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Canadian Punch In The Kisser

It’s hard to remember when an American president missed such an easy layup.  Canada has vast oil resources right next door.  Under a conservative prime minister it is ready and willing to enter long term agreements that would provide the US with secure and abundant supplies of oil for decades to come. Those safe and secure oil supplies would be America’s ace in the hole in both geopolitical and economic terms.  They would make America a more attractive platform for manufacturing and they would underscore the country’s comparative advantage compared to less well endowed economies in East Asia and Europe.

But President Obama seems uninterested, blocking the Keystone pipeline and siding with those who hate virtually every form of energy generation that exists: coal, nuclear, oil, natural gas (fracked), hydroelectric, even wind if the turbines threaten to block the view from the oceanside homes of the well connected and well bred.

Now we are getting the comeuppance we deserve: Canada’s prime minister is off to China to have a nice long talk about deepening Canadian-Chinese oil energy cooperation.

Great work, Mr. President.  Great job, greens. The Canadian oil sands will be producing all the oil, with all the CO2 you said you wanted to stop.  The US national interest and the well being of the middle class are taking a big knock, the environment gets no benefit whatever, and this is what greens are calling a win.

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  • J R Yankovic

    SICKENING. Sorry, but I can’t think of a better word to describe my reaction to what will surely prove one of the worst blunders (and there’ve been a few) of this administration. I also can’t think of anyone here who will benefit from it, other than that not inconsiderable element which believes Beijing is the Light of the Ages.

  • Stuart Wilder

    Let them and the Chinese drink their [dratted] oil. Everyone who knows anything about this knows that the pipeline is going to be approved with a few adjustments in the route for environmental reasons. Hopefully they can run it through Professor Mead’s backyard, he likes it so much.

  • smartypants

    Is there still any doubt that Obama seeks to destroy this country?

  • SteveMG

    We finally really have a “wortwhile Canadian initiative” and the Obama Administration blows it.

    Thanks a lot, Mr. President.

    I can’t see any defense of this policy at all. None.

  • Michael Herbert

    Spoke with a Canadian who said that a pipeline to B.C. Is rather unlikely. However, he added the very telling point that both rail car and tanker truck manufacturers are gearing up to haul the oil that the Keystone XL pipeline would have moved. A question for the greens. What puts out more pollution and has a greater likelihood of spills, truck and rail, or a pipeline?

  • JM Hanes

    If there isn’t a term for cognitive dissonance to nth power, can we invent one? This President could be rearranging conceptual magnets on a fridge, without ever wondering if the combinations he ends up with make any sense. Rebuilding our manufacturing base is priority #1; we’ll think about Keystone later!

    It’s more than just a matter of telling different groups what they want to hear. Self-contradicting messages are an emblematic feature of Obama’s individual speeches too: Streamlining government is not sufficient to the financial day! Eliminating waste and inefficiency is the answer! Even given a compliant press, it’s stunning that logical disconnects of such frequency and magnitude receive so little comment.

    It seems to me that this not just a rhetorical problem. I wish I could remember who observed that the President’s determination to center his campaign on the economy only seems astonishing until you realize that he’ll be running on an imaginary economy conjured up for the election, not the economy we’ve got. It’s disturbing to find myself hoping that the President’s reelection strategy is merely cynical, but it’s an even sorrier state of affairs when the two things that worry me most about current governance are the sheer brazenness of political corruption and the possibility that our President is, in fact, detached from reality itself.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    First, we should kill all the Enviro-Misanthropes, the world would be a better place without them. [ed: assumption that this is rhetorical overstatement, not call to illegal action]

  • J,R.

    Michael, I am a Canadian who thinks that Prime Minister Harper will make the run to the Pacific happen, dispite all the resistance from Soro’s sponsored front groups.

  • blunderbus

    Stuart Wilder has the right idea in his post. I live in canada and have been following the situation closely. pipeline politics are very complicated in this country, and Mr. Mead clearly does not have a firm grasp of the issues. To be clear, the Keystone pipeline will eventually be approved.

    The proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, which would carry oil from the sands to the Douglas Channel terminus and then on to Asia, is a very long way from realization. Internal resistance is significant and ongoing, not least because the the proposed pipeline would need to travel through a wide section of First Nations territory. Keystone will be approved long before the first drop of Canadian oil reaches the pacific coast via pipeline, if indeed this comes to pass at all.

