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Seven Reasons Why Obama Will Approve the Keystone Pipeline

by Keith Koffler on March 15, 2013, 12:55 pm

The State Department recently said it has no major objections to the Keystone Pipeline while not exactly endorsing it, giving President Obama maximum flexibility to make his decision on the long-delayed project.

The decision is, as Jonah Goldberg notes in National Review, a no brainer, which I suppose technically means that you could have a completely empty cranium and still make the right choice.

Now, the presence grey matter within craniums is not always detectable among the political class in Washington. But it is well stocked beneath the skulls of those in the West Wing, at least when it comes to use for political calculation. And it is mostly politics that will drive Obama’s decision to at last embrace Keystone.

Here are the seven reasons why he’ll do it:

1. The election is over. The decision last year to start re-reviewing the Keystone pipeline was made just after environmentalists began ululating outside the White House that the pipeline would cause the earth to explode and ruin their faith in Obama.

But unlike last term, Obama is now deadly serious about regulating the pants off industry to combat global warming, and he can better afford to anger the enviros since he has other bones to throw them. Which means he has a golden opportunity to appease the business community – and those who want to be less dependent on Islamists for oil – by approving Keystone.

2. Jobs. Keystone could create tens of thousands of jobs. As you’ve probably noticed, the economy needs jobs, and so does a president who can’t seem to create very many of them.

3. Gas prices. Filled up your tank lately? If it gets worse, Obama can note he just approved the pipeline and he’s really, really trying his best to keep you happy at the pump.

4. The oil has the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. It’s from Canada. We love Canada! Name two major nations in the world that border each other and never go to war or have border clashes. Canadians are just Americans who root for the wrong hockey teams.

Sorry, my Canuck readers, I realize Canadians hate that kind of thing.

5. If the oil doesn’t head south of the Canadian border, it will head west to China, which craves cheap oil for its military build up and its metastasizing territorial claims in East Asia, which it is Obama’s stated policy to vigorously oppose.

6. It’s a four- word response line to any criticism  that he isn’t doing enough for fossil fuels or takes his orders from the National Resources Defense Council: Dude, Keystone Pipeline yo!

7.  With the State Department essentially signing on, there is NO RATIONAL REASON to reject the pipeline. I’m aware rationality with respect to policy does not have strong cachet either in the White House or much of the rest of Washington, but you at least have to offer the public some reasonable explanation for your actions.

And in this case, there is none.

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Annie March 15, 2013 at 1:13 pm

I’m betting he will *not*… UNLESS – and this is an important caveat – those who pull his strings WANT IT approved. He has ZERO interest in so-called environmental integrity. (Witness the recent story on Heather Podesta securing Uranium rights in TX from reluctant EPA). His whole deal is his “agenda” – most of which we’ve figured out; the unknown remainder of which gives me nightmares.

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RT March 15, 2013 at 3:11 pm

@ Annie – Who is pulling BO’s strings?

@ Keith – It just ain’t that simple. While some of your points have merit as the basis of political discussion, this is not a slam-dunk decision. Contrary to your assertion that there is no “reasonable explanation” is either naive or simply gratuitous – or both.

The Keystone work is essentially an economic development project and must bear witness and be burdened by statute and precedent. Your mini essay cites / offers up a few well-worn political dimensions that weigh into the greater debate. We can disagree from the get go about “how & why” decisions in the Whitehouse are “made”.

The Keystone “promise” is to deliver public benefit… Hmmm – public benefit at a “profit”… Hmmm. Let me check my screen saver – ah, yes, Adam Smith is there… Sidebar, lest we forget, this debate started in Canada – not here.

My personal take, being the black-hearted capitalist that I am, Keystone is more about the quest for profit than national security and consumer benefit… On that merit alone, spirited debate is in the public interest. Our court system has continuously held that the burden of proof regarding “public good” should remain “high”. Test this out… Draw some Keystone lines on a map for Keystone and observe the impact of eminent domain on Private Citizens… A lawyers dream…

I observe, with appropriate levels of liberal intellectual disdain, the far right gleefully hoping prices of gas go higher to make / score a point … Rooting for high gas prices must result in an odd, if not awkward, intellectual experience – in that the core logic is flawed but that apparently does not matter… Weird…

On a positive note, glad to see a discussion on something other than golf or lobster…

~ RT

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CiscoKid March 16, 2013 at 5:09 pm

I read the lobster article and it was interesting because while 37 or is it 47 million Americans are receiving food stamps, these guys are feasting on lobster? Shame on the. At least fake it, photo op pictures eating salad , fair share the misery.

