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"We share nothing so completely as our planet." That was a key message in John Kerry's first major address as secretary of state in Charlottesville, Virginia, Wednesday. Joe Romm of Climate Progress thinks it's more evidence that Kerry is a climate hawk and that he may well recommend to President Barack Obama that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline be rejected.

If that happened, it would be a major victory for climate activists in Canada and the United States who, among other things, have been getting arrested for civil disobedience over a pipeline they consider to be both symbol and reality for where the nation is headed when it comes to confronting climate change.

Make no mistake. Kerry did not directly mention Keystone in his speech. And there are many forces—powerful, monied forces—arrayed in favor of the pipeline that could make Kerry's welcome words wither under fire. Then, too, not all environmental advocates agree that Keystone is the proper target for climate hawks to address. Nonetheless, Kerry's remarks offer at least a hint that action on climate change and against Keystone could be forthcoming:

We as a nation must have the foresight and courage to make the investments necessary to safeguard the most sacred trust we keep for our children and grandchildren: an environment not ravaged by rising seas, deadly superstorms, devastating droughts, and the other hallmarks of a dramatically changing climate. And let’s face it—we are all in this one together. No nation can stand alone. We share nothing so completely as our planet.

When we work with others—large and small—to develop and deploy the clean technologies that will power a new world, we’re also helping create new markets and new opportunities for America’s second-to-none innovators and entrepreneurs to succeed in the next great revolution.

So let’s commit ourselves to doing the smart thing and the right thing and truly commit to tackling this challenge.

Because if we don’t rise to meet it, rising temperatures and rising sea levels will surely lead to rising costs down the road. If we waste this opportunity, it may be the only thing our generation—generations—are remembered for. We need to find the courage to leave a far different legacy.

Sure, it's couched in some what's-in-it-for-our-wallets language. But then rebuilding our economy, the global economy, around sustainability and sensibility will produce vast numbers of new jobs. What Kerry said is a far cry from the near-silence in high places that we've been afflicted with on this subject for so very many years.

Contrary to what the deniers and delayers would have us believe, the majority of Americans, as most recently reflected in a poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, want action on climate change.

Sixty-two percent favor setting stricter emission limits on power plants to address climate change while just 28 percent oppose it; 73 percent say action on climate is essential this year or in the next few years; 34 percent say essential this year. And among Americans age 18-29, 70 percent favor stricter emissions limits. That ought to help bolster the courage John Kerry says is needed to take action.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:10 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The pipeline is completely inconsequential (6+ / 0-)

    the key question is "is the Obama Administration willing to go to the mat for something meaningful like a carbon tax with teeth?"

    •  Interesting. (34+ / 0-)

      Right now it would be pointless "to go to the mat for something meaningful like a carbon tax with teeth," since the Republicans control the House.  And not all Dems support anyway.  Sometimes losing a fight you cannot win is useful, but soemtimes it is not.

      I think the Obama admin can do some very good things through EPA regs.  Congress won't pass cap and trade, but EPA can requrie limits on carbon that will likely cause many big coal electric plants to close.  They already are clsoing because of age and cheap natural gas.

      Coal is bad, bad, bad.  Reducing coal use would help.

      Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

      by TomP on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:22:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, the EPA *should* regulate fracking (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        thomask, dinotrac, Texknight, sap, bdop4, RosyFinch

        that would make a world of difference.

        Without doing so, the use of fracking technology is increasing domestic crude oil production, mainly through the output of Bakken, by the equivalent of the Alberta Tarsands in just 2 years.  That is, by about 2.1 million bbls/day.

        And the real kicker is that this is all being done by rail - rendering pipelines completely moot.

      •  What about something like this - (8+ / 0-)
        There has been increasing speculation in the U.S. capital that the Obama administration might want to exact something in exchange for Keystone approval, such as a rumoured greenhouse gas emissions levy that would be imposed at the border and could raise much-needed revenue for the United States.
        http://www.cbc.ca/...

        Since this wouldn't be a new tax/charge on the American people, but rather more a kin to a trade agreement that Canada would surely be okay with - could Obama/Dems make a levy on this oil as it crosses the border that could cancel the whole XKL deal if not approved?  

        This money could then be directly reinvested in renewable and clean energy projects - Billions of dollars.

        They could also get strictest possible safety standards on the actual pipeline and have clean-up and penalty money put aside in escrow.  

        Canada is going to mine it regardless, but by far the easiest route from ground to market goes through America - so it might be better for the US to force high safety and environ standards, and get money out of it for investment in renewables rather than blocking it, which would only stall it and have it end up much dirtier with no US control over it.  

        Keystone XL Pipeline - Canada gets the money, Asia gets the oil, America gets the toxic refinery pollution and potential for a pipeline leak ecological disaster.

        by Jacoby Jonze on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:34:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are completely spot on that Canada (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TomP, citisven, LilithGardener, 6412093

          is going to mine this shit regardless.  Or is it irregardless? (it seems like at least once a day my Kansas education comes back to haunt me .. . ).

          That is crystal clear insofar as the most "progressive" political force in Canada - i.e., the New Democratic Party - refuses to condemn the Tarsands but will only say that they should be exploited responsibly (whatever that means!).

          So yeah, if the Texas refineries get their crude from the Bakken, the Tarsands, or new unconventional sources in Venezuela seems like a lot of sound a fury that could be better directed elsewhere.

          •  I suspect you are right (5+ / 0-)

            that defeating the pipeline will not prevent Canada from exploiting this, although it might make it costlier.  If oil prices collapsed, they would not, but that would just shift to other sources the carbon because oil use would increase.  

            Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

            by TomP on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:09:20 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  People keep saying "it will make it (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TomP, Michael James, Texknight, 6412093

              costlier" like that is an impediment of production.

              It is not.

              Let's go through a couple of scenarios:

              Scenario #1

              Capital costs for Tarsands Production: $20/bbl

              Extraction costs for Tarsands Production: $15-20/bbl

              Transportation costs, by pipeline (if Keystone is built: $8-10/bbl

              Net cost: max of $50/bbl

              In this scenario, Big Oil makes about $40/bbl - they are clearly ecstatic

              OK, hold onto your hat, let's consider if we are victorious and Keystone is NOT built:
              Scenario #2

              Capital costs for Tarsands Production: $20/bbl

              Extraction costs for Tarsands Production: $15-20/bbl

              Transportation costs, by rail (if Keystone is not built: $30/bbl to anywhere in NA)

              Net cost: max of $70/bbl

              In this scenario, Big Oil makes about $20/bbl - ah gee, isn't that a pity?

              While Big Railroads pick up the other ~$20/bbl .. .  

              Bottom line here - the only difference here is the profit distribution amongst different members of the 1%-ers.
              •  Are you sure the Native Americans whose (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Roadbed Guy, aliasalias, Larsstephens

                land has been taken for this despite a treaty, and who are clearly having more cancer and other deaths from the mining pollution, will not be able to stop it? Aside from the horrendous damage to a huge area of land that is an important source of water, habitation and carbon sink?

                Is there a point where we just say no more? When will it be time to change the destructive path the plutocrats have kept us on far longer than was sane?

                It's the insanity, stupid. There are better alternatives, when do we start putting our subsidies and plans into them instead of fossil fuels?

                "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

                by Ginny in CO on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:55:47 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Reply to roadbed guy/oil prices (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Roadbed Guy

                Hey Roadbed Guy, don't mean to pick on you, BTW.

                But if the Tar Sands prices get jacked up $20 bbl, then other producers, for instance from the Bakken, Mexico, and Gulf of Mexico wells, can undercut the Tar Sands prices, and that would reduce the rate of Tar Sands consumption and would thus slow climate change a little.

                Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

                by 6412093 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:49:32 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, that is a nice fantasy (0+ / 0-)

                  But think back to 1998 when crude oil prices were $10/bbl.

                  Or WAY less than required for tar sands profits.

                  that should have been a total death knell for that entire enterprise, right?

                  But it wasn't - the people in charge apparently  appreciated the "peak oil" idea insofar as long term trends only predict ever increasing crude oil prices.

                  And were willing to suck it up and keep investing, which is paying big time right now.   I suspect they learned a valuable lesson from that.

                •  To finish the thought (0+ / 0-)

                  back in 1998 the Saudi's apparently had the wherewithal to open the production spigots enough to depress prices to that level.

                  A bit of googling will easily reveal that no one seriously thinks that they still have that ability.

                  IOW, $90 plus prices are here to stay

            •  There was an article, here perhaps, yesterday (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DawnN

              which suggested that Transcanada had figured out a route which does not require state department approval at all, having to do with repurposing existing pipelines, making the oil flow the other way.  If this is correct, the political question will change since approval might not be required in the same way.  I hope this is not right but the Canadians have SOOOO much in this that they might have been able to buy other existing pipeline users esp. in Texas out, to be able to trade on existing right of ways. Does anyone have good info on this unpleasant alternative. Sigh.

          •  Regardless (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roadbed Guy, MGross, TomP

            Though it is my understanding that, regardless of the double negative, "irregardless" is making its way into English dictionaries through brute force of use. And so it goes.

