar sands to refineries in Texas, however.

    True enough, I suppose.

    After Obama leaves office, the next President could always approve the project.

    Assuming the Canadians haven’t already built a pipeline to their Pacific Coast.

    1. what?

    2. If I’m not mistaken the reason the pipeline is to Texas is because that’s where most of the oil refineries are located. If I was Emperor of Canada I”d build a couple of refineries in Alberta and/or Saskatchewan and sell the refined product rather than the crude product to the damned yanks!

      It wouldn’t be foreign oil, it would be eff’n foreign gas, heating oil, jet fuel, diesel and shit like that. Personally, I haven’t heard anybody spouting the catchphrase/chant “No more foreign gas, heating oil, jet fuel and shit like that.” much, if at all.

      Canada could make a whack more money and provide a bucket full of Canadian jobs.

      And, smile sweetly and give the finger to US greenies.

      1. Shipping the refined product carries many of the same risks.

        Besides, Alberta is currently experiencing a huge shortage of skilled labor. There simply aren’t the people available to add another refinery/oil plant to the number already planned.

        1. Aresen|1.18.12 @ 2:53PM|#

          Shipping the refined product carries many of the same risks.

          .. and your point is..? I may be missing somthing, but I wasn’t aware that a reason for stopping the pipeline had to do with risk.

          Besides, Alberta is currently experiencing a huge shortage of skilled labor. There simply aren’t the people available to add another refinery/oil plant to the number already planned.

          There will be. Newly unemployed Texas refinery workers.

  9. He went to Harvard… trust him, he’s like, really smart.

  10. The Obama administration has said it simply could not adequately review the proposed project in time to meet a 60-day deadline for a decision on the permit imposed by Congress in the payroll-tax package enacted in December.

    HAHA! That’s a good one. What’s pathetic is that people actually believe the “my dag ate my homework” excuses this Administration consistently uses.

    You seriously expect us to believe that after all the wasted ink arguing over the pipeline in the last year you “didn’t have enough time” to complete a proper review?

    Ha. Ha. Ho. Ho.

    1. The first rule of government fight club is never take responsibility.

    2. The Obama State Department is allowing TransCanada to reapply after they find a route for the pipeline that avoids the delicate habitat where the endangered 2012 election lives.

  11. I don’t know why people are always whining about gas prices; you can apply for most government benefits online now.

  12. American skilled laborers, tell me how my ass tastes.

    1. like licorice, no racist

    2. is that leading from behind or with your behind?

  13. If they do build it out to the Pacific through BC it will be good for their economy, and that is where my family is, so there’s that. They need all the help they can get from Alberta oilbucks.

    1. And North Dakota oil bucks too. I would imagine some of that oil will go through it. The oil sands are a miracle. All of this oil we didn’t know we had. And in a country whose biggest danger is exporting hockey players and doughnut shops.

      This whole thing is proof that the Greens hate prosperity. It is just killing them that we are not actually out of oil.

      1. Oil is a loser long term. We must make sound investments in the energy of the future like Solyndra and the Chevy Volt.

        1. Don’t forget Beacon Power. That was a winner.

      2. Peak Oil is already here. It takes more energy to get the oil out of those sands than it’s really worth, plus the carbon output is astromonically dirty.

        1. “It takes more energy to get the oil out of those sands than it’s really worth”

          If that were true, the enterprise would not be profitable and no one would be doing it much less building a huge pipeline. Try again.

          And carbon is not a pollutant. So who cares? AGW is last year’s excuse for socialism. The smart set have moved on to something else. Didn’t you get the memo?

          1. The energy thing was true a while back, but technological advances have made the tar sands profitable nowadays.

    2. Is this Alberta Oilbucks single, and if so, how can I meet her? She sounds rich!

      1. She is Daddy Warbucks’ ugly sister. Perfect for you, Jimbo. We all know you like them looking mongoloid.

        1. Which is perfect, because as it turns out Daddy Warbucks is also Jason Bourne’s trainer / mentor / sadist / tormentor.

    3. How sorry is it that within a few years, if not already now, moving to Canada will make economic sense?

      1. If they had better gun laws, I’d move there now. French-Canadian chicks are filthy–in a good way.

        1. They really are. And the food in Montreal is fabulous. I don’t mind the cold. I would live Montreal in a minute if it had sane gun laws.

          1. it’s cheaper/easier to stay warm than to keep cool.

            1. Especially when that involves a french Canadian chick.

              1. that implication wasn’t clear enough I guess…

          2. I would live in Montreal in a minute if their taxes weren’t so goddamned insane. Last I checked they are the highest of anywhere in Canada. Sales tax alone is something like 18%.

            1. 18% Damn. Socialist bastards. It is such a great city though. Imagine how good it would be if the French were not all communist.

              1. It is one of my favorite cities. I was just talking to a recent Montreal ?migr? and we were both scheming about how to swing it so you could live there and avoid paying their taxes. Living off your US qualified dividends? A girl can dream, right?

                1. I will tell you how Dagny. Work for the US government in an official capacity. It is like being a US citizen just visiting all of the time. DHS has an attache there and in Ottawa. I would pretty much sell whatever virtue I have to get one of those gigs.

        2. “There’s no Canada like French Canada, it’s the best Canada in the land…”

        3. The gun laws are being somewhat relaxed under the current government, but theyre still pretty restrictive.

      2. Seriously, Alberta might end up being the least worst place in North America really soon. The only problem is girls there tend to run a little… beefy. Bring your own women and you’ll be set.

        1. You have to be to make it through the winters. It is like Wisconsin girls. They grow them corn fed up there. The skinny ones die off before kindergarten.

          1. I was at some national conference or other in high school and the Alberta kids’ cheer was “Who got the beef? We got the beef! ALBERTA” Many a snide remark ensued from the slim Lululemon-clad Vancouver girls.

            1. They are all super nice though. I did some work with the Canadian Army and Mounties for the BC Olympics. A bunch of them were stationed in and from Winnipeg. And they were all Mormon level nice.

            2. Plus Alberta’s got Jasper. Ain’t nuttin wrong wit dat. Although I’d have to trade in my Vermont ice/rock skis for powder skis.

              1. Skiing on the East Coast is absolutely barbaric Kristen. I went one time since moving here. All ice and slush. After you have done it in a civilized place like Colorado, you just can’t ever go back.

                1. I’m a New England ski snob. It’s a badge of honor to have grown up learning to ski under those conditions. I’ve never once skied champagne powder – that would be unseemly and frivolous!

                  1. I’m a New England ski snob. It’s a badge of honor to have grown up learning to ski under those conditions. I’ve never once skied champagne powder – that would be unseemly and frivolous!

                    I cut my skiing teeth in New England as well. While the Rockies generally have much better conditions and better snow, not too mention those incomparable powder days, I still enjoy skiing in New England – I think part of the experience is to have just survived it without getting frostbite.

            3. I was drowned in rabid anti-Americanism in Quebec and Vancouver. Toronto was okay. Fun fun fun: tell some Canadians your 10-year-old nephew disassembles AR-15s and loads ammunition, watch heads explode.

