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White House Applauds Decision to Build Part of Keystone XL Pipeline

Lesley Clark and Renee Schoof
McClatchy / News Report
Published: Tuesday 28 February 2012
“Obama’s decision last month to reject the full 1,661-mile Keystone XL pipeline from Canada’s tar sands has become a focal point of Republican efforts to portray him as responsible for the recent spike in gasoline prices.”
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With President Barack Obama facing fire from Republicans over the rising cost of gasoline, the White House moved quickly Monday to trumpet a Canadian company's decision to build a section of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline from Cushing, Okla., to Houston after Obama blocked a longer path last month.

Press Secretary Jay Carney hailed TransCanada's announcement and used it to counter Republican criticism that the administration has stifled oil and gas production. He said that the Oklahoma to Texas section of the pipeline would "help address the bottleneck of oil in Cushing that has resulted in large part from increased domestic oil production, currently at an eight-year high."

The company's decision, Carney said, "highlights a little-known fact — certainly, you wouldn't hear it from some of our critics — that we approve, pipelines are approved and built in this country all the time."

Obama's decision last month to reject the full 1,661-mile Keystone XL pipeline from Canada's tar sands has become a focal point of Republican efforts to portray him as responsible for the recent spike in gasoline prices, and they fault him for blocking a project they say would create jobs and reduce America's dependence on oil imports from unstable foreign sources.

The Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner of Ohio, poked fun Monday at the White House salute of TransCanada's decision.

"The president is so far on the wrong side of the American people that he's now praising the company's decision to start going around him," Boehner said in a statement to ABC News.

A recent national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press suggests that Obama's Keystone decision could become a political liability. Though 37 percent of those surveyed said they'd not heard of the pipeline, 66 percent of those who had heard of it said the government should approve it, while just 23 percent opposed it.

In fact, energy experts say that the Keystone XL pipeline wouldn't do much to lower gasoline prices. The recent price spike stems largely from speculators bidding up prices at a time of growing fear of future oil-supply disruptions if a war with Iran develops over its nuclear program.

TransCanada will be the second pipeline moving oil from Cushing to the Gulf Coast. The other is already built and owned by Enbridge Inc. The two pipelines will reduce the glut of oil in the Midwest "and in doing so will raise the price of oil in Cushing and the Midwest and will lower the price very slightly in the rest of the world," said Severin Borenstein, a professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

Prices in the Midwest could go up between 10 and 30 cents a gallon, ending the region's cheaper gasoline compared to other areas, he said. If the full pipeline is constructed, the impact on world oil prices would "never really be noticed" because it would be so small, a few cents or less per gallon, that it would be "lost in the noise of other changes."

TransCanada also told the State Department on Monday that it plans to submit a new application for the rejected segment of the pipeline, and Carney said the president's rejection last month "in no way prejudged future applications."

The White House contends that House Republicans forced Obama to reject the earlier cross-border application by not giving it enough time to review the project.

Republicans accuse Obama of putting off the decision until after the 2012 elections so as not to upset environmentalists.

Environmental groups made the pipeline a test of Obama's will to move the country off fossil fuels and to slow climate change. They also say the pipeline would put the Ogalalla Aquifer, streams, farms and wildlife habitat at greater risk of oil spills.

Kim Huynh of Friends of the Earth said in a statement Monday that the pipeline would be an "environmental disaster" and called the administration's welcome of TransCanada's plan "an alarming about-face."

"The administration must stop trying to have it both ways," Huynh said. "President Obama cannot expect to protect the climate and to put the country on a path toward 21st century clean energy while simultaneously shilling for one of the dirtiest industries on Earth."