          •  regardless is a word (4+ / 0-)

            meaning without regard.

            irrespective is a word, meaning without respect to.

            irregardless is some bullshit somebody made up a long time ago when they didn't bother distinguishing between the other the two.

            my dad drilled that into my head years ago, and there it sits. :-)

          •  Irregardless is spoken American dialect (0+ / 0-)

            but is not accepted as good prose. From Miriam Webster:

            Definition of IRREGARDLESS
            nonstandard

            : regardless

            Usage Discussion of IRREGARDLESS

            Irregardless originated in dialectal American speech in the early 20th century. Its fairly widespread use in speech called it to the attention of usage commentators as early as 1927. The most frequently repeated remark about it is that “there is no such word.” There is such a word, however. It is still used primarily in speech, although it can be found from time to time in edited prose. Its reputation has not risen over the years, and it is still a long way from general acceptance. Use regardless instead.

            Examples of IRREGARDLESS

                I told them that irregardless of what you read in books, they's some members of the theatrical profession that occasionally visits the place where they sleep. —Ring Lardner, The Big Town, 1921

            Origin of IRREGARDLESS

            probably blend of irrespective and regardless
            First Known Use: circa 1912

        •  Interesting suggestion. (0+ / 0-)

          Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

          by TomP on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:07:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Why would Canada agree to that? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Roadbed Guy, 6412093

          I think Plan B is just to build the pipeline to the border and wait until there's a Republican in the White House to approve the small over-the-border part (which is a reasonably good bet for 2016)

          If a Democrat wins in 2016 that won't approve the cross-border section, well, they only have to ship it a mile or so by rail to the other end of the pipeline.

          •  If Canada were smart (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            6412093

            (e.g., not entirely in the thrall of US Big Oil) they'd use the tarsands almost exclusively to meet domestic needs.

            Making the US more  or less irreverent.    Thereby allowing us to step aside and become the (yeah, like this would ever happen) shining beacon to the rest of the world demonstrating how clean/green energy could substitute for fossil fuels . .. .

            •  It costs too much (0+ / 0-)

              to re-engineer the Canadian refineries with massive delayed cokers and additional cracking units to handle the Tar Sands.  That's what Canada wants to send us the Tar Sands, and instead import our cleaner Bakken crude to refine in Canadian refineries.

              Many US refineries have already expanded equipment appropriate for processing Tar Sands, mainly Motiva/Port Arthur, the largest refinery in the world if they can start it up.

              Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

              by 6412093 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:59:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  I certainly agree that we been a carbon fee/tax... (17+ / 0-)

      ...with teeth. But, seriously, we know that will not clear Congress until 2015 at the earliest, not even the Senate.

      You keep saying, however, that the pipeline is inconsequential. That is looking at it through the technical lens. And while it's a conduit for a dirty source of oil with potential for damaging leaks, it's the political consequentialty that's at issue here. Both the actions and statements of the anti-Keystone movement and the oil industry makes it clear they don't think the decision to green-light or reject is inconsequential.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:29:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Bakken oil field empirically proves (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        6412093

        this point.

        Just like the Alberta Tarsands, there is limited pipeline capacity for getting the product out of the area.

        But that has not hindered production there one iota.  Rail (ironically, mostly the progressive icon's Warren Buffet's BN railroad) has stepped in to fill the void.

        Seriously, that should be a lesson for anti-Keystone sentiment.

        Should Keystone be built - well, of course not.  But once it is not built, no one should kid themselves that this will make any difference globally, it won't.  For me, the only benefit will be that the blood will be incrementally more on the Canadian's hands than ours.  To mention small blessings.

        •  You realize that you're arguing that it doesn't (0+ / 0-)

          matter at all how much it costs to bring a product to market, right?

          income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

          by JesseCW on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:33:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Not at all (0+ / 0-)

            It costs at a maximum, about $70/bbl to bring tarsands oil to market WITHOUT the keystone pipeline.

            Thus, as long as global crude oil prices are above that, the Tarsands will be massively profitable and development will continue unabated.

            Perhaps somebody reading this forum remembers POTUS Clinton?  Well, if not Google it - you'll see that under his regime that crude oil dropped to $10/bbl at one point.  But did that deter Alberta Tar Sands production?

            No, not at all because the folk in charge were savvy enough to understand the "Peak Oil" concept and that over the long run, they'd make massive profits by standing pat.

            And that's exactly what they're doing today.  With or without out Keystone (where there profit margin is either 2x or 4x the TOTAL PRICE OF CRUDE OIL BACK IN 1998)

            Seriously, either way, they're totally golden.

        •  Matter of fact (0+ / 0-)

          folks are offering to build a pipeline from the Bakken to points south, but cancelled it because not enough companies would ship on it.

          Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

          by 6412093 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 02:01:52 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Before agreeing that pipeline is (11+ / 0-)

        inconsequential, perhaps worth reading this

        Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

        by A Siegel on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:42:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have read that type of analysis (2+ / 1-)
          Recommended by:
          MGross, LakeSuperior
          Hidden by:
          Albanius

          something like a gazillion times - always from an "environmental" group.

          All the why the world passes them by - not sure why they insist on looking like such dupes.

          For example they say this:

          Rails options to move tar sands are limited: In 2011, only 20,000 barrels of crude oil per day left western Canada on rail, and less than 5,000 bpd was exported to the United States. The high cost of shipping tar sands by rail to Gulf Coast refineries or even to the Candian west coast will not likely support prices to justify new tar sands projects.
          When reality is quite different .. .

          as demonstrated in any number of links easy enough to find by Google if one doesn't have one's  head firmly up one's ass . ..

          just saying, isn't it a tad embarrasing to post such ridiculous mis-information on a "reality-based" website?

          •  Not sure why I'm being troll rated for (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LakeSuperior

            pointing out actual facts.

            Unless the likes of Jim Carrey somehow gained membership to this site .. .

            •  For more context (0+ / 0-)

              the commenter I replied recently posted a diary that was anti-Keystone in the sense that Tarsands oils would thus be exported and not be available for the domestic market.

              Which, IMHO, is an absolutely idiotic POV.

              •  Thanks for the "idiotic POV" (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Meteor Blades, joedemocrat

                That diary laid out counter-points to many of the arguments being used in favor of Keystone XL.

                One of the arguments is that it will, somehow, lead to lower US gas prices. Actually, the DilBit will be going to refineries that have been refining Venezuelan heavy crude for reexport onto the world market.

                And, well, that 'summary' of the diary is pretty far off since that is, of course, only one of many bullet points there -- as you well know.

                Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

                by A Siegel on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:01:56 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Not a clue. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roadbed Guy

              Uprated is response.  The guy who TR'd you wasn't who you were arguing with.

              •  I suppose the people on both side of (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LakeSuperior

                the issue tend to get a tad over wrought about this.

                But, when somebody says that something is NOT possible (like ever) - and then when I post a link showing that it happens in only 2 years, is that really that egregious?

                In any event, I myself am probably way overly obsessed about this issue - I suppose if people wish to invest themselves 110% in something that has no greater significance (i.e., blocking Keystone) I should just graciously accord them that privilege  .. . . ..

            •  TR'd not for "facts" but for abusive language (0+ / 0-)

              toward people who are taking the most effective action to stop Tar Sands development and shipment, starting with what the industry is currently trying to push through.

              If we succeed in stopping KXL and they try another path, we'll fight that too.

              There's no such thing as a free market!

              by Albanius on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:12:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's complete bullshit (0+ / 0-)

                they're not taking remotely effective action.

                Seriously, maybe you should think back to grade school and the "boy who cried wolf" fable.

                There's more truth in that than you probably realize.

                •  If MB's question is answered in the affirmative (0+ / 0-)

                  you might then reconsider your confidence that you know better than McKibben and Hansen, the leading students of this issue since the 1980s.

                  Reasonable people can disagree about almost anything, but your choice of language indicates that you may not be among them.

                  There's no such thing as a free market!

                  by Albanius on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:57:45 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Do I know better? (0+ / 1-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Hidden by:
                    Albanius

                    I'm not claiming that.

                    All that I am claiming, is that if one compares  what their position is claimed to be on DailyKos with what is happening out in the "real world" - they look like complete idiots.

                    I have yet to reconcile whether they are complete idiots, or whether their positions have been misrepresented right here at DailyKos

            •  yes, the HR is out of line. n/t (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FishOutofWater, Roadbed Guy

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:36:13 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I appreciate your comment (0+ / 0-)

                somehow I suspect we're all on the same side here.

                too bad it's so decisive wrt tactics on how to get from here to there . ..

                •  This isn't directed at you specifically... (5+ / 0-)

                  ...but I think it's clear we all AREN'T on the same side here. There are people at Daily Kos who think we can keep burning fossil fuels for the next 50 years and that those of us determined to stop that from happening are naive. We're not the ones in that category.

