Keystone XL

Obama Rejects Keystone Oil Pipeline: Not in National Interest

"The pipeline would not make a meaningful long-term contribution to our economy."


White House

After 7 years of dithering, President Barack Obama has decided to reject the construction of the Keystone pipeline as not being in the national interest. Evidently, the U.S. has no interest in transporting, refining, and using 800,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada. In his role as economist-in-chief and business-development czar, the president magisterially declaimed: "The pipeline would not make a meaningful long-term contribution to our economy."

The New York Times reports:

The move was made ahead of a major United Nations summit meeting on climate change in Paris in December, when Mr. Obama hopes to help broker a historic agreement committing the world's nations to enacting new policies to counter global warming. While the rejection of the pipeline is largely symbolic, Mr. Obama has sought to telegraph to other world leaders that the United States is serious about acting on climate change.

Although not formally announced, President Obama is likely to show up with leaders of 80 or so other countries for the the ribbon cutting at the opening of the U.N. climate change conference in Paris at the end of the month.

Environmental activists are ecstatic. In a press release from, the group's founder Bill McKibben notes:

"President Obama is the first world leader to reject a project because of its effect on the climate. That gives him new stature as an environmental leader, and it eloquently confirms the five years and millions of hours of work that people of every kind put into this fight. We're still well aware that the next president could undo all this, but this is a day of celebration."

Here's a bet: If oil prices rise later in this decade, another president will find that constructing the pipeline is a shovel-ready project in the national interest.

NEXT: Will Climate Change Ruin Your Sex Life?

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  1. I like how this asshole thinks he gets to decide that. Oh, I guess he does.

    Because, fuck you, that’s why.

    This motherfucker cannot get out of office fast enough. In a sea of fucktarded politicians, he’s the iceberg that took out the Titanic.

    1. The part that is is going to drive me even more crazy is the way he will continue to get fellated for years after leaving office by his sycophants. They have already started with the “BEST PRESIDENT EVAHHHH” campaign.

      1. They have already started with the “BEST PRESIDENT EVAHHHH” campaign.

        They started with that as soon as the 2008 election was over. How do you think he got nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize less than two weeks after his inauguration?

        1. Yeah, also this.

        2. Because he hadn’t authorized drones to assassinate US citizens yet?

          1. why would that have mattered? Must be all those supporters-turned-protesters. Oh, wait; that didn’t happen.

            1. Hey, remember Cindy Sheehan? The Dems sure dropped her like a day-old curry turd, didn’t they?

              1. yup. And seemed that, with rare exception, Code Pink pretty well into hiding when the Lightbringer took office.

                1. I actually encountered Sheehan on Facebook not long ago, still doing what she do. I was surprised to discover that she HATES Bernie Sanders as well as the rest of the Democrat establishment. Loves Fidel Castro, though.

      2. They started the “Best President Ever Ever EVER” campaign years ago. A 2010 poll among scholars ranked him at number 15, right between Andrew Jackson and LBJ. In 20fucking10. He’d been president for a year

        1. To be fair, ‘doing nothing’ itself would probably put one in the top ten best presidents ever.

      3. Obama had pretty firmly cemented his place among the “greatest presidents ever” the moment he took the oath of office.

  2. Here’s a bet: If oil prices rise later in this decade, another president will find that constructing the pipeline is a shovel-ready project in the national interest.

    Bingo. Who was going to loan the money to build the thing when oil prices are in the shitter for the foreseeable future?

    1. They will wait until prices skyrocket and by the time it is built the market will have correted as it always does .

      There is tons of financing for this project. A pipeline is a transportation vehicle, not product. A CNC Machinist friend of mine spent 1.5 years building parts for it and they are just sitting in storage packed in grease.

  3. “Evidently, the U.S. has no interest in transporting, refining, and using 800,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada.”


    “Here’s a bet: If oil prices rise later in this decade, another president will find that constructing the pipeline is a shovel-ready project in the national interest.”


    1. Who is this U.S. person and what does his interests have to do with the 350 million other people that live in this country, or the other 7 billion in the world?

    2. Nope.


      1. Of course the Church of Carbontology has its own prophets and oracles.

      2. I think he’s rejecting Bailey’s bet, as it’s an obvious money-loser. A rare moment of lucidity from the man in Lowell.

        1. It would be nice if he made such a case, but arguing details would cut into his smug boner.

      3. As much as Bailey can. But I’m right, he’s wrong.

        1. OMG JOE IS GOD

          … I always thought he’d be taller

        2. Jackand Ace|11.6.15 @ 2:44PM|#
          “But I’m right, he’s wrong.”

          You’re a fucking ignoramus.

