Keystone XL

Keystone Pipeline's Cancellation Shows How Arbitrary Presidential Power Subverts the Rule of Law

Citizens and companies increasingly cannot count on the stability of the law when making decisions about their lives and businesses.

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The rule of law can be serviceably defined as restricting the arbitrary exercise of power by subordinating it to well-defined and established laws. Unfortunately, politicians have learned how to subvert the rule of law by laundering their decisions through supine federal bureaucracies that interpret badly-defined laws and regulations to suit the desires of the president and his minions.

The decade-long saga of the Keystone XL oil pipeline is a near-perfect example of how this works. (Don't get me started on arbitrary presidential power to impose tariffs and exercise secret emergency powers.)

Earlier this week, bowing to President Biden's January declaration that its pipeline was not in the U.S.'s national interest, the builder of the pipeline, TC Energy, announced that it was permanently canceling construction of its Keystone pipeline. That project would have transported more than 800,000 barrels of Canadian oil daily to refineries on the Gulf Coast.

Let's jump into the federal policy WABAC Machine to see how this capricious melodrama unfolded. Back in September 2008, TransCanada Keystone Pipeline (TC Energy now) filed an application for a Presidential Permit with the Department of State to build and operate the Keystone XL Project. That began a three-year-long process in which the Department of State oversaw the compilation and issuance of a Final Environmental Impact Statement in 2011 that concluded that the Keystone XL would have "no significant impact" on land and water resources along its route and a negligible effect on man-made climate change.

All that these sorts of assessments are supposed to do is supply the information to federal agency appointees who then make national interest determinations. Reasonable people would agree that a finding of "no significant impact" would suggest that the project is in the national interest and should be approved, right? Wrong.

The findings were evidently not the right answers for then-Secretary of State John Kerry, so he sent the report back for further deliberation. The requirement for further deliberation meant that certain deadlines were missed and the company was obliged to reapply for a presidential permit in 2012. Because President Obama did not want to alienate either the blue-collar unionists who favored the pipeline or the environmental activists who were protesting frequently in front of the White House, he strategically dithered for years.

In 2013, a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement again concluded, "Approval or denial of the proposed project is unlikely to have a substantial impact on the rate of development in the oil sands, or on the amount of heavy crude oil refined in the Gulf Coast area" and would be unlikely to alter the future trajectory of global greenhouse gas emissions. Again, the wrong findings. So the bureaucrats were sent back to their desks again for further consideration.

The result was a January 2014 Final Environmental Impact Statement that more comprehensively analyzed the project's greenhouse gas emissions and their likely impact on global climate. Among other things, the new report outlined a scenario in which blocking the pipeline would shift Canadian crude oil transport to railways. That switch would actually increase greenhouse gas emissions by 27 percent over those emitted by the proposed pipeline.

Despite yet another finding that building the pipeline would have only minor impacts on land, water, and climate, on November 6, 2015, Secretary Kerry issued a determination that "the proposed project would not serve the national interest." Kerry stated, "The critical factor in my determination was this: moving forward with this project would significantly undermine our ability to continue leading the world in combatting climate change."

Then came the 2016 election of Donald Trump as president. During the presidential campaign, Trump promised to allow the Keystone pipeline to be built in return for "a big piece of the profits" for the American people. Four days after he took office, Trump issued the Presidential Memorandum Regarding Construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, in which he basically ordered the same bureaucracies to redo the Final Environmental Impact Statement on the pipeline. When various court fights delayed that process, President Trump acted unilaterally and simply issued a Presidential Permit on March 29, 2019, authorizing construction, connection, maintenance, and operation of the project at the U.S.-Canada border.

Still, the wheels of bureaucracy ground on. In December 2019, the Trump administration's Department of State issued an updated Final Environmental Impact Assessment that concluded that the effects on land use, water, biological and cultural resources, and climate change of the building and maintaining the pipeline would range all the way from negligible to minor.