                  Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                  by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:47:42 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I think I fall on both sides of that dichotomy (0+ / 0-)

                    On one hand - I am pretty sure that 50 years from now, the planet will still be gulping down every last drop of fossils available, and it will be naive think otherwise.

                    Dwight Eisehower's MIC warnings of 50 years ago provide good precedent for that, have we learned anything as a society in that regard?  Sadly no.  In fact we have dramatically regressed.

                    OTOH, I am absolutely terrified that dramatic action (as compared to window dressing like stopping Keystone) is not happening RIGHT NOW wrt to weaning the planet of off carbon based energy sources.  

                    As small consolation (and a really bad lifestyle)  I'll be long dead before then to witness the consequences

                    As less consolation, a goodly number of years ago Ms Roadbed Guy insisted on having children - I'm rather fearful of the world that awaits them.  On the plus side, they seem to be a good deal more intelligent than me (for example, they don't seem to have much interest at wasting time at internet websites devoted to political discussions), so they'll probably muddle through

                    •  I'd make a wager with you on what will... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Roadbed Guy

                      ...be happening a half century from now in terms of burning fossil fuels. But it would be naive of me to think I will live to be 116. My grandchildren, however, will only be 54 and 56 by then. And while I think some effects of global warming are unstoppable now, we can make it worse.

                      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                      by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 04:03:26 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  To be clear (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roadbed Guy

              which you see by looking at the TR, I have never TR someone with whom there is simply 'disagreement'/pushing material back and forth ... even with your tone ...

              Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

              by A Siegel on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:07:52 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks, I agree that from long time (0+ / 0-)

                interactions you seem like a totally reasonable and cromulent person.

                Therefore I trust that you will be open minded enough to seek out your own independent information on this topic and form your own opinions.

                I know that from doing a google search pretty much every day since the turn of the calendar year, I have become firmly convinced that as long as global Brent crude oil prices remain above $80/bbl, rail will suffice to move both Bakken and Tarsands oil to markets.

                Posting links from 2 years ago, quite frankly, are not convincing in dissuading me from this viewpoint.

          •  Sierra Club is the source (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Roadbed Guy

            Yesterday I received a solicitation in the mail from the Sierra Club which makes the following claim:

            "The proposedpipeline will deliver tar sands oil from mines in Alberta, Canada, to Gulf Coast refineries largely for export to the international market"
            The Sierra Club is creating that conflation of 'largely for export' for some unknown reason to promote opposition to the pipeline.   I consider an organization like SC making conflations in that manner to be an example of advocacy misconduct that jeopardizes an organization's credibility.
            •  I try really, really hard to like the likes (0+ / 0-)

              of the Sierra Club and Greenpeace.

              But when they put out really, really ridiculous information (for example , Greenpeace's claims that chlorinated compounds are only man-made) it becomes increasingly difficult.

              On more than one occasion, it makes me want to spend the rest of my life in my PJs in my parents basement.

              Unfortunately, as somebody in his late 50s, that's not really all that viable of an option . ..

              •  I wrote off Greenpeace decades ago because (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Roadbed Guy

                that organization isn't a conservation stewardship organization and GP commits serial acts of scientific misconduct as part of their organizational programming.   Most of GP's chlorine campaign was junk, and their efforts addressing hazardous waste incineration in the 80-90's were mostly exercises in toxicology and environmental engineering misconduct.   GP is also a top-down organization that does not support local committees/action in the manner often required by the exigent circumstances.

                Sierra Club is different for me.   SC is supposed to be the premier national citizen's conservation action organization.  I've been a member and active volunteer of SC since 1989.  I am a present volunteer for the Michigan chapter.  I've also had as clients for consulting projects several SC chapters and groups.

                The problem is that sometimes SC forgets that being a conservation organization that uses science to formulate policy as part of conservation stewardship is the one and only job.

                If you're engaging in conservation stewardship in carrying out leadership, policy formation, advocacy, public policy campaigns and in making public statements, there is no place for exaggeration, conflation, false equivalency, misconduct, error, etc.

                This means a conservation stewardship organization carrying out such activities must be scrupulously accurate and consistent when describing facilities under review, when talking about risks/benefits/hazards and other factual matters.

                Groups like SC sometimes get into trouble when they  forget about conservation planning and stewardship and 'making the case' and instead opt for what I call 'product branding and marketing' approaches to their issues.  

                "Product branding and marketing' campaigns run by the rules of Madison Avenue and not conservation science and this is exactly how groups like SC sometimes get into trouble and damage their credibility.   SC's 'Beyond Natural Gas' campaign showing us all flaming water is a good example.   You realistically can't claim the mantel of scientific credibility by embracing the credibility of scientific consensus on the effects of greenhouse gas emissions on climate, and then turn around and commit acts of geological engineering, hydrology, and toxicology/epidemiology/risk assessment misconduct in carrying out activities addressing natural gas exploration.

            •  The US is an international market (0+ / 0-)

              to the Canadians.  Every drop on Keystone is exported to the US.

          •  Actually ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DawnN

            1. The "reality is quite different" ...  As per the DeSmogBlog, which I read when it came out and which you link to,  the #s that they cited for 2011 were off -- if Branden calculations were correct, there were roughly 10,000 rail cars/week at perhaps 6-700 barrels each or perhaps 60-70,000 barrels a day which was up perhaps 30% higher by the end of the year.  

            2.  However they truly failed by not pointing out that this has gone up massively since 2011 and is going to go up more in the coming year(s).

            3.  Railroad export of tar sands, however, does not make "Keystone XL inconsequential" although you are right that Droitsch messed up on this point and, well, I hadn't read her close enough.

            4. Keystone XL is not 'it', it is part of an overall struggle to slow and then turn back tar sands exploitation rates.  

            Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

            by A Siegel on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 02:59:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yet ... (0+ / 0-)

            even with the rail growth, the industry perspective:

            Even if you build every single pipe that's on the table right now...you're still short pipeline capacity … For the growth to continue, all the proposed export pipeline capacity and more will need to be built, and soon.  Andrew Potter, Managing Director, Institutional Equity Research at CIBC World Markets, Jan. 1, 2013
            Is Potter simply ignorant?

            Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

            by A Siegel on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:05:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, he seems to be. (0+ / 0-)

              Like I pointed out elsewhere, you need one 120 car train per hour out of Fort McMurray to meet production demands.

              That is quite possible.

              If you don't agree, just wait 5 years and we can resume this discussion.  I don't particularly like being massively antagonistic, except if by being so, I can direct anti-carbon efforts down a more productive avenue

    •  Why "completely inconsequential" ...? (12+ / 0-)

      The overall numbers / analysis would suggest otherwise. This piece is quite good:

      The tar sands industry has proposed expansion plans that would triple production by 2030 which would lead to an increase in carbon emissions to over 900 MMT by 2030. This growth requires a massive expansion of capacity to transport tar sands oil.  But as NRDC outlines, the tar sands industry’s production targets would necessitate the construction of every new pipeline currently proposed plus millions of barrels worth of additional transport capacity.  The Keystone XL pipeline is an absolutely necessary step for tar sands expansion, and given current pipeline capacity constraints is also significant as the first test of whether such expansion can move forward.  In other words, Keystone XL would enable a significant amount of tar sands expansion that otherwise would not occur.
      Now, is it 'inconsequential' because it is a piece in a larger puzzle. To that, I ask what do we do at the swimming pool? This basic argument is like saying ‘who cares if a kid pees in the swimming pool, there is a lot of water …’ Every increment, in and of itself, can be portrayed as somehow ’small’ but there is the impact of many incremental inputs. 100 kids peeing … 1000?? When do you say no to pissing into waters where others want to swim?

      And, how do you suggest that a carbon tax come about?  I would suggest that you are playing the game exactly as David Roberts discussed in The virtues of being unreasonable on Keystone

      If you want to argue that activists shouldn’t focus on Keystone, you can’t just establish that rallying around and/or blocking Keystone won’t reduce carbon emissions much. So what? Why not try it? Something’s better than nothing, after all. Even if it’s a total waste of time, that may be unproductive, but it’s not counterproductive.

      No, you have to establish that the Keystone campaign is impeding or preventing something else better and more effective from happening. That’s what it means to say the Keystone campaign is counterproductive — that it’s detracting from other, superior climate efforts.

      What are these other efforts, and how is a focus on Keystone impeding or preventing them? That’s the causal relationship folks like Revkin need to establish to make their case, but they are maddeningly vague about it.

      Finally, the "Import" is because of the symbol. Will Keystone XL signal a continuation of 'all of the above' playing both sides of the fence or will it be a signal of forceful Presidential action to come?

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:41:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  His argument is tha it will be shipped by rail (9+ / 0-)

        Of course that's more expensive, which means that the project is closer to being uneconomical.  The argument doesn't go far enough, because it fails to consider that further actions might block rail also and every other option until the tar sands die a death of a thousand cuts

        Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

        by Mindful Nature on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:47:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wish I could share your unbridled optimism (0+ / 0-)

          perhaps I am simple older than you are and have been around longer to see how the world really works.

