Saturday, December 17, 2011

Tar baby

Senate Democrats caved to Republican demands and allowed the Tar Sands pipeline to remain in the budget bill. Obama had vowed to veto this, but has relented because the compromise doesn't force the construction to go ahead. The bill only requires Obama to decide the issue in 60 days instead of waiting until 2013. Republicans think they can't lose, Obama is damaged if he does or he doesn't. His safest move is to approve it, unless the liberal base makes enough of the right kind of noise about it, so that Obama benefits from killing it.

Update: Obama is now suggesting that putting a sixty day time limit on his deliberative process may force him to reject the pipeline.

Some pipeline facts: There are lots of pipelines although this is a large one, in itself the pipeline is not the problem. The company that is buying the oil has its refineries in a tax free "trade zone", the US will get no revenue, just the pollution. They are only going to make diesel fuel as the sour crude isn't good for anything else, this means very few refinery jobs and there is no need for the diesel in the US anyway. There is the small matter of burning four times as much Natural Gas equivalent to the oil being extracted to separate the oil from the sand. Why do this? There is no demand for more natural gas and it's available on site for practically free. It's like killing buffalo for the tongues.

6 comments:

John said...

Capitulation #1372 AND second, failed "defining moment" in less than a week!!!

As I understand it, now it's up the State Dept, i.e., Hillary Clinton (she with the most troops remaining in Iraq - as commander/contractor of our private, multinational mercenary force.)

The State Dept apparently has said if congress tries to force the pipeline decision, State will not grant the last needed approval. This approval is required of a new, yet undecided, route, since requests were successful for a change of the original route - by the GOP legislature and governor of Nebraska. http://tinyurl.com/cg9cqp4

Just think, Obumma has not only crumbled on yet another "defining moment" this week BUT he may also may have to be politically saved (for whatever remains of his base) by our SECOND choice for president.

But I'm betting that Generalissima Clinton will obey orders from her commander-in-chief to quickly find and approve an alternative pipeline route. Of course, she may surprise us and demonstrate ONE political gonad - a relative infinitude compared to the combined "junk" of the rest of the executive branch PLUS the senate.

All this for TWO stinking months of reprieve before the next hostage taking and capitulation to domestic terrorists, and their senate conspirators, all with attendant bipartisan, valentine love talk.

In the larger picture, given the recent, supremely squirrelly stand of Mr Obumma on the pipeline (decision "delayed" until 2013) this all "only" means the acceleration of our self-suffocation has been moved up a year.

What else can we expect for the New Year? At this rate, the coolly analytic Obumma will decide his only path to re-election will be to start bombing Iran to run as the "it's MY very own effin' war" - president.

John Puma

Anonymous said...

The thing I despise most about this pipeline deal is how the far right imbeciles believe that somehow this is going to make us less dependent on foreign oil, especially oil from the middle east. No matter how many times they are told all oil is sold on the open market regardless of where it is harvested.

Another thing I think about regarding this pipeline and its coming from a conspiratorial standpoint is, that pipeline just like that supposed super highway that was going to be built from to Mexico to Canada, could very well become the new Berlin Wall, effectively dividing the USA, so when further assets in the form of natural resources are sold to pay off our debts, the buyer(s) can buy whole regions. How difficult would it be to place elevated guard shacks along the route which not only guard the pipeline but also acts as an effective barrier for people who may want to go from one side to the other. You never know these days...

Ronmac said...

This tar sands oil is slated to be exported to Europe.

Valero Energy is the prime mover and shaker behind Keystone. The plan is to shuttle (cheap) tar sands from Alberta to Houston, refiine it into diesel fuel and export it to Europe.

I heard that Obamma biggest fear is not the environmentalists, but the fact Keystone is going to require one of the biggest land expropriation acts ever, which is not going to go over very well in an election year.

Ronmac said...

This tar sands oil is slated to be exported to Europe.

Valero Energy is the prime mover and shaker behind Keystone. The plan is to shuttle (cheap) tar sands from Alberta to Houston, refine it into diesel fuel and export it to Europe.

I heard that Obamma biggest fear is not the environmentalists, but the fact Keystone is going to require one of the biggest land expropriation acts ever, which is not going to go over very well in an election year.

fype said...

This proposed pipeline route goes right through the Bakken shale deposit in the good old USA, one of the largest in the world. This deposit now produces light sweet crude without much fanfare or cost. Right now, all possible product is carried to the Gulf refineries via truck. A tedious task. Check the USGS calcs