During the 2020 campaign, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden promised to reverse the decision allowing the construction of the pipeline. Biden didn't even bother with ordering another Environmental Impact Statement. Citing Kerry's 2015 determination, Biden on his first day in office revoked the permit, declaring that "approving the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would not serve the U.S. national interest." Why not? Because "the Keystone XL pipeline disserves the U.S. national interest" due to the cumulating effects of man-made climate change.

Thirteen years after the pipeline was first proposed, the $8 billion project is kaput.

During his tenure, Trump arbitrarily reversed Obama administration decisions, including those on vehicle fuel economy standards, methane emissions, appliance energy efficiency standards, the establishment of national monuments, oil drilling in Alaska and offshore, calculating the social cost of carbon emissions, and clean water regulations. Now Biden's first executive order has arbitrarily reversed Trump's reversals.

This is not to say that either Trump or Biden is right or wrong with respect to the policies they seek to impose on the rest of us. The machinations around the Keystone Pipeline project highlight how modern American politicians have become adept at bending ostensibly fair and transparent bureaucratic procedures to justify decisions that they have already made. The result is that citizens and companies increasingly cannot count on the stability and certainty of the law when making decisions about their lives and businesses. Ever-expanding administrative autocracy is the opposite of the rule of law.

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  1. The pipe fitters union endorsing Biden, who then shut down Keystone on day one of his administration, is a great snapshot of how power works in this country.

    1. If only there was a third party candidate that the oil companies and pipe fitters could have thrown their money behind, someone who who wasn’t beholden to people threatening to vote Green Party if their demands aren’t met.

      1. Well, why not support the 2nd Party?

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    2. If only there was a candidate who tweeted mean but actually cared about people.

      1. If only. But there was. But his mean tweets were just a twitter too far for many, including “college-educated, white, suburban housewives” who now “are empowered” to pay higher utility and energy bills (including for the gasoline they and their husbands burn commuting to work) while the new, kindler, gentler, more civilized president seeks to give the opportunities their white husbands might have had to BIPOC’s.

        This whole article could have been reduced simply to a list of Biden Executive Orders and the phrase: “Elections have consequences.”

        Remember the old Toyota ad jingle, now redone:
        “You asked for him –
        You got him.
        Joe Biden”

    3. Recall Obozo and Reid illegally shut down the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository project. A Federal Court ruled that illegal about 2013 but AFIK its still shut down.

      Nuke plant operators had paid into a fund to build such a place to store spent nuclear fuel rods ( SNF), proving Democrats could care less about comitting crimes and endangering peoples lives.

      1. Was that ever in doubt?

    4. I think, along with President Obama, that the issue involves mental health, not just throwing people in jail, or saying that alcohol and/or drugs are bad for everyone………………..CLICK HERE.

    5. The union voted for him, their members should direct their anger accordingly.

  2. Everyone now in DC is the enemy of the people.

  3. “arbitrarily”
    I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

    And, oh by the way, Joe Biden was elected by a majority of the electors, on behalf of a majority of the American people, to destroy the US energy sector in accordance with the democratic party platform.

    1. 81 million isn’t a majority.

      1. 81 million isn’t a reality.

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    2. There is as much evidence that Biden was elected by a majority of the American people as there is that Alexander Lukashenko was elected president of Belarus by a majority of the people of Belarus.

      None whatsoever.

  4. Citizens and companies increasingly cannot count on the stability of the law when making decisions about their lives and businesses.

    Really the issue is that the Executive branch shouldn’t be making those decisions by executive action.

    Blame Congress for refusing to put stuff to a vote and passing laws.

    If Congress would have acted, these EO shenanigans would never have occurred. But since Congress is too afraid to vote on stuff and would rather defer to a king like executive branch so that they don’t have to defend their voting record to their constituents and claim they were for/against something but the mean old president did what he wanted.

    1. Right on the money. If you can not get bills through Congress then you are at the whims of the Executive and that means the changing rules every 4 to 8 years. Getting bills through Congress mean compromising and voting.

