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‘Ridiculous’: Administration punts on Keystone, Obama faces Dem revolt

Posted by on Apr. 18, 2014 at 8:15 PM
  • 35 Replies
1 mom liked this

 

The Obama administration once again has punted on a final decision for the Keystone XL pipeline, announcing ahead of the holiday weekend it is extending a key review period indefinitely -- a move that could push off a determination until after the midterm elections. 

Republicans, as well as red-state Democrats who want the proposed Canada-to-Texas pipeline approved, slammed the administration for the delay. Democrats even threatened to find ways to go around the president to get the project approved. 

"It's absolutely ridiculous that this well over five year long process is continuing for an undetermined amount of time," Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said in a statement. 

Republican Nebraska Rep. Lee Terry called the decision "shameful," noting that another spring construction season will come and go without the project. 

The administration had been in the middle of a 90-day review period for federal agencies assessing an environmental study from the State Department. 

But the State Department said Friday it is giving agencies "additional time" to weigh in, in part because of ongoing litigation before the Nebraska Supreme Court which could affect the pipeline's route. If the route changes, officials made clear the State Department reserves the right to conduct another environmental impact study to include more public comments, which could delay the process more. 

Further, the department said officials need to go over the "unprecedented number" of new public comments -- roughly 2.5 million of them -- received during a separate comment period that ended in early March. 

"The Permit process will conclude once factors that have a significant impact on determining the national interest of the proposed project have been evaluated and appropriately reflected in the decision documents," the department said. 

Keystone supporters in Congress were furious with the decision. Just days earlier, 11 Democratic senators had written to President Obama urging him to make a final decision by the end of May, complaining that the process "has been exhaustive in its time, breadth and scope." 

With the extension, the administration effectively has turned down that request. One of the letter's signatories, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who is in a tough re-election fight this year, said the decision amounts to an "indefinite delay" of the project.    

"This decision is irresponsible, unnecessary and unacceptable," she said. "By making it clear that they will not move the process forward until there is a resolution in a lawsuit in Nebraska, the administration is sending a signal that the small minority who oppose the pipeline can tie up the process in court forever. There are 42,000 jobs, $20 billion in economic activity and North America's energy security at stake." 

Landrieu, as chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, also threatened to "take decisive action to get this pipeline permit approved." 

This could put pressure on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to allow a vote on legislation to either force the president to approve the project or make a decision by a certain date. 

There is a wide bipartisan support in the Senate. Last year, the chamber voted 62-37 on a nonbinding amendment that called for the pipeline's approval. 

A congressional source told Fox News that at this point, the administration is not giving a hard deadline, and the process appears to be open-ended. 

The administration has faced pressure from both sides of the debate on the pipeline. Republicans largely are united in support of the project, but Democrats are sharply divided. Moderate Democrats, as well as labor unions, are pressing the State Department to give the thumbs-up, calling the project a jobs engine and a way to boost energy security. But environmental interests, and lawmakers allied with them, are strongly opposed -- citing its alleged impact on climate change and possible health risks. 

One such environmentalist, California billionaire Tom Steyer, has been vowing to back vulnerable Democrats with big money if they oppose the pipeline. He called the latest announcement "good news on Good Friday for those who oppose Keystone as not being in our nation's best interest." 

The State Department has jurisdiction because the Canada-to-Texas pipeline crosses the U.S.-Canada border. The drawn-out process has frustrated America's allies in Canada. Canadian Ambassador to the U.S. Gary Doer told Fox News after the announcement Friday that every day the project is delayed is a lost opportunity to put people to work. 

He also said the oil is coming "whether it be by rail or truck."

In pointing to the Nebraska court case, the State Department was referring to a state judge recently overturning a law allowing the current path through the state. 

But Sen. John Hoeven, R-Neb., charged that the strategy here "is clearly defeat through delay." 

Fox News' Mike Emanuel, Doug McKelway, Kara Rowland, Justin Fishel and Chad Pergram contributed to this report. 

by on Apr. 18, 2014 at 8:15 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Apr. 22, 2014 at 2:31 PM
2 moms liked this

Talk about Bi-partisanship.

Everybody wants it - except the guy that wants fuel prices to necessarily skyrocket and food stamps to be in every mailbox.

numbr1wmn
by Nikki on Apr. 22, 2014 at 2:38 PM
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Heaven for bid he creates jobs and lessens our dependability on others.  They won't compromise.

