State Department To Delay Keystone XL Pipeline Decision Until After November

State Department To Delay Keystone XL Pipeline Decision Until After November

President Barack Obama arriving at the TransCanada Stillwater Pipe Yard in Cushing, Okla.
CREDIT: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez

The State Department will “extend the government comment period on the Keystone XL pipeline, likely postponing a final decision on the controversial project until after the Nov. 4 midterm elections,” Reuters reported on Friday afternoon. The organization credited the information to a 1:30 call with Congressional staff.
State will a February district court decision, Patrick Rucker of Reuters tweeted, that struck down a Nebraska law that aimed to put decisionmaking power over the pipeline in the hands of the governor.
Lancaster County District Court Judge Stephanie Stacy ruled that the law, which allowed pipeline companies to choose to submit their plans to either the governor’s Department of Environmental Quality or the more rigorous Public Service Commission, was unconstitutional.
Bold Nebraska director Jane Kleeb told ClimateProgress that the Nebraska Supreme Court will likely not issue a decision on the case until about January 2015. She also noted that South Dakota’s permit granted for the pipeline would expire on June 20, 2014 — meaning that TransCanada would have to reapply for a state permit after that date.
“The State Department is following Pres. Obama’s lead who has said all along he wants to follow the process,” Kleeb said in a statement. “The basic fact that Nebraska has no legal route is reason to delay any decision until our state can analyze a route using process that follows our state constitution.”
“Nebraska landowners will not give up their property rights with bad contract terms and unknown chemicals risking our water. This delay is yet more proof this project is not permit-able and not in our national interest.”
The post State Department To Delay Keystone XL Pipeline Decision Until After November appeared first on ThinkProgress.

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Four Reasons Why The Environment Movement Is Losing The Battle For Hearts And Minds: ‘Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket’

Four Reasons Why The Environment Movement Is Losing The Battle For Hearts And Minds

“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket,” Eric Hoffer wrote more than 40 years ago.
It’s still anyone’s guess whether President Obama will approve the Keystone pipeline.  Perhaps he will continue to vote “present” and attempt to postpone a decision as long as possible—perhaps even through the next presidential election cycle in 2016.  The administration’s body language—and actual language from Secretary of State John Kerry—suggests a negative decision, a hope that the Democrats’ green base is doing everything possible to reinforce so as to raise the political cost for Obama to approve the pipeline to an unacceptable level.
The environmental left may yet win the skirmish over Keystone, but there are several reasons for thinking they are losing the war.  Here are four of them:
First, there’s an interesting little detail in the State Department environmental impact report on Keystone—the one that said the pipeline would have no impact on greenhouse gas emissions—that I haven’t seen anyone notice.  The premise of the State Department’s finding is that Canadian oil is going to come out of the ground and go somewhere; if it doesn’t come to the United States by pipeline, Canada will figure out a way to ship it here by rail or overseas to China by tanker.
However, the State Department analysis did allow that there was one condition that would change this: if the price of oil dipped back down below $65 a barrel.  (It’s been around $100 a barrel for quite some time now.)  At that price, Canada would be less likely to produce as much tar-sands oil—or at least not as quickly—and indeed the transportation costs to ship it to China are higher than through the Keystone pipeline.  But understand what a world of $65 oil would mean: it would mean we had re-entered a world of abundant and cheap oil.  (Adjusted for inflation, this price would be less that the cost of oil in the glut days of the 1980s.)  It would mean the world would be using a lot more of it.  While it would mean lower greenhouse gas emissions from Canadian oil, it would mean higher global emissions overall.  It would mean we wouldn’t care much whether the Keystone pipeline was built.  So environmentalists lose big time either way.…


Keystone XL and the National Interest Determination

U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations


Senator Menendez


Thursday, March 13, 2014


11:15 AM


Dirksen 419


This hearing is scheduled to be live webcast. Please return to this page to view the hearing live at the specified date and time.

Panel One

The Honorable Karen Harbert
President and CEO
Institute for 21st Century Energy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Washington, DC

Dr. James Hansen
Director of the Program on Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions
Adjunct Professer, Columbia University Earth Institute
New York, NY

Mr. Michael Brune
Executive Director
Sierra Club
San Francisco, CA

General James L. Jones, Jr. USMC (Ret.)
Jones Group International
Washington, DC…

Billionaire Democrat donor Tom Steyer plans to spend $100 million in mid-term elections ‘to enact climate change measures through a hard-edge campaign of attack ads’

Excerpts from Feb. 18, 2014 NYT article: Targets include the governor’s race in Florida, where the incumbent, Rick Scott, a first-term Republican, has said he does not believe that science has established that climate change is man-made. Mr. Steyer’s group is also looking at the Senate race in Iowa, in the hope that a win for the Democratic candidate, Representative Bruce Braley, an outspoken proponent of measures to limit climate change, could help shape the 2016 presidential nominating contests.

Mr. Steyer, 56, accumulated more than $1.5 billion during his days at the hedge fund Farallon Capital Management, before he retired in 2012. Today, he is among the most visible of a new breed of wealthy donors on the left who call themselves “donor-doers,” taking a page from the Kochs, Mr. Bloomberg and others to build and run their own political organizations — outside the two parties and sometimes in tension with them.

