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.

15 Comments

  1. The Keystone XL pipeline may yet be built, pending clearance by investigating and understanding environmental issues.

    It seemed like there was a mad rush by Republicans to get the project started, which may not have been wise. The newly understood availability of cheap natural gas in the US, which has the potential of significantly reducing our dependence on foreign fossil fuels, while simultaneously causing less greenhouse gas emissions, are all favorable factors in going slow on the Keystone XL pipeline.

    And, as I have pointed out before, there are many negatives involved in the extraction of crude oil from oil shale: Takes 70% of the energy in the crude to extract it; lays bare and unusable the land which has been virtually raped in the process.

    Net: The $7B investment in the pipeline appears to be unwise at this time.

  2. WW wrote:

    The Keystone XL pipeline may yet be built, pending clearance by investigating and understanding environmental issues.

    It seemed like there was a mad rush by Republicans to get the project started, which may not have been wise. The newly understood availability of cheap natural gas in the US, which has the potential of significantly reducing our dependence on foreign fossil fuels, while simultaneously causing less greenhouse gas emissions, are all favorable factors in going slow on the Keystone XL pipeline.

    You argue as though delay/cancellation of the pipeline will mean that the tar sands won’t be exploited and used. The original article points out that if they are not shipped to the United States for refining, they will be shipped to China for refining. They still get used!

    And, as I have pointed out before, there are many negatives involved in the extraction of crude oil from oil shale: Takes 70% of the energy in the crude to extract it; lays bare and unusable the land which has been virtually raped in the process.

    And, as was pointed out in the main article, the Canadian tar sands are going to be mined regardless; it’s just that all of the money will be made by someone other than Americans.

    Net: The $7B investment in the pipeline appears to be unwise at this time.

    Is it? Perhaps it would be wasted money, but it was to be an investment made by private corporations; if they calculated the return on investment wrong, that’s their problem. In the meantime, the pipeline would be built, employing thousands of Americans, in good paying jobs, jobs which led to those workers paying taxes. Now, the construction jobs would eventually end — all construction jobs have completion dates — and perhaps the refinery jobs created wouldn’t last if the pipeline failed economically, but at least many thousands of Americans would have had jobs for a while.

  3. Welcome back Wagonwheel.

    “It seemed like there was a mad rush by Republicans to get the project started, which may not have been wise.”

    There was no “mad rush” by anybody. The pipeline was already under construction. If there was a mad rush, it was by those idiots trying to stop its completion. But there is a sense of urgency to utilize our resources, create jobs, reduce our dependency,lower our energy costs and generally add to our economy. The XL pipeline is but a small step in all of these things but not allowing it is indicitive of how poorly the administration understands economics and the will of the American people. We want oil!

    ” The newly understood availability of cheap natural gas in the US, which has the potential of significantly reducing our dependence on foreign fossil fuels, while simultaneously causing less greenhouse gas emissions, are all favorable factors in going slow on the Keystone XL pipeline.”

    Which has nothing to do with oil. Does your car run on natural gas? Do the trains, planes and trucks which supply out supermarkets and stores and factories run on natural gas? No.Therfore oil must be used until such time as natural gas or any other form of energy can replace it. You do understand that what you “wish” for in the future has no bearing on what actually is in the here and now?

    “And, as I have pointed out before, there are many negatives involved in the extraction of crude oil from oil shale: Takes 70% of the energy in the crude to extract it; lays bare and unusable the land which has been virtually raped in the process.”

    Please realize we are not talking about fracking here. We’re talking about a friggin’ pipe. We’re talking about taking crude already existing in Canada and bringing it to the good ole USA for refining. Got it?

    “Net: The $7B investment in the pipeline appears to be unwise at this time.”

    First of all where did you come up with 7 billion? Secondly, who are you to determine that if a company whishes to invest money in something you can stop it? They aren’t investing your money, they are investing their own. Any investment in oil for our country appears to me to be very wise at this time and at any time in the forseeable future. Unless you’d rather continue to see rising prices for everything from home heating oil to food. What about the “poor” or the “children” who won’t be able to heat their homes or buy food because of higher energy prices?

  4. Canadian prime minister in China on visit focused on oil sales, other economic ties

    Associated Press, February 7, 2012

    BEIJING — Canada’s prime minister is visiting China to discuss oil sales and other economic ties following President Barack Obama’s rejection of a pipeline carrying Canadian oil across the continental United States.

    Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrived late Tuesday, heading a 40-strong delegation of Canadian business leaders. He will meet with President Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao and other top Chinese officials following a welcoming ceremony Wednesday…

    Chinese state-owned companies have invested more than $16 billion in Canadian energy in the past two years and hope to gain steady supplies to fuel their country’s booming economy. Chinese state-controlled Sinopec has a stake in a proposed Canadian pipeline to the Pacific Ocean that would substantially boost Chinese investment in Alberta oil sands…

    Increasing energy exports has been a key theme of Harper’s conservative administration. Canada has the world’s third-largest oil reserves — more than 170 billion barrels — after Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Daily production of 1.5 million barrels from the oil sands is expected to increase to 3.7 million by 2025, which the oil industry sees as a pressing reason to build the pipelines.