              1. In Saskatchewan they’d want to meet that kid and give him a beer, eh.

        2. Better than BC?

      3. Not even close, not even remotely, but your sentiment’s timely — we’re getting fucked harder and harder every week

      4. Another plus in Canada’s column:…..-done.html

        1. From the link:

          The commission’s report was given to Treasury Board President Tony Clement, who noted the number of regulations at the federal level.

          “There are 2,600 regulations in Canada for which the federal government is responsible,” he said.

          That has got to be a couple of orders of magnitude underestimate.

  14. “…to serve the Port Arthur, Texas marketplace.”

    for export, not for US consumption.

    1. Fungible commodities, how do they work?

      1. better – how do low BTU’s (& tons of sulphur) w shale oil work?

        1. vry wrm thk yu!

        2. By selling the oil. It seems to be working quite well at the moment.

          1. poar quality oil intended for overseas export. not fungable w light sweet crude. end of story

            1. It is totally fungible you nitwit. If people can’t get that oil, they will buy the lighter stuff instead.

              1. no its not. poor quality shale oil is NOT fungable w light sweet crude…hence the [FREE MARKET] price diff.

                1. Yes it is. If people can’t get the cheaper stuff, they will be forced to use the more expensive stuff. Try again.

                2. Dollar for dollar, its fungible. And that’s what counts.

                  1. if this is true, you buy the diamonds & I’ll buy the rubies then we’ll swap mkay?

                    1. No you nitwit. It would be like raising the price of industrial grade diamonds and pretending that didn’t affect the price of jewelry grade diamonds when people were forced to use those instead of industrial grade ones.

                    2. except that crappy shale oil cannot be substituted one-for-one w light sweet crude in refineries nor in application.

                    3. No but the good oil can be substituted for the lower quality oil.

    2. Thats also a refining center.

    3. And serve refineries in Port Arthur, thus adding jobs to a relatively (for Texas) depressed area. The “Golden Triangle” is something of a misnomer.

      1. u mean union [JOBZ] at the refinery

  15. Let me be clear: if you stupuid motherfuckers had just bought the Chevy Volt maybe I wouldn’t be trying to cover my ass on the issue of green energy and the environment.

    1. Chevy Volt-Unsafe At Any Wattage

  16. Obama just doesn’t want any Molson spills on American soil.

    1. Well, god bless him for that.

      OTOH, think of the poutine opportunities!!

      1. A pipeline filled with cheese curds suspended in a gravy medium. Pumping 10billion kilo-cals south every day.

        Tell me that wouldn’t be excuse enough for (Michelle) Obama to declare war on Canada.

    2. I’ve always liked Labatt Blue.

      1. yes, but that 11.5 ounce bottle is a nefarious ploy to give you less than you expected.

        1. I know, and where I live you have to drive 40 miles to find a specialty liquor store that sells it.

  17. So it’s official; The environmental lobby has more money and is more effective than Unions.

    1. this is what i wondered during OWS…
      construction workers hangin’ with smelly elitists?

  18. Great.

    The “Electricity comes from SOCKETS!” crowd will be pleased.

  19. It seems like a stupid decision, no doubt.

  20. The Obama administration has said it simply could not adequately review the proposed project in time to meet a 60-day deadline for a decision on the permit imposed by Congress

    Fire up the blamethrowers!

    1. fueled by Righteous Saudi Oil.

  21. What’s a special interest here though? In theory environmentalists are concerned about, well, the environment we all live in. What would not be a “special interest?”

    1. That is like saying the socons are not a special interest. What are they concerned about? Well the moral fabric of our country. How can that be a special interest.

      They are a special interest because they are a narrowly focused interest group. They want their pony at every one else’s expense. Just because their pony is the smug pleasure of knowing some “wetlands” in a place they will never live has been saved instead of a big fat check, doesn’t make them any less of a special interest.

      1. I wouldn’t think of socons as special interests.

        I think of a special interest as a group that wants a government goody or benefit.

        Environmentalists, and for that matter, socons don’t seem to fit that bill in most cases.

        1. You don’t have to be rent-seeking to be a special interest.

          The ADA is a special interest and has nothing to do with rent-seeking.

        2. I would take Tulpa’s definition below. But the term originally meant a very small group that exerted disproportionate amounts of power on a single-issue due to the apathy of the majority.

          That is a good description. I would describe the NRA as a special interest. But it is not like they get rich from gun sales. And BTW I don’t look at “special interest” as a pejorative term. Everyone is a special interest in some way, assuming they care about anything.

          1. “I would take Tulpa’s definition below.”

            But you didn’t at first. You said “a narrowly focused interest group”. That ain’t the same thing.

            1. He made a good point I hadn’t thought of. But it is hard to think of any interest group that isn’t narrowly focused. So my definition was redundant.

              1. “So my definition was redundant”

                No shit.

                1. It is just semantics. As Tulpa points out below, the Democrats are not a special interest. They are made up of special interest groups but the party itself is not. So to b ea special interest, you have to be focused on something. Whether it is “narrowly” or not is a question of taste I guess.

                  It is the sort of issue only you could find interesting.

                  1. “It is the sort of issue only you could find interesting.”

                    Which is why you’ve posted on it half a dozen times now?

                    It’s an important interest because, as you point out, it’s perjorative now, and as Tulpa points out, it’s sloppily used to mean “people I disagree with.” I think it’s wwrongly used in the main post here. If you want to say “environmentalists are wrong to oppose Keystone” I’d agree. But I don’t think they are a “special interests.” They are not trying to get some benefit for themselves here.

                    1. “They are not trying to get some benefit for themselves here.”

                      Yes they are. Groups like the Sierra Club are incredibly rich and well funded. Successes like this prove to their donors they are effective and fill their bank account. The average green is not trying to get a benefit for themselves. But the people at the Green Lobbies pulling down their six figure salaries most certainly are.

                      And further, you assume that there are no other economic interests who would benefit from this. I would wager there are. And those interests are most certainly out for themselves.

                      Do you think the light bulb manufacturers who are not getting rich selling a high margin product whose use is now mandated by the government were not in it for themselves? Every government regulation and action or non action benefits someone.

                    2. “Every government regulation and action or non action benefits someone.”

                      So if Obama had approved the pipeline he would have been caving to special interests, if he did not he would have been caving to special interests. Nice.

                    3. So if Obama had approved the pipeline he would have been caving to special interests?

                      Yes, they are called unions.

                    4. It’s nice you don’t see a problem with defining something so that no matter what anyone does they can fall under it.

      2. But again, how about you answer my question? Can you name a group pushing for something in politics that is not a “special interest?”

        1. If they’re seeking to make something happen that benefits them but that most people don’t want, they’re a special interest.

          1. But environmentalists seem to want to make something happen that benefits everyone (in their mind), and often that benefits people and places that are far away from them and not them much at all.

            1. But environmentalists seem to want to make something happen that benefits everyone…

              Dead wrong. Environmentalists want to protect their environment. By and large, they are very rich* and enjoy a standard of living that most cannot afford. They don’t want to see the hoi polloi visiting their beautiful wilderness and “spoiling” it. They want ‘nature’ unchanged and preserved for themselves.