    Mr. Mead is perhaps unaware that many Chinese state firms have existing stakes in the Canadian energy sector; the Harper visit to China is mostly about encouraging further investment along those lines. Any discussion of pacific pipelines is likely to be more of a circus show for domestic consumption here rather than a serious blow, or even a warning, to the United States.

    Mr. Mead, along with the balance of the mainstream American media, has blown this way out of proportion. The facts simply do not support the hyperbolic and partisan rhetoric which forms the basis of the article.

  • Cunctator

    The whole story makes one very sad. But that is the consequence of electing a person like Obama. We all tend to think that leaders are not very important and that, somehow, the system is self-righting no matter what they do. Well, Obama is proving that view to be wrong. He has seriously damaged the overseas reputation & authority of the US, he has further weakened a damaged economy, he has polarised his own country, and with his veto of Keystone he has undermined relations with Canada (the US’s closest trading partner) and denied his country access to a secure souurce of energy for years to come.

    One has to wonder sometimes if he isn’t some sort of “Manchurian candidate”.

  • Steve W from Ford

    Several commenters seem to think that “of course” the Keystone pipeline will eventually be approved. They may be right but then again they could very well be wrong if the past is any guide. Think how long reasonable people have been trying to get drilling approved in ANWAR, through both Democrat and Republican administrations and all to no avail. The Keystone pipeline seems to be another “do or die trying” break point for the enviros and they seem to get what they want when they put their heart into it.
    I know rational people can hardly believe that something so sensible could not be eventually approved but logic and reasonableness have no command on the mind of the committed environmental do gooder. Irrational support for a position is actually easier to defend as its only neccesary virtue is that it be self evident to the correct people.

  • Fat Tony

    And yet Obama will be re-elected.

  • Rich, An Environmental Geologist

    The analogy should be more that the best looking girl @ the dance asked us to join her on the floor. We snubbed Canada because we are waiting for Miss Perfect Green Energy to arrive.

    We have more than 62,000 miles of pipelines that cross all sorts of environmentally sensitive areas. We have even more pipelines abandoned that leak daily. Rejecting the XL pipeline fits with Obama’s goal to kill America. If you can’t see this, pull your head out of your *ss.

  • Corlyss

    Fat Tony is probably right.

    Too bad impeachment is so traumatic on the public. It should be more readily available for people like Carter and Obama.

  • thibaud

    This is a scandal. Criminal, really, as there is not even any principle at stake: Obama has utterly no intention of halting the pipeline – he’s merely voting “Present”, delaying the inevitable, in order to coax campaign cash out of fools like Robert Redford, Sean Penn and the other Hollywood/Sierra Club morons who mistake symbolic feints for real policies.

    Shameful. Shame on this little man.

  • Lorenz Gude

    I’ve just assumed that the delay of the pipeline was the president running to his base in preparation for a move to the center to maximize independent support nearer election time. I still expect him to ease his position later this year, but I think he has made an unforced error that will continue to rankle most Americans every time they fill up. As they stand there watching the numbers spin, it is hard not to think of Keystone and gloomily reflect that those numbers will only spin faster with Keystone delayed or blocked. It’s a gift that keeps on giving – even if the Bomber backs off.

  • Lyle

    As I’m sure you’re quite aware, oil is fracked too. It is being done this way in the Tuscaloosa Shale, in Mississippi and Louisiana right now.

    … and in part to Keystone, every single Obama jobs speech is laughable.

  • JunkScienceSkeptic

    @#2 Stuart Wilder – Given the known facts, I’d much rather have a pipeline in my backyard than a wind turbine.

    Oh, wait, most of us already have water, sewage and natural gas pipelines running through our yards. Guess it’s not the problem it has been made out to be.

  • bjk

    The Canadians already sell this oil to US. So it wouldn’t increase the supply of Canadian oil reaching the US. The whole point of the pipeline is to ship oil to other countries via the port in NOLA. In fact the pipeline, all else equal, will probably raise Midwest gas prices.

  • David Taylor, MD

    bjk — I’m puzzled by this claim. Everything I’ve read about Keystone XL makes it clear that the U.S. will be the end user of this Canadian oil. It is not going to NOLA, but to Gulf ports from which it can be more easily transported to *other* U.S. gulf ports for refining. I cannot speak to the complicated economic issues, but the major controversies about Keystone have been almost exclusively environmental and ‘clean energy’ commitments.

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