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troy c March 15, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Keith-
You need to realize Obama is TRYING to destroy this country. He doesn’t want jobs. Wake up. No way he allows it.

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Star March 15, 2013 at 1:25 pm

My take is that the country is lousy with pipelines that have not cracked and this means jobs. Probably too logical.

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Rod March 15, 2013 at 1:35 pm

#8 – unions will build the pipeline. Payback to the unions will be about the only persuading factor for homey.

Sorry but #1 – 7 are too logical from a business perspective. Feedback on the list above:

#1 – campaign hasn’t yet ended & Obama has no interest in governing.
#2 – since when is Obama show interest in anyone’s job but his own?
#3 – high gas prices justify “alternative energy” & spontaneously combusting electric cars, which he wants more, not less, of.
#4 – since when has Obama been interested in foreign policy?
#5 – again, when has Obama shown any concern that potential US resources could help someone like China? See #4 above.
#6 – criticism by the press (or anyone but us right-wing nutjobs) is non-existent – this can’t be considered a real concern.
#7 – if Obama really cared what State thought, he wouldn’t have Joan Kerry leading that department – he’s there because no one cares what that blowhard thinks and, again, see #4 above.

You need to remove your “logical” hat and put your “Chicago” hat on if you’re going to project what you think Obama will do.

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Scottso March 15, 2013 at 1:49 pm

you are right.

Plus Obama said to the Republican caucus that he would think about. That’s Washington double speak for, “When I’m in front of you I’ll look like I will try to agree with you so you’ll like me.”

If Obamaspeak for, “I will tell you what you want to hear but I know what is best.”

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cincycinco March 15, 2013 at 2:09 pm

There’s even a problem with your #8, Rod. Dear Leaders usually turn on their useful idiots once they get what they want out of them. Unions were helpful for election purposes, but now just get in the way of Obama’s dictating. Obama will brook no rival for power…

Here’s a rather illuminating video on just what will happen to unions as the transformed America goes “Forward”. And as a bonus, it’s in cartoon form, so the bright colors might keep even a liberal attracted, at least for the first part…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9y2jCVpfzU

Or, for the more literate types;

“Boxer is a fictional character in George Orwell’s Animal Farm. He is described as the farm’s most dedicated and loyal laborer. Boxer serves as an allegory for the Russian working-class who helped to oust the Tsar Nicholas and establish the Soviet Union, but were eventually betrayed by the Stalinists.

Boxer has various mottos right through from the beginning of the story that are defining to his persona, such as: “I will work harder.” and “Napoleon is always right.” This accurately represents his gullible characteristic.

Boxer fights in the Battle of the Cowshed and the Battle of the Windmill, but is upset when he thinks he has killed a stable boy when, in fact, he had only stunned him. When Boxer defends Snowball’s reputation from Squealer’s revisionism, the pigs designate the workhorse as a target for the Great Purge, but he easily out muscles the dog executioners, sparing them at Napoleon’s request. His death shows how far the pigs are willing to go. When he collapses from overwork, the pigs say they have sent him to a veterinarian, when they sent him to the knacker’s yard to be slaughtered, in exchange for money to buy a case of whiskey for the pigs. A strong and loyal draft horse, Boxer plays a huge part in keeping the Farm together prior to his death, and was the only close friend of Benjamin, the cynical donkey.

During Old Major’s speech, which inspired the principles of Animalism, a specific reference is made to how Boxer would be turned into glue under Farmer Jones’ rule, thus implying that it would not happen to him under Animalism. “You, Boxer, the very day that those great muscles of yours lose their power, Jones will send you to the knacker, who will cut your throat and boil you down for the foxhounds.”