              *If you don’t believe me on this, take a look at the mean incomes of the Audubon Society, Sierra Club and National Geographic Society. The mean is well into the top decile.

              1. “Environmentalists want to protect their environment.”

                So environmentalists never push for policy to effect lands they don’t visit or own?

                1. They want to preserve the abstract vision that they have.

                  When they pushed for logging bans on South Moresby Isiand in Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands), they promissed that tourism would provide the jobs that people would lose. They got their ban. The tourists never came. But the ‘environmentalists’ (including Prince Phillip) were happy because THEIR vision of ‘unspoiled nature’ was preserved. [BTW, the cost of visiting Haida Gwaii is comparable to a trip to Paris, if you were to stay in a 4 star hotel in Paris and eat in nothing less than a 3 star restaurant. It isn’t Jean Average that can go there.]

                  1. Arsen,

                    It used to be that the Royalty owned private hunting reserves at the expense of the common good. Now rich environmentalists do the same only they don’t even use the areas for hunting. They do it to feel smug.

                    1. “They do it to feel smug.”

                      Or genuine concern for the environment. You always attach the worst motives to people you disagree with…

                    2. Forcing your aesthetics on other people at their expense is one of the worst motives you can have.

                  2. When rent seeking and special interests can be stretched to incorporate the “abstract vision” that someone gets it’s gotten pretty meaningless.

                    But to be clear, at first you said “Environmentalists want to protect their environment.” Now you admit that’s not true so you change the goalposts to “Environmentalists want to protect their vision of the environment.”

                    1. So what? That makes them less destructive and selfish how?

                    2. What does this have to do with the New England Patriots new stadium?

                      (I thought since John wants to talk about something other than what we are, I might as well too).

                    3. Enviromentalists are a special interest group because their vision allows no compromise.

                      Oil imported from Canada and piped across America is going to be safe, extremely unlikely to spill. Oil produced in Nigeria or Azerbaijan or Venezuala is 100x more likely to spill and damage the enviroment. From a practical standpoint making Canadian production more profitable and Nigerian less profitable would be a win for the enviroment.

                      However enviromentalist special interests stopped it, because their absolutist sense of the enviroment is that oil = bad.

        2. If they are a single issue group, no. And for that reason the term shouldn’t be a pejoritive as it is.

        3. How’s this: A special interest is a group that wants government to make other people agree with their worldview through force of law (or reg). A non-special interest would an interest that lobbies for government to leave people alone.

          1. So you’re going with Tulpas definition of “special interest == people who disagree with me”


        4. Libertarians. The enviros are a special interest because they want government funding for wind and solar companies that they happen to have ownership interest in. If you can’t even get that, you’re either too dumb to breathe or a troll.

          1. “The enviros are a special interest because they want government funding for wind and solar companies that they happen to have ownership interest in.”

            The ones that do that are acting like special interests when they do that, yes.

            But I was talking about something else. I’m talking about the environmentalists who opposed keystone because they are concerned it would damage the environment of places they don’t live in, plan to visit, own, etc. There are lots of them.

            1. Because eco-freak aesthetics are an ideology of unspoilt wilderness that even they may never experience – but certainly preserved from the use/benefit of the hoi polloi.

    2. waiting for Owebama’s decision…
      i would have liked to what Las Vegas odds were on that…

    3. In common parlance,

      special interest == people who disagree with me

      But the term originally meant a very small group that exerted disproportionate amounts of power on a single-issue due to the apathy of the majority.

      1. If you add “in order to get some benefit that would accrue mostly to them” then yes, that’s how I’ve always understood the term.

        1. “spe?cial in?ter?estNoun: A group of people or an organization seeking or receiving special advantages, typically through political lobbying.”

          1. But it has to be a relatively small group. Republicans aren’t a special interest, for example, even though they fit that definition.

            1. “Republicans aren’t a special interest”

              Oh, they’re “special” all right.

        2. That’s rent-seeking, not special interest.

          1. Tell that to Google brother, that’s what came up first.

            1. argumentum ad googlem?

              1. reducto ad googlem

              2. I don’t know what to tell you, when people are discussing what a word refers to I think referring to how it is commonly used and thought of is important. I don’t think there is some cosmic dictionary in the sky which determines what a term like “special interest” refers to. I think most people use it like Google defines it…

          2. Technically, rent seeking involves economic benefits only.

    4. There is nothing special about this pipeline than it crosses a border and gives the president the right to reject it. A reasonable person would have left the environmental concerns to the state agencies. Obama just wanted to throw a bone to his environmental lobby.

      1. “A reasonable person would have left the environmental concerns to the state agencies”

        Iirc at least one state, Nebraska, had some doubts. No?

        1. And the company building the pipeline addressed that doubt. Obama rejected it anyway.

        2. Then Nebraska has the right to refuse right of way for the pipeline until the pipeline company provides adequate assurances.

    5. Re: MNG,

      In theory environmentalists are concerned about, well, the environment we all live in.

      Yeah, and in practice, we have ourselves a couple of whores in the house.

  22. We build domestic pipelines all across America. This would be no different other than it crosses the border. Unless it presents a border security issue, the president should have let the governors make the call. But of course it doesn’t hurt him politically to piss off states that don’t vote for him so it’s a no brainer. A bone to the environmental lobby.

  23. America needs energy independence- so eliminate our ability to extract energy resources.

    China is cornering the rare-earth mineral market- so eliminate our ability to tap our own rare-earth resources.

    America is too far in debt- so run up as much as possible as fast as possible.

    America is being crushed by entitlements- so create the biggest ever.

    America’s economy was crushed by scams run between Big Finance and the government- so give those people more power.

    I’ve never been a secret conspiracy theorist, but this stuff is hardly a secret.

  24. Surprised there’s been nothing about the eminent domain abuse Transcanada is engaging in for the pipeline. Not that the Obama Administration did this for the right reasons.…..wanted=all

    1. A pipeline is a perfectly legitimate use of ED.

      1. Is it? Is the pipeline owned the government(s) or by the company?

        If the latter, this is no different than Kelo. If the former, it is constitutional (although I oppose all ED).

        1. So ED used to build private railroads back in the 1800s was unconstitutional too?

          The public uses the products that are made possible by the pipeline’s existence, and there is no way to build a pipeline without using ED. Too many possible holdouts.

          1. Bullshit.

            1. So your argument is “bullshit” and “you’re such an asshole”?

              1. There IS no argument until you’ve provided evidence that it would cost “thousands of times more” to build this pipeline without the abomination of eminent domain.

          2. ED for RR right of way? Where?

            As I recall the govt gave alternate sections of land for RR construction. Manifest Destiny maybe – as that land wasn’t under title.

          3. The end of the pipeline does not justify ED means Tulpa.

          4. Actually yes, ED being used for the private railroads was unconstitutional. If they thought that land was so valuable then they should have paid fair market value for it. But they didn’t want to do that so they pulled some crony capitalism bullshit.

