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  • What If…

    Posted by David Foster on July 8th, 2011 (All posts by )

    What if there was a “shovel-ready” project that:

    **would create a significant number of American jobs

    **would require no government money and no government guarantees of private debt

    **would provide America with a secure new source of energy supplies and would reduce dependence on certain unfriendly regimes, such as the one in Venezuela

    **would benefit an important and trusted American ally

    And what would we think of an American administration that continually threw obstacles in front of this project?

    It turns out that there is indeed such a project…


    Read about the Keystone XL pipeline project and the obstacles in its way. More from the sponsoring company and from Wikipedia.

    Opposition to the pipeline is, of course, largely based on environmental arguments, especially the point that oil from the Canadian oil sands and tars is “dirty” and its production is CO2-intensive. Opponents do not seem to be considering the points that (a) Canada will exploit its oil resources, and if this commodity doesn’t go to the US it will go somewhere else (most likely to China), and (b) transportation of oil by pipeline is far less susceptible to spills that transportation by tanker. The reality is that large segments of the environmental movement have become so unhinged that they will instinctively oppose any large-scale construction project, even if it involves the transportation of magical pixie dust.

    Sadly, the U.S. Government is now being largely run by and on behalf of two classes of people:

    –Theorists, whose heads are so deeply buried in books, models, and spreadsheets that they are unable to see the actual world and have lost all semblance of balance and judgment.

    –Agitators, who “earn” their living and get their sense of satisfaction in life from stirring up all segments of society against one another, in a neo-Hobbesian war of all against all.

    Today’s jobs report was not very encouraging, to put it mildly. Yet the “progressives,” inside the Administration and outside of it, continue to pursue their theories, their class warfare, and their general inculcation of broad-spectrum anger, clueless and/or uncaring about the damage their policies are inflicting on actual human beings.

    Disclosure: I’m an investor in Canadian oil sands, and also in several pipeline companies, though not in TransCanada.

     

    14 Responses to “What If…”

    1. Lexington Green Says:

      Why aren’t the people who would benefit from this organized and making a case for it?

    2. David Foster Says:

      MaxedOutMama on the employment numbers.

    3. Paul Milenkovic Says:

      “Why aren’t the people who would benefit from this organized and making a case for it?”

      Um, because they are spending their energy worried more about teacher collective bargaining and concealed-carry than on the economy-driving energy issue (I am talking about the Tea Party and the Right Blogosphere, here)?

      Paul, you will tell me, I was thinking about the working-class union people, why are they not demanding this change? A good point. A Republican activist retired friend of mine would talk about, well maybe not as much a political prank as a wish, that Al Gore when running for President would take his calls for environmental purity to the Fox Valley. For those readers not in the know, the Fox Valley is that industrial region in Wisconsin that is the Toilet Paper Capital of the World, and there are many union people and other working class people employed in paper making, which is not exactly the Most Environmentally Friendly Activity in the World. That’s right, Vice President and Presidential Candidate Gore, take your green message to the union people in the . . . paper industry! My activist friend, however, reflected that wishing is not making, and that he observed Democrats toning down the environmental message at rallies.

      I mean we here are saying, wow, now that we booted the union, teachers (in the Fox Valley!) now have to teach a full six classroom sections instead of five, and they have to be in the workplace a full eight hours instead of seven and a half (that will show those other union slackers, not that anyone around here has any sense of the work effort in teaching one classroom section).

      We are engaged in this kind of politics instead of well, making common cause with working people, and yes, even union people, that the engine of prosperity for working people is energy, and the Obama people have done everything in their power (pun intended) to hamstring energy.

      Why aren’t the people who would benefit from this (the pipeline) organized and making a case for it? Because those of us who could get the ball rolling are not content simply to make a case for making needed changes in state government, and yes changes that are unpopular, we also have to “pile on” with all manner of anti-worker and anti-union rhetoric.

      People don’t always spontaneously organize, politics needs leadership and politics needs coalitions, and many on the Right Blogosphere get more satisfaction out of poisoning the well be dissing unions and union people and have their eyes off the ball on the important issues.