          •  I wonder (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            A Siegel, DawnN

            I bet we're practically twins...  Right now, I have to maintain optimism or I'd stop dead, given the state of affairs.

            Take a look at the NRDC analysis that A. Siegal cites, which breaks out the capacity to ship by rail with current facilities and the increase in costs that would render some development uneconomical.  This analysis shows that killing Keystone will slow and delay the tarsands, which is a help, and if the rail transport can be blocked also, may stop it.

            Allowing KEystone will allow a substantial and faster development of the tar sands than forcing shipment to go by another means.

            Still, I will thank you for keeping me honest and prodding me into giving a harder look.  That's what friends are for!

            Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

            by Mindful Nature on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:53:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  David Roberts has a good explanation (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FishOutofWater, DawnN

            of the eleventy dimensional chess involved  Thought you might like this one.

            Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

            by Mindful Nature on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:45:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, they're going to block gasoline imports? (0+ / 0-)

          Seriously, they could refine it in place if oil prices go high enough.

          •  If oil prices get *that* high more and more (0+ / 0-)

            alternatives will become competitive.

            income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

            by JesseCW on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:34:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  including using no oil at all. nt. (0+ / 0-)

              Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

              by Mindful Nature on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:56:39 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  if they can get approvals to build (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            A Siegel, DawnN

            the refineries.  

            Right now, there aren't existing facilities to ship or refine the full extent of the oil at the rate they'd like.  If we even delay each one by a year or two, that may buy time to stop it completely.

            Letting the process run amok is literally suicide.  Right now, the prognosis is that there's a substantial risk that most people under 20 will not survive to see their 60th birthdays.  Not opposing EVERY point where we can really isn't an option.

            Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

            by Mindful Nature on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:56:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  disagree mindful nature/refineries (0+ / 0-)

              The gulf Coast refineries have been adding on capacity for the last several years that is well suited, even targeted, for processing Tar Sands. Motiva/Pt. Arthur, Marathon/Greyville (La) are two prime examples.

              Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

              by 6412093 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 02:09:06 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  those refineries (0+ / 0-)

                are not in Alberta.  Without a way to get the bitumen there, those refineries won't do the oil companies a lot of good.

                Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

                by Mindful Nature on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 02:45:43 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  There's no evidence (0+ / 0-)

          that rail shipments can be blocked. no permits required.

          Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

          by 6412093 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 02:06:32 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

            Both Canada and the US require permits to ship hazardous materials.  Also, building new rail line also requires permits, which is what they'd need to replace the pipeline with rail.

            Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

            by Mindful Nature on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 05:27:20 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  You say I am being unreasonable about (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FishOutofWater, 6412093

        the prospects of a carbon tax.

        I grant you that, because history has firmly established that Americans are a bunch of complete dumbasses.

        OTOH, you only need one train per hour capacity out of Fort McMurray to triple capacity for the Alberta Tar Sands.

        I'm not a train expert, but the Russians run their trains 6x that fast (e.g., every 10 minutes).  I suspect that's not realistic for North America, we DO tend to go for greater safety margins, but still, the railroads say they can do this (e.g. transport 4,000,000 bbl/day of crude oil), and I believe them.

        After all, they have been transporting a complete shitload of coal around the US continent (which ironically or coincidentally has been trending downwards, opening up capacity for transporting crude oil).

        •  Rec'd for tone (0+ / 0-)
          I grant you that, because history has firmly established that Americans are a bunch of complete dumbasses.
          One of these days a large majority of Americans will accept evolution as a fact.

          look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

          by FishOutofWater on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:54:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  responding to roadbed guy/trains (0+ / 0-)

          I doubt you can load and run a 100-tanker car "unit train"out the door every hour, much less ten minutes. I'd have to see some pumping and loading rates to justify those figures.

          Not to say they can't move a darn sight lot of oil by train.

          Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

          by 6412093 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:41:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  While I wouldn't call it "inconsequential" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming, Meteor Blades, DawnN

      I do agree that the carbon tax is far more important.

      I don't believe that blocking the pipeline will keep the dirty oil from coming to market. I do believe that blocking it may make it more expensive to bring the dirty oil to market, and that by itself is a small victory.

      But, yeah; even if it happens, blocking Keystone is probably not going to be as big a win as we'd like to think. But I still wouldn't go so far as to call it "inconsequential".

      Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

      by Nowhere Man on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:46:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It doesn't matter if it is more expensive (0+ / 0-)

        all that that will do is shift the profits between different sets of the "1%'ers" - e.g, Big Oil will get relatively less and Big Railroads will get relatively more.

        Overall, production will continue unabated unless demand can be brought down.

        •  If Big Oil's share goes down (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Albanius, JesseCW, FishOutofWater, DawnN

          then Alberta becomes a less attractive source for oil, and  they'll be more likely to look to other sources. And if it's true that Alberta's tar sands deposits represent about the dirtiest oil that the world has to offer, then any alternative is a step up.

          Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

          by Nowhere Man on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:41:38 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, that's not really true . .. . (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Nowhere Man, 6412093
            And if it's true that Alberta's tar sands deposits represent about the dirtiest oil that the world has to offer,
            moving forward, any non-conventional source of oil is going to be roughly similar (including fracking out the "tight oil" for Bakken shale)

            As this link discusses the "floor" for new oil production ranges from $95/bbl upwards,

            Thus the $70/bbl (factoring in no Keystone pipeline) for the Tarsands looks like a relative bargain!

            •  Responding to readbed guy/Bakken shale (0+ / 0-)

              I've been told the Bakken oil production is relatively low in greenhouse gas emissions expecially compared to Tar Sands.  I've also read it's cleaner to refine.

              Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

              by 6412093 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:36:46 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  You don't understand. This is magic. None of the (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Nowhere Man

            normal market rules apply.

            Because oil.

            Or something.

            income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

            by JesseCW on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:35:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  agreed (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roadbed Guy

      glad to see this up high.

      we can't lose sight of the forest for the trees. the pipeline and tar sands are important, but as long as Canada has another pipeline option building or not building Keystone doesn't solve anything.

      what is needed is a real committment to expanding renewables. I want to see a campaign to put solar and wind at every location that makes sense. if to get that, we had to let pipeline builders dither with construction while the market for the product carried was shrunk by vialble clean alternatives, I'd take that as a victory.

      •  For whatever it's worth (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Seeds

        GreenPeace talks about 14 "Carbon Bombs" that pose a major threat to the planet.

        The Alberta Tarsands comprise about 8% of this.

        So yeah, blocking them would be fucking great!

        But, in the bigger picture that would be only one out of twelve pieces of the puzzle - meaning that there really are much bigger fish out their to fry .. .

      •  Sorry, Seeds (0+ / 0-)

        All the solar and wind in the world doesn't affect oil consumption. Solar and wind generate electricity.

        Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

        by 6412093 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 02:10:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's about net carbon output (0+ / 0-)

          To solve that, the problem needs to be looked at and approached holistically. That's all I am saying.

          •  I strongly support wind and solar (0+ / 0-)

            but we need to approach vehicle oil consumption differently.  If we even got large scale electric cars going, for instance, wind/solar would help drive oil down.

            Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

            by 6412093 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 05:19:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So how does blocking keystone get us there (0+ / 0-)

              Understand, I am no fan of developing those fields. But blocking them comes at the price of a certain amount of political capital. Is keystone the best place to spend it?

              •  I feel (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Steve Canella

                Keystone is a distraction from phasing out the more serious problem, which is coal-fired energy generation.  

                But by now Keystone has become a symbol of resistance to carbon emissions, and the controversy is out of scale to its impacts.

                But rarely do you get a chance to object to a greenhouse gas generating project's US permits, and the Keystone haters want to take advantage of that rare leverage.

                Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

                by 6412093 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 01:33:52 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  which I think is a mistake (0+ / 0-)

                  because it takes the focus away from the more serious problem and spends limited political capital on what you yourself admit is a distraction.

                  i think people focus on it because its tangible. its analogous to celebrities cleaning rocks and birds after an oil spill. makes people feel like they've made a positive contribution, which in a small way they have, while the bigger problem remains unaddressed.

      •  Very true. (0+ / 0-)

        Forget about the far-out off-hand  comment James Hansen blurted out about Keystone being "game over" for the climate or whatever.....but let's think about the more realistic possibilities: what if a whole bunch of oil spilled out onto the prairies and started to contaminate a stretch of our water supply? THAT would be bad.

        And frankly, I agree with you on renewables: They are a MUST in this day and age. =)

  •  It's a good thing overall. (5+ / 0-)

    Hard to tell what it means regarding the Keystone pipeline, but it certainly does not appear negative toward the chances of disapproval.  

    What is the legal standard by which the Dept. of State (Kerry) makes the recommendation?  Is it all just policy?  On other words, are their legal contraints on his recommendation?  If the companies show that the piepline is "safe" to some standard, for example, does he have to approve?  

    My understanding is that the prime driver of opposition is to make it difficult for tar sand oil in Canada to be exploited.  A lesser driver of opposition is the fear of leaks in a long pipeline.  

    When must a decision be made?

