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Keystone Pipeline to Be Built Because There’s No Reason Not To
New York Magazine ^ | Jonathan Chait

Posted on 01/31/2014 3:35:36 PM PST by nickcarraway

The State Department today released its long-awaited environmental impact analysis of the Keystone XL pipeline. The analysis is key because President Obama announced last summer he would not approve the pipeline unless it was found to have no significant impact on climate change. And that’s what the analysis finds. It argues, as many other analysts have concluded, that if we block the pipeline, Canada will just ship the oil out by rail. So, what public policy reason is there to block the pipeline? There really isn’t one. Indeed, the environmentalists' obsession with Keystone began as a gigantic mistake. Two and a half years ago, the environmentalist James Hansen wrote a blog post alerting his readers to the pipeline, which he concluded would amount to “game over” for the climate, as it would lead to the burning of enough new oil to moot any effort to limit runaway greenhouse gases. His analysis was based on a simple back-of-the-envelope calculation that turned out to be wrong in several respects, the most important being the assumption that blocking the pipeline would keep the oil in the Canadian oil sands in the ground.

The anti-Keystone movement was an accident. I recently argued that it was a huge mistake. Numerous allies of the environmental movement replied that it did make sense, after all. (See Joe Romm, Matthew Yglesias, Charles Pierce, and Ryan Cooper. All of them insisted that Keystone is indeed a good issue for environmentalists to organize around because it’s easy for people to understand. As Yglesias put it, “You sometimes need to focus on slightly eccentric issues that happen to have good organizing attributes.”)

Cooper mockingly asks readers to envision a protest where organizers shout, “What do we want?” “More stringent carbon dioxide emission regulations on extant coal-fired power plants!” “When do we want it?’ “After the extraordinarily complicated rule-writing process over which the president has no direct control!” It certainly may be easier to get people excited about opposing a pipeline. It may also be hard to get people excited about favoring new regulations.

But if your goal is to limit greenhouse-gas emissions, you need to have a strategy designed to advance policies that limit greenhouse-gas emissions. Stopping Keystone doesn’t do that. EPA regulations would. Would blocking the Keystone pipeline make it easier for Obama to issue tough regulations on existing power plants, and to negotiate an international climate treaty in 2015 after such regulations bring us into compliance with our reduction targets?

I don't see how. I think it would feed criticism by opponents that Obama is captive to environmentalists, even to the point of following their quixotic and marginal obsessions. Approving Keystone might give him more credibility to defend tough regulations. It's not guaranteed, of course. But the intuitive idea is for a movement to organize around the issues that matter, not the issues that are easiest to explain. Building a movement by misleading people is a strange choice.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Canada; Culture/Society; Editorial; US: North Dakota
KEYWORDS: canada; keystonepipeline; keystonexl; northdakota; pipelinereport; statedept

1 posted on 01/31/2014 3:35:36 PM PST by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway
The State Department today released its long-awaited environmental impact analysis

OK, for ten points, boys and girls, what's wrong with this picture?

2 posted on 01/31/2014 3:37:54 PM PST by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: nickcarraway
Obama will find a reason to delay it or not build it at all. The socialist left does not want energy independence if it involves US/Canadian produced oil. Our president would much rather support his fellow islamics by buying the oil from them at inflamed and controlled prices.
3 posted on 01/31/2014 3:39:47 PM PST by oldenuff2no
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To: nickcarraway

It must NOT be built because it will cause a decrease in food stamps and unemployment. Those must be preserved at all costs to ensure the sheeple are kept subservient to the messyiah.


4 posted on 01/31/2014 3:40:07 PM PST by GreyFriar (Spearhead - 3rd Armored Division 75-78 & 83-87)
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To: nickcarraway

Building a movement by misleading people is a strange choice.

It is the key choice of Leftists. It is their main strategy. The entire “progressive movement is built on this idea. If they did not have to mislead people, democracy would work, the Constitution would not have to be torn down, and the idea that we would need experts to make every decision for us would not be required.

However, if people are too stupid and ignorant to make their own decisions, then you *must* mislead them.


5 posted on 01/31/2014 3:40:57 PM PST by marktwain (The old media must die for the Republic to live. Long live the new media!)
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To: Izzy Dunne

There is only one reason not to: that guy in a white house.


6 posted on 01/31/2014 3:41:01 PM PST by Fungi
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To: Izzy Dunne

The pipeline is already built.

It is just not allowed to cross the border.


7 posted on 01/31/2014 3:48:44 PM PST by kennyboy509 ( Ha! I kill me!!!)
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To: nickcarraway
Will not be built while King Obama is on the throne.
8 posted on 01/31/2014 3:49:16 PM PST by Logical me
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To: Fungi; kennyboy509
Incorrect.

I repeat the question, with a slight change: For ten points, boys and girls, what is wrong with this sentence:

The State Department today released its long-awaited environmental impact analysis

9 posted on 01/31/2014 3:51:44 PM PST by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: nickcarraway

Obama will finally approve this like he’s doing us a big favor....It should have been approved years ago.


10 posted on 01/31/2014 3:53:07 PM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: nickcarraway
His analysis was based on a simple back-of-the-envelope calculation that turned out to be wrong in several respects, the most important being the assumption that blocking the pipeline would keep the oil in the Canadian oil sands in the ground.

