Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Yet another reason to despise politicians

Listening to the news this morning I'm hearing quite a bit about the Keystone XL Pipeline project. This is a project that involves building a pipeline to transport Canadian crude oil extracted from the tar sands in northern Canada down through the United States to a refinery in Texas where the crude will be processed and then shipped to overseas markets. The oil industry and its paid hacks in Congress -- mostly Republicans but with a few Democrats, too -- have done a lot of posturing about what a boon this pipeline would be for the American economy. It would add jobs (a grand total of 35 to 40 permanent positions), it would help reduce the cost of gasoline, it's environmentally benign, . . . all the usual bullshit.

Because the pipeline crosses an international border, the project has been subject to review by the United States Department of State as well as to the other usual reviews pipeline projects have to undergo. It's been tied up for years, basically since the Bush administration departed. In fact, it's been tied up for so many years that the Canadian oil companies may be abandoning the idea -- there have been several news reports recently that pipelines are under construction and close to done that will transport the Canadian crude to a Canadian port city and the Keystone pipeline will be rendered unnecessary. My instincts tell me that's what President Obama's game plan has been: stall long enough that the Canadians come up with an alternative, which would get the Democrats off the hook. They would have avoided directly pissing off Big Oil and at the same time done enough of a balancing act to be able to keep telling the environmental activists, "see, we're tree huggers, too."

So why I am disgusted with politicians this morning? Or, more specifically, why I am disgusted with the Democratic party? Because the Democrats are so unbelievably short-sighted that some of them are pushing for approving a bill that authorizes construction of the Keystone pipeline in the bizarre hope that it passing such a bill in the Senate (it's already passed in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives) will help Senator Mary Landrieu's chances in Louisiana. Louisiana has a strange electoral system that has resulted in Landrieu being forced into a run-off election in December. The planned pipeline doesn't go into Louisiana -- as planned, it terminates in Port Arthur, Texas -- so why Landrieu or anyone else thinks it would be a game changer for her baffles me. Is it supposed to be proof she's willing to disagree with Obama? It's not going to work. Based on the current political climate in Louisiana, Landrieu doesn't have a prayer of winning, especially when she was bluntly (and refreshingly) honest about the influence of racism in voters' dislike of the President. Her only hope is to somehow practice Louisiana politics as usual and engage in a whole lot of backroom chicanery and fraud to hang on to her Senate seat. Nonetheless, in the bizarre and forlorn hope of being able to keep one Senate seat labeled D instead of R, the Democrats are contemplating fucking over both the country and the President.

And just what will they gain from this? Absolutely nothing. They'll still be the minority party in the Senate, they'll have made it even clearer what a bunch of spineless, unprincipled weasels they are, and they'll have weakened further the head of their own party. It's not going to gain them any points with the Republicans. Mitch McConnell et al. already know the Democrats are invertebrates; all supporting the Keystone pipeline will do is emphasize just how powerless the Democrats are. It's not going to help with bipartisanship. If anything, it just tells McConnell he's got a good shot at passing anything and everything the Republicans feel like proposing. There will be no compromises on anything, which is what McConnell made clear years ago was his operating philosophy. 

I really need to stop listening to the news. 


  1. They should make their own refinery so they can make more money off of that oil.

  2. I'm with BBC. and run less corrosive shit through the pipeline to the west coast


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