    Harper remains determined to build a pipeline to Canada’s Pacific Coast after Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have taken oil from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast.

  5. Obama’s rejection of the Keystone pipeline is far more damaging to long-term US interests than Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, or Al Qaeda’s attack on the World Trade Center.

  6. First of all, the Keystone pipeline has not been rejected, it has been postponed, awaiting a new application, after which an impact study will have to be completed for the new route which avoids the huge aquifer in Nebraska. A pipeline of this nature is a major undertaking, as the $7 billion price tag implies, and, it can have a major environmental impact.

    Here is a Q&A involving the press and Assistant Secretary of State Jones. If you swim through the rambling, you will note that the main concern is the new proposed route around the aquifer, which has not been investigated and studied.

    Aside from my previously stated objections, the real bottom line is to do the impact statement, not to rush in ignorance into a major construction project, as the Republicans wish us to do.

    PS: The $7B price tag for Keystone XL is right here:

    “The lawmakers that requested the IG probe had sent a letter to President Barack Obama in October asking him to hold off on a decision on the $7 billion, 1,700-mile pipeline project until after the IG’s report was finished.”

  7. Wagonwheel says:
    February 11, 2012 at 10:20

    It seemed like there was a mad rush by Republicans to get the project started

    Strange that BO wants JOBS, but not these jobs. How strange it was for BO to say out of one side of his mouth, I want jobs, but out of the other side say no to 20K+ immediate jobs. Or was it the campaign donations or the wrong type of jobs.

  8. The jobs were in the 5000-6000 range, with all but about 30 being temporary.

    But the main issue is not jobs, it is proper planning ahead of time, lessening the chance for a catastrophe.

    It is now well known that BP and their subcontractors took short cuts in their haste to get the oil flowing from their deep water rig. The result, 13 lives lost and massive contamination of the Gulf, and billions of dollars of wasted resources in remediation expenses, liability payments, and lost businesses.

    The Keystone XL pipeline project is being proposed in the wake of the massive oil spill in the Gulf, and it involves a massive aquifer in Nebraska. Have we learned nothing from the Gulf spill?

  9. York, 20,000 new American jobs as a direct result of pipeline construction and operations. Thousands more jobs in Texas oil refining and related product fields, plus tens of thousands of indirect jobs in service and support activities.

    New homes, marriages, families, schools, shopping centers, car sales, banking accounts, gas stations, and churches stretching from the Northern border to the Gulf Coast; a ribbon of prosperity running the length of America powering a nationwide transportation system and providing for the future of our people. All that, and much much more all laid waste by an arrogrant self-absorbed and self-interested ideologue bent on turning his back on the life blood of modern civilization.

  10. Ropelight, you are quoting the figures given by TransCanada, the energy giant bidding for Keystone XL. I think it is fair to say that they might be prone to overstate the number of jobs due to their vested interest in the project.

    A more sober estimate is this:

    “But subsequent analysis suggests that Keystone’s job-creating potential is more modest. The U.S. State Department calculated last year that the underground pipeline would add 5,000 to 6,000 U.S. jobs. One independent review of Keystone puts that number even lower, with the Cornell University Global Labor Institute finding that the pipeline would add only 500 to 1,400 temporary construction jobs. The authors of the September report also said that much of the new employment stemming from Keystone would be outside the U.S. “

    Note also that many of the spin-off jobs would be “outside the US”.

    I don’t know about all the outside jobs which you are claiming. Do you have a reference for that, as I have yet to come across one.

    And Yorkshire, you can be sure that the President wants all the jobs possible for Americans; but here, he is putting prudence ahead of politics, which should lessen the chances of disaster. In my view, he is doing the right thing.

  11. WW wrote:

    And Yorkshire, you can be sure that the President wants all the jobs possible for Americans; but here, he is putting prudence ahead of politics, which should lessen the chances of disaster. In my view, he is doing the right thing.

    He is also putting a possible environmental problem ahead of real jobs. It’s true that some of the jobs wold only be temporary: every construction project is temporary, because eventually the project is either completed or abandoned. Then the construction workers have to move on to the next project; that’s the nature of the industry. Yet, oddly enough, you very strongly supported the stimulus program, to create jobs now, but when a private corporation plans a major project, which will create jobs, whoa, Nellie!

  12. Yet, oddly enough, you very strongly supported the stimulus program, to create jobs now, but when a private corporation plans a major project, which will create jobs, whoa, Nellie!

    Now I se, if it’s a gummint stimulus job, the progressive liberal can control the person, if it’s private, they have less of chance to say what to do. But I’m sure that gummint inspector will try to make life miserable. Been there, seen it.

Comments are closed.