    3. “Exactly”
      Because things and people don’t need to go places.

      I thought you said you were for taxing carbon emissions? You are aware that that is not the same as the state refusing to let the state transport goods, don’t you? Taxing automobiles and banning the the transport of steel are not the same things, nor do they have the same effect,

    4. “Exactly”
      Because things and people don’t need to go places.

      I thought you said you were for taxing carbon emissions? You are aware that that is not the same as the state refusing to let the state transport goods, don’t you? Taxing automobiles and banning the the transport of steel are not the same things, nor do they have the same effect,

  4. Waiting to reject Keystone until gas prices are too low for tar sands to be worth the money to process is the most Obama that Obama has ever Obama’d.

  5. Here’s a bet: If oil prices rise later in this decade, another president will find that constructing the pipeline is a shovel-ready project in the national interest.

    I think its just as likely that by then, a pipeline would have already been built to Vancouver making a pipeline to the gulf unlikely.

    1. What the Canuckistanis doing about an alternate pipeline to their coast, anyway? Will Shiny Toy veto/shut down a Canuckistani pipeline?

      1. I don’t know what he thinks of a pipeline to Vancouver, but I just heard Trudeau saying that he was disappointed about Obama’s decision on this.

        1. When you’ve lost the creator of Doonesbury….


      2. All the western pipelines are dead, thanks to the environmentalists making politicians shit their pants. Eastern-going pipelines are probably dead, too. And, for train-delivered oil, Alberta government just increased the locomotive fuel tax.

        Shiny Toy has been elected to destroy oil sands, but, fortunately for him, Alberta Commies are way ahead, so he has to do nothing. He’ll still sign every piece of shit they give him in Paris.

    2. Can’t we just go to war against Canada? They’d probably be too polite to fight back, anyway.

      I say more blood for oil!

      1. +1 War Plan Red

      2. Plus, it would give a chance to take out Cytotoxic and Rufus.

        1. Hey now, Rufus is alright. He can be a provisional American or something.

          Cytotoxic, on the other hand… i mean, the guy is worthless, but he’s also only like 13. There’s a chance he’ll grow out of whatever his problem is.

          1. You don’t want to fight war against Cytotoxic. He’ll rip you up from the lab with many, many deadly diseases he’ll unleash.

            1. His mom’s herpes is pretty bad, but i don’t know if it qualifies as deadly.

      3. No blood for poutine!

      4. That’s why we Canucks sold one of our oil companies to the Chinese: so they come defend us when their investment is threatened. 🙂

        1. That’s crazy!

          So….crazy….it might just work….

    3. There are pipeline projects in Canada that are just as controversial for those living there as keystone is here. Here is a review of 3 of them:…

      “Though Enbridge has signed agreements with many First Nations along the route, many ? especially on the coast ? are staunchly opposed.
      Enbridge has had a federal permit to build Northern Gateway since mid-2014 but has not made a final decision to proceed. The project could face lengthy delays in the courts as opponents launch legal challenges to Ottawa’s approval. Last month, the Federal Court of Appeal reserved its decision on whether to uphold or quash that approval.”

      1. There is absolutely nothing ‘controversial’ about keystone except for the fact that green-thugs used their political influence with Obama to get him to fuck with one pipeline out of thousands

        1. Warren Buffet makes 2 billion a year in railroad revenue hauling oil around.

          I suspect he may be one of the moreinfluential green-thugs.

  6. Environmental activists are ecstatic.

    Because they are idiots. The Buffet trains that are hauling this oil instead of the pipeline have already had accidents and spills.

    1. Exactly. Its good to know the depths of stupidity that we’re dealing with here. They’re celebrating absolutely nothing because the oil will still be removed from the ground, transported, refined, and burned. They’ve accomplished nothing and yet celebrate it.

      1. They have endured that the oil will be transported in the future in more energy intensive ways, which will, if they are correct, make climate change worse.

        That is not nothing.

    2. I tried to explain this to Jackaland but he didn’t get it; making it harder to produce or transport doesn’t mean much less of it gets used; it just makes the people who have to use it poorer.

      So, yay, people get poorer. What an accomplishment.

  7. “The pipeline would not make a meaningful long-term contribution to our economy.”

    Yet the evil corporations are willing to invest in it. That indicates that they seem to think it will, and I’m sure they know a lot more than some idiot politician.


