Filed under: Canada, Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Global Warming, Junk Science, Politics, The United States, Unemployment | Tags: Global Warming Folly, Our Canadian Ally, The Keystone XL Pipeline
It has been more than six years since TransCanada filed with the State Department for a cross-border permit for their plans to build the Keystone XL Pipeline to carry crude oil from Alberta tar sands to Gulf Coast refineries. The permit was approved — twice.
President Obama has used one excuse after another to avoid approving it. Nebraska has approved it, approved it again after the route was shifted to meet objections, and now the Nebraska Supreme Court has said that Governor Heineman has the authority to review and approve major pipeline projects. The ruling ended litigation brought by three Nebraska landowners who claimed the governor’s 2013 approval was unconstitutional. This was the latest of Obama’s excuses.
He has said firmly that he will veto any bill that approves the pipeline, and offered some really silly excuses for opposing it. It would only favor Canada, and why should we do a pipeline to help them make money, the jobs were only temporary jobs (all construction or infrastructure jobs are temporary).
The House has passed a bill 266 to 153 with 28 Democrat votes, and the Senate will deal with it next week. Mr. Obama has subjected the project to two separate State Department reviews, both of which received positive findings. Will there be enough Democrat votes to override a presidential veto? Don’t know, but 60 percent of the American people want it built.
It means at least 20,000 high paying jobs in pipeline construction and materials construction, according to TransCanada. The State Department projects 42.000 jobs and the addition of $3.5 billion to the economy.
State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said that 9 agencies need to review the project to “see if it is in the interest of the American people” and the State Department cannot approve it until all the agency reports are in. I think you can conclude that the State Department has been told to find it not in their interest. Kerry’s a big environmental backer.
This will be show-and-tell for the Democrats. Are they the party of jobs and work, or of rich green donors? A correspondent for Barron’ said that Obama was a true believer in global warming and passionate about saving the environment. The Wall Street Journal says” the real reason is that his environmental supporters oppose the pipeline as a matter of climate-change religious faith.” Take your pick. I’d say follow the money.
The ridiculous part of it is that the oil will go to market. It is going now. Some over other expanded pipelines, some by rail. Rail is subject to derailments and serious spills. There have been several with many people killed.
Canada has approved projects for pipelines to the Atlantic and to the Pacific. The current importance of the Keystone is much diminished. It means a lot to the Canadian economy. The President has seriously damaged our relations with our neighbor to the North, our closest ally and biggest trading partner — for no reason at all, unless he can come up with better excuses than he has so far. I have seen no evidence that President Obama is actually interested in job creation. He likes to take credit for the jobs created by others.
Filed under: Canada, Europe, Heartwarming, History, Military, United Kingdom | Tags: A Strange Interlude, An Ugly War, Trench Warfare
Here is Sainsbury’s official Christmas 2014 advertisement, made in cooperation with the Royal British Legion. It was inspired by very real events one hundred years ago. The chocolate bar featured in the video is being sold by Sainsburys, a British supermarket chain, all profits go to the Royal British Legion and benefit British armed forces and their families.
The Wall Street Journal published an article on the Christmas Truce in 1914. A British soldier named Frank Richards wrote about the event:
On Christmas morning we stuck up a board with ‘A Merry Christmas’ on it. The enemy had stuck up a similar one…. Two of our men then threw their equipment off and jumped on the parapet with their hands above their heads. Two of the Germans done the same and commenced to walk up the river bank, our two men going to meet them. They met and shook hands and then we all got out of the trench…
Up and down the four hundred-odd miles of trenches on the Western Front, men risked their lives with similar acts, meeting opposing soldiers in “no man’s land.” Wary and unarmed, they made their way out of their trenches, taking steps that, a day earlier, would have guaranteed their death at the hands of sharpshooters and machine gunners a hundred yards away.
The relaxation of hostilities spread, and what has come to be called the “Christmas truce” took hold. Soon, soldiers were holding joint burial services for the dead. They began trading goods. British soldiers had been given holiday tins of plum pudding from the king; German soldiers had received pipes with a picture of the crown prince on them; and before long the men were bartering these holiday gee-gaws that celebrated the enemy’s royals. Eventually, soldiers prayed and caroled together, shared dinner, exchanged gifts. Most famously, there were soccer matches at various locations, played with improvised balls.
The truce mostly held through Christmas and, in some cases, even to the New Year. It took senior officers’ threats for fighting to resume, and such comprehensive battlefront peacemaking never happened again during the Great War. Courts-martial were brought against those involved later in even brief Christmas truces to retrieve the dead.
ADDENDUM: Here’s a photograph of a real football game played on the battlefield in 1914 during the Christmas truce, from Twitter.
Filed under: Canada, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Energy, Politics, The United States | Tags: A Loss of Trust, Keystone XL Pipeline, TransCanada Corporation
President Obama said today, during a press conference in Myanmar, that a looming vote in the Republican-led House of Representatives to approve the Keystone XL pipeline would not alter his views on the project. He accused GOP leaders of falsifying the numbers of jobs created by the pipeline.