Ednarooni160
by Eds on Apr. 22, 2014 at 3:57 PM
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The plan is NOT to create jobs..thought everyone knew this..

grandmab125
by Platinum Member on Apr. 22, 2014 at 5:59 PM
2 moms liked this

 The left gets all pissy accusing the Koch brothers of manipulating politicians and elections, yet the dems have their own agenda driven billionaire.   Hedge fund operator, Tom Steyer, who formed his own green agenda pushing super pac, has promised $100M to the dem coffers if Obama kills this.  He's also promised $100M to defeat any dems who support it.  And they, the dems, have the nerve to talk about 'dark money'.  This guy was also behind a lot of the funding that helped to get the dem into office as the gov of Virginia last fa..

Besides the enormous am't of money Obama and the dems get from the unions, their other richest donors are the climate change, green, green, green, fanatics.  They get too much from the green movement to ever allow this to go through.  He'll just keep coming up with new reviews until Canada finally does build that pipeline to their western coast and ship it off to China.

idunno1234
by Silver Member on Apr. 22, 2014 at 6:20 PM

I don't know a lot about this in all honesty, including Tom Steyer, but based on your post alone this is what immediately jumps out at me.....Koch brothers push their agenda to benefit THEMSELVES- they don't give a shit whether it generates jobs or not, they just want more money, more power.  Steyer, according to you, is pushing an agenda to benefit the ENVIRONMENT.  

Do you see the difference?

I still believe money should not buy power but the little I've read about Keystone makes me believe there is a lot of reason to believe that ultimately its a stupid, temporary, potentially environmentally devastating fix to a problem we need much better solutions for.  

Quoting grandmab125:

 The left gets all pissy accusing the Koch brothers of manipulating politicians and elections, yet the dems have their own agenda driven billionaire.   Hedge fund operator, Tom Steyer, who formed his own green agenda pushing super pac, has promised $100M to the dem coffers if Obama kills this.  He's also promised $100M to defeat any dems who support it.  And they, the dems, have the nerve to talk about 'dark money'.  This guy was also behind a lot of the funding that helped to get the dem into office as the gov of Virginia last fa..

Besides the enormous am't of money Obama and the dems get from the unions, their other richest donors are the climate change, green, green, green, fanatics.  They get too much from the green movement to ever allow this to go through.  He'll just keep coming up with new reviews until Canada finally does build that pipeline to their western coast and ship it off to China.


cjsbmom
by Bronze Member on Apr. 22, 2014 at 7:09 PM

This is not in the best interest of the US (to have that pipeline). And any time the Koch brothers are involved, it makes my skin crawl. 

Billiejeens
by Ruby Member on Apr. 22, 2014 at 9:12 PM

BUMP!

grandmab125
by Platinum Member on Apr. 22, 2014 at 9:39 PM
1 mom liked this

 1.  We all know your obsessive hate for the Koch brothers.  It's irrational.  Gee, two men who are against big gov't, high taxes, actually create jobs for Americans, etc. are just so evil.  They aren't even the biggest donors to republican causes.

2.  Steiner isn't pushing his green agenda because he believes in it.  He is pushing it because he's on a power trip.  Then there's his connections  and investments in a company that builds pipe lines.  He made a ton of his money from investing in fossil fuel companies, mostly in China and other countries.

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In their wisdom, our Founding Fathers created a system of checks and balances and competing influences among the president and Congress, the states and the federal government, and billionaire liberal donor Tom Steyer.

Tom Steyer isn’t Senate majority leader, or chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, or even Senate president pro tem. He’s merely the man who wants to spend $100 million on Democrats this year and who hates the Keystone pipeline. 

President Barack Obama famously boasted that he has a pen and a phone that give him the power to make Washington act. Except, evidently, if Tom Steyer doesn’t want him to.

Last week, the Obama administration yet again delayed its long-delayed determination whether or not to approve the Keystone pipeline, a nondecision strategically announced not just on a Friday, but a Friday that is one of the holiest days of the year. The administration had enough self-awareness to know its latest exercise of executive inaction was nothing to be proud of.

Even in the mainstream media, almost everyone assumed the move was entirely political. The project has undergone multiple reviews beginning in 2009 and always gotten a clean bill of health. The administration cited a lawsuit in Nebraska that might affect the path of the pipeline as reason for the new delay. This is an absurd fig leaf. A fight over the pipeline in one state doesn’t affect whether the State Department — which is involved because the project crosses an international boundary — can determine whether the pipeline is in the national interest or not.