  8. Why does a business venture need to serve the national interest to exist? I sure hope my favorite bar figures out how to benefit the glory of the state before they get closed down.

  9. We build infrastructure for current needs, rather than future ones, you see.

  10. After 7 years of dithering, President Barack Obama has decided…

    I’m on pins and needles!

    …to reject the construction of the Keystone pipeline as not being in the national interest.

    GASP. Surprise. Barack Obama’s environmental legacy being the national interest here.

  11. It’s not beneficial enough to allow people to freely do it. What would we do without you, Obama?

    1. I dunno. Maybe have a functioning economy, who knows?

        1. Obama ended all wars, Crusty. If you’re referring to our numerous kinetic military actions, please understand that these are not wars but smart policy at its best. And ignore those troops still in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama ended those wars, too.

          1. Drones? First of all, drones don’t wear boots, and also they’re not on the ground. It’s all good.

  12. I like how the president refuses to count construction jobs as contributing to the economy, but had no problem including census-takers when boasting about how many jobs were “created or saved” (whatever the fuck that means) by his policies.

    1. the president refuses to count construction jobs as contributing to the economy

      Wait, what happened to “shovel-ready jobs”?

      1. You can only hire so many people to crowd around and deal with the bullshit that comes out of his mouth.

  13. Can’t the next president just say the exact opposite? If all it takes is Obama making a decision one way or another, then the next guy should have the exact same power.

    1. Yeah, the short-sightedness of the Democrats’ embracing Obama’s unilateral power grabs is baffling. I think they honestly believe they’ll be in power forever.

      1. “We’re still well aware that the next president could undo all this, but this is a day of celebration.”

        “Do you know what that means!? We have to get out the vote and make sure Republicans don’t undo Obama’s wonderful legacy. Why, 2016 may be the most important election EVER!”

        One might be forgiven for suspecting that this is, in fact, the entire point…

      2. They’ll most likely be in power for at least the next 4-8 years, which in political time basically is forever.

    2. I think he can, but the regulatory agencies can say that the application process needs to be restarted from beginning.

    3. Clinton is probably your next president. (Sorry, but that’s the best guess at this point.)

      She won’t reverse it.

    4. Yes, but the Keystone people would have to file a new presidential permit application, as the proceeding on this one is now over. Maybe they could move to reopen, but the bureaucrats at the State Department who handle these things in the initial stages would probably make them file a fresh application.

  14. Tom Steyer wins, the Koch brothers (and America) loses.

  15. I still don’t understand why the advocates for this don’t refer to it as Phase 4 of Keystone, and make a point to highlight the entire system of which it would be a part of. I know why the regular media doesn’t, because they’re hacks and don’t want the public to realize this is pretty common infrastructure.

    1. This.

      When the southern leg was under construction Obama flew down and posed for pics in front of some of the pipe wearing a hardhat.

  16. So Canada can’t lay pipe….noice.

  17. Hillary Clinton is, even as we speak, furiously jabbing needles into her Barack Obama voodoo doll. He just did a huge favor for the eventual Republican nominee.

    For every American who thinks “climate change” is a pressing issue, there are ten who think the economy is more important.

  18. I’m trying to figure out what happened to Reason? It used to be that people here would be ecstatic with this decision because it’s an abuse of the 5th amendment. Now this place is nothing more than a bash everything Obama does site. Too bad.

    1. The 5th amendment?


      1. I think he means the fourth, which was pretty well gutted by Kelo.

        But Obamafellators are not noted for their ability to count.

        1. Shit. Joe’s law.

        2. No, he means the 5th. Read it

          1. I caught that already. That’s why I made the joe’s law comment.

            TBS, there is no evidence whatsoever that Obama based his decision on the grounds that it would be an abuse of eminent domain.

            But you are all in favor of eminent domain when it suits your purpose, so don’t play tu quoque.

            1. I am? Where have I been in favor of eminent domain? You got the wrong guy.

              And like I said below, if you don’t support eminent domain, then you are in favor of this decision regardless of why Obama made it.

              But wait…maybe you’re the guy who is selective about eminent domain. Just like Chevy thought.

              1. You supported Kelo, joe.

                1. Well, I got news for you. I ain’t Joe, and I never supported Kelo if Joe did. Hate to ruin your wet dream…

                  1. And yet you have zero problem with using eminent domain for your “green” projects.

                    1. It’s different when they do it.

          2. The federal decision about Phase 4 has nothing to do with eminent domain

            that was enacted in certain states for parts of the project that were *already approved*

            The border-crossing leg that the state dept approved had no Eminent Domain angle and there was absolutely no objection to it on those grounds by state

            Jackand of course will ignore this because he’s a liar

            1. Look, Joe got his talking points, and he done talked them. Tony will be around later to smear shit on the floor share the wisdom with us yet another time.