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:18:42 AM PST

    •  The decision is expected about mid-June... (8+ / 0-)

      ...after the comment period for the environmental review of the new application is completed.

      There isn't a set standard that makes approval required. The risks involved are a matter of subjectivity and percentages that are disputed.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:25:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the info. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        citisven, cotterperson

        Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

        by TomP on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:27:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  MB - your diary title raises a very interesting (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        citisven

        question. I had read that as the new kid on the block Kerry would not send a formal recommendation to the POTUS because Kerry feels this is President Obama's call, and any formal report could not be kept confidential. Don't know if that is really true, but I am sure Kerry will have an influence on the decision and will be advocating in private conversation a denial of the Keystone XL project.

        Hard to read the tea leaves on this one and predict which way it will go.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:42:23 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Stopping the pipeline won't stop exploitation (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, cotterperson

      of the tar sands, though. They'll just use rail to move the oil.

      http://www.slate.com/...

      Is there is no way to get the Canadian government to block tar sands exploitation?

      •  It isn't a killing blow (9+ / 0-)

        It is one of a thousand cuts required.  We have to run the table to survive

        Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

        by Mindful Nature on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:59:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But doesn't protesting the pipeline (0+ / 0-)

          defer attention from the root of the problem? Instead of getting arrested protesting in front of the White House, maybe it would do more good if the Sierra Club folks got arrested protesting in front of the tar sands themselves.

          •  That reads a lot like a really desperate (0+ / 0-)

            attempt to deflect attention from the White House, rather than earnest and sound advice on fighting climate change.

            income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

            by JesseCW on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:37:08 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  No, it RAISES awareness in the US of the Tar Sands (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mindful Nature, indie17, DawnN

            problem - that converting bitumen to oil costs a LOT of energy, greatly increasing the GHG emissions per BTU delivered.

            That is only a part of the larger problem - unsustainable dependence on fossil fuels - but it is the worst single part, according to James Hansen of NASA, about the most credible scientist on these issues.  

            Bill McKibben has reported that proven fossil fuel reserves, if burned, would release some 5X the CO2 sufficient to push the planet past the point of no return, when runaway positive feedbacks would kick in.  So it is VITAL to establish precedents starting now of leaving fossil fuel reserves in the ground, starting now, worst first.

            If we can't stop even this filthy project, the chance of avoiding catastrophe diminishes severely.

            Of course we also need to reduce demand for fossil fuels, but that is NOT AT ALL contradictory to restraining the dirtiest supply.  Dramatizing the danger of business as usual creates incentives to make the major investments we need in end use efficiency and renewable supplies.

            There's no such thing as a free market!

            by Albanius on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:40:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Quite the opposite (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Meteor Blades, DawnN

            if focuses a giant spotlight on climate change, the role of the oil industry in destroying civilization and the role of politicians in colluding with that effort.

            Keystone has always been primarily a useful symbol as well as an important policy battle (to set precedent of actually evaluating climate impacts in approving projects rather than giving lip service. )

            Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

            by Mindful Nature on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:58:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  The current Canadian government... (13+ / 0-)

        ...what we Americans call its "administration," is doing everything it can to gut environmental regulations, studies and oversight in general to ensure that nothing from tainted water to cancer clusters stand in the way of that exploitation. They're seeking to expand much of their economy around this resource to make themselves the Saudi Arabia of North America without the princes and the ban on Bibles.

        It should be clear to everyone that next in line for development —as oil prices rise higher and higher because conventional sources are becoming scarcer and scarcer—is oil shale. Not the shale oil of the Bakken and other places, but the oil shale in the Piceance Basin in Colorado, tightly held in the rock as kerogen. Three oil shale booms and busts so far since the 1890s and no commercial oil coming out of that formation yet. But if prices rise high enough, they'll go after that stuff, which is more polluting than tar sands oil, more consumptive of water and a lot harder and more damaging to extract.

        No doubt we'll hear some people who should know better making the same arguments in favor of oil shale exploitation as we hear now for what's happening in Alberta.

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:03:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It sounds to me that this is where the (0+ / 0-)

          protests should be, at the root of the problem.

        •  Thx MB for making the distinction between (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Meteor Blades

          ...oil shale and shale oil.  

          Shale oil is crude oil in liquid form, found in shale rock formations, extracted by the dirty process of hydraulic fracking.

          Oil shale (kerogen) is solid rock which when heated releases crude oil, but the cooking is even dirtier and more energy intensive than fracking.

          To complicate the matter, the oil extracted from oil shale (kerogen) by heating is called shale oil.

          There's no such thing as a free market!

          by Albanius on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:57:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Lets hope so. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cory Bantic, TomP, DWG, cotterperson

    We've pushed and pushed and pushed and havent gotten very far.  Sure, we have to keep pushing but lets just hope that, for once, we've got someone who is serious on this grave issue and ready to move.

  •  They've no doubt talked (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, cslewis, MGross

    about it. If Kerry is dead-set opposed and Obama is for or leaning for, he wouldn't have picked Kerry.

    But reading tea leaves in speeches? Silly. After all, Obama said this in his SOTU address:

    In the months ahead, I will continue to engage Congress to ensure not only that our targeting, detention and prosecution of terrorists remains consistent with our laws and system of checks and balances, but that our efforts are even more transparent to the American people and to the world.
    •  Recced, except that we must reiterate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JesseCW

      the fact that we have no reason to believe Kerry is "dead-set opposed" to Keystone XL.

    •  More to the point, he said this (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, KayCeSF, cotterperson, PorridgeGun
      "But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.

      "The good news is, we can make meaningful progress on this issue while driving strong economic growth. I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change

      I don't see anything suggesting that he and Kerry have any significant difference of opinion on Keystone, and I don't really see anything from either of them that says Keystone is going to face any opposition from the administration.

      "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

      by Catte Nappe on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:37:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  According to DU's Freshwest...... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe

        Maybe not.

        Since 2009, there were complaints, concluding in the Koch brothers creating the Tea Party in 2010 to stop Obama's agenda.

        Some may not remember, but every budget bill Boehner offered had to be fought over as he put approval for the pipeline at the head of them.

        From 2011:

        Koch Brothers Positioned To Be Big Winners If Keystone XL Pipeline Is Approved

        http://www.reuters.com/...

        OVERNIGHT ENERGY: GOP seeks political price for Obama’s Keystone pipeline delay
        By Ben Geman and Andrew Restuccia -11/30/11

        State of play: Republicans on both sides of Capitol Hill are taking steps this week to impose a political price on the White House for delaying a final decision on the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline until after the 2012 election.

        Senate GOP leadership on Wednesday promoted new legislation that would force a much faster decision on TransCanada Corp.’s proposed $7 billion Alberta-to-Texas pipeline.

        They argue the bill (which E2 covered here and here) will help create jobs quickly, and alleged the recent administration delay was a political decision to appease green groups.

        The pipeline puts the White House in a bind by splitting President Obama’s base — green groups loathe the project while a number of unions want it to proceed without further delay...

        http://thehill.com/...

        Obama Rejects GOP Bid to Tie Payroll Tax Cut to Keystone Pipeline ApprovalDec 7, 2011

        President Obama warned congressional Republicans today that he will reject any attempt to tie a payroll tax cut extension to approval of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, which supporters say would create thousands of new jobs.

        “Any effort to tie Keystone to the payroll tax cut, I will reject. So everybody can be on notice,” Obama said during a press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Last month, the administration postponed a decision on the pipeline to allow for an extended environmental review that’s expected to last until after the 2012 campaign.

        “The payroll tax cut is something that House Republicans and Senate Republicans should want to do regardless of any other issues,” Obama added. “The question’s going to be, are they willing to vote against a proposal that ensures that Americans, at a time when the recovery is still fragile, don’t see their taxes go up by a thousand dollars? So it shouldn’t be held hostage for any other issues that they may be concerned about.”

        But Republicans insist Obama is playing politics with a project that has strong bipartisan support, including from labor unions, and which would help boost the lagging economy. Harper has also publicly pressured the administration to approve the deal...

        http://abcnews.go.com/...

        From 2012:

        Sizing Up Obama's Keystone Pipeline Denial
        By Amy Harder January 23, 2012

        Was President Obama right or wrong to reject the Keystone XL pipeline?

        Last week, President Obama denied approval of a permit to build the pipeline, which as proposed would have sent oil from Alberta, Canada's tar sands to Gulf Coast refineries. Obama said the "arbitrary" deadline set by congressional Republicans was not enough time to complete a review of the proposal for an alternate route that would not go through an ecologically sensitive area in Nebraska. TransCanada, the Canadian company seeking to build the pipeline, immediately said it would apply for another permit...

        http://energy.nationaljournal.com/...

        XL Pipeline: Oil Chief Threatens Obama

        The Guardian 06 January 12

        The head of the US's biggest oil and gas lobbying group said on Wednesday that the Obama administration will face serious political consequences if it rejects a Canada-to-Texas oil sands pipeline that has been opposed by environmental groups.

