Friday, January 20, 2012

The Keystone XL pipeline debacle

President Obama's decision to reject the fast-tracking of an extension of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada's oil sands to US refineries near the Gulf of Mexico wasn't unexpected. What surprises me is that so few appear to have understood why he took that action. I planned to write about it tonight, but Warren Meyer of Coyote Blog beat me to the punch. He's done a much better job than I could in his latest column for Forbes. Here's an excerpt.

The Keystone XL pipeline would have single-handedly carried more energy to the United States than the sum of all the green energy projects funded by the Obama Administration. And it would have done so entirely with private funds rather than the Administrations increasingly ill-fated and ham-handed attempts at venture capitalism with taxpayer funds. The fact of the matter is that, for the foreseeable future, opposing fossil fuels is equivalent to opposing energy use.

The Keystone decision only makes sense in the context of a general push to limit energy supply and roll back our industrial economy and all its amazing gifts. Part and parcel of this same effort has been the growing opposition to natural gas fracking.

. . .

Both the opposition to the pipeline and fracking share a quasi-irrational (“I’m blogging against the modern economy from my iPhone”), almost aesthetic distaste for energy production, the modern industrial economy, and capitalism itself.

. . .

Does anyone doubt that had this exact same route been for high speed rail, rather than a pipeline, it would already have been approved and President Obama likely would have been proposing to throw a pile of taxpayer money at it to boot? This despite the fact that high-speed rail almost certainly has more environmental negatives than an underground pipeline. The route has always been a red herring — the real goal is reducing energy supply.

There's more at the link. A very clear exposition, I think, and one with which I fully agree.

Remember in November!



trailbee said...

I agree with Mr. Meyer. The reason has to be the reduction of our energy supply. It fits in with the rest of his (BO's) plans.

Billll said...

Taxpayer funding = kickbacks.
Private funding = no kickbacks.

Obama's first question: What's in it for me?