American Elephants


Canada Just Gave Up on Obama Actually Making a Decision. by The Elephant's Child

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Like so many other governments, our friends to the north have given up on the Obama administration. Canada is tired of waiting on the Obama administration to make a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline. Ottawa has approved a pipeline to Canada’s west coast.

Six months ago, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said his government needed an answer on the pipeline from President Obama”even if it’s not the right one,” as he told a U.S. Chamber of Commerce audience. Canada could not “continue in this state of limbo.”

The State Department has given it a green light, said it is not an environmental menace, and approved the Keystone. Rejecting the pipeline is a major mistake. The Keystone XL would carry crude oil from Alberta’s oil fields to the U.S. Gulf Coast for refining and distribution. It would be a major boost to the American economy and our dismal job situation. If Canada goes ahead with the construction of the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline they just approved, that business is lost. The oil will be shipped to Asia from a supertanker port on the West coast.

A completed Keystone could cut by 40% our reliance on Venezuela or the Middle East. It offered 20,000 new jobs, 13,000 in construction and another 7,000 in manufacturing parts. All told, according to our State Department, the project would create 42,000 new U.S. jobs, half from construction and the remainder from the economic stimulus created by the project.

But there’s another side to the story. Even the New York Times writes of hundreds more deaths and thousands more injuries over the course of a decade. Without the pipeline, companies will continue to move the oil by rail. Ironically, the radical environmentalists who have been actively protesting the Keystone XL, are now panicky about oil trains. There was the 2013 oil train derailment and explosion in Lac-Mégatic, Quebec, that killed 47 people, and in April, a train carrying oil derailed in Lynchburg, Va., caught fire and spilled 30,000 gallons into the James River, forcing the evacuation of 350 people.

Radical environmentalists from the National Wildlife Federation, the Sierra Club, and others tried to link findings to the issue of whether Canadian oil sands should be developed at all. They continue to assume that solar and wind can replace the nation’s energy supply, but they’re getting a little nervous about bird kill in the wind turbines and burning up in the solar arrays.

For President Obama, politics trumps all other concerns. Billionaire Tom Steyer has promised $50 million of his own money and another $50 million raised from his buddies if the Democrats support the war on climate change throughout the coming election. Tom Steyer is opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline. $100 million for Democrat coffers trumps a mere 42,000 jobs.

And further, the head of a leading environmental group calls job losses from the Obama’s administration’s new anti-carbon regulations from the EPA as “collateral damage.” A study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce finds that the new EPA regulations will destroy approximately 200,000 mostly blue-collar energy jobs, reduce the  U.S. GDP by about $50 billion a year, and cost families  thousands of dollars over the next decade in higher energy costs.

William Becker of the Climate Action Project has praised the new EPA regulations (which will do nothing whatsoever to prevent climate change) to stop climate change, and wrote that “there is nothing explicit in the [administration] plan to mitigate or adapt to the economic disruption the clean energy transition will cause for coal and oil-country families.” These families thrown out of work, he wrote, are “an evolutionary step in technology and the economy” and a move toward “economic progress.” He offers the potential of yet another governmental job training program as a sop for the families of workers whose lives are turned upside down by the fantasy of “renewable energy” and green jobs.

Well, oil for the lamps of China, 200,000 more lost jobs, and the president uses executive action to allow the spouses of all H-1B visa holders to work if they so desire. And if you have lost a job, or have given up looking — you’re just collateral damage in the search for a brave new ‘renewable’ future for the radical greens, and collateral damage in the need for that $100 million Tom Steyer has promised.

Politics is everything. The chaos in the Middle East has to wait till Obama has a few more fundraisers. A golf game on a splendid private course trumps making boring decisions anyway. There is an election coming up and although Obama’s poll numbers are in the tank, he still believes he is doing a splendid job. New press secretary Josh Earnest just dismissed the entire IRS scandal as “a Republican  conspiracy theory.”

Pipelines, by the way, are way safer than oil trains. The picture above is of a November, 2013 derailment of crude oil tank cars in Aliceville, Alabama. The fire was still burning 18 hours later. The oil spill was partially contained by a beaver dam in the marsh. No report on the beavers.




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