      1. No if you can’t get your bill through Congess it means you didn’t persuade enough of your fellow citizens that it was worthwhile. But yes Congress and SCOTUS are to blame for allowing this to happen and the Executive is to blame for violating the separation of powers.

      2. Bullshit. If Congress doesn’t do something it doesn’t give the executive special powers to deal with it. It then, you’re a far leftist. So the constitution means nothing to you.

        1. The fact is that Congress frequently gives up its power to avoid making unpopular decisions.

          As for leftist, remember that when Congress specifically said no to funding for a border wall the former President said I will just take the money. So centrist and right leaning Presidents, because we really don’t elect leftist Presidents, use executive power broadly. Populist Presidents just say I have unlimited authority.

          1. We don’t elect Leftist presidents? Really? Coulda fooled me. Apparently, leftism has gone so full bore main stream that no one even knows they’re living it.

            1. M4e’s world has a purple sun.

          2. Trump worked within the confines of his executive authority to fund border wall construction. Not even close to the same thing. As usual, you’re confusing legitimate uses of executive power with democrat lawlessness.

            Which explains a great deal about you. And that you are not a centrist at all.

    2. Not even Congress should be involved here. This should be a s matter solely between the companies and the states involved.

      1. I think this might actually be covered by the infamous commerce clause, being that it’s commerce over state borders and a national border.

        1. that said it should be processed under rules that govern such items and not left to the whims of who is in power at the time. If regulations are followed then the line should be built no matter who is president. it is not the presidents job to determine who gets to do what. thats what dictators do and that what we live under now.

          1. Of course the commerce clause applies to congress, not the executive.

            Federal agencies with legislative, executive and judicial powers are not authorized by the constitution. ATF, FDA, DEA, etc…

            1. ^^^THIS; Well said.. Subject Concerning + the EPA….

        2. Nope.

          All the commerce clause should be about is ensuring states treat out of state business the same as in state business.

          No further power should the federal government have. And that’s an originalist reading of the commerce clause.

          And there’s no justification for the federal government to overrule someone who wants to do business with someone outside the country.

          Or are you in favor of tariffs?

          1. I really don’t know who you’re arguing against. All I said was that this is commerce across state borders and a national border, so the commerce clause applies. I didn’t say I agreed with how it was being applied.

            As far as tariffs go, if we got rid of the income tax and funded government solely with consumption taxes, you’d find me in favor of tariffs. But only for revenue, not economic protectionism.

        3. Everything is covered under the god damned commerce clause according to these SOB’s. If a farmer can fall under the commerce clause for NOT selling his goods then ANYTHING can!! What’s the point? These power hungry assholes will never stop!

      2. So a state can now negotiate across national borders?

        If ever there was proper use of the commerce clause, it’d be this.

        1. Why not?

          A private individual can. The federal government can. Why should states not be able to?

        2. Look at what Michigan is trying to do right now to screw the Citizens of Canada. Trying to shut down an Enbridge line under Lake Huron that’s been in service trouble free since 1959 but is now suddenly an environmental hazard.

          1. Everything that’s not being shipped by pipeline is being shipped by rail. Block a pipeline and you don’t stop oil shipments, you just change how it’s shipped to a far dirtier, riskier, method.

            No surprise either that Joe and Barack’s old friend Warren Buffett owns a majority of the rail shipping used for oil in the US and Canada.
            The overt corporatism blossoming in the last sixth months puts Franco and Mussolini to shame.

            1. Yes. Or truck. It’s 3rd grade level common sense that pipelines are the most environmentally friendly way to transport hydrocarbons. Trying to stop pipelines to protect the climate is pinnacle of idiocy. They’re just throwing raw meat to their zealots.

              But they either don’t really care about SAVING THE PLANET!!! or they’re too stupid for the job.

            2. “Everything that’s not being shipped by pipeline is being shipped by rail. Block a pipeline and you don’t stop oil shipments, you just change how it’s shipped to a far dirtier, riskier, method.”