Boxer is quite dim-witted and can only remember the first four letters of the alphabet. Boxer is a loyal supporter of Napoleon; he listens to everything the self-appointed ruler of the farm says and assumes, sometimes with doubt, that everything Napoleon tells the farm animals is true: “If Napoleon says it, it must be very right.”

He has been described as “faithful and strong”; he believes any problem can be solved if he works harder.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxer_(Animal_Farm)

That’s Unions to Obama.

Idiots.

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RT March 15, 2013 at 3:17 pm

@ Cincycinco – I am no Union fan for sure. That said, I loved your mention of ole “Boxer”. Perhaps not surprisingly, when I think of what Boxer represents, the far right comes top mind – CPAC Soap Opera…

~ RT

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DeniseVB March 15, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Agree Rod, Obama even told his OFA 1% donors he can’t start to govern until he’s guaranteed a Dem House and Senate. It’s all about 2014, then pushing his agenda through Congress for the next two years, and I fear, even repealing the Prezzy term limits or something stupid like that.

Everything he does between now and the 2014 elections is for Obama and no one else. With hopes the media will wake up in time.

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FLDemFem March 15, 2013 at 10:42 pm

Obama had a Democratic House and Senate for the first two years of his administration. He didn’t govern then, spent all his time jetting around the country on a perpetual campaign. What makes you think it will be different if he gets them again?

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srdem65 March 15, 2013 at 1:45 pm

The price of gasoline at the pump won’t be lowered if the pipeline is built; it’s determined by the amount of funny-money that MrBerneke is printing every day. MrObama’s goal is to have us junk our gas-guzzlers and purchase overpriced alternate-fueled vehicles or ride a bike, bus, or a train.

If he approves the pipeline’s construction it won’t happen until early in 2014 when the move will give him the most bang in the elections.

(btw, I had to look up the definition of “ululating”. it sounded like an obscene act, but it isn’t)

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RickW March 15, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Same here, srdem. I thought it meant cutting with an Alaskan implement originally used by whale hunters. http://theulufactory.com/

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Scottso March 15, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Keith,

I think you are wrong based on what the President said this week ‘there were no permanent jobs, and that the oil will be put on ships and exported and that the only ones who are going to get wealthy are the Canadians’
———————————————————
All of that may be true. May not.
Of course, with the known record of Mr. Obama’s Job Prognostication I’ll say that I’ll bet he’s wrong.

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cincycinco March 15, 2013 at 2:00 pm

There’s only ONE problem;

1) Obama wants America to fail.

So, NO SOUP FOR YOU, America!

Not now.

Not ever.

Geeze! Stupid infidels, what are you gonna do…

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Lizzy March 15, 2013 at 2:13 pm

His lips are flapping or fracking so I’m going to pick lying for $500.

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cincycinco March 15, 2013 at 2:46 pm

“I’m going to pick lying for $500.” – Lizzy

DAILY DOUBLE!

Here’s your question;

Name the President who called for an increase in domestic engery production while standing in the way of domestic energy production increases?

‘Obama’s jaw-dropping hypocrisy on energy
By Jennifer Rubin
The Post reports:

President Obama on Wednesday will call for a one-third cut in oil imports by 2020, part of a plan he says will reduce U.S. dependence on foreign petroleum. With rising gasoline prices at home and political turmoil throughout the Middle East, Obama will seek in a speech at Georgetown University to rally Americans — and bickering lawmakers — behind a program that draws about half of that import cut from energy savings and about half from greater energy production, according to Obama aides who briefed reporters Tuesday.

It’s nice that he’s discovered the importance of domestic energy development, but his rhetoric overlooks his own policies over the past two years. Yesterday on the Senate floor Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blasted the president for comments he made in Brazil “when the President told the Brazilian president that the United States hopes to be a major customer in the market for oil that Brazilian businesses plan to extract from new oil finds off the Brazilian coast.”’