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All this talk of Obama

All this talk of Obama “caving” seems naive to me. No one caves as much as Obama, unless he's really just doing what he wants, and, from the beginning, has known how to make it seem that he opposes, in his "speeches," the very things he's "doing" with his votes. The trick is foolproof, simply give the masses a little of what they want, while you give the big money classes 99% of what they demand, and be sure to smile warmly and cheerfully, while you deceive. Rachel Maddow was just on her show, revealing that the composition of the U. S. Supreme Court had moved, steadily, and dramatically rightward, but the democrats had remained, essentially, on an even keel. Why? Well I don’t know, but I’m guessing that it’s at least in part, because the so-called left-wing of the dem party, isn’t really left wing at all. Our party lacks courage, courageous members, that are necessary if our country is to maintain and strengthen a liberal outlook that favors the masses of humanity, supports the weakest and most vulnerable among us, rather than abandoning the vulnerable and favoring the rich, powerful and sheltered economic elites. That’s our problem in a nutshell. In my view, you’re either living in a democracy, i.e. a system of government that expands human rights and freedoms, or you’re killing that same democracy. There’s no middle ground. Obama is out to protect his presidency, his hunger for power, however illusory. For me, the “lesser of two evils” argument is devoid of true meaning. What matters to me, is not that you can apply the weak argument that a politician is the “lesser of two evils.” The question, the issue, is, “how much” lesser an evil is the candidate? Yes, Obama is the lesser of two evils, compared to Romney, but not enough the “lesser” to encourage me to vote for him. He has failed to make the grade. If the rightwing was inactive, the faux left could continue the deception of promoting tepid, marginal improvements in our democracy? But the latter approach falls on its face when you have a powerful right wing, that pulls the country rightward at full speed, while the so-called left can barely make a dent. The so-called democrats that are pleading their case, can argue that they’ve made some anemic progress for liberalism. But they’re either deceiving themselves, deceiving you, or both. If a 1000 lb weight is pulling you to the right, while a 10 lb weight it pulling you to the left, which side will win the contest? We don’t need a third party, we need courageous democrats. We need democrats that have looked carefully at new ideas, challenging ideas, and separated out the ideas that simultaneously satisfy the demands of fact, while remaining true to our constitution. What we have, for the most part, are democrats looking for corporate largesse to put them in, or back in, office. Obama is one of these latter. He’s a sham.

I would like to propose that

I would like to propose that the CONGRESS of the United States of America pass a law that would MANDATE/REQUIRE that all of the Crude Oil that was transported via the Keystone XL pipeline be used in the United States of America by American Citizens.

In addition I would also like them to pass a law that would MANDATE/REQUIRE that all Crude Oil that is Drilled and collected on American Soil or in the American Ocean Terratorial Rights be used in the United States of America by American Citizens.

That a Tax of $1.00 per Barrel be added to finance the development of Alternative Energy Sources.

WHY is it that "We The

WHY is it that "We The People" never want to focus on the facts regarding energy? Like a dog chasing it's tail...we just keep going round and round as we discuss the topic of our energy crisis. "The-powers-that-be" continue to accrue an obscene amt of wealth (that's beyond belief) while they destroy out planet by using fossil and nuclear fuel/energy. (sigh)

After watching a profoundly truthful video called: "Thrive" and then reading a book called: The Source Field Investigations... I found proof yet 'AGAIN' of how free energy is suppressed. I read that at a Zurich conference, Dr. Brian O'Leary revealed a wealth of info suggesting "free energy" devices have been invented, AGAIN and AGAIN, but are invariable suppressed by corporate power brokers.(a.k.a. The-powers-that-be)

"According to Dr. O'Leary, some researchers are bought off and their discoveries put on a shelf. Others are threatened into submission ,while others die under strange circumstances. Dr. Stefan Marinov-head of "the European free energy movement" --allegedly jumped to his death from the 10th story of the library building at the University of Graz in Austria! Marinov flew out the window 'backward and left no suicide note!"

Dr. Eugene Mallove,was bludgeoned to death outside his parents home less then 24 hr. before he was due to go live on the air to demonstrate his free energy breakthrough device!

We all know what happened to Dr. Nikola Tesla! "The-powers-that-be" first move was to shut his work down. Second, they ruined his reputation by making sure he would be known as a "mad scientist." Lastly, they effectively beat this man's spirit down until he ended up nearly broke before he died.

Mr.Wilcock wrote: "Man's answer to everything has been POWER--Power of money, power of position, Power of wealth, Power of this, and that or the other."

Baron Acton (1834–1902) quotation: "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely!"

I tell ya...I would hate to be in the shoes of anyone who has blocked free energy at the time of their death! These sub-humans who are full of pure greed.... WILL face their own personal Karma at the end. If reincarnation does exists then it wouldn't surprised me if they don't reincarnate back as a cockroach....or worse!