One theory is that the White House thinks the delay is good politics because it allows endangered Red State Democrats who favor the pipeline to distance themselves from the president by attacking his foot-dragging. If so, this is highly counterintuitive political strategy: We’ll do you a big favor by making another in a series of indefensible nondecisions that are unpopular in your state.

The simpler explanation is that Tom Steyer, as well as the liberal donors and climate activists allied with him, is getting his way. They were always an influential constituency in the Democratic party, but became even more so a few months ago when Steyer pledged $50 million of his own money to Democrats in the midterms, to be matched by another $50 million from other donors. In a punishing year for Democrats, this was rare good news. Why mess it up by deciding Keystone on the merits?

For all the complaints about money in politics, it is unusual that a high-profile decision seems to have such a direct connection to one big-time donor. This isn’t sneaking a small but consequential provision into a 1,000-page bill in the dead of night. It is blocking a project in broad daylight that is important to a close ally (Canada), that will instantly create thousands of construction jobs, that will send a signal to Vladimir Putin that we are serious about developing energy resources, and that will have no net effect on global warming (as the latest State Department review established).

Steyer deserves perverse credit for his success defying what would otherwise be uncontroversial public policy. Rarely does a meritless cause get so much traction. But union workers can be forgiven for not appreciating Steyer’s virtuosity. The president of the Laborers’ International Union of North America went further than any Republican in denouncing the latest delay. He called it a “gutless move,” “politics at its worst,” and “another low blow to the working men and women of our country.”

Needless to say, Steyer hasn’t received a fraction of the press coverage of the Koch brothers, whose funding of conservative groups has made them an obsession for the New York Times and other outlets. Steyer isn’t nearly as interesting — he’s just the guy with effective veto power over a major infrastructure project clearly in the national interest.

(From Politico)

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Tom Steyer: The shady billionaire with millions of reasons to kill Keystone XL

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/10/08/tom-steyer-the-shady-billionaire-with-millions-of-reasons-to-kill-keystone-xl/#ixzz2zfXOgXFh

Tom Steyer is trying to pull a fast one on Americans.

The billionaire hedge fund manager and bank mogul is spending millions of dollars in an attempt to prevent the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

But why?

Two reasons: Money and power.

Steyer knows the facts. The pipeline would slash energy costs for Americans, facilitate the growth of oil production in the U.S. by increasing access to refineries, generate millions in state and local tax revenues, and reduce the amount of oil America imports from unstable and unfriendly nations by 40 percent. Furthermore, five years of intensive regulatory review by federal and state government has shown Keystone to be an environmentally sound project.

Still, Steyer continues to fund a campaign of lies and hysterical propaganda in hopes of killing Keystone.

Steyer’s latest whopper, which comes in an interminable 90-second ad that he funded and stars in, is that Keystone will create only 35 permanent jobs. The assertion that a pipeline that will revolutionize energy production in America would create the same number of jobs as a single Dunkin’ Donuts is embarrassing and absurd. The State Department estimates Keystone will generate 42,100 direct and indirect jobs during a two-year construction phase. Thousands of new jobs will subsequently be created to produce and refine petroleum after completion of the pipeline.

By distorting the truth about Keystone’s job creation, economic benefits and environmental concerns, Steyer stands to benefit handsomely.

Most of Steyer’s $1.4 billion fortune came through investments in fossil fuels. In fact, Steyer’s biggest cash cow is Farallon Capital Management. Farallon has stakes in a number of oil, gas and pipeline companies, including a large investment in Kinder Morgan, an oil and gas pipeline outfit that plans to expand its own TransMountain pipeline to transport oil from Alberta to refineries and shipping terminals in the U.S. and Canada.

While this year alone Steyer poured $1.8 million into a super PAC supporting anti-Keystone candidates and burned through another $1 million creating an advertising campaign attacking Keystone, he has refused to criticize the TransMountain pipeline – even though TransMountain pipeline is functionally identical to Keystone. That’s because if he succeeds in killing Keystone, TransMountain will be “the only game in town for transporting oil directly from the oil sands to export terminals, up to 900,000 barrels a day,” according to Investor’s Business Daily.



Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2013/10/08/tom-steyer-the-shady-billionaire-with-millions-of-reasons-to-kill-keystone-xl/#ixzz2zfY94i1d

 

 

 



 

 

Quoting idunno1234:

I don't know a lot about this in all honesty, including Tom Steyer, but based on your post alone this is what immediately jumps out at me.....Koch brothers push their agenda to benefit THEMSELVES- they don't give a shit whether it generates jobs or not, they just want more money, more power.  Steyer, according to you, is pushing an agenda to benefit the ENVIRONMENT.  