Understand what this project is: It is providing the ability of Canada to pump their oil, send it through our land, down to the Gulf, where it will be sold everywhere else. It doesn’t have an impact on U.S. gas prices,” the president said, issuing some of his strongest language yet against Keystone.
I have also noted that, as policy matter, my government believes that we should judge this pipeline based on whether or not it accelerates climate change or whether it helps the American people with their energy costs and their gas prices,” he added. “And I have to constantly push back against this idea that somehow the Keystone pipeline is either this massive jobs bill for the United States, or is somehow lowering gas prices.
The president’s “strongest language yet” reveals nothing quite so much as the fact that he has no understanding at all of how an economy works. Look at how he transforms the project from a benefit to both nations into a greedy Canada using us to transport their oil which they will sell all over the world — with no benefit to the U.S. at all. He is apparently speaking to the same stupid voters that Jonathan Gruber says they tricked into approving ObamaCare.
TransCanada spelled out the number of jobs that would be required, 13,000 construction and 7,000 to build the pipeline materials, for a total of 20,000. Then there are spin-off jobs. The workers have to eat, be sheltered, buy gas for their cars. The U.S. has stalled Canada for so long, that the Canadians have made other plans for a pipeline to the West Coast and one to the East Coast, so there may be less oil being sent down to Texas, but I believe that sector is still needed. I’m just confident that the Canadians will no longer trust the U.S. to do what it claims it will.
Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana is fighting for her Senate seat in a runoff election, and the Democrats have pulled their money out. She introduced the bill in the Senate in a two-hour plea to the chamber. She is hoping her effort will persuade Louisiana voters to return her to office.
Democrats in the House and Senate are not as protective as they were before the election in which they feel he really let them down. It quickly passed the house 152-161 with 31 Democrats crossing over to vote in favor, and one Republican, Rep. Justin Amash (MI) voting “present.” The Senate will vote on Tuesday. The Wall Street Journal mentioned:
Someone should tell the President that oil markets are global and adding to global supply might well reduce U.S. gas prices, other things being equal. A tutor could add that Keystone XL will also carry U.S. light oil from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale. So even if he thinks that bilateral trade only helps Canada, he’s still wrong about Keystone.
The oil will be transported to the market. The world needs the oil. It is currently being transported by oil train tanker cars. Trains derail, sometimes spectacularly, and sometimes kill people. Pipelines are safer.
Filed under: Canada, Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Election 2014, Energy, Environment, Freedom, Junk Science, Regulation | Tags: Billionaire Tom Steyer, Environmental Zealots, The Keystone XL Pipeline
Tom Steyer became a billionaire by investing in fossil fuels. Now he is betting against them, and blew at least $74 million trying to persuade the voters to oppose Republicans who disagree with him about the Keystone XL pipeline. He opposes the pipeline, he opposes oil sands from Alberta, and apparently would prefer to see Alberta’s oil sent to market by rail. Rail, of course, is far more dangerous and subject to oil spills than a pipeline — pipelines have an excellent safety record.
Well, proof, once again, that money doesn’t buy elections. Mr. Steyer and the teacher’s unions wasted far more money than most. Mr. Steyer gave most of his money to his NextGen Climate Action Super PAC. Environmental groups including NextGen spent $85 million to support President Obama’s agenda, especially the regulations for “bankrupting coal.” They are not taking the defeat well. Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune whined:
Despite the climate movement’s significant investments and an unprecedented get out the vote program, strong voices for climate action were defeated and candidates paid for by corporate interests and bolstered by sinister voter suppression tactics won the day.
Mitch McConnell made opposition to “the war on coal” the centerpiece of his campaign, and won what was supposed to be a close election by 15 points. Shelley Moore Capito’s support for coal made her the first female GOP Senator in 55 years from West Virginia.
Mr. Steyer and the greens made opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline a litmus test of their support for Democrats, and Mr. Obama dutifully delayed approving the pipeline, despite multiple government reports showing no effect on the climate whatsoever from the pipeline.
In his statement to reporters following the election, Mr. Obama once again went off on “infrastructure and roads and bridges” suggesting that nasty Republicans wouldn’t support those opportunities for creating good jobs for unemployed Americans struggling to join the middle class. That has been Obama’s constant refrain repeated endlessly since 2009. Hello? An oil pipeline guaranteeing something like 20,000 jobs IS infrastructure.
Republicans are promising to push pro-fossil-fuel energy policy in Congress, including support for the Keystone XL, fast-track approval for liquid natural-gas-export terminals, and reining in anti-coal regulations. Democrats might want to help create jobs, and perhaps save their own. Principle works better than falling all over yourself when a billionaire promises money.
If these environmental zealots would spend as much time studying up on the science of energy as they do on trying to buy politicians, they would save a fair amount of cash.