            2. Not a liar. Just well informed. But you my friend are willfully ignorant. The eminent domain issue has never gone away. Transcanada has only seen the writing on the wall.

              They will use a different route? The people in Nebraska know they will still use eminent domain, so they fight on…even after trans said they were moving in a different direction. But I will let the Nebraskans tell you how naive you are.


              1. Perhaps you could step down off your high horse long enough to explain what the case has to do with eminent domain.

                1. Tell you what, I’ll let Transcanada tell you why they used it.

                  “however, despite our best efforts to negotiate voluntary easements 100 percent of the time, that is not always the case. Our last resort when we cannot reach those agreements then becomes the process of eminent domain. Without an independent process like this, needed infrastructure such as pipelines would be difficult to build.”


                  Hopefully that’s enough. If not, maybe you can explain why TC sued Nebraskans using ED? And do you think Nebraskans are just imagining all this?

                  1. The Nebraska case you linked had to do with whether or not their governor should have the legal authority to approve pipeline paths. Which likely has some connection to ED, but none was mentioned in the article.

                    However, I doubt you could connect two dots right next to each other, given that you seem only capable of producing the same fucking links over and over again without any understanding of what they say.

                    1. Fair enough. I have nothing that TC has used eminent domain, which is what you asked in the first place. I’m imagining it…along with those Nebraskans who continue to fight it.

                      Enjoy your evening.

                    2. The only thing you are imagining is that you are intelligent.

                    3. Why are the Nebraskans continuing to fight eminent domain if the Obama’s Keystone decision stopped it? Either the border pipeline would use eminent domain or it wouldn’t. If you’re arguing that this decisions pertains to eminent domain because the company building the border pipeline has used eminent domain before, or would or will use it elsewhere (such as in Nebraska), regardless of whether Obama approved the border pipeline (which you yourself seem to accept), then how exactly does this decision have implications for eminent domain again? These Nebraskans you keep bringing up seem to thing whatever eminent domain issue they are dealing with is quite independent of Obama’s decision on the border pipeline, perhaps you should too.

      2. Confess you know what he is going to say…

      3. Some portions of the pipeline may utilize eminent domain rather than purely private voluntary acquisition.

        1. As noted = those portions of the pipeline have nothing to do with the federal government’s oversight of the border-crossing portion

    2. You nailed it.

    3. I hate eminent domain, but Obama’s decision has nothing to do with that. If every landowner supported this enthusiastically he still could have made this decision for all the same shitty reasons.

      1. You’re exactly who Chevy is calling out. Who cares what reasons Obama had for vetoing it? It’s a decision that Chevy thinks libertarians would support because the pipeline was being built through eminent domain.

        1. Who cares what reasons Obama had for vetoing it?

          Anyone honest. If he had vetoed it because of eminent domain concerns, the problem could be addressed by changing the route of the pipeline to make eminent domain use unnecessary.

          The President of the United States forbade private citizens from building something. That’s bad. That the private citizens themselves may have gone on to do bad things is a separate issue.

          1. So, you would have preferred the pipeline get built with Nebraskans property rights taken away because….Obama!

            1. Jack, this place really has gone to hell. What happened?

              1. Just look at all the answers to me, which only proved your original point. It’s about hopeless.

              2. Jack, this place really has gone to hell. What happened?

                WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?

              3. Jack, this place really has gone to hell

                Concern troll is concerned.

            2. So, you would have preferred the pipeline get built with Nebraskans property rights taken away because….Obama!

              Maybe someday you’ll learn how to fucking read, but I doubt it.

            3. I’m not sure if you have trouble with reading comprehension, or if it is just that your attention span does not allow you to read past the first two words of a comment. 🙂

        2. I have a problem with one person saying he gets to decide what’s in the best interest of the country. That statement is meaningless in this context because there are tons of competing interests, and in that situation the competing parties should work to come to a mutually acceptable solution. I realize Obama is hardly the first president to do something like this. It’s always been bullshit, it always will be bullshit, but this is the bullshit that is happening right now.

