Obama’s pipeline to nowhere

President Obama’s decision to support a southern section of Keystone XL is a commitment to build a pipeline to nowhere. Until extra oil supply hits Cushing, OK from Canada, there is no purpose to building a pipeline from the Gulf of Mexico to there. And that’s the kind of economic development, President Obama apparently likes, the dig a hole then fill it in variety.

Keynesians see nothing wrong with this sort of useless development that doesn’t actually meaningfully enhance an economy’s productive capacity. The actual construction project is a stimulus and that’s fine with them. But those that follow the Austrian school find such development a key factor in setting up future economic trouble because it’s malinvestment, siphoning off investment money to little useful purpose other than to shorten the tanker car runs Warren Buffet is making profits off of.

6 thoughts on “Obama’s pipeline to nowhere”

  1. Obama and his group are oblivious to how business – and economies – run – and thrive.

    it is more of a political move to say he is “doing something” about our oil problem.

    We’ll see if the American people buy it.

  2. By November, I suspect that the American voters will have figured all this out. I expect to hear a lot about abortion, gay marriage and contraception after Labor Day.

  3. The pipeline from Cushing to Texas has been needed for years. Just Google “Cushing bottleneck” for background. It is a very worthwhile piece of infrastructure that Obama had nothing whatsoever to do with. Wait — I take that back. Though the president’s approval was not needed for a domestic pipeline, his minions at EPA had been trying to stall the thing. Maybe that will end.

    Nonetheless, calling it a “pipeline to nowhere” is wrong.

  4. Pipe line capacity from Cushing to the Gulf is woefully inadequate. That is a reason why WTI at Cushing has been $20/bbl less than North Sea and Nigerian oil for the last year or so.

    The real fake about this PR is that there is no Federal jurisdiction over the Cushing — Gulf project. Obama cannot approve this part of the project, nor can he disapprove it.


  5. If this pipeline under discussion uses steel and specifications adequate for regular oil but not the Keystone XL slurry, it’s there for the Cushing bottleneck, the story I came across is wrong, and I need to rework the headline. If it really *is* Keystone XL spec construction, it’s going to be more expensive and to some extent the headline is justified in my mind, though the extent of the malinvestment is reduced by the repurposing.

    Does anybody know which case is correct?

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