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What's this?

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This feels like a railroad

This feels like a railroad job. This is the same railroad job that Bush put on us about Iraq. Republican railroaders are good chess players and they have been paid handsomely under the table by the oil companies. At first their excuse was that when we hit good times, that's when prices go up. Balderdash! They have us in a corner while we should have them by the throat! Instead of explaining to the public ALL the reasons why prices were going up, and the fact that the pipeline will actually drive prices higher, Obama caves in. When is he going to be president??Are they going to pay attention to hidden earthquake faults? Of course not. Who cares about that?

this does not directly

this does not directly compete with warren buffet'bnsf rr

Just because he has caved on

Just because he has caved on everything else, what lead you to believe he would cave in now ?

When is this guy ever gonna

When is this guy ever gonna get a spine. All he does is alienate anyone who would possibly vote for him while kissing Rethug ass. You can bet THEY"RE not going to vote for him.

Of course if this pipeline is

Of course if this pipeline is ever built, gas prices will not be lower. After all this is to be exported. We've already increased production in this country to the highest level in decades plus decreased use. But surprise, prices go up anyway. 98% speculation which Clinton legalized. The Re thugs will lie about anything whether it defies common sense or not and their echo machine just churns it around and around so all the simpletons believe it or not.

Why aren't we fighting for a

Why aren't we fighting for a carbon tax or cap and trade? That is where we need to focus. If there is a price on carbon then it won't be cost effective to use dirty energy.

Actually it would be wise to

Actually it would be wise to develop alternatives now rather than totally depleteing resources so if in the future we had a disruption of renewable resources due to volcanic ash or something we have a fall back if needed, a redundancy in our basic survival systems... similarly for localization so that if severe climate condition disrupt global transportation networks we have something to fall back on. It seems that we prefer to rely on one technology to keep prices down but it may be wise to sacrifice our excessive accumulation of wealth for a few in favor of redundancy in human survival systems ahead of time rather than after it is too late.

ETNIKS's picture

If all the billions of

If all the billions of dollars GIVEN AWAY as subsidies to the oil corporations every year, were used to subsidize individual homes solar panels installation and wind power, we would achieve not only independence from foreign oil, but also from all domestic energy sources, like oil and coal companies.

But since Obama works for the corporatocracy and not for us the people, it won't happen.

Why did they raise the price

Why did they raise the price of gas? Because they could. And no one can stop them. The gov did just what the oil companies wanted.

My hope is that they are

My hope is that they are being given the rope to hang themselves, just to shut the R's up.

ETNIKS's picture

Sorry Patt, it's wishful

Sorry Patt,
it's wishful thinking to expect Mr About-Face Obama, to have the least line of congruence in his political life.


That's exactly what they're

That's exactly what they're doing.

If I was on an oil company

If I was on an oil company board of directors just now, I'd say to my fellow grafters, " Let's just keep slowly raising the price of gasoline... we will make good money and Obama will get the blame."

WHO is applauding that

WHO is applauding that decision? The entire Midwest was underwater last year and this idea just gets worse and worse. The corporate lackey Republicans need to curb their addiction. We have the ability to be off gas now if we could get the d*** government to do its job. Any of 'em.

Prices in the Midwest could

Prices in the Midwest could go up between 10 and 30 cents a gallon, ending the region's cheaper gasoline compared to other areas...
So conservatives snivel about high gas prices to light the fire under Obama to build the pipeline... Then when the prices go up in the Mid West, do you think they will snivel and blame Obama for THOSE rising prices? Damn straight they will. They give China and Europe cheaper prices at the expense of Americans and they use American anger to advance yet more UnAmerican policies... Brilliant...

Of course. THAT'S why the

Of course. THAT'S why the price of gas is up over $4 a gallon. That's the "excuse". Most of my countryfolk have simple buttons, and all of them are connected to the fear of loss of "convenience." I have NO idea what people will do when they can't get anything from Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Rat. Uh - chicken, that is. That's most people's closest approach to consideration of a "threat to survival." A real one is beyond the pale for most Americans.

I knew he would cave it.

I knew he would cave it.

I knew he would cave it.

I knew he would cave it.

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