          There are also rule of law and separation of power issues here. Eminent domain is awful and I’d love to see it abolished in it’s entirety, but the imperial presidency and federal meddling in state and local affairs are also all awful. If Obama had show any consistent concern for property rights in making his decision then I’d have less of a problem with it but two wrongs don’t make a right, and the mentality is “It’s OK as long as I like the outcome” will quickly send everything to hell.

          But all of this matters to people are care about being consistent and intellectually honest. I don’t know if that applies to you.

        3. “the pipeline was being built through eminent domain.”
          Was it? I thought you said the Nebraska pipeline was, and still is (regardless of this decision) being build by eminent domain?

          If a road is being built from Pennsylvania through Indiana, and the Pennsylvanian stretch of the road is being paved with the blood of murdered orphans, while the rest is being paved with standard asphalt, is this really any reason why the governor of Indiana should refuse to let asphalt be poured to continue the road from Ohio into Indiana? If the governor does this, he is not stopping an orphan-blood-paved road; he’s stopping an asphalt road that happens to connect to road in Pennsylvania that was paved with murdered orphan blood.

    4. Funny, the use of eminent domain has AFAIK already taken place. Where was the President then? What is he going to do about it now?

      Oh right, this had nothing to do with eminent domain and you’re just a mendacious fuckwit.

  19. Partially the Republicans’ fault for trying to fight the PR war by focusing on the pipeline’s construction jobs impact. The construction jobs aren’t shit. The real winner is energy security and free trade.

    That said, it does take a special kind of disdain for the citizens for Obama to explicitly taunt Republicans in his address with “you say you want jobs? Then PASS A GOD DAMN INFRASTRUCTURE SLUSH FUND BILL so we can have the same temporary jobs boosters, but paid for by taxes instead of free market investment.”

    1. IMO, it is silly to think that there is anything Republicans could have done that would have changed the outcome of this decision.

  20. I may be going out on a limb here, but I seriously think that Obama pretty much just torpedoed whatever chance the Democrats had at the Oval Office.

    1. Why would he give a shit? He can’t run again. Legacy, son!

    2. I wish this were true, but I think moderates / independents have been too taken in by the “evil polluting corporations” / KOOOOOOCH narrative to swing over this in any statistically significant fashion.

      1. No need to wish. Environmentalism at this scale enjoys far less popular support than certain progressive factions would like you to believe. The average American’s comfort with it is limited to separating recyclables and buying overpriced goods marketed as “sustainable”. They have much less tolerance for a sitting president making a purely ideological decision that will negatively impact the economy after waffling on it for two terms. Barring some unforeseen event, the Dems are effectively fucked in the next election.

      2. A solid majority of swing voters back the pipeline.

        When the economy was doing well, voters were willing to entertain concerns about hypothetical harm to their grandchildren’s grandchildren. These days they’re more worried about feeding the kids they already have.

        1. I don’t think the pipeline is a big enough issue. If gas prices go up in the next year (especially if we are hit by another recession before next election) then this keystone decision will likely become significant, but otherwise I think it will be forgotten in good time.

          I do expect though that the smarter of the Dem candidates will keep their mouths shut about the Keystone decision so that in case oil prices do go up, they won’t be on record supporting it.

  21. What is the effect on the flu.are for rejecting this project due to the fact that this oil will still be transported (less energy efficiently) by the means it currently is (trucks and trains).

  22. This was obviously a sop to the railroad industry because the oil IS coming, by the trainload.

    1. Obama’s buddy Warren Buffet (whose Berkshire Hathaway owns BNSF Railway) is going to have to have even more fun diving into his money pit.

      1. No doubt this is what Thomas Piketty meant by ‘rent-seeking.’

  23. Obama just increased the carbon footprint of oil transportation. How is this leadership on climate change?

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  25. I don’t get why Obama vetoed the pipeline. Numerous polls show that most people support it. Most of the lobbying dollars seem to be in support of it. Seems like most of the opposition comes from environmentalists who comprise a relatively small number.

    So what explains Obama’s opposition to it? Is he simply a die-hard environmentalist? Is that really a sufficient explanation?

  26. But Keystone is a dilbit pipeline, it will transmit dilbit – NOT oil. That’s DILuted BITumen since “bitumen in its undiluted state is too viscous and dense to be transported by pipeline”. Dilbit is bitumen diluted so that it’s liquid enough to be transmitted down a pipeline.

    But if the pipeline breaks, which they do far too regularly, then the dilbit escapes, the oil rises to the surface and the bitumen reverts to its previous viscous, dense state. The environmental consequences of such pollution are severe, so severe that despite being generally pro-business and pro-progress, I’m with the environmental activists on this one…

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