              The watermelons and droolin’ Joe imagine that without the pipeline, that shale oil is gonna stay in the ground.
              No, it is not. It will probably get loaded on tankers and sent to the far east instead, but it is NOT going to stay in the ground.

          2. Michigan is not trying to shut down Line 5 pipeline…..Gremlin Whitler is.
            Out of the blue, she decided this pipeline needs to be shut down.
            Of course the resultant rise in gas and diesel prices already in progress would create more sticker shock at the gas pumps.
            Then the cost of moving goods from one location to another would be that much greater. Higher prices at the grocery store would ensure even more anger.
            Coupled with the inflation created by the Fed and Washington, the stress on an already stressed out population would become even worse. Sooner or later something will give way.

        3. the commerce clause allows the government to regulate commerce *between* the states, not between a state and a foreign power. (And the intention of the commerce clause was to stop state-border tariffs on other states, ie, prevent excess government control of trade, not encourage it).

          1. Very first part … “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations” …

    3. Expect Congress to do their jobs? Oh my…

      One party is the party of No regardless of the question (besides maybe tax cuts for companies) and the other is too helpless to do a damn thing.

      But you are definitely right.

      1. You say one party is the party of No like that’s a bad thing. It’s all the Yes’s that have fucked this country over.

        1. That and lefty shits like this berrydinners.

        2. Saying no to democrats is a matter of survival.

    4. The article does not mention and I am aware of no powers that congress would have on a construction project pipeline. They are not paying for it, so would not be in control financially. Numerous times the article states environmental reports state no effects detrimental. That was their policy. If you buy the land it is yours to do what you wish. That had been done numerous times meeting guideline steps for a Federal bureaucracy This is just the city political style being manifested nationally. No different than we don’t want multi-housing development in our neighborhood. Climate Change is an end-all stick able to beat anything you want with and enable you to implement and stop things you have no legal control over. The idea that this is a whim of EO’s is a fantasy and terrible supposition that does not hold water. It is a property rights issue. Once it is decided no harm to other property or persons will occur in its completion and operation. Somehow Reasons is proposing more authority to the Government than the constitution gives and is either wishing for a new violation of the constitution to solve a non-extant problem. Sounds like all the identity politics, inequities, and making a problem that does not need to be solved in the first place.

      1. “…Once it is decided no harm to other property or persons will occur in its completion and operation.,..”
        I suspect you copy/pasted bullshit from lefty site and didn’t (in your idiocy) manage a understand there was no complete sentence; stinks of lefty shit.

        “…Somehow Reasons is proposing more authority to the Government than the constitution gives and is either wishing for a new violation of the constitution to solve a non-extant problem…”
        Still sounds like an adolescent trying to copy/paste and the 5th grade teacher didn’t quite deliver the goods.

        “…Sounds like all the identity politics, inequities, and making a problem that does not need to be solved in the first place…”
        Yep; low-watt lefty, perhaps 15, hoping no one notices the lack of intelligence.
        Fuck off and come back after you graduate from middle school.

  5. Now Bailey has a problem with Brain-Damaged Biden. Sad.

    1. Dementia Derangement Syndrome, for sure.

    2. It’s not Biden, Welch sees the ‘problem’ as the ‘arbitrary power of the presidency.’

      Sort of how it’s the gun that is violent these days.

      Although TBH, I don’t think we can blame Biden, mainly because Biden doesn’t even know he’s president most of the time.

      1. Like when he announced his senate run last year?

        https://www.foxnews.com/politics/biden-repeats-gaffe-that-hes-running-for-the-senate-appears-to-not-remember-mitt-romneys-name

        I don’t think that was even the first time he said something like that.

  6. The candidate who got 75% of Wall Street’s donations destroyed thousands of working class jobs. Way to go progtards.

  7. You boys should read this:

    “And while TransCanada may be attributing the end of their plans to Biden’s decision on the permit,  that’s really just for Republican consumption. It gives them a reason to go on Fox News, beat their chest over how Biden’s energy policy isn’t as good as Trump’s, and hey, aren’t you paying more for gas this summer? See! Biden cancelled the pipeline, and your gas prices went up.