Do you see the difference?

I still believe money should not buy power but the little I've read about Keystone makes me believe there is a lot of reason to believe that ultimately its a stupid, temporary, potentially environmentally devastating fix to a problem we need much better solutions for.  

Quoting grandmab125:

 The left gets all pissy accusing the Koch brothers of manipulating politicians and elections, yet the dems have their own agenda driven billionaire.   Hedge fund operator, Tom Steyer, who formed his own green agenda pushing super pac, has promised $100M to the dem coffers if Obama kills this.  He's also promised $100M to defeat any dems who support it.  And they, the dems, have the nerve to talk about 'dark money'.  This guy was also behind a lot of the funding that helped to get the dem into office as the gov of Virginia last fa..

Besides the enormous am't of money Obama and the dems get from the unions, their other richest donors are the climate change, green, green, green, fanatics.  They get too much from the green movement to ever allow this to go through.  He'll just keep coming up with new reviews until Canada finally does build that pipeline to their western coast and ship it off to China.

 

 

cjsbmom
by Bronze Member on Apr. 22, 2014 at 10:28 PM

Spot on. 

Quoting idunno1234:

I don't know a lot about this in all honesty, including Tom Steyer, but based on your post alone this is what immediately jumps out at me.....Koch brothers push their agenda to benefit THEMSELVES- they don't give a shit whether it generates jobs or not, they just want more money, more power.  Steyer, according to you, is pushing an agenda to benefit the ENVIRONMENT.  

Do you see the difference?

I still believe money should not buy power but the little I've read about Keystone makes me believe there is a lot of reason to believe that ultimately its a stupid, temporary, potentially environmentally devastating fix to a problem we need much better solutions for.  

Quoting grandmab125:

 The left gets all pissy accusing the Koch brothers of manipulating politicians and elections, yet the dems have their own agenda driven billionaire.   Hedge fund operator, Tom Steyer, who formed his own green agenda pushing super pac, has promised $100M to the dem coffers if Obama kills this.  He's also promised $100M to defeat any dems who support it.  And they, the dems, have the nerve to talk about 'dark money'.  This guy was also behind a lot of the funding that helped to get the dem into office as the gov of Virginia last fa..

Besides the enormous am't of money Obama and the dems get from the unions, their other richest donors are the climate change, green, green, green, fanatics.  They get too much from the green movement to ever allow this to go through.  He'll just keep coming up with new reviews until Canada finally does build that pipeline to their western coast and ship it off to China.



grandmab125
by Platinum Member on Apr. 22, 2014 at 10:43 PM

 OK.  I'll try this again, since one of you pulled my previous response.  Are we not allowed to disagree with an admin?

Of course it's in the best interest of the US.

Even the State Dept's own study said it wouldn't have a significant impact on the environment.  From NPR...

The Obama White House

The long-awaited State Department report found that the pipeline, the fourth and last Keystone section, would not have a "significant" effect on greenhouse gas emissions. Its assessment goes something like this: If Keystone XL doesn't get built, the oil extracted from Canada's tar sands will still be transported somehow — likely by rail — and have the same environmental effect. That leaves President Obama with an unenviable case to make to his liberal base if he chooses to support the pipeline, and an equally difficult decision to defend — particularly with the labor unions that support it — if he opposes a project Republicans have made key to their jobs-and-energy argument. White House chief of staff Denis McDonough says Obama is not in a rush to make a decision. "We have one department with a study," he said on NBC's Meet the Press. "Now we have other expert agencies, the EPA, and many others, who have an opportunity ... to look at this and make their determinations."

Secretary of State John Kerry will make a final recommendation to Obama, who has 90 days to decide. The question is how long the president will wait — and what effect it will have on November's midterm elections, when the fate of Democratic senators from conservative-leaning, energy-producing states will determine whether the party retains control of the Senate.

 

Oh, and are you against employing thousands of people to build it, and all of the businesses that will benefit all the way...which would need to be hiring more people to service the people building the pipe line?  And do you want us dependent on foreign oil forever?

I know it doesn't fit with the liberal green agenda, but there is no logical, legitimate reason to not build it.  But don't worry yourself.  Obama will just keep kicking the can down the road until Canada builds the pipeline to somewhere on it's western coast and sells its oil to China, keeping us more dependent on the mid-east oil cartels. 

Quoting cjsbmom:

This is not in the best interest of the US (to have that pipeline). And any time the Koch brothers are involved, it makes my skin crawl. 

 

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