        Jack Gerard, the president of the American Petroleum Institute, said TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline would definitely play a role in this year's national elections.

        http://readersupportednews.org/...

        From 2013:

        10 Lies Republicans Tell, over and over and over !

        4. REPUBLICANS LIE about drilling and the Keystone XL Pipeline:

        Much to the chagrin of the “drill baby drill” crowd, the President has kept the oil industry out of ANWAR, and recently disallowed the XL-Pipeline. To let Republicans tell it, the oil supply and employment in the industry have been stymied by this President. It is a lie.

        From The Los Angeles Times:

        Oil imports down, domestic production highest since 2003

        “.... the United States reduced net imports of crude oil last year by 10%, or 1 million barrels a day. The U.S. now imports 45% of its petroleum, down from 57% in 2008, and is on track to meet Obama’s long-term goal, the administration maintains.

        Imports have fallen, in part, because the United States has increased domestic oil and gas production in recent years....Current production, about 5.6 million barrels a day, is the highest since 2003.

        The U.S. has been the world’s largest producer of natural gas since 2009, the report says. Use of renewable sources of energy, such as wind and solar, is still relatively small but has doubled since 2008.

        The report credits administration policies for the improvements. It cites initiatives such as the higher fuel efficiency of passenger cars, the jump in renewable energy output, and improved weatherization of 1 million homes.

        http://current.com/...

        A little more dirt from the above. Is this too many paragraphs? Tell me:

        Boehner has significant investments in the Keystone XL Pipeline Project so he has actively promoted an agenda that will benefit him financially. If the Republicans were really interested in job creation, they would have passed the infrastructure bill. Construction workers could repair roads and bridges from now until eternity, but then again, I guess Boehner’s not invested in I-95.

        And even the rightwingers know that Obama has been against the pipeline since the last three years, according to this undated blog here. If someone wants anything removed, just let me know. Here's a lament penned by a Keystone supporter, extra emboldening and underlining is mine:

        President Obama Denies Keystone Pipeline Permit - By LD Jackson

        Let’s all be honest with ourselves. Did anyone really believe President Barack Obama would approve the permit for the Keystone Pipeline and allow it to go forward? Even though the preliminaries are finished, the environmental studies have been done, alternate routes through Nebraska have been proposed, etc., President Obama still thinks more time is needed. He originally wanted to put the decision off until 2013. You know, after the 2012 election is out-of-the-way. The Republicans in Congress nixed that plan and tied the permit to the payroll tax cut or holiday issue. From November 30, 2011, the President had 60 days to approve or disapprove the permit. He made his decision yesterday and as is usually the case, he blamed the Republicans for forcing his hand. His excuse? We need more time, at least another 18 months, to do yet another review. As far as I am concerned, that statement ranks right up at the top of the biggest lies the man has told since he took office.

        Does anyone want to venture a guess how long the reviews for the pipeline have already been going on? Try three years. That’s right, this project has already been in the works for three years. More than that, if you count the time and effort Canada has expended on its end. Three years, yet our current President thinks that isn’t enough time. He wants another review, mainly about the environmental impact (isn’t that always his excuse), which will take about 18 months. Even though the environment studies have been finished and any concerns addressed, he needs more time.

        The President is walking a fine line with this. On the one hand, he has the labor unions, who favor the project. That’s why they call them labor unions. They want the jobs, and I happen to agree. Turn the coin over and you have an issue that is near and dear to Obama’s heart, the environment and clean energy. If he approves the pipeline, he will be facing the wrath of multiple environmental groups, including some that have threatened to stop the flow of donations they are providing to his reelection campaign. As much as he says he wants to create jobs, the environment will always win this fight in the President’s heart. He will always side with the environment, even if their argument is bogus. Once again, this should surprise no one...

        http://www.ldjackson.net/...

        Check out the Koch brothers comments here:

        "I want my fair share--and that's ALL OF IT":
        The Kochs & the XL Pipeline - By Greg Palast

        According to the transcript of the secretly recorded tape, Charles Koch was chuckling like a six-year old. Koch was having a hell of a laugh over pilfering a few hundred dollars' worth of oil from a couple of dirt-poor Indians on the Osage Reservation.

        Why did Koch, worth about $3 billion at the time (now $20 billion) need to boost a few bucks from some Indian in a trailer home? Koch answered:

         "I want my fair share -- and that's all of it."

        Now "all of it" includes a pipeline, the Keystone XL, which would run the world's filthiest oil, crude made from tar sands, down from Canada to his family's refinery on the Gulf Coast of Texas...

        http://www.opednews.com/... .

        The fact it's been blocked for this long already, makes me hopeful.....=)
    •  But, in fact, we all read the tea leaves in... (4+ / 0-)

      ...speeches for the very reason you point to in your link. Is this real or this another round in talk-is-cheap?

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:07:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It makes me nervous. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PorridgeGun

    What many in the progressive blogosphere never recognize about Obama is that he placates the center and right the most in his speeches when he's sneaking in a policy move that's very liberal.

    For example, he gave plenty of lip service to clean coal with his "all of the above" talk. But, the money wasted on clean coal subsidies was small compared to the money spent on clean energy. And industry execs knew very well that new regulation EPA was pushing forward will hurt them far more than the crumbs clean coal got in the stimulus. Obama doesn't always make a lot of noise when he's doing the right thing, which partly lead to the "climate silence" exaggeration.

    Now, he's pandering to environmentalists with big talk on climate change. Does that mean he's getting more aggressive or does that mean we're being placated in advance of Obama doing something we won't like? Personally, I'm not on board with the crowd who think talk is more important than action.

    •  That's why the headline ends in a question ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      orlbucfan, FishOutofWater

      ...mark. Will words match action?

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:04:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Count me among those who never recognize (0+ / 0-)

      that Obama  placates the center and right  when he's sneaking in a policy move that's very liberal.

      What has he done thta is very liberal?  He is, as he has admitted, a moderate Republican circa 1983.

      •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        6412093

        The biggest regulation of lending and wall street since the New Deal.
        The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Nader spent over a decade advocating for. But of course, as soon as Obama signed it Nader forgot he ever cared. Can't give a Democrat credit for anything, right?
        Health care reform.
        Biggest investment in clean energy and energy efficiency ever.
        New EPA protection of air and water.
        Huge investment in high speed rail and alternative transportation.
        Ending the Iraq War.
        Reducing the world's nuclear stockpile.
        Credit card and debit card regulation for consumers.
        Taking student loans back from the banks.
        The list could go on and on.

        These are all things liberals wanted before Obama did them. Does he also have to scream and shout a lot before the netroots will notice? Doesn't it get tiring to always ignore or make sad excuses to downplay the good things Obama does? Is it really so bad to celebrate an accomplishment once in a while? And yes, I know the standard list of grievances trotted out on every blog so you can save your fingers the typing. That doesn't make his accomplishments go away. I'm not going to ignore the enormity of those accomplishments just because HCR didn't include the public option or just because he didn't put on the spectacle of jailing banksters. GTFOI.

  •  KXL is a raw deal for the economy AND climate. (6+ / 0-)

    The US gets very little benefit from the pipeline, except a few jobs, mainly short-term. The oil won't even be used in the US. So, in return for ravaging the environment in Canada, the US, and the whole planet, what big payoff do we even get? I like to get kissed before I get f*cked.

    That's why I like that after Kerry talked about the devastating effects of climate he also pointed out that doing nothing on climate change will increase costs, particularly to insurance companies. Then, he mentioned a $6 trillion dollar opportunity in new energy technologies. For those people who just can't, or won't understand climate change or care about how it affects people, maybe they can at least understand this in terms of money.

    Just doing my part to piss off right wing nuts, one smart ass comment at a time.

    by tekno2600 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:40:46 AM PST

  •  If we want to get people's attention (10+ / 0-)

    to stop the Keystone XL, we need to stress the fact that the oil companies want the oil pipe-lined to the Gulf Port in Texas to be exported.  Also, it will probably leak into the aquifer and destroy farms along the way.  Otherwise, why don't they build a refinery in Canada or along the Northern US border?  It's not about energy for the US, it's about profit for the oil companies.  

    This is how it needs to be framed.  

    If you try to frame it as a way to stop Climate Change, 70% of the public won't care (sadly).  The Right and Corporatists will turn it into an "Environmental Extremists vs American Jobs" argument.

    •  Not just "want" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Anna M

      It isn't just that they want to export, which could be interpreted as "we hope to export."

      TransCanada already has contracts in place with several companies, including some with refineries inside the Foreign Trade Zone in Port Arthur. Valero has already been telling its investors that the good times are coming--they'll be refining the bitumen to sell on the international market.

      The CEO of TransCanada testified before Congress. He was asked if they would accept a condition that all the bitumen would be refined and sold to the domestic market, not exported.

      He said no chance of that--they have contracts with companies that will be exporting the oil.

      •  What's true, True North (0+ / 0-)

        is that while Valero has told investors it plans to refine Tar Sands and ship it to Europe, Valero is only processing about 16% of the Tar Sands to be shipped to the Gulf Coast.