    The real reason that this pipeline died is much simpler. Check the dates above. All the other phases of the Keystone XL pipeline were completed in a matter of months. The 1,200 mile Dakota Access pipeline went up in a year.

    Had TransCanada been interested in actually building the Phase IV pipeline, the time between when Trump rushed through the permit in 2017, and the time when Joe Biden took office, would have been enough to build it, pump years worth of oil, kick back, and light a few cigars with fresh Franklins.

    The reason that the Phase IV pipeline wasn’t built is a lot simpler than who was in office in Washington. It wasn’t built because there was no market for it.”

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2021/6/10/2034594/-The-Keystone-XL-pipeline-is-finally-dead-except-it-s-not-and-this-is-the-time-to-really-kill-it

    1. you mean it didn’t get built when the government forced everyone into hiding at home.

      1. I didn’t think about that and that could explain why the company didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to complete that part of the pipeline. But I don’t think those states ever locked down and those workers were probably classified as “essential” had they been a lockdown.

        1. All the frivolous lawsuits and injunction attempts in that period didn’t help either.

          …Also we now know Sullum reads the Daily Kos, which explains a hell of a lot.

          1. LoS/Pod/Sullum really isn’t that bright, is he?

            How do (Sullum) you miss the largest pandemic in a century? Duh!

            1. Sullum and Boehm are two of the worst columnists I’ve ever seen that have real jobs in ‘journalism’.

              1. What real job? Do they get published somewhere else?

                Because this place is not so much an employer as it is an adult daycare for closeted progressives.

                1. You make some good points.

        2. >>could explain

          misspelled likely does.

        3. “I didn’t think about that…”

          We’ll add that to the list.

    2. You’d have to be retarded to think that: 1. There’s no market for oil, 2. Investors would have spent all those millions on the project if there was literally no market at all, or 3. Anything of any substance has ever been published on dailykos.

      1. There is less of a market for this oil which is low quality and more expensive to refine. There is actually more than enough oil around. Also energy use is shifting more to natural gas which is in abundance.

        So I could see the argument that it is mostly about market forces.

    3. You stupid fbck, there was essentially a miltary standoff during that year as ecoterrorists occupied the site, sabotaged the equipment and the pipe, and kept getting lefty judges to issue injunctions

      1. It’s the progtard way. Sabotage the shit out of it and then claim it doesn’t work or wasn’t needed. Another reason to cleanse our country of them.

    4. “No market…”. Ha. What a joke.

      1. Didn’t you hear; Tinkerbell’s fairy dust powers everything now… 🙂

    5. “You boys should read this:..”

      Lefty asshole ignoramus should read this:
      Fuck off and die. Slowly and painfully, as you deserve.

    6. Your argument that the pipeline didn’t get built for economic reasons may be true. I don’t know that. Let’s take a minute to celebrate a “miracle”. The “environmentalists” were frothing at the mouth about fracking. They claimed it was destroying and poisoning everything and everyone – immediately. When natural gas started replacing coal fired power generation with huge reductions in pollutants and evidence the evils of fracking failed to appear, the militant opposition slipped away.

  8. “Trump arbitrarily reversed Obama administration decisions”

    The original Obama decisions were arbitrary. So are the new Biden ones. Democrats are seditious evil left wing saboteurs of America.

    1. How is the weather in dumbassville today?

      1. Why ask us? Look out your window.

        1. Shitlunches is their weatherman.

      2. Wear your galoshes.

  9. “That began a three-year-long process in which the Department of State oversaw the compilation and issuance of a Final Environmental Impact Statement in 2011 that concluded that the Keystone XL would have “no significant impact” on land and water resources along its route and a negligible effect on man-made climate change.”

    Basically you’re ok with laying this at the feet of other bureaucrats but not the bureaucrats in the oval office.

    Besides that, this was solely a win for Canada. It would’ve provided next to no US jobs (save initial construction) and would’ve only harvested super dirty energy. It’s not really a loss at all, no matter how much you cry about it.

