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View Diary: Keystone Isn't Any Normal Pipeline (154 comments)

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  •  Keystone is the wrong fight (8+ / 0-)

    Just today, Canada announced it has given the line 9 pipeline to reverse flow from east-west to west-east.  There are other pipelines that can be expanded to carry dirty tar Sands.  And what about the Tar sands in Venezuela, Russia, and many other places on the planet?  And now Europe is looking at starting it's own NG fracking binge.

    The only way to keep most of that dirty oil in the ground is to make Solar/Wind/hydrogen... cheaper than oil and NG, and we can do it with the right incentives!  Trade the Keystone for a 10% tax on every barrel with 100% of the money locked into incentives, research, and development subsidies for ALT-E.

    We're going to lose this planet if we put all our efforts trying to stop every fracked well, every pipeline, every train, every one of a gazillion different dirty projects in every one of a gazillion different places around the world.

    •  Yes, I'd kinda hope that a US Senator (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      6412093

      would have a slightly more sophisticated understanding of the issues than this guy seems to.

      The only way to stop tarsands extraction (in Alberta or anyplace else) is to reduce demand, not to go after supply in a completely ineffective way.

    •  Are you aware that there are simultaneous (10+ / 0-)

      protest movements on two other pipelines already? It's not like Keystone XL is the only fight that's happening. It's just the most well-known. And as it gets fought, it spreads knowledge of what tar sands are and what the fight is.

      Also, I disagree strongly with your strategy. While your point about fighting every individual pipe is well taken, your "trade the keystone for a 10% tax...etc." is not, for three reasons:

      1)It assumes that the trade you propose would even get to a Congressional committee without a movement fighting to stop the Keystone XL pipeline in the streets and in the media. In other words, you see it as an either-or, when in fact, if there's any chance of getting the kind of deal you describe, it would require BOTH a strong movement fighting to stop all such efforts AND negotiators in Congress saying "We'll let you have these pipelines, but with the following concessions."

      2)It assumes that, even with a strong movement fighting for climate, Congress is capable of passing any such legislation. I see nothing indicating that. In fact, we weren't even able to get the kind of legislation you propose in 2009 and 2010, when we had large majorities in both chambers. What has Congress done lately that has suggested to you that they're capable of making such a deal, even with a powerful movement in the streets?

      3)It assumes that, in the unlikely event a deal was made, that it wouldn't be undone the next time Paul Ryan or Eric Cantor got a call from a donor. Given who's in Congress now, and who is likely to be running both chambers of Congress in November, why do you want to focus on Congressional legislation? I mean, I see the attraction--I'm a liberal too, and that's how we like to do things, by making federal laws--but it's obviously a poor choice of battleground.

      Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 08:46:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Strongly disagree (0+ / 0-)

        About a hundred people showed up at a protest of the XL in front of the Whitehouse. Do you really think a hundred people protesting is going to stop Oil, coal, NG production, pipelines, oil trains, trucks ... even remotely enough to stop Global Warming in time?  We are out of time!

        1) First Republican president, or even a weak Dem president will reverse any decision to stop the Xl in a heartbeat.

        2) If the goal is to protest individual projects to draw attention and get a good compromise that speeds up the development of ALT-E, you'll find I will be the first on the picket line.  But your very argument against a trade off, implies that that is not the goal of the environmental community.  It suggest that the community actually believes they can stop rapidly increasing Global Warming by stopping the XL, which frankly is disillusional and will lead to great disappointment when people are asked to protest the next pipeline and the next tar sands field, and when they realize they can't stop Russia, China and a dozen other countries from making a mockery of their efforts.

        3) Once ALT-E is cheaper than fossil fuels, there's no turning back, no matter what any of the right-wing nuts in congress want to do.

        If you really want to stop Global Warming, the only rational path is to make ALT-E cheaper.  For more than 3 decades we haven't stopped a single major project that influences Global Warming, and haven't made a single major international agreement that will slow CO2 emissions.

        But Solar and Wind are now the fastest growing energy sources on the planet, and with some big help, they can keep all the dirty fossils in the ground.  

        •  *My*argument against a trade off (5+ / 0-)

          is actually not the argument of the environmental community, as far as I can see.

          The argument of the environmental community is that tar sands mining represents final catastrophic defeat for the planet, and therefore compromises and trades that involve building KXL are unacceptable. That wasn't my point. In fact, I had taken off my enviro activist hat and put on my person-who-has-lobbied-a-lot-in-Congress hat when I made that comment.

          ALT-E has my full support, but you were suggesting some kind of a "trade" that would make it more economically competitive with fossil fuels. Some form of "We'll let you build KXL if you give us this or that economic concession." I was assuming, since you mentioned taxes, that you were talking about government taking action to make this trade and those economic concessions happen. That usually involves legislation, unless what you're talking about is negotiating an entirely new trade treaty with Canada--and wouldn't such a treaty violate the terms of NAFTA? I guess what I'm saying is, what trade do you expect to be made, and who do you think is going to make it?

          Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:25:36 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Republicans want the KXL very bad (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nicteis

            Lets start with, the public supports the KXL by BIG margins.  Yep, they've drank the Koch brothers cool aid.  This makes it really hard for Dems to oppose it.  The R's want to drill baby drill and want to rub the Dems noses in it.

            Call it a surcharge, a pipeline charge, a gasoline tax...whatever, but I do believe you could get something through congress that would get maybe 5-10% dedicated to ALT-E.  Obama has all along said he wants an everything approach to energy.  This fits right into his argument.  He gets ALT-E and the R's get dirty oil.  Absolutely no approval unless he gets big ALT-E dollars.  5% on 2 million barrels a day would be about $3.6B/year for ALT-E and would add about $.10 to a gallon of gas.

            A better battery changes the whole world and makes Tar Sands Oil nearly impossible to compete.

            http://beforeitsnews.com/...

            •  Again: I've got nothing, but nothing against (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pollwatcher, NoMoreLies, JVolvo

              technological innovations in alternative energy.

              But this:

              Lets start with, the public supports the KXL by BIG margins.  Yep, they've drank the Koch brothers cool aid.  This makes it really hard for Dems to oppose it.  The R's want to drill baby drill and want to rub the Dems noses in it.
              Doesn't add up to this:
              Absolutely no approval unless he gets big ALT-E dollars.
              unless you had a Lyndon Johnson or Harry Truman-style President who wielded his authority regardless of circumstances like:  all the massive money on the other side; 65% of people in the country supporting KXL. For better or worse, that's not Obama. He doesn't oppose prevailing trends unless he has Pete Peterson levels of money behind him.

               In my experience, in DC people don't deal with you--in the sense of making concessions--unless they have to. If they think they can get what they want without making concessions to you, they absolutely will. Why should the Republicans deal? They had oil Democrats standing with them before the 65% approval survey came out; now they've got the American public's support as well. If you or anybody can get them to exchange a progressive, renewable-energy-friendly tax law for the construction of Keystone XL, I'll--well, I won't eat my hat, but I'll buy you three rounds of free drinks, anything up to the 12-year-old Bushmills.

              The only thing in DC that could stop this at the moment is a firm conviction on the part of President Obama, held to in spite of the pressures of realpolitik, that the pipeline project is morally wrong, bad for America, and more or less without merit except for the profits it generates for its shareholders. He'd have to make a personal decision and stick to it. This is unlikely.

              Because people know it's unlikely, they will be unlikely to trade anything for a result they think is inevitable.

              Our original question was whether protests or insider negotiations would work better. My contention was that your only chance of having insider negotiations that would be successful was having a robust protest movement, and even then it would be a long shot. After seeing the poll results, I'd say that federally we're fucked unless Obama has a moral moment.

              Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

              by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 02:00:17 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  You've thrown the gauntlet (0+ / 0-)

                and it's making me mighty thirsty;

                but I'll buy you three rounds of free drinks, anything up to the 12-year-old Bushmills.
                Obama announces that he favors a multi-front approach to energy independence, so he is ready to sign off on the pipeline as soon as the congress removes the oil depletion tax break and appropriates the savings to ALT-E research and development.

                The public might like the KXL, but they also like ALT-E, and hate corporate welfare.  Now it's the Republicans who are holding up the pipeline in order to keep tax breaks for their corporate contributors.

                Where do we meet for the drinks? A 12 year old Macallan would be nice. :)

                •  And Congress is going to do that? Really? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JVolvo

                  Is it a purely Senate matter, or is the House involved? If the House is involved, are you saying that the House Republicans are going to give Obama cover for a decision which is going to make him unpopular with his base, by allowing him to remove tax breaks from one of their favorite industries? If it's just the Senate, do you think Republican senators are going to want to give Obama that kind of cover, and piss off their donor base?  And how are you going to get people like Mary Landrieu to vote for removing a tax break for big oil?

                  You can bet that the Republicans in the Senate will not go along with any deal. They'll hold out and expect the pressure from the private sector to make Obama cave.

                  If I'm wrong, I'll be happy to buy you that Macallan. 3 rounds. :-)

                  Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

                  by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 03:46:54 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  And by the way, let's call that "multi-front (0+ / 0-)

                  approach" by its right name: an "all of the above energy strategy," popularized most recently by George W. Bush.

                  Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

                  by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 03:48:50 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Remember that this is a Congress (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JVolvo

                  that has a mighty hard time passing a Farm Bill or a bill to keep our roads paved, or, for that matter, a raise to the debt ceiling. I repeat:  if they actually manage to do what you say, I'll buy you 3 rounds.

                  Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

                  by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 03:52:28 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  In other words, your POV sounds pragmatic (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FishOutofWater, shaharazade, JVolvo

      but actually isn't.

      Sure once I was young and impulsive, I wore every conceivable pin. Even went to socialist meetings, learned all the old union hymns. Ah, but I've grown older and wiser. And that's why I'm turning you in. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 08:47:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, and now both Congress and the Administration (6+ / 0-)

      are talking about fracking all over our country and shipping it to Europe to get a jump on Russia's ability to use natural gas to exert power!!!!  WTF?????

      Ignorance is the curse of God; knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven. William Shakespeare

      by lutznancy on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 09:28:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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