          5. Yes, that was an unconstitutional use of ED for the railroads.

            1. Speaking of railroads, a large railroad owned by a multi-billionaire and huge Obama butt-kisser currently ships several trains a day full of Canadian oil.

        2. Pipelines don’t destroy surface use and are routed to be economic (ie where demolition doesn’t have to be done). Most ED issues come from the fact that a person simply doesn’t want a pipeline through there property because it reduces the value and can’t build permanent structures on it in the future. Pipelines rarely displace people. ED can happen for pipelines, which is unfortunate, but pipeline companies don’t need to engage in kelo type abuses because they aren’t grabbing land for enhancement, they just need it to dig out.

          1. So a person can use government force to trespass on my land when it “rarely displaces people” and effects the surface of the land?

            Wow. Just wow.

            I hope you lube your principles before you fuck them like that.

            1. I would hope that there is no need to force anyone but negotiation by the pipeline company would overwhelm them. Only through state agencies can this get done and regardless of what actually takes place, it’s considered eminent domain.

              And I say it rarely displaces anyone but, like a railroad, it’s really difficult to turn a pipeline so in the end it’s hard to guarantee that. People need to be justly compensated however, unlike Kelo.

              1. Susan Kelo wasn’t offered compensation?

      2. You’re such an asshole, seriously.

        1. You don’t like roads or utility lines or railroads either, I take it?

          1. You just jumped the shark.

      3. Willard would agree, so Tulpa’s sold.

      4. “A pipeline is a perfectly legitimate use of ED.”

        I like that Tulpa has dropped al pretense of being a libertarian now.

        1. Tulpa is a mouthwatering statist like you. There are many of us in Texas who oppose this pipeline because it violates private property

        2. I’m not a doctrinaire libertarian, no. There are instances where doctrinaire libertarianism makes things very obtuse with little or no gain in liberty.

          Demanding that we privatize the roads is one example. Disparaging eminent domain for linear objects that can’t be built any other way is another.

    2. Without EM, would any pipeline get built?

      1. Sure, it would just cost more.

        1. Fuck that, Rob. Let’s just force people at the point of a gun to give up their property. Sieg heil, mother-fuckers.

        2. But the feds don’t control EM. The states do. That would seem to be a bitch with the states not the feds. And no reason for the feds to kill the project.

          1. “But the feds don’t control EM. The states do.”

            So libertarians or anyone concerned about EM or government abuse can’t be worried about states doing it?

            1. Sure they can. But that hardly justifies the feds killing the project. And further the EM is a red hearing. Pipelines don’t require buying the whole property or kicking people off their land, just an easement. EM is used all the time for pipelines. They wouldn’t be built otherwise.

              The same people who thought KELO, a case where people really were kicked out of their houses for a project with no benefit was great, are now wildly concerned about the issue in a case where land owners are being deprived of extorting extra money for digging a hole across their pasture.

              It doesn’t even pass the laugh test. It is just the usual change the subject routine to get people to talk about anything other than the fact that Obama just killed thousands of jobs and offended our biggest trading partner to in return for campaign money from Greens.

              1. “The same people who thought KELO, a case where people really were kicked out of their houses for a project with no benefit was great, are now wildly concerned about the issue in a case where land owners are being deprived of extorting extra money for digging a hole across their pasture.”

                Can you site any of those persons (a person who applauded Kelo but oppose the ED here)?

                Or are you making shit up again?

                1. The ED talking point isn’t coming from the right. It is coming from the left. Again MNG, you are just trying to change the subject. This is a horrible decision and you know it. So you don’t want to talk about it. You would rather talk about ED.

                  1. I agreed it was a bad decision. Someone else brought up ED. My point is, if you think ED is a bad thing, how can you turn a blind eye to it here?

                    1. The ED is an interesting point. I do think that pipelines, because of the economics of them might be different than factories. In a pipeline any one owner of thousands can stop the entire project. That might create a public purpose for ED.

                      That said, it is a state issue not a federal one. If ND is screwing people on ED, that is no reason for the feds to kill the project.

        3. Sure, it would just cost more.

          Yeah, thousands of times more.

          You know how many potential holdouts there are along the pipeline route?

          1. Citations needed.

            1. My position is the CW. Burden of proof is on you guys.

              1. Burden of proof is on the people proving the negative? Since when. You asserted that it would cost thousands of times more to not use ED without evidence.

                Asserting “My position is the CW” is not evidence.

              2. My position is the CW. Burden of proof is on you guys.

                You just went Full Tony. You never go Full Tony.

          2. Fucking dummy buyers, how do they work.

          3. Not even close, my uncle, for example, has a private natural gas pipeline running under his farm. He was more than happy to negotiate that. As I would imagine would most of the farmers from ND to Texas.

            Its a nice little bit of “free” money in their pocket, with pretty much no cost. Oh, their will be the occassional holdout, but they are easy to route around.

        4. I think given the scope of this line you have to work through the state to settle with all the landowners because it would take hundreds of dedicated landmen to settle everything. The state should negotiate in good faith, but in the end, even if everyone is amicable, it’s still and form of ED.

          1. Sure it is. But it is hardly Kelo. And it is not like the liberals who have all of the sudden found this huge concern over ED really believe what they are saying.

            1. “But it is hardly Kelo. ”

              What does that mean? If it is wrong for government to take or force use of private land for a private third party then its wrong.

              You just don’t care because your only principle is hate of Democrats.

              1. No. What that means is it is a question of degree. It may be wrong to force people to agree to have a big hole dug on their property, but that is not nearly as wrong or outrageous as forcing that person completely off of their property.

                Maybe South Dakota is screwing all of the land owners. If they are, shame on them. But that has nothing to do with the State Department’s decision to kill this. They are killing it for reasons that had nothing to do with ED. Approve the project and take it up with the states regarding their ED practices.

            2. Actually, it will be Kelo on steroids. The sheer amount of land required and the number of landowners that they will have to tread on will end up requiring government violations of property rights to increase private profits. And it will be highly popular to do so, because of “teh jerbs”. Farmers will have large swaths of their farmland occupied by machinery and destroyed during construction.

              1. And those Farmers will be paid and go right back to farming after it is done. And it is easy for you to say “the jerbs” when it is not your job. There is a public benefit to this. Think about the economics of it. Every land owner can hold up the entire project. That is not getting just compensation. That is just extorting the pipeline company. And the public does need oil. Why should I pay higher oil prices so some farmer in Nebraska can run an extortion racket?

                And this may come a surprise to you but most people like to work and make money. And they really are not fond of land owners extorting their employers out of compensation way above and beyond what the actual damage to their land. You can dismiss people who want to work for living by using some fucking annoying douchebag term like jerbs all you want. But don’t expect anyone to listen to you.

                1. “And those Farmers will be paid and go right back to farming after it is done.”

                  I wonder, by TransCanada or by taxpayers?

                  “And it is easy for you to say “the jerbs” when it is not your job. There is a public benefit to this.”

                  Um, that’s what the Left said about bailing out Chevy. Corporatism is awesome as long as the Greens are against it?

