President Obama declined to issue the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline; China will take the petroleum instead.

From William Teach of The Pirate’s Cove:

Good News! Obama Just Lost Keystone XL To China

By William Teach February 9, 2012 – 3:53 pm
Many were already predicting that 2012 would be yet another record high for gas prices (72 cents higher than 2010′s record), which, if you are Obama, and want to push worthless “green” energy (in order to reward campaign donors), sounds great. Going into an election year in which some are predicting a normal of over $4 a gallon across the country? Not helpful. Of course, Obama could have helped out by approving Keystone XL, which would have created jobs and reduced gas prices. Alas, he decided to pander to part of his extremist base. Many had wondered if Canada would wait till after the election to make a deal, see if the GOP won. Alas, no (via Jazz Shaw)

(Ottawa Citizen) China and Canada declared Thursday that bilateral relations have reached “a new level” following a series of multibillion-dollar trade and business agreements to ship additional Canadian petroleum, uranium and other products to the Asian superpower.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Chinese leadership said Thursday their new energy and economic co-operation agreements — as well as billions of dollars of private-sector deals — signed by the two countries over the past few days are unprecedented and will only open the door to additional trade and investment.

Granted, there could be room in there still for Keystone XL, but, Canada seems to be moving on, including the sale of uranium (read Jazz’s story for more on that). China is already getting oil out of the Gulf from Cuba, and has reached deals with Brazil for their deepwater drilled oil, of which Obama was nice enough to give $2 billion in taxpayer money to develop. Obama’s America? Left out in the cold.

Can’t blame this one on Bush, champ!

Well, to our friends on the left, there’s no “blame” at all; they think that’s all to President Obama’s credit! To Americans who want jobs, perhaps not so much.

The United States is a net importer, meaning that our balance of trade is negative, and has been for a long time. However, one area in which the US is a net exporter, something new, is in refined petroleum fuels: gasoline, diesel and jet fuels. We’re still net importers of petroleum, though domestic petroleum production has been increasing in the last few years, but in exporting refined petroleum products, the country is reducing the balance of trade deficit, selling a value-added product, and providing wages for workers and profits for corporations which do the refining and exporting, and additional tax revenue for the government. The Keystone XL pipeline would have brought more raw petroleum — from the Canadian tar sands deposits — to American refineries, which would have meant even more exports of refined fuels, more money for workers and business, and more tax revenue to the government.

Our good friends on the left, of course, abhor the thought of yet more petroleum being burned, yet more CO2 being emitted, the greenhouse gas which will kill us all.1 However, blocking the Keystone XL pipeline doesn’t mean that the Canadian tar sands are just going to sit there, idle and unused. As we have mentioned before, instead of coming to the United States for refining, for adding value, it’ll go to the People’s Republic of China, where it will still be used, and still put the dreaded carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. There are only two differences:

  1. The Chinese don’t have as stringent pollution regulations as does the United States, so it is probable that more CO2 and other pollutants will be released in the refining process than would be the case in the United States; and
  2. The Chinese will make the profits from refining the tar sands, not the United States; Chinese workers will get the jobs, not Americans.

Your editor fails to see where the United States comes out ahead in this.

Now, the Obama Administration hasn’t been all bad in the energy field: the Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved licenses for the construction of two new nuclear reactors in Georgia, the first reactors licensed in the United States since 1978.2 Of course, the reactors won’t actually enter service until 2016 or 2017, and even that assumes that our environmentalist friends won tie the whole project up in court for another decade.

Your editor loves Star Trek, with it’s idealized, clean future, where everything is abundant, poverty has been eliminated, and energy is abundant and clean. But your editor is smart enough to realize that Star Trek is fiction, that it’s just a television series or five, and that while perhaps it could happen in the future,3 it will be in the future if it comes true, and not the present. Our environmentalist friends seem to think that we can just wish clean energy to happen, and it will, seemingly ignoring — or ignorant of — the fact that we are nowhere close to having the technology required to produce such energy on a scale anywhere close to our consumption requirements.4 It is absolutely sensible to research new technologies to produce newer, cleaner, more efficient and more renewable sources of energy, but we must not lose sight of the fact that until those sources are developed, which will almost certainly be decades in the future, we still have to live in the present, and that means we need energy production, today, from sources available today.

Apparently, the Chinese are a bit more practical about these things than is President Obama.

  1. Mr Teach also noted that the Professional Warmists Shocked No Ice Melt In Himalayas, Still Say We’re Doomed
  2. It should also be noted that the NRC is an independent agency of the federal government, and is not subject to the political control of the Administration; perhaps the decision would have gone differently had it been the President’s decision to take.
  3. Your editor is ignoring what we know of physics and the speed of light here.
  4. Your editor has noted previously that some parts of the green technology, like the Chevy Volt, in the reality of progressive thought, is simple: they think that it’s a great idea and a great car . . . for their neighbors to buy. For themselves, not so much.

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