Filed under: Canada, Foreign Policy, Military, National Security, Politics, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: Convert to Islam, Taking ISIS Seriously, Terrorism in Ottawa
We must take ISIS seriously, return to the 7th Century civilization and all. They are serious about it, and want us dead, as they reminded us yesterday in Ottawa. They want to destroy the West. They want to rouse Muslims all over the world to their cause. It is hard for most of us to understand the appeal of chopping off heads and other limbs, but we just had two young teenagers from Colorado grabbed at an airport in Germany as they were on their way to Syria to become brides of Allah.
The real enemy is our own political correctness, passive multicultural relativity, the idiocy of calling the massacre at Fort Hood “workplace violence,” and refusal to call even the Tsarnaev brothers anything stronger than “extremists.” It is a the worst kind of virus, a worm in the brain, an ideology that prevents clear thought, clear response and clear policy.
The picture above is of Ottawa’s National War Memorial in the moments before Corporal Nathan Cirillo of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (on the left) who was guarding the grave of Canada’s unknown soldier, was killed by a petty criminal and recent convert to Islam, in a shocking act of terrorism.
The terrorist then entered the Parliament building with his weapon and began shooting in the House of Commons. Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, a former Mountie quickly killed him, saving untold lives. Mr. Vickers received a prolonged standing ovation from the members and a long procession of grateful MPs. Corporal Cirillo will receive a full regimental funeral. He was just 24.
Filed under: Canada, Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Election 2014, Energy, Foreign Policy, History, Politics, Regulation, The United States | Tags: Keystone XL Pipeline, Northern Gateway Pipeline, The Energy East Pipeline
The Obama administration has been holding up for six long years, any real decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline that would bring oil from the oil sands of Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries. Approving the project would have provided 20,000 well-paying construction jobs, boosted the economy and helped to lower the price of oil on the world market, and reduce the influence of Russia and OPEC in world affairs. The whole project was a huge win-win for both the United States and Canada.
Well, Canada has had just about enough. They are in the process of developing alternatives —one of which is a 2,900 mile pipeline that would carry a million barrels of oil a day from the oil sands region to the ice-free port of St. John, New Brunswick on the Bay of Fundy. There it would be refined and then shipped to customers around the world on supertankers. The Energy East Pipeline is a $10+billion (US dollar)project where an existing oil superport and refinery could export that oil to world markets, including India which is hungry for more energy.
Canada has already approved their Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline to Kitimaat British Columbia, a 1177 kilometer pipeline. That one is waiting approval from the many First Nation tribes that it would cross. There is also a 710 mi long Trans Mountain pipeline system operated by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners running from Edmonton, Alberta to terminals and refineries in British Columbia, Vancouver and the Puget Sound region in Washington. Kinder Morgan says expanding the existing pipeline, which they want to do by twelve times, is cheaper than Northern Gateway.
It is hard to over emphasize how annoyed the Canadians are over our failure to proceed on a mutually beneficial project because Obama wants campaign money from wealthy ideologues. Reuters says Canadian crude exports to the United States topped three million barrels per day last week. Much of this oil is moving by rail. Without a pipeline to a refinery and supertanker port, the U.S. is virtually Canada’s only buyer. Canadians are subject to price discounts of as much as $43 a barrel that cost Canada something like $20 billion a year.
The White House’s blockade of the Keystone XL hasn’t stopped domestic Fracking or development of Alberta oil sands. Instead, the industry transports oil and natural gas with 19th century technology — rail. Seven out of every ten barrels from North Dakota’s Baaken shale move by rail, and total carloads of crude have increased 4000% since 2008.
So naturally the president’s regulators are looking at the dangers of trains. The 2003 Lac-Mégantic oil explosion killed 47 people and destroyed parts of the Quebec town, an agency called the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration is imposing new rail tank car design standards. Within three years, most of the 334,869 cars in the North American fleet must be retrofitted with thicker steel jackets, heat shields, better brakes and so on. Regulators, of course, claim to be acting in the name of rail safety, but according to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) 99.9977% of potentially dangerous cargo arrives without incident.
Hardening of tank cars might prevent 0.0023% of accidents. Most (88%) of derailments are the result of cracked, split or washed-out tracks and welding. The need is for more track maintenance and inspection. The other major cause of derailment is human error. The real motive seems to be to force tens of thousands of tanker rail cars off the rails and slow the oil and gas development to which the enviros object.
Bloomberg has a long and fascinating article on Canada’s efforts to solve Obama’s intransigence over the Keystone XL, and their own need to bring their mother lode of crude oil to market. With one project, Energy East will give Alberta’s oil sands not only an outlet to eastern Canadian markets, but to global markets. Canadian oil and government interests feel they’re being played by Obama as he sweeps aside a long understood “special relationship” between the world’s two biggest trading partners to score political points with environmental supporters at home. (The Bloomberg piece includes maps that explain the pipelines).
It’s clear that his will be a huge benefit for Canada. The projects span the whole country, uniting Western oilfields with coastal shipping. The Keystone XL may still be built sometime, but failure to deal with our close friend and neighbor to the north in a timely and honest manner has deeply damaged a longstanding relationship and we missed out on jobs and economic growth for the sake of Democrat politics.