                  “And they really are not fond of land owners extorting their employers out of compensation way above and beyond what the actual damage to their land”

                  If I walk up to you and demand you sell me your house for $100k and you won’t sell for less than $20 million, how is that extortion on your part? It’s your house and I hold no rights to it.

          2. Pretty much all of the stories have said that Transcanada came in, lowballed them and then filed an ED suit.

            1. Well then the issue needs to be in the judicial court , not the Obama court.

              1. The ED issue needs to be in judicial court? But with Kelo as precedent we know how that will go…

                Don’t get me wrong, Obama is too stupid and wrong on these issues to have entertained his denial based on Ed issues. I’m just saying any Kelo hater would, imo, have to be opposed to pipeline ED as well, unless they just want a tool to beat Obama with like John…

                1. Saying that they should have to buy their own land is not saying they shouldn’t be able to build the pipeline at all. If Obama had said “I will approve this provided you don’t use ED to get the rights to do it”, I couldn’t complain. But that is not what he did.

                  1. I agree with you on Obama, no reason for him not to approve this at all.

                    I still dont think ED should be used, this is no different than Kelo at all. Private company getting private land.

                2. right of way eminent domain is alot harder thing to wrestle with than simply “highest economic value” ED.

                  the pipeline benefits private companies, but moving oil to existing refineries as opposed to building new refineries near oil does help the public.

                  The details of this are fuzzy and I’m not a fan of the republicans beating obama over the head with it, but i think the main objections need to come from the states, not the president.

                3. So it’s wrong to beat on Obama when he’s wrong even if he isn’t wrong for the right reason?

    3. I posted that last time and the Kelo haters made all types of excuses for this type of eminent domain. The fact is that the oil gets here now.…..e_map.html

      Plus, the GOP governor of Nebraska is opposed to this pipeline. Keystone is now prepping a new route to avoid the aquifier.

      1. If keystone is going to go around te aquifer, what is the objection obama has then?

        Surely this can all be negotiated rather than rejected outright. In the end, everyone wins for getting oil to Texas other than anti-oil enviros.

        1. Maybe Obama is rejecting it because it doesn’t go though Illinois and therefore Chicago isn’t getting a piece of the action.

        2. Apparently, that’s the rationale. Rejected until they submit the new, aquifer free route.

          1. Then assuming that the aquifer isn’t as wide as the state of Montana, this whole thing is much ado about nothing. I would couch the rejection then in terms of how the state of Nebraska must be satisfied before approval.

        3. Why should Obama be expected to approve something that doesn’t even have a finalized route and doesn’t have impartial impact analysis, much less one that relies so heavily on eminent domain? I’m not a fan of pipeline corporatism and regulatory exceptions simply because it might create some jobs.

          1. He shouldn’t be expected to do a damn thing except say “Yes, a pipeline crossing an American border is OK”.

            Then, Transcanada needs to handle the state issues. Obama can’t just bless the whole thing in a sweep. If that’s what he’s being as to do, he should immediately reject those powers.

          2. They’ve done two separate, complete impact analyses.

            1. The key word there was “impartial.” Cardno Entrix, the company that did the studies, has an extensive history of contract work with Keystone. And impact studies are kind of pointless when the route is not confirmed by a long shot. Nebraska may block the whole thing.

    4. Since when are we outraged when imminent domain and government subsidies fail?
      Seriously, WTF?

      Obviously the president isn’t against it on any such grounds, so the headline is still accurate…in fact that headline could be recycled for every decision he makes.

      Nonetheless. W…T…F…?

      1. If you don’t know how to spell “Eminent,” you probably don’t have much to add to this discussion.

  25. It takes more energy to get the oil out of those sands than it’s really worth, plus the carbon output is astromonically dirty.

    Are we talking about ethanol, now?

    1. Well if we aren’t subsidizing it, and it’s not worth the price, I guess the people building it will decide to stop. Because that’s what you do when you aren’t getting paid for your work.

    2. and what’s the libertoid position on ethanol again?

      1. Judging by the enthusiasm with which threads veer into arguments about beer and other libations, I would say libertarians are pro-ethanol.

      2. If a company wants to make ethanol and try to sell it for a profit, go for it. Don’t take my money to fund the company’s shortfalls, though.

  26. “Since the pipeline crosses our border the president has the reponsibility to decide if it is in the national interest.”

    Wait, what? I just reviewed the constitution and it didn’t appear to say anything about that above sentence.

    1. What the hell’s a “constatutatitutition”?

      1. A document in Sanskrit written over a hundred years ago. Don’t worry about it.

  27. I like how he tries to blame the Republicans for this too. “They didn’t give me enough time.” He’s had a flerking year already!

    1. He is just giving his trolls talking points.

      1. With this decision by Obama I only have this to say. I for one welcome our new Romney robot overlords.

        1. Reversing this decision is one thing you could pretty much guarantee would improve under Romney.

          1. True, what else can I say other that the RNC must be absolutely salivating over this decision.

  28. “Center for American Progress”

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  29. what’s the libertoid position on ethanol again?

    Thumbs down.

    What’s your point?

    1. He doesn’t have one.

    2. There’s nothing wrong with ethanol, as long as I’m not forced to pay for it or use it.

      1. If you’re going to waste perfectly good corn alcohol by burning it, you are an evil person.

      2. But you are forced to pay for it. Obama is supporting an increase to fifteen percent in order to assure votes from corn producing states. Never mind that we have suffered a catastrophic drought where ranchers and farmers are selling off livestock because there is no available feed. Corn feeds people and animals. Raise the price of corn by using it for a fake extension of oil and you end up with higher food prices all around. And this doesn’t even touch on the highly corrosive nature of corn ethanol. To refine it takes more energy and water than it produces. Added to gasoline, it cuts fuel efficiency. Used in older cars, it eats gaskets causing catastrophic engine failure. I don’t know about you, but with my husband unemployed for over a year and working as a teacher, I can barely afford my ten year old Honda. I certainly can’t afford a new car.

        One wonders if causing older cars to fail through adding ethanol is part of Obama’s long game to force us into newer cars. The sad thing is, we can’t afford it and like it or not, without cars, we can’t get to work. Where’s the win in that scenario?

    3. Speak for yourself, I enjoy ethanol (in moderation).

      Bottoms up.

  30. There’s the part where Mexican farmers are burning precious agave fields to grow subsidized corn instead. That’s wrong.

  31. On the whole, I would like the Government of Canada to follow the example of the anti-SOPA protest: Shut down all energy exports (Oil, gas, electicity) for 24 hours. Send an email to the President and the US Congress: “You don’t like our energy. See how you can do without it. Maybe you can deal with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez if you prefer.”

    (This would be best done during a cold snap in the Northeast.)

    1. I’m an American, and I endorse this message.

    2. Maybe they should invite Hillary! to the groundbreaking ceremony for the new pipeline to the coast.

      “Well, since us selling our oil to the Asian market is apparently in the US national interest, we thought you’d like to be here for it.”

      1. God help the administration if gas prices go up sharply this summer.

        1. It hasn’t been below $3.52 all winter by me. It will go up and if you thought the Republicans repeated the Rev. Wright thing ad nauseam just wait until the Superpacs get a hold of this one. It’s the gas pump stupid.