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/post/obamas-jaw-dropping-hypocrisy-on-energy/2011/03/29/AF2iDI2B_blog.html

CORRECT! You win a drone strike for noticing…

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Lizzy March 15, 2013 at 2:17 pm

OMG. I just heard Megyn utter words that will give us nightmares and
sleepless nights forever. Clinton/Michelle Obama 2016:(((((((

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Girly1 March 15, 2013 at 2:23 pm

Don’t worry, Lizzy….it’s a publicity stunt. MO is competing with BO for headlines. She’s still angry with Barry for sleeping in every morning while she had to get up, feed the kids, and go off to work. They would have been divorced by now if he had not become a ‘govt. employee’ with an unlimited ATM card.

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Lizzy March 15, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Hope so had to visit the old Obamacare medicine cabinet.

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cincycinco March 15, 2013 at 3:01 pm

“OMG. I just heard Megyn utter words that will give us nightmares and
sleepless nights forever. Clinton/Michelle Obama 2016:(((((((” – Lizzy

Affirmative Action Michelle take a backseat to that trashy ol’ White woman? Not in THIS lifetime, girlfrien’!

Michelle is NO ONE’S number 2! Although she and her so-called “husband” do seem to specialize in flinging it…

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Bonnie Cox March 15, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Can you just imagine those two “first husbands”?

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Girly1 March 15, 2013 at 2:18 pm

He can’t fight city hall. My guess is he’ll do it, but not before imposing a draconian carbon tax to placate the enviros.

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Darkangel March 15, 2013 at 2:41 pm

My money is on that he DOESN’T approve the pipeline, and still regulates a carbon tax without Congressional input anyway. He’s beyond accountability, so I put nothing past him at this point. NOTHING.

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RickW March 15, 2013 at 3:19 pm

I agree with you, Girly. This is a man who wants to eat his cake (develop a legacy he can refer back to with “patriotic” pride) and eat it too (pacify his followers)

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RickW March 15, 2013 at 3:28 pm

I think I meant HAVE his cake……..Even Dear Leader can’t eat the same cake twice, especially with Moooochelle around.

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Susan March 15, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Agree, Girly1. He’ll demand a carbon tax in exchange for that pipeline. That is one of the reasons why Preezy Revenge went to Illinois today. He said he’s going to bypass Congress and implement a Nixon era “global warming” law. He can’t impose a carbon tax on his own, but he can use Keystone as a carrot for Congress to submit to his will.

Speaking of the Nixon era, isn’t it ironic how “global warming” is never mentioned nowadays? Ever since the environazi’s hockey stick graph was exposed as a fraud, they’ve been calling it “climate change”. I only wish these environazi’s would save the planet of their excessive carbon dioxide emissions and stop breathing.

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Citizen K March 15, 2013 at 4:37 pm

The TYPE of crude oil to be sent down Keystone XL is a blend of produced and syncrude with an API gravity of 20. This crude would go to refineries along the Gulf Coast (TX & LA) which presently import similar type of crude from Venezuela

The pipelines proposed to Canada’s West Coast would be mostly to ship it to California refineries which were long ago configured for heavy and very heavy crude oil with API Gravities less than 20 down to 10. Kinder Morgan specifically states that it’s proposed terminal would ship 75% to West Coast markets.

Not all crude oil is the same just as not all refineries are the same.

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D.V. March 15, 2013 at 4:47 pm

My country Canada would really appreciate if he does this, let alone Alberta. This is impacting on our provincial and national budgets as the producers are receiving well below market value for their producy

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gracepmc March 15, 2013 at 5:58 pm

If he does approve the pipeline it will have nothing to do with what is good for America, but how it makes him look and what it will do for him.
With the sequester, Obama is revealed to be the small minded, petty, power hungry man that he is. He is the President, but he has no presidential qualities whatsoever. The White House tours, denying American people entrance to their own house and having the nerve to blame the brave SS men and women who protect him, and then endangering American citizens he is sworn to protect by releasing criminal illegal aliens are but two of the most egregious examples. For Obama what will be sequestered will be that which harms the average American the most and leaves untouched his special people and projects.
And today he uses taxpayer money to indulgently fly Air Force One to his coven of Chicago cronies and dispense even more taxpayer money largesse on Argonne National Laboratory , which is not exempt from the sequester and which receives 90% its operating funds from the federal government.( I discussed this elsewhere with links) The only way this guy is going to approve the pipeline is if there is something in it for him and his cronies. And no matter the benefit to the American people it will not outweigh the harm he has done with the corruption behind the green energy, alternative , climate change, crap he is running largely through the EPA which is right now just some rogue organization beyond the reach of the law. The laws with Eric the Unjust enforces at whim.