    1. American jobs at the refineries where the oil is processed plus maintenence of teh line

    2. “It would’ve provided next to no US jobs (save initial construction) and would’ve only harvested super dirty energy.”

      On the other hand, since the oil will still (and is being) shipped by freight, it will be worse for the environment, increase the cost of oil (over not building the pipeline), and therefore, cost Americans more. As far as the “dirty energy,” it’s still going to happen. I don’t see much of a “win” here for anybody. Classic political football — pandering to their “base.”

    3. Does anybody care that all of the studies indicate that stopping the pole line is worse for carbon emissions than building it? The statements by Kerry and Biden directly contradict the studies and nobody cares. Why millions on the studies?

      If anybody really believes that Canada is going to leave a trillion $ of resource in the ground you’re as stupid as Kerry, and he’s a moron.

    4. Better no energy.

      Oh, and jobs are a cost, not a benefit.

      Oh, and how do you think the oil gets into the pipeline in the IS.

      Oh, and you’re pretty isolationist for a socialist. What happened to the worldwide revolution?

      1. Leaked out his ears with his brain-cells.

    5. Tar sands oil is being extracted, Keystone pipeline or not.

      shitlunches.

    6. I question the intelligence of POTUS Biden pissing off our largest trading partner on day ONE of this administration when he rescinded the authorization.

      1. XY — Biden didn’t piss off Trudeau, who has been trying to kill off energy production in Alberta since he became PM. But it is making it more costly to ship from the oil sands, which will make it less competitive, so the effect will be what both Trudeau and Biden want, which is less oil from the oil sands.

  10. Russia is still building its pipeline, right?

    1. Which is none of our business.

  11. Citizens and companies increasingly cannot count on the stability of the law when making decisions about their lives and businesses.

    Welcome to El República Banano! No wonder so many Central Americans want to come here, it’s just like home!

    1. Welcome to Guatekamala!

      1. Which is ‘open for business’ 24/7.

  12. Well you got what you wanted though. No mean tweets!!!!

  13. gonna have to start these pieces with a “dudes I totally knew all this was coming” preamble to maintain credibility.

  14. “This is not to say that either Trump or Biden is right or wrong with respect to the policies they seek to impose on the rest of us.”

    This is supposed to be a libertarian publication. It should most definitely say that Biden is wrong and Trump – whose policy in these areas is to not impose any policy – is right.

    1. This is Not a libertarian publication. That would be self-evidently obvious to a libertarian.

      This is a “no enemies on the Left” publication. ANY discussion of any Progressive failing must always be couched in ridiculous Both Sideism strains of credulity.

  15. This is Not a libertarian publication. That would be self-evidently obvious to a libertarian.

    This is a “no enemies on the Left” publication. ANY discussion of any Progressive failing must always be couched in ridiculous Both Sideism strains of credulity.

    1. This Is also a technophobe publication where one must resort to whiteout on their screen to overcome the ancient forum inadequacies coupled with the endless popups refreshing and changing your scroll position on the page and accidentally activating buttons and flags

      1. The oligarchs who buy the ink here ain’t paying for your technical comfort.

  16. My question on this is… Why no Canadian refineries? I would assume that there is a bit of specialization involved in processing the very heavy tar sand oil. So a dedicated refinery somewhere near the west coast of Canada, processing Canadian oil into petroleum products, creating Canadian jobs and paying Canadian taxes.

    It seems kind of obvious. Is it simply that they don’t create enough oil? Is importing refined petroleum products subject to prohibitive tariffs? What is the blockage? Enquiring minds want to know.

    1. My first guess is that a refinery is just too expensive relative to their productive crude output. They probably could not keep one fed 24/7.

      My second guess is that a refinery cannot operate (at least in economic terms) on a diet of pure tar sand oil.

    2. 18 refineries outputting 2 million bbl/ day.

      You too stupid or too much of a liar to even bother Googling it?