          1. this is why having vetted this man in ’08 would have been a good thing. Obama’s words have always belied his actions. It’s no more difficult than what your parents used to say — show me your friends, and I’ll show you yourself. His crowd is the crowd that wants to diminish America, that understands chaos is its only means of putting in place policies that no thinking individual would willingly support, and expanding the central bureaucracy. In their minds, central planning did not work elsewhere because they were not the ones in charge.

  32. This is just to sucker the republicans into another lost battle on the social security tax debate. Once again, if they oppose, the republicans look like the bad guys and have no leverage in the negotiations since he’s pulled their card. Its not so much caving or pandering to special interests as it is a premeditated political ploy.

  33. Dang it, I hate always having to be the contrarian here, and I hate defending Obama.

    – How much private property will have to be seized via eminent domain to make this pipeline stretch from Canada to Texas?

    – It’s a national security “threat” so security will likely require government resources to protect private property.

    – I also agree with the environmentalists that impact studies are needed to ensure water supplies are safe from impact. Also, part of the line runs through an active seismic zone. The studies funded by TransCanada were less than impartial. Of course, their agenda goes way beyond basic safety, and mine doesn’t.

    There’s still too many unanswered questions so it is logical Obama would delay approval. They don’t even have a final route down yet. Rushed approval and special regulatory exceptions for TransCanada looks more like corporatism, and I’m sure this is a nice cash cow for the politicians pushing it. In a free market, the TransCanada owners would be fully personally liable and would have less incentive to cut corners that might violate rights.

    Government’s role is not to “help business” or “create jobs” – its sole role should be to defend individual rights. There are numerous conflicts of rights here and it makes sense to have more deliberation instead of jumping on the Big Business team and blasting critics with valid points.

    1. Of course, the environmentalists’ agenda goes way beyond basic safety, and mine doesn’t.

    2. Here’s followup on the eminent domain point. The pipeline should be anathema to libertarians, as it is Kelo vs. New London to the nth degree. Private corporations demanding government seize private property for their own gain.

      1. I have no doubt they are shady. Most big businesses are. But, what business is it of the feds? And further, if ED is the issue, why couldn’t Obama have just said “I approve on the condition you don’t use ED”?

        Why do you trust the environmentalists on this? Nothing is going to satisfy those people.

        1. According to the article Trans-Canada is being far more aggressive and lowballing the original offers.

          If I had to say why I’d say it is because they are used to dealing in Canada where ED law is less restrictive. I could be wrong though.

          1. I am sure they are lowballing. But at the same time, without some kind of ED, each farmer gets to hold up the entire project until he is satisfied. That enables every land owner to get compensation totally above any damage done. That is just extortion.

            1. No, because TransCanada doesn’t have the “right” to individuals’ property. They have the right to ask for it and make an offer, but not the right to seize it. But if they have to turn the pipeline sideways across three states to avoid one plot by a stubborn landholder, that’s frankly their problem and not the property owner’s. Since when is it the role of government to save corporations money?

              1. It is the government’s business to make sure things like pipelines, that are profitable and necessary, get built. Normally the free market does that just fine. But occasionally it doesn’t. How is there not a public interest in this?

                1. The Greens want to use the government to treat green energy preferably. You want to use the government to treat traditional energy sources preferably. Both of you make utilitarian, public interest arguments for the statism and corporatism and justify violating individual rights to preserve or enact your favored energy scheme. I don’t see how your proposal is any more libertarian than the Greens’ various proposals.

                  1. You, sir, are a badass. Bear in mind that John is not a libertarian and thinks it’s okay to steal sometimes, just like the left-wing socialists.

        2. I don’t “trust” the environmentalists on this – but it’s a case where they’re interests in the environment synch with my interests in stopping eminent domain and preferential applications of the regulatory state, and protecting the property rights of individuals from utilitarian invasions by Big Business and Big Government.

          1. Wouldn’t you agree that this is a different case than Kelo? In Kelo people actually were forced off of their land. Difference in quantity if nothing else. And second, isn’t a pipeline kind of unique entity. Instead of a few land owners, you have thousands. I don’t see how you could ever build a pipeline without some kind of government control to force people to make fair deals instead of just shaking down the pipeline company.

            Think of it this way. The pipeline will do x dollars of damage to a land owners’ land. In an ideal world X + 1 should get him to sign. But in the case of a pipeline, by holding out he can conceivable, if he is the lone hold out get the pipeline company to pay right up to the amount they are making from the entire pipeline. If everyone does that, and rationally they should do exactly that, the pipeline never gets built. Isn’t there a public purpose in keeping that from happening?

            1. Can I steal your car and go joyriding with my friends, as long as I give it back relatively unscathed? It might be a few weeks before I give it back and you may get fired for not being able to get to work, but don’t worry. I promise I’ll return it.

              1. That is not analogous at all. Can the cops if they are in hot pursuit of a murderer and their car breaks down take your care, provided they give it back to you and they don’t damage it?

                If you want to argue by analogy, make a good one.

                1. Huh? That’s a really terrible analogy. a.) No, cops don’t have the right to steal my car. They have the right to ask me to use my car to pursue the murderer.

                  b.) Who is the “cop” and the “murderer” in this scenario. This is simply about a business using the arm of government to invade and disrupt private property without permission of the owners for their personal profits.

                  If the cops have to run across my backyard to catch a murderer who has crossed into my property, they can argue it was a justified for my own safety – which is the point of having cops in the first place. If they damage my property, I have the right to seek tort damages. In the pipeline scenario, they are violating my property sovereignty to make something more efficient to sell back to me, if that’s what I want. Sorry, that’s not a justified use of government force.

      2. ok, the president can say “look, as far as crossing the border is concerned, I don’t see a problem, but I’m not going to overrule the judicial process just to see this pipeline built. Get back to me when the states and lawsuits are resolved”.

        1. It’s bigger than that – if it’s crossing federal land but doesn’t yet have a finalized route, how can he possibly approve it when the executive branch is in charge of administering federal lands?

          1. AFAIK, this approval is only the State Department’s approval for the pipeline to cross the border.

            Engineering, environmental and right of way issues are completely separate and have already been approved in principle by the appropriate agencies.

            I too find ED usettling but it is established law. For the most part a pipelinr easement does very little to upset the property owners normal enjoymnet of the use of his land. Except for the occasional marker, you wouldn’t even know it was there.

          2. the president doesn’t approve lines directly, else all the pipe laid through BLM land would be signed off by him, which is rediculous.

    3. Which thread was it that you copied and pasted this from?

      1. I didn’t. I just typed it up. Even so, what does that have to do with the arguments?

    4. How much private property will have to be seized via eminent domain to make this pipeline stretch from Canada to Texas?

      ED for a right of way is a use of ED that I have no problem with, in principle.

      It’s a national security “threat” so security will likely require government resources to protect private property.

      What threat? And even so, since when has the government protecting people’s property rights been a problem for libertarians? That’s one of its only legitimate functions.