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sablegsd March 15, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Sorry, it would be good for the country, so the insane, regressive, indonesian commie koranimal won’t do it. He’s never done the right thing, why would he start at this stage of his dictatorship?

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Spectricide March 15, 2013 at 9:38 pm

So do you think the genius that wrote this knows that oIl is sold as a commodity on a world market and it’s not “our” oil? It wold go into the same stockpile as that pesky Islamic oil. *clutches pearls”

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Michael W. Stewart March 16, 2013 at 10:12 am

After Romney’s crushing defeat, I lost six (6) future clients due to Obama’s win. All six were petro-chem engineers, and amounted to 1/3 my annual salary as a personal trainer. 4 of the 6 were laid off after the election and two were retrenched. 4 of the 6 were to work on the Keystone Pipeline had Romney been elected.

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ImNoDhimmi March 16, 2013 at 11:26 am

“Canadians are just Americans who root for the wrong hockey teams.”

NOT!

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Star March 16, 2013 at 11:53 am

Do you think his suggestions that we throw a few bill at gasless cars was a shot at the pipeline–or too subtle? The man is never subtle, heaven knows.

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MarkJ March 16, 2013 at 4:27 pm

You’re all wrong. Obama won’t approve the Keystone Pipeline, because an increasingly exasperated Congress will take that decision out of his hands.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/15/congress-seeks-obama-end-run-keystone-xl-pipeline-/

Once again, Obama will fearless vote “present” and let somebody else take the heat for a tough decision.

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Darkangel March 16, 2013 at 6:43 pm

That bill would still have to be signed by Obeyme, and he’s not going to do that. Assuming it survives the Senate, he’s GOING to veto it.

At that point, you would need every single Republican to start; from there, you’d need twenty-some Democratic senators on board to override their boy, while telling the eco-freakos to go pet a deer. And that’s just the Senate. If you think that’s possible, go buy yourself a Powerball ticket: for my money, you’ve got as much of a chance at winning the jackpot as the Senate does of overriding a veto.

In the House, you’d need 50-odd Democrats. I count about 68 or so from states that are competitive. Forget New York, New England, New Jersey, and Maryland, Pennsylvania is unlikely, scratch the whole Left Coast, and you can probably write off Minnesota and Illinois as well. There’s just not a whole lot of wiggle room after that for an override, and even that assumes every Republican backs the override, itself no guarantee.

I’ll apologize if Congress decides to grow a pair on Keystone, but I know better than to hold my breath.

And even if, by some miracle, that bill DOES overcome a veto, guess who has to enforce it? And when, exactly, has Obeyme ever let the expressed will of Congress ever get in the way of doing whatever the hell he wants, law of the land be damned?

Obeyme is going to do everything in his power to stop that pipeline, by fair means or foul. He LIKES it when the little people suffer at the pump. He’s got exploding death traps the electric cars of the future that he has to force Americans to buy, don’t you know, because his cronies make scads of money off of them it’s better for the environment, don’t you see.

So even if that bill DOES make it past the veto Obeyme will no doubt give it, the law will be summarily ignored.

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SaveUsGod March 17, 2013 at 12:49 pm

I don’t think he will approve it.

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Robert Johnson March 19, 2013 at 10:59 am

The pipeline will go through only if Warren Buffet gives Obama permission to approve it.

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Paul Bodnick March 25, 2013 at 8:18 am

It is a nobrainer that it should be approved

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moomaw Allen June 17, 2013 at 10:52 am

Hello in there I thought wed have to go back to horse and buggy
I am sure no body wants a oil mess of any kind but it would help the price of gas prices to go down.. Something good for the people when everthing is costing so much!! How good it would mean for workers!! You know what they say you last others first. And I don’t know what products the Green supporters want to sell- if it helps our country any good citizen will support to keep a tidy. Horay Obama!!!!!!
moomaw

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