Mr. Steyer poured tens of millions of dollars into a successful 2012 ballot initiative in California that eliminated a loophole in the state’s corporate income tax and dedicated some of the resulting revenue to clean-energy projects. He also has helped finance opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, appearing in a series of self-funded 90-second ads seeking to stop the project.

Those efforts cemented his partnership with Chris Lehane, a California-based Democratic strategist, and heralded the emergence of NextGen Climate, now a 20-person operation encompassing a super PAC, a research organization and a political advocacy nonprofit. The group employs polling, research and social media to find climate-sensitive voters and spends millions of dollars in television advertising to try to persuade them.

It already is among the biggest environmental pressure groups in the country: For example, the League of Conservation Voters, considered the most election-oriented of such groups, reported spending about $15 million on campaign ads in 2012. And while Mr. Steyer has been critical of Democrats who waver on climate issues, he has aimed most of his firepower so far at Republicans.

End NYT excerpt



Bill Nye ‘The Science Guy’ smears skeptical scientists as akin to tobacco industry in debate with Climate Depot’s Marc Morano on Stossel’s Fox show on January 23, 2014:

NYE: ‘This is perfectly analogous to the cigarette industry and cancer, trying to introduce the idea that since you can’t prove any one thing, the whole thing is in — is

WALTER RUSSELL MEAD: ‘Is Keystone the Biggest Green Defeat Ever?’

The American Interest



Is Keystone the Biggest Green Defeat Ever?
The long-awaited State Department report on Keystone XL was released last Friday, and it confirmed what common sense already told us: building this pipeline won’t significantly affect emissions. The oil in Canada’s tar sands will make its way to market one way or another—whether by rail, truck, or some other pipeline. Given that, whether or not Keystone is built will have no bearing on the thing environmentalists are so upset about here, which is the actual extraction and consumption of the heavy Albertan crude.

This wasn’t a surprise decision. In fact, it was a confirmation of an earlier draft report that sketched a very similar picture. Michael Levi calls this final version a “stress test” of that earlier report. He further notes that for Keystone to make or break tar sands production would require an incredibly specific set of circumstances: the price of oil would need to hover above the breakeven price for tar sands production but below the price at which producers could profitably bring crude to market by rail or truck. So if President Obama intends to nix the project on green grounds, “he’ll need to thread a very small needle.”

In a speech on climate change this past June, Obama said he would permit Keystone “only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.” This latest report shows that the pipeline passes that test, and not only that—it’s the greenest option we have in this situation. Scientific American reports:

[T]he State Department finds in the new assessment that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline is the most environmentally friendly option compared to other transportation alternatives, such as railroads and tanker ships. Despite the significant (and unique, due to the oil’s characteristics) risk of spills, a pipeline like Keystone XL is a safer, cheaper and more environmentally benign way of transporting oil, the assessment concludes.

For greens, this should be a gut check—though already we’re seeing that it isn’t. Erich Pich, president of Friends of the Earth, called the report a “farce,” saying that ”the oil industry…had a direct pipeline into the agency” and the findings were a result of “collusion between the State Department, oil industry and the Canadian government.” But the hard truth here is that when Obama approves Keystone—and he now has every …

Alex Epstein’s Manifesto: The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels – Every medium and every audience, needs to incorporate the moral case for fossil fuels and values-based communication’

Manifesto: The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

Today, Alex Epstein launched a new manifesto for the fossil fuel industry. It’s a must-read. Please share with friends who might be interested—particularly those in the fossil fuel industry!

“In the battle for hearts and minds, you are widely viewed as worse than the tobacco industry.”
“Your attackers have successfully portrayed your core product, fossil fuel energy, as a self-destructive addiction that is destroying our planet.”
“There is only one way to defeat the environmentalists’ moral case against fossil fuels—refute its central idea that fossil fuels destroy the planet.”
“Unfortunately, the fossil fuel industry has not refuted the moral case against fossil fuels. In fact, the vast majority of its communications reinforce the moral case against fossil fuels.”
“So long as you concede that your product is a self-destructive addiction, you will not win hearts and minds—and you will not deserve to.”
“Energy, the fuel of technology, is opportunity—the opportunity to use technology to improve every aspect of life. Including our environment.”
“The climate is inherently dangerous (and it is always changing, whether we influence the change or not). Energy and technology have made us far safer from it.”
“I divide winning hearts and minds into three categories: neutralizing attackers, turning non-supporters into supporters, and turning supporters into champions.
“Values-based communication is communication that vividly connects your audience’s values to the conclusion you want them to reach and the action you want them to take.”
“In my experience, whatever the audience and whatever the medium, to base communications on the moral case for the fossil fuel industry is a game-changer.”
“‘Before Alex Epstein’s lecture, no other students on my campus could imagine an environmental or moral defense of the fossil fuel industry. Now, weeks later, I am amazed at how they now defend the industry.’ –Julian Hassan, Vassar College”
“This year, your industry will lose billions of dollars because it has failed to win hearts and minds.”
“The communications materials of the vast, vast majority of companies are not only failing to win hearts and minds, but they are also empowering the opposition by conceding their ideas.”
“If you agree with me, the implications are dramatic: Every fossil fuel company’s internal and external communications, for every medium and every audience, needs to incorporate the moral case for fossil fuels and values-based communication.”


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