      I also agree with the environmentalists that impact studies are needed to ensure water supplies are safe from impact.

      There have been at least two that I know of.

  34. It has become increasingly clear that the big money from the likes of Soros, who is incidentally drilling off the pristine shores of Brazil using American taxpayer dollars, holds more sway with this president than the true need for jobs and assurance of relatively stable and low cost energy. Like it or not, there is no solar car, electric cars are still running up carbon footprints bein charged from coal fired plants and wind power may be actually altering our prevailing winds for the worse. Jobs were supposed to be job one, obviously not a true statement given his actions to restrict workers from access to jobs. So who wins? Canada will sell to China-win-win. We lose. Again. Thanks Obama.

    1. My Dad worked for a Canadian company that was forced to have dual main offices because of the perceived need for English-French parity. The French office would do one thing, the English one something else. They both hated each other more than they hated the Yanks. It wasn’t that long ago that the western provinces sought to become independent with the idea of petitioning to become part of the US. It’s not the bucolic tea party many envision.

  35. I was drowned in rabid anti-Americanism in Quebec and Vancouver.

    Vancouver I can see, Quebec, not so much. My biggest selling point on one bridge i worked on there was that I was an Amercan and hence OK with the Frogs. They hated English Canadians with a passion.

    Mind you, that was in the 1970s, I can see that things might have changed.

    For the most part you’ll find blue collar and business types less anti-American. The real venom comes from the “educated class” that works in academia and non-profits.

    1. Not really anti-Americanism so much as a smug sense of self-superiority. Maybe that’s the same thing though.

      1. You’re right. Canadians are to nice to be openly hostile. But that smug sense of self-superiority can have a sting just the same.

  36. Caved to special interests? No he didn’t. Can’t you read? He refused to approve the pipeline.

    1. Are you retarded?

  37. I think one additional important thing to keep in mind about the Keystone debate is what it reveals about the environmental lobby.

    The people coordinating the attacks on the pipeline from think tanks in Washington openly admit that they oppose it because they don’t want Canada’s tar sands developed. (The fact that they think stopping this pipeline will stop development of the tar sands shows you how stupid they actually are.)

    BUT in the course of trying to demagogue the issue at the state level, they have fear-mongered over a lot of secondary nonsense that not even they believe, like the aquifer nonsense.

    This shows you something I’ve said about the environmental lobby for a long time: namely, that they are liars.

    Whenever you hear any argument from the environmental lobby, always remember that they are willing to lie to you to accomplish a “higher” goal. And that they will say whatever they have to say to get the power to “save the environment” – and if that requires them to pretend to be frightened about groundwater even when their real concerns lie elsewhere, that’s exactly what they will do.

    1. Yup. I don’t believe a word they say about the aquifers. And it doesn’t even make intuitive sense. Modern pipelines are monitored. Oil is expensive. You don’t want a leak to go unnoticed. So even if there was a leak and it got into the ground water it would ruin a very small area around the pipeline. It would never ruin the entire aquifer. Yet, that is what they are claiming.

      1. John,

        Maybe the aquifer issue isn’t a problem, but its not Obama’s decision to decide whether or not it is.

        This shouldn’t be in Obama’s court to decide. The process should be with the states, the individuals affected and TransCanada.

        If he’s just saying “Look, you guys haven’t resolved these issues amongst yourselves, so go back and let me know when you have”, fine. If he’s saying “Yeah, you’re all cool with it, but I still don’t like it”, he’s exceeding his authority in the issue.

        1. Yes he is. And that is another reason why the ED issue is a red herring.

        2. IIANM, all the issues have been resolved. Trans-Canada has done all the engineering and environmental studies, the appropriate government agencies in both countries (DOE, EPA etc and their Canadian counterparts) have signed off on it and the only outstanding issue is approval from the State Department for the pipeline to cross the US border.

          The State Department has no other authority over the pipeline (for example it can’t stop a pipeline exclusively within US territory) and certainly has no personell within it to even make any judgments on any environmental or engineering issues involved.

          Absent real objections State’s approval should have been a quick rubber stamp.

          1. If true, he’s exceeding his authority simply to make a statement, which is disgusting.

            1. My comments are based on what I have heard and read in news reports.

              Unless I am very much mistaken this approval is basically diplomatic and is strictly the approval for Trans-Canada to cross the border with this pipeline. They already have several cross border pipelines.

              Unlike the approvals that other agencies give which must be based on objective reviews of the legal, engineering and environmental issues this one is a purely political one.

              But given that there should be no objection to one more pipeline, given the demand for oil that exists, approving this should have been a foregone conclusion. IOW, it’s not just bad technically, it’s bad politically.

              Look like most projects that have the government involved (and Trans Canada, though private, is a creation of the Canadian Government) much about this one should be troubling to libertarians. But within the current legal framework and the wy business is done, State Department approval of this should have been automatic.

  38. Damn the people full speed ahead.

    1. Hey, do you mind if we use that as our campaign theme? At least half the voters are mindless sheep and the media is in our back pocket; it’s not like anyone is going to call us on this.

  39. Hey, libertarians.

    You get your pipeline if you sign a contract that forces you to pay for all the inevitable damages AND forces your ugly children to drink polluted for five years in the inevitable case of the pipeline rupturing or the like.


    1. Sure, but we can’t sign the deal with you because contracts signed by retards are not enforceable.

    2. There’s already a structure in place to do that. It’s called tort law.

      Pipelines pay out judgments and settlements for damages any time they are either proven in court or agreed to between the parties.

    3. Sure,,,if you’ll agree to live the rest of your life free of any benefits from oil or its products. You can’t be subsidizing poisons and/or the Kochs now can you?

  40. I’m not yet down with the ROMNIAC, but Obama you are actually pushing me in that direction. That’s incredible. You Mr. President really can do anything, including persuade me to strangle and torch my soul by supporting Romney. Holy fuck.

  41. Does this mean the President has to decide that its in the national interest before allowing each and every oil tanker to unload in the US?

    No, but I would not be surprised if every tanker berthing was subject to some longterm agreement between the shipping company and the government. Ships don’t just get to enter US waters and tie up at wharves any time and with whatever cargo they please.

  42. I can’t believe its cheaper to build a pipeline from canada all the way to texas than it is to just build a new refinery on the US-Canadian border. Unless the government would have been subsidizing the pipeline in some way…

    1. Even if you refine it, you have to still transport the refined product somewhere. It is cheaper to build a pipeline to existing refineries that sit on the coast where the finished product can be transported wherever it is needed.

    2. Its close, but I can.

      Refineries are freakin expensive. Pipes are relatively cheap.

    3. Don’t you think some experts looked at this, did a cost/benefit analysis, and rejected it? You sound like the folks who show up at the zoning board and say “we don’t need another restaurant in town” and then find it is wildly successful when built.

  43. So if the Iranians really block the Strait of Hormuz the price of oil will skyrocket (at least temporarily) we may end up with gas lines like we did in the 70s with the oil embargo. Obama must be willing to bet the presidency that that won’t happen because if it does he will be a one term president like Jimmy Carter. That said maybe this is the best way to get rid of this freedom stealing dictator. I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt when he was elected, but his actions have proven much of what his critics have said about him.