        The other 84% could be sold anywhere, even in the USA.

        Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

        by 6412093 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 02:15:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Unfortunately (5+ / 0-)

    Our "children and grandchildren" will look back on this speech, if anyone even remembers it which is highly unlikely, as another half assed gesture that came way too little and way too late.

    I don't know why it's so hard for people to grasp the reality of our situation.

    It's too late to not leave our children and grandchildren "an environment not ravaged by rising seas, deadly superstorms, devastating droughts, and the other hallmarks of a dramatically changing climate."

    Hello? It's already here. And pathetic measures like carbon caps is not going to do shit.

    We could actually fix this. But it would require a massive, global, and well coordinated effort unprecedented in human history. For not only must we STOP emitting greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, we actually have to remove what's already there.

    We have the technology to do this. We have the money (Just imagine if that $22 trillion the Federal Reserve's been printing up to rescue Wall Street banks had been put into building a carbon sequestration infrastructure.)

    What we lack is leadership. And I don't just mean the likes of Obama and John Kerry. I mean the whole superelite class that controls our mass media, our monetary system, our major industries, and our politics.

    Somehow, in the 21st Century, we find ourselves ruled by a small, sociopathic elite that appears hell bent on destroying the natural world. People power has never been so essential.

  •  Opinion Not Signal. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW

    We're nowhere near ready to resist expanding fossil fuel production.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:54:14 AM PST

  •  Do you REALLY want to send a signal? (0+ / 0-)

    Instead of hypocritical harping over Keystone, why not ban the import and use of Canadian tar sand oil?

    That would have ten times the impact of telling the Canadians to find another way to get their oil to Chinese and European markets.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:57:24 AM PST

    •  One step at a time, eh? n/t (4+ / 0-)

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:14:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Point taken, but Keystone really is a (0+ / 0-)

        non-issue with regard to the ultimate goal, and takes away from US credibility given our use of the Canadian oil.

        I would just like to see us focus on places where we can make a real difference and not get sidetracked on things that get our dander up but don't much matter in the scheme of things.

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:25:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You really need to take a closer look... (9+ / 0-)

          ...at the political tactics motivating the growing opposition to Keystone.

          Take a look at every reform movement in American history and you'll see the same kind of kvetching over what the people who are in the front lines of making a real difference have decided to expend their energy on. It's what the politicians told the suffragists, what the Kennedys told the Freedom Riders,  and what certain other people told the fighters for marriage equality: You're doing it all wrong. If you would just [FILL IN THE BLANK], then something would get done.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:34:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe so, but the suffragists were agitating for (0+ / 0-)

            the vote, not whether people opposing the vote could pass through town.

            Ditto the Freedom Riders: they were after something real and meaningful -- and riding courageously into the teeth of the problem itself.

            Want to be like the Freedom Riders?
            Agitate for an end to Canadian oil imports.

            LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

            by dinotrac on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:57:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  They were taking it one step at a time... (7+ / 0-)

              ...not agitating for everything at once. I worked closely with a Freedom Rider as part of Mississippi voter registration in Freedom Summer three years after the Freedom Rides. Climate activists won't be ending their battle whatever happens regarding Keystone. There are many fronts upon which lay siege to the old mentality. And, I guarantee you when the time comes to reject use of Canadian tar-sands oil, we'll be hearing some people making the same arguments about that not being the proper course of action.

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:07:38 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  I like this line (5+ / 0-)
    President Obama is committed to moving forward on climate.
    If you didn't know any better, you'd think he was marching in the streets with us last Sunday.

    I choose to be less cynical than most, so I feel like Kerry is very sincere here and will do what's in his power to fight for whatever might work - carbon tax, clean energy, tough regulation on emissions, etc. Not sure about Keystone, we'll see, but the problem with this problem is that it is so multifaceted, any action or proposal is not a 100% fix. But I'm grateful that we finally have a government committed to doing something. And of course, as many point out, we also have to get much serious about the demand side, conservation, slowing down, and using fewer resources, which is in turn dependent on urban infrastructure, energy policy, transportation, innovation, etc.

    Ecology is the new Economy

    by citisven on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 10:58:17 AM PST

    •  I'm not cynical about Kerry either. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      citisven, vcmvo2, willyr

      I've never seen him say what he does not mean...he was my Senator for two decades.

    •  He invoked Obama by name only 4 times (0+ / 0-)

      in the speech. This is certainly deliberate.  It's a long speech, but in only four places does he say, "this is President Obama's message."

      This is quite encouraging to me. Kerry knows what message he's sending, and so does President Obama.

      Just as Jefferson understood that we need to invest in education in order to produce good citizens, I join President Obama today in asserting with urgency that our citizenry deserves a strong foreign policy to protect our interests in the world. 
      .....
      I agree with President Obama that there is nothing in this current budget fight that requires us to make bad decisions, that forces us to retrench or to retreat. This is a time to continue to engage for the sake of the safety and the economic health of our country
      ....
       we have to keep going. We can’t afford the kind of delay and disruption that stands on the horizon in Washington. The exciting new trade negotiation that President Obama announced last week between the United States and the European Union will create the world’s biggest bilateral deal when it comes to fruition, a transatlantic partnership that will match the scope and ambition of our Trans-Pacific Partnership talks.
      ...
      The stories that we need to tell, of standing up for American jobs and businesses and standing up for our American values, intersect powerfully in the opportunity that we have now in this moment of urgency to lead on the climate concerns that we share with our global neighbors. We as a nation must have the foresight and the courage to make the investments necessary to safeguard the most sacred trust we keep for our children and our grandchildren, and that is an environment not ravaged by rising seas, deadly superstorms, devastating droughts, and the other hallmarks of a dramatically changing climate. President Obama is committed to moving forward on that, and so am I, and so must you be ready to join us in that effort. (Applause.)

      Resist much, obey little. ~~Edward Abbey, via Walt Whitman

      by willyr on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:25:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If not Keystone (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Albanius, DawnN
    Then, too, not all environmental advocates agree that Keystone is the proper target for climate hawks to address.
    What then?

    Ignoring tar sands carbon spewed into the atmosphere seems to me to be a strategic, FATAL ERROR and we really don't have a restart-button.

  •  Climate Change policy is your sigline, writ large (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, Calamity Jean

    Meteor Blades.

    I only wish that more members of the US Congress were well-acquainted with the quote, and more afraid of being seen as fools and incompetents than they are of being seen as unelectable.


    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization" -- me

    by Angie in WA State on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:14:58 AM PST

  •  How many of the dirty energy corporate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson, Calamity Jean

    complex greedballs have kids, grandkids and great grandkids? They have any idea what climate change actually is? Good question as excessive greed causes short sightedness and always has done so. T and R!!

    Some people make u want to change species! --ulookarmless, quoted w/his permission: RIP good man.

    by orlbucfan on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:27:32 AM PST

  •  i'll tell you one thing I did: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson

    i campaigned hard for Sen. Kerry in 2004. and people wanted... really wanted... a reason to vote against Bush.

    unfortunately, people seemed afraid to, as they say, switch horses in the middle of a race.

    not that he wouldn't have been corrupted or end up totally ineffective, but he had the potential.

    hearing this speech, perhaps he still has.

    •  I did too. He is a true patriot and puts country (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cotterperson

      first.
      Unless you/some consider Ted Kennedy corrupted. He is of that ilk. He can't be bought. Might be of a temperment at times too willing to comprimise, especially in the past. But has his head straight IMO. I've "known" him as Senator for a long time.
      (Big shoes to fill this spring)

      Maybe being independantly wealthy like both men are makes them less corruptable. Ironically. Or not.

       His dad had a career in the  foreign service -- I think he gets service to his country, as we see he did even as a young man in Vietnam. We see this also in his behavior after narrowly ?loosing the Presidency to Bush. He returned to the Senate and doubled down in his service to his state and country...no sour grapes. Unlike, say, John McCain.

  •  No it does not (0+ / 0-)

    But Stephen Harper having a hissy fit might.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:39:23 AM PST

  •  Only If the Administration Considers Keystone XL (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cotterperson

    ....a climate change issue, which I don't think it does.

    Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

    by TooFolkGR on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:46:50 AM PST

    •  I think Kerry does. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jplanner, willyr

      At least he talks the talk. My bit of optimism rose after reading this on Jan. 25 after reading a write-up of his confirmation testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

      “I’ll make the appropriate judgments about it,” he [Kerry] said, referring to the State Department’s ongoing review of the 1,200-mile tar sands oil pipeline. “There are specific standards that have to be met with respect to that review, and I’m going to review those standards and make sure they’re complete.” .... [How long has BigEnergy been writing those standards??]

      In his opening statement to the committee, Kerry also described climate change as one of the “life threatening issues” that defines American foreign policy.

      http://www.bloomberg.com/...

      Clearly, there is no way this pipeline could possibly be in our national interest. The polluters have been saying "Jobs! Jobs!" since the early '70s. Of course, that would be only small and temporary in this case, but it certainly hasn't worked well for us over the last 40 years!