      1. Way to beg the question!

        1. Yes, that was a singularly terrible answer.

          https://open.alberta.ca/dataset/b8fea8da-848f-4d04-be0f-983787f88694/resource/10be9c86-9b98-43e5-b16a-904b95800612/download/11-albertas-oil-production-and-where-it-goes-formated.pdf

          Apparently, 3/4 of oil from the alberta sands is shipped to the US midwest.

          Because of the Keystone XL pipeline cancellation, several European countries have been testing small lots of the oil to see how well their refineries can handle it. So the net result of not shipping the oil in a relatively safe and efficient pipeline will not be “saving the planet”, but rather a much dirtier shipping method… and not just via rail and truck to the US, but via rail and ship to Europe.

          So, well done?

          And still, no answer on why we would ship crude to the midwest instead of finished petroleum products. It still seems like you would rather sell high value refined petroleum products instead of crude oil. I get not wanting to ship volatile products like gasoline from Kuwait to Houston… .but there really is not a difference between shipping gasoline from Houston to New York and shipping gasoline from Alberta to New York. Both are similar distances over the North American continent.

          And apparently the answer is that Trump’s revised NAFTA, the USMCA keeps the North American trading block free of tariffs on oil and refined petroleum products. So I have no clue why Canada wouldn’t refine that stuff locally and make the profit themselves.

  17. So we’re just going to overlook the eminent domain actions involved with this pipeline?

    1. That is the one valid gripe in the entire discussion.

      1. And the only one that gets short shrift, because the opponents of the pipeline LOVE themselves some eminent domain.

        Well, to be honest, so do supporters of the pipeline.

        There’s a very narrow slice of the political class that doesn’t love eminent domain. Even more narrow than the anti-war slice, since most of the anti-war left loves eminent domain.

  18. Ever notice how the laws of gravity, thermodynamics, and motion are never repealed? That’s because they really are laws.

    1. You’re mistaken; The left “repeals” those laws ALL THE TIME even if ‘nature’ doesn’t obey it can’t fool them.. They’re no fools to reality.

  19. Biden’s a Drama Queen and everything he does is a stunt.

  20. Interesting…no mention of eminent domain that is/would be used to steal others’ land for a project that would truly not benefit the American people because the oil would be refined in the US and EXPORTED. Besides that…Americans don’t have the “right” to low gas prices. Thought Libertarians were against stealing of land via eminent domain? This project would have only increased wealth for a select few. Good riddance to the project. Let people keep their own land which is their wealth and not let it be stolen to enrich others. The American people were being scammed into believing that this would actually help Americans…Not. Yes…get government completely out of the energy sector…Eliminate all subsidies…yada yada yada

    1. That’s an odd mix of observations.

      Eminent domain.. antilibertarian. I’m there.

      Wouldn’t benefit Americans because it would be exported? What? That makes little or no sense. The petroleum products would be produced in the US on the gulf coast – US jobs, US profits, US taxes. The products of the US refinery industry are primarily for the US market, but any exports would go to the bottom line here.

      And it is a pipeline. That big pipeline that just got hacked was built right through my neighborhood when I was a kid. It is underground and the farm it ran through still farms right over the pipeline. So not much impact at all. The farm later sold out and a neighborhood was built there. They had to leave a green space where the pipeline runs through… no houses on top of the pipeline. But other than that… no biggie.

  21. “Interesting…no mention of eminent domain that is/would be used to steal others’ land…”
    Valid gripe.

    “…for a project that would truly not benefit the American people because the oil would be refined in the US and EXPORTED.”
    Fucking lefty ignoramus alert!
    You think the seller of a good gets no benefit?

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  23. Arbitrary Presidential Power = Kings Royal Decrees
    Nothing ever really changes, it is all an illusion.

  24. Arbitrary Presidential Power = King’s Royal Decree
    Nothing ever really changes, it is all an illusion.

  25. @Sevo. Oh dear. Insults get you no where. There is a such thing as civil discourse. Only a very few at the top would truly benefit from exports. Have a WONDERFUL day. Might want to stop and smell the roses to cheer you up. Sounds like you’ve had a bad day. I feel for you…we’ve all had those. ????