    4. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Um, because they are spending their energy worried more about teacher collective bargaining and concealed-carry than on the economy-driving energy issue (I am talking about the Tea Party and the Right Blogosphere, here)?

      Paul, I think it might be useful for you to make some inquiry about exactly how the new budget is affecting Wisconsin school districts. They are saving money and reducing class size because they are, among other things, not captives of the union health plan.

      The tea parties are chiefly concerned with economic polices and are pretty libertarian as best I can tell from my involvement with two of them (In Orange County CA and Tucson AZ).

      Why aren’t the people who would benefit from this (the pipeline) organized and making a case for it? Because those of us who could get the ball rolling are not content simply to make a case for making needed changes in state government, and yes changes that are unpopular, we also have to “pile on” with all manner of anti-worker and anti-union rhetoric.

      I think you are interpreting too much as “anti-union.” Why not pro-worker ? Do you think the 44,000 unionized employees of the aircraft industry in Kansas are happy about Obama’s repeated bashing of private jets ? Do you recall the episode of the luxury tax on yachts (and planes) that the Democrats imposed in the 1990 tax bill? In case you have forgotten, here are details. That tax destroyed the American boat building industry. It never recovered. Look at the ads for new boats in any yachting magazine. Mostly French built.

      Paul, I just think you want to find a mote in the conservative eye, and ignore the beam in your own.

    5. Lexington Green Says:

      No, Paul. The industries that are impacted. Why are they not pushing for this?

    6. Lexington Green Says:

      The Right Blogosphere is paying attention to this issue — This post proves it!

      But the Right Blogosphere, mighty as it is, cannot do all things.

      If there is money to be made on this, the people who stand to make money on it are the best people to get organized and push for it.

    7. David Foster Says:

      LG…TransCanada does have information about the project benefits on their web site; I’d be surprised if they’re not also doing heavy lobbying…ditto for the refineries on the Gulf that will be primary recipients of the oil.

      Video here made by Nebraska AFL-CIO supporting the pipeline.

      Seems like there should be a very visible Pipeline Coalition, going on the offensive on TV roundtables, talk show, blogs, etc…maybe there is, but I can’t find it in a quick googling session.

    8. Lexington Green Says:

      “… there should be a very visible Pipeline Coalition …”

      Yeah, there should be.

      Maybe the various parties are just not talking to each other?

      This would a be a good cross-partisan effort.

      There is plenty of scare-mongering opposition out there.

    9. Paul Milenkovic Says:

      “No, Paul. The industries that are impacted. Why are they not pushing for this?”

      I imagine that the management people in these industries are pushing very hard for the pipeline. Problem is that they are widely perceived by those with the power to decide these matters as being in a mote/beam situation on offering the least criticism of public policy.

    10. David Foster Says:

      A long list of industries that have been attacked by Obama.

    11. Gordon Walker Says:

      Get rid of your EPA. Sack all its employees. This agency has long passed the stage where it does more harm than good and its luddite mindset will bring your economy down.

    12. david foster Says:

      According to this article, the EPA gives grants (money paid by taxpayers and/or borrowed from China) to environmental organizations, which turn around and sue EPA with demands that it expand its regulatory authority–which, of course, it usually wants to do anyhow.

    13. Robert Schwartz Says:

      I have often wondered who the environmentalists who take up the cause against this sort of thing are. Do they know what will happen if they win? Do they care? Or do they believe their actions have no consequences.

      Are they just highly paid fronts for OPEC, or are they acting this way because really believe their own bu11$#;+? How can an oil spill on the surface or even underground contaminate an aquifer? Don’t they know that oil and water don’t mix?

    14. Jim Bennett Says:

      Here, by the way, is a one-stop source for information on the oil-sands issue:

      http://www.amazon.ca/Ethical-Oil-Case-Canadas-Sands/dp/0771046413/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1310501437&sr=1-1

      It should be being pushed much more energetically than it is.