      "Let each unique song be sung and the spell of differentiation be broken" - Winter Rabbit

      by cotterperson on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:38:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The worst of the new oil barons are... (7+ / 0-)

    ...the Koch brothers.

    Not only are they to blame for the Tea Party, they are also the ones that have most to gain with the Keystone pipeline.

    US Tea Party's Deep Ties to Oil Sands Giant

    The Tea Party movement, poised to help shift the U.S. legislature to the right and stymie President Obama's green agenda, has financial and organizational ties to Koch Industries, one of America's biggest processors of Alberta oil sands crude.
    You would think that Obama should distance himself from this crowd.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 11:53:34 AM PST

  •  no. but it's very cool what he said (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citisven

    keystone is a tiny part +/- of a very very big picture.  
    I think kerry said some xx trillion dollar market.

    which is another way of saying removing billions of metric tons of carbon emissions.

    it'd be better to let what's looking like a solid second term team to pick their battles.  because inho, i think they get it

    what lincoln said http://cleantechnica.com/2012/10/10/abraham-lincoln-was-on-to-wind-power-long-before-the-rest/

    by rasfrome on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:02:01 PM PST

  •  Interesting venue for his first speech (5+ / 0-)

    as Secretary of State. The obvious explanation is that UVA was founded by our first SoS, Jefferson, and that Kerry was paying homage to him and indicating that he intended to follow in his footsteps (which may sound cool but Jefferson ended up being a fairly inconsequential SoS given that Hamilton did end runs around him and was the effective SoS during Washington's first term).

    But I think that Kerry also wanted to indicate that he shared Jefferson's views on the need for government to serve the needs of all the people, and not just those of commercial and financial elites (like, um, themselves), as well as his interest in and concern for the natural world, and the need for balance in it.

    I don't think, though, that Kerry will be an isolationist like Jefferson. Quite the opposite. Even if he wanted to--and I doubt he does--he couldn't be one. Our involvement with the world is vast and deep, an instrument for both bad and good. Hopefully Kerry will try to steer us towards the good, to the extent that he can. If we have to be an empire, better one modeled on Jefferson's "Empire of Liberty" than on Cheney's empire of evil extraction and disruption.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:12:05 PM PST

  •  John Kerry's wife would definitely push (0+ / 0-)

    him on being a "climate hawk"

    Let's also ask this question.....Does any aspect of a U.S. decision to approve the presidential permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline constitute an act by the United States to encourage the Government of Canada to disregard or dishonor any clearly stated international obligation impinged by tar sands development?

  •  One good and one bad thing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FishOutofWater, PorridgeGun

    Good thing: Kerry had the historic sense to deliver the speech at The University of Virginia, founded by the very first SecState. A classy move.
    Bad thing: Kerry, as SecState, does not set domestic energy or economic policy. As much as I completely agree with what you believe he was saying, it is not in his portfolio. Someone needs to remind him that he lost and that, his status notwithstanding, he serves at the pleasure of the President.
    Perhaps this means that the WH vetted the speech and said, fine, you can say this, but not within 100 miles of the White House.

    Charlottesville, as it happens, is 115 miles away. Wahoo wah.

    •  Except for the fact that Kerry is chief... (0+ / 0-)

      ...of the department that has authority over cross-border pipelines and is therefore supervising the environmental review on Keystone's renewed permit application, which means this particular decision IS in his portfolio, you are right.

      Everybody at the Cabinet level serves at the president's pleasure, including whoever gets picked for the Department of Energy. Whatever, if anything, Kerry says about Keystone to the president can, of course, be ignored.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:20:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have no (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citisven

    prompt on this article.  So I am unable to Rec, which I would like to do.  And yes, I am logged in.

    "Truth and love will overcome lies and hatred.” Vaclav Havel

    by dharmasyd on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:49:26 PM PST

  •  My exSenator is showing already he's a good leader (0+ / 0-)

    IT's so obvious he would have been a great President

    Already he mentions climate change and ALSO brought in how our governing impass in Congress effects our position and perceptions of us in the world. That latter (well, both issues) haven't been discussed enough.

    good for him.

  •  A Powerful reply to Keystone XL (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    6412093, DawnN

    Would be to combine a No to Keystone XL with a requirement that flaring of natural gas be largely stopped or have high charges associated with it.  Package this requirement with a privately financed program to pipe this otherwise flared gas into the national nat gas network.

    Cutting down on flaring directly cuts CO2 emissions and the additional pipelines would be a far larger jobs program for construction, steel, and manufacturing.  Lastly the reduction in nat gas flaring increases energy security.

    The above would reduce the split of Democrats on the issue of Jobs Vs Green; significantly reduce CO2, and increase the cost of oil.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 12:53:04 PM PST

  •  Obama/Kerry shouldn't give KXL... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    6412093

    without getting anything in return. I don't need pols to be as absolutist as I am as an activist, but no giveaways.

    Passive renunciation is not the whole of wisdom.

    by play jurist on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:09:25 PM PST

  •  That's the difference between Clinton and Kerry (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PorridgeGun

    Clinton didn't believe in egging environmentalists on with false hope, but for Kerry it's all in a day's work.  

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:38:16 PM PST

    •  Kerry doesn't have the ties to Koch Bros. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DawnN

      The GOP really did Obama a favor when they forced a quick decision. If Obama had approved the pipeline after Hillary's former staff lobbying the State Dept on behalf of the oil industry it would have been a major scandal. It's refreshing to have a SOS with a history of caring about climate instead of Hillary's history of being cozy with big oil and the Kochs.

  •  To answer the question you pose in your title - (0+ / 0-)

    yeah right.  Like they ever mean what they say.

    What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

    by dkmich on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:49:17 PM PST

  •  American wallets (0+ / 0-)

    I don't see much benefit to the U.S. at all.

    The bitumen will be transported to a Foreign Trade Zone, refined, and exported.

    What taxes, if any, will TransCanada or anybody else pay to the U.S.?

    There will be a few thousand temporary jobs during construction, perhaps, but only twenty permanent jobs, according to the State Department.

    When the pipe leaks, the bitumen and the many nasty chemicals used to dilute it will seep into American soil and water, and create the usual oil-spill catastrophe for residents, farmers, businesses.

    Maybe there are jobs for Americans, after all: temporary employees to clean up (if they can) after the oil spill.

    Those are jobs I'd rather not see.

  •  Canadian Tar Sands Images (0+ / 0-)

    How can we have a third party when we don't even have a second party?

    by Eagleye on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 01:58:59 PM PST

  •  Quibling over (0+ / 0-)

    the importance of what this administration does  the Keystone pipeline seems ridiculous. sure it's just on aspect among many regarding meaningful actions on global warming/climate change. Ask me any action is important as the whole issue is about the accumulative pollution humans are spewing globally as our lives and industries are all powered by grease extraction. Nothing including carbon taxes, swaps and trades which just seem to me to shift the money around and doesn't stop anything or begin to change the source of dirty energy.

     Why burn up the planet because we cannot fathom other means of producing energy that is not carbon based. Why are we still producing SUV's for god sakes. Why have we no high speed rail systems? The answer is that the dinosaur markets that our global economy is based on cannot and will not adapt.

    In fact they make their obscene profit off social and natural  disasters they create. The horsemen of the apocalypse have nothing on our savvy business men who rule the world.  The entrepreneurs, venture cappies and war profiteers are all chained to a global system that is nothing but a disaster on every level. Yet were told this is inevitable and the world as we find it . No where creating this world by refusing to change the too bigs to fail that have failed disaterously.      

    Our dependency on oil is economic and global. There is no way in hell that this administration or any other is going to do anything to even slow down the grease extraction that powers 'growth'. What bothers me is that all of our opposition to the   economic looting plundering of resources be it human or the planet we live on is ass backward as it is 'market based'  and no solution offered even touches the heart of the matter.

    The state of the union speech and this one by Kerry does acknowledge the problem however the solutions proposed only increases the burning of grease. how surreal to think that in the face of this reality we can drill frack and burn our way to a sustainable livable environment or economy.

    No is my answer there is no way that our government which is owned lock stock and oil barrel is going to do anything to stop global warming. It is not in their interests to do so. Quibbling over the degrees of effectiveness and where to draw the lines doesn't help it only fosters the implementation of a market based growth economy that runs on grease and greed.      

               

  •  sad bit of double think there (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein
    If we waste this opportunity, it may be the only thing our generation—generations—are remembered for.
    ... thats assuming theres anyone left to remember any of us at all.

    If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution. ~ Emma Goldman

    by Lady Libertine on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 02:21:55 PM PST

  •  In Kerry's case, he's not only influenced ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... by the moneyed elite, he is one of them.  As such, I'd expect his actions on climate issues to be symbolic more than substantive.  I could be wrong.  

    The wisdom of my forebears ... Two wise people will never agree. Man begins in dust and ends in dust — meanwhile it's good to drink some vodka. A man studies until he's seventy and dies a fool. Some of my best friends are Catholics, really.

    by Not A Bot on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 03:32:33 PM PST

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