Anybody with an ant's brain knew the pipeline was going to be built; it was either going west or south, but in no reality was that oil just going to stay in the ground.

11 posted on 01/31/2014 3:54:06 PM PST by henkster (Communists never negotiate.)
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To: nickcarraway; potlatch; PhilDragoo

Warren Buffet owns the trains and is a contributor. Reason enough for the delay.


12 posted on 01/31/2014 4:06:21 PM PST by ntnychik
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To: Izzy Dunne
What is wrong with it?

Just today, my plumber issued a report on my electrical wiring.

/johnny

13 posted on 01/31/2014 4:06:23 PM PST by JRandomFreeper (Gone Galt)
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To: JRandomFreeper
And ... we have a winner!

Ten points to JRandomFreeper for correctly questioning why the State Dept. is issuing an environmental analysis!

14 posted on 01/31/2014 4:09:32 PM PST by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: nickcarraway
An unusual situation - Jonathan Chait making sense.

Building a movement by misleading people is a strange choice.

And yet Chait seems incapable of grasping the fact that building a movement by misleading people is the essence of how today's Democrat Party works.

The false choice, the misleading straw-man argument, and the big lie are all hallmarks of 'the Obama way' and the Democrat talking points that parrot his words.

Exactly what is so hard about that for Chait to grasp?

15 posted on 01/31/2014 4:18:58 PM PST by Zeppo ("Happy Pony is on - and I'm NOT missing Happy Pony")
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To: nickcarraway

Are united states suppliers able to add their oil/gas to the pipeline? is this just a straight canada to us port for export passthrough?


16 posted on 01/31/2014 4:20:54 PM PST by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: nickcarraway
GET

ON

WITH

IT.

17 posted on 01/31/2014 4:34:26 PM PST by Paladin2
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To: Paladin2

He will approve of it. Come October gas prices will come down and the rats wil take all the credit going into the election.

And the sheeple will bleat Ohhhbahhhhmahhhhhh


18 posted on 01/31/2014 4:52:18 PM PST by EQAndyBuzz ("The GOP fights its own base with far more vigor than it employs in fighting the Dims.")
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To: nickcarraway

19 posted on 01/31/2014 5:05:27 PM PST by Windflier (To anger a conservative, tell him a lie. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.)
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To: oldenuff2no

“Obama will find a reason to delay it or not build it at all. The socialist left does not want energy independence if it involves US/Canadian produced oil. Our president would much rather support his fellow islamics by buying the oil from them at inflamed and controlled prices. “

Ok with me. I hope he continues being stupid till after the November elections.


20 posted on 01/31/2014 5:35:55 PM PST by snoringbear (E.oGovernment is the Pimp,)
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To: AdmSmith; AnonymousConservative; Berosus; bigheadfred; Bockscar; cardinal4; ColdOne; ...

Spin-doctoring ping. Thanks nickcarraway.


21 posted on 01/31/2014 6:04:54 PM PST by SunkenCiv (http://www.freerepublic.com/~mestamachine/)
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To: Izzy Dunne

The Secretary of State must approve the report and can take as long as he wants before taking it up. With the peace crisis in Israel and Syria and the Iran stuff, he will never get around to it


22 posted on 01/31/2014 6:08:37 PM PST by bert ((K.E. N.P. N.C. +12 ..... History is a process, not an event)
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To: longtermmemmory

No expert here, but they should almost have to transport U.S. crude, too. Bitumen is pretty thick stuff. I would think that they will mix it with much higher gravity crude and condensate just so it’ll be easier to pump down a pipeline.


23 posted on 01/31/2014 6:34:34 PM PST by OkiMusashi (Beware the fury of a patient man. --- John Dryden)
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To: Izzy Dunne

So....is the EPA going to be releasing a report critical of the political situation in the Middle East?


24 posted on 01/31/2014 6:38:29 PM PST by ROCKLOBSTER (Celebrate "Republicans Freed the Slaves" Month.)
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To: nickcarraway
if we block the pipeline, Canada will just ship the oil out by rail.

And that oil will be replaced, as it presently is, by oil brought in by ship. If environmental concerns matter at all, replacing the parade of tanker ships crossing the high seas full of oil would be a high priority.

But since environmentalists and a goodly number of our politicians are OPEC flacks, it is the reverse. Protecting that parade of ships from a competing pipeline becomes job one.

25 posted on 01/31/2014 7:46:33 PM PST by marron
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To: nickcarraway

NIMBYs are concerned about their “property values,” and few local, yocal oil-connected businesses in the U.S.A don’t want the extra competition. But if the pipeline goes through, your fuel prices will go down.


26 posted on 01/31/2014 7:47:35 PM PST by familyop (We Baby Boomers are croaking in an avalanche of corruption smelled around the planet.)
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To: JRandomFreeper

Beautiful. And spot on.


27 posted on 02/01/2014 2:25:36 AM PST by FBD (My carbon footprint is bigger than yours)
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To: ntnychik; potlatch
Kerry as Mr. Teresa can move a hydrant--but he can't get his pipeline up. And Bury won't take the pen out his butt and spoil his smirk.
28 posted on 02/01/2014 1:04:38 PM PST by PhilDragoo (Hussein: Islamo-Commie from Fakistan)
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