  44. “””””Keystone XL is shovel-ready. TransCanada is poised to put 13,000 Americans to work to construct the pipeline – pipefitters, welders, mechanics, electricians, heavy equipment operators, among other jobs – in addition to 7,000 manufacturing jobs that would be created across the U.S. Additionally, local businesses along the pipeline route will benefit from the 118,000 spin-off jobs Keystone XL will create through increased business for local goods and service providers.””””””

    1. Given that actual shovels may be used (as opposed to metaphorical solyndrical shovels), Obama is defeinitely against it.

      Dirt hurts too.

    2. It’s not shovel-ready. They don’t have a finalized route and don’t own most of the land they want to build it on.

      1. I wouldn’t imagine they would buy the land before this approval, but not having the route finished is another matter. However, if the states are OK with the plan, Obama is just approving the border crossing.

  45. I’m beginning to re-think this whole election. The more I see of this administration, the more I’m convinced that real Americans should draw a line in the sand and take a stand right now. No more Wishy-Washy Republican establishment choices! Roll the dice and take a shot!

    How much worse can it get if Obama is re-elected?

    The way I see it, this is what will probably happen.

    The Democrats will never retake the house, and they will lose the Senate. They would like us all to believe different, but they are only “Whistling Past The Graveyard! ” Americans saw what happened when they gave total control to Democrats from 2008 to 2010. “Fool Me Once…” ?

    So, if re-elected,(and that is a big if!) Obama will be the only four year Lame Duck president in the history of this nation. Congress will not allow him to get away with any of the crap he rammed down America’s throat for the last three years. All of his administrations bad policies and law suits against the states will be reversed or come to a screeching halt. All of his attempts to “back door” congress and the will of the American people will end.

    That being said, there will be an even bigger consequence if Obama is re-elected. By 2016, Americans will be so disgusted and disenchanted with liberal progressives, that Republicans will hold power for at least the next twelve years. Obama will single-handedly destroy the Democratic party. That is a shame, because there are good Democrats who will be destroyed by liberal progressives in the process. Most Americans don’t know how bad things really are, but they will by 2016.

    Time will tell if I’m right or wrong, but we will all suffer greatly in the mean time!

  46. No one should be surprised by this decision. It’s an election year, first, and while he’d lose the environmental groups if he approved it he knows the unions have no place to go and will continue donating all they have to Democrats regardless of decisions that hurt their interests.

    Second, the O Man and his Obamabots are true believers. They believe carbon fuels dominate simply because they have been given an unfair advantage and that if more advantages are given to so-called “green” energy than market share will become more evenly divided. They also believe that green energy will create many jobs if given the chance.

    I say “believe” because like NY Democrats who view their party in religious terms their are no agnostics among them. Evidence does not matter. They have seen the light and know the truth. They have been redeemed and will not be shaken.

    This is what conservatives, who want to debate and compare policies, whether on energy or entitlements, frequently fail to understand. It’s why Paul Krugman can say with a straight face that Europes’ problem is that it does not spend enough on social programs and other government goodies and liberals nod right along.

    1. Where are the environmental groups going to go, Peter?

      The rank and file of the unions, especially the building trades, have no problem crossing over to vote Republican, no matter how much their leaders tow the Democrat lion.

      You think the Greens are going to vote for any Gaia-raping Republican? And setting up a Green Party challenge to The Chosen One, especially after the 2K debacle, is out of the question, IMO.

      I agree that his calculation is that the enviro vote > the union vote since the enviro vote goes far beyond the movement stalwarts. He thinks he can do without the rank and file union vote as long as the leadership keeps delivering the check-off money. And these people wonder why unionism is in decline.

      I think he has miscalculated.

      1. I don’t think this goes through blue union states, just red ones.

        1. Good point.

  47. You know, if you’re going with a headline “Obama Bows to Special Interests”, and he does so in a way that undoubtedly makes the Saudis very happy,

    you could at least use the pic of him bowing to that Saudi potentate. Geez.

  48. What a dufus! Obama apparently went to the same “College of Logic” that the Pope went to when he told people of Africa to stop using condoms–even though their use would prevent the spread of AIDS. WHAT A DUFUS!

    Obama is more of a dufus than the Pope. At least the Pope hails from an ancient religion.

  49. Someone will have to explain to me what is fre market and conservative about this plan. Let’s start off with socializing the risk of the plan to America for private FORIEGN profit. But that’s not the rotten egg in this plan, it’s the whole SEIZING US CITIZEN land via emminent domain to enrich a FORIEGN COMPANY that will not pay much in US taxes nor assure us of the crude that comes from the pipeline…

    1. Which part of tradeoffs don’t you understand?

      This pipeline would lower gas prices for U.S. people and create tens of thousands of jobs directly and indirectly for U.S. people!!

  50. Lets be honest, Obama doesn’t really care about pleasing environmental activists. If the republican congress hadn’t pushed him he probably would have approved the pipeline eventually, and probably still will when the pipeline is resubmitted for approval.

  51. Now Canada wants to build the pipeline to their own west coast, because China wants to buy their oil. We lose the jobs and the easy access to non OPEC oil. We are sending you to unemployment in November!!

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  53. Keystone will do more than just bring down Canadan oil, people also want it to bring down oil from the booming fields (Bakken) in North Dakota that are currently railed or trucked(!) down to refineries on the gulf coast. It will also give a relief to the glut of oil at the Cushing terminal in Oklahoma, also sending it to the Gulf, which will help lower gas prices over much of the East part of the country (they are connected by product pipelines).

  54. Wow!
    Owebama makes life so much easier for the comics, the jokes just write themselves.
    He is a stuttering clusterf*%$ of a miserable failure.

  55. “The Obama administration has said it simply could not adequately review the proposed project in time to meet a 60-day deadline for a decision on the permit imposed by Congress in the payroll-tax package enacted in December.”

    They don’t have enough time, so they decided early that they are just not going to let it happen.

    Our president is BOUGHT out!

  56. Where, in the the Constitution, does the Executive have the power to approve or disapprove this sort of thing? Nowhere!!!

  57. I.. am of mixed opinion on this. First, while it does look like a good thing, the oil was not going to “be ours.” The Jobs this creates, would be around 6000 jobs, the majority in canada, the majority for two years or less. The long term answer for this is that it creates 100 permanant jobs over 50 years, and of those, 30 are already spoken for.

    Meanwhile, the only reason that Obama rejected this today was he was forced by congress to make a decision on this pipeline , blanket approval or blanket denial, by this date. Transcanada didn’t want this forced decision, they ripped the republican leadership for adding it to the payroll tax bill, as they were working on avoiding the Aquifer anyway and this was a distraction.

    But don’t worry. This is only temporary. They’ll be able to send their oil sludge through the US to be sold to the Chinese from Texas by Saudi owned oil companies 😉 It’ll still happen, it’ll just take time. What happened today is what happened when political forces try to force the government to make decisions on private enterprise.

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