    1. Civil discourse is among those intelligent enough to do so; you aren’t.
      Passive-aggressive lefty shits need to fuck off and die.

      1. Love you too. Don’t worry. Be happy. Your day will get better. You just need a great big hug!!! ????????

        1. Not from you. No one does.

        2. Passive-aggressive lefty: See above.

  26. The whole purpose of the pipeline is to get the crappy oil to the gulf refineries where it can be shipped to Canadian customers in Europe and elsewhere.

    It just diverts from northern American refineries to a cheaper alternative.

    Then you need to be OK with the land seized and assurances that a pipeline of crude running through your backyard will “just be OK”.

    It is just more government meddling and cronyism.

    1. “The whole purpose of the pipeline is to get the crappy oil to the gulf refineries where it can be shipped to Canadian customers in Europe and elsewhere.
      It just diverts from northern American refineries to a cheaper alternative….”
      And something’s wrong with refining petroleum at the lowest cost and selling it to whomever? Do you have preferred customers?

      “…Then you need to be OK with the land seized and assurances that a pipeline of crude running through your backyard will “just be OK”.”
      Imminent domain ain’t my fave, either, but if you think moving it by train or truck is safer, I got a good deal on a local bridge for you.
      Hint: That petroleum is NOT going to stay in the ground.

  27. So fucking what? If the legislature acts arbitrarily, why shouldn’t the executive?

  28. How was Trump not “right” by allowing the project to proceed? That assertion that neither president was “right” in light of the facts presented in the article is ridiculous. This isn’t nuanced.

  29. Let’s be honest, this is a perfect example of the US economy today. We’re not a market economy, our economy is centrally planned. We’re closer to Venezuela than anybody would like to admit which is why things are getting worse at breakneck speeds.
    If the Keystone pipeline isn’t a good enough example, look at the 737 max groundings that neither Boeing or any of the airlines operating them wanted. And this over 0 accidents by decently run, safe US based airlines but by accidents in 2 different 3rd world horribly run airlines piloted by grossly underqualified and inexperienced pilots.
    Not that either the 737 max or the Keystone pipeline didn’t have to spend millions on regulatory compliance before they were cancelled. If you look at the housing sector between government decisions of interest rates, lending standards, government loan guarantees, zoning codes, building codes, etc… it is also effectively centrally planned which is why it’s becoming completely unaffordable even to the upper middle class. Ditto on the healthcare sector which might as well just be officially nationalized as the government makes every decision for the supposedly private entities. Same with private colleges who must tote the government line otherwise their potential students won’t get the government issued loans to study there. Seriously, what sector of the economy today isn’t effectively centrally planned.

  30. It may not have always been a defining aspect of law, but it is and should be now, that law helps us collectively prevent people from over-exploiting resources and destroying the environment.

    The oil industry cheerleading section known as the Republican party chose to turn this pipeline into a culture war issue.

    Any culture that makes polluting the planet part of itself deserves to die, and I don’t think I need to explain why that is.

    1. No, obsessive, conniving leftist trash turned this into a culture war issue. The rest of us just don’t want to take your shit and push back.

      We’ve been far too nice about it. Anyway. Nice try, thanks for playing, but you lose…… comrade.

    2. GFY

  31. This so-called ‘libertarian” publican spent four years attacking the most pro-business and anti-regulation President in the last 100 years simply because he opposed Chinese mercantillism.

    Spare me your crocodile tears as the government you worked so hard to bring about behaves exactly as we all knew it would.

    1. That’s a bingo!

  32. I’m kind of surprised that this is the libertarian hot take here at Reason. How many American property owners had their land forcibly taken (and yes that’s what a pipeline install requires) on behalf of this extremely “politically generous” foreign company? To be honest, I’d expect reason to be against Keystone on those grounds alone, even if the pipeline was set to meaningfully contribute to our own economy, which it isn’t. Sounds like Reason found a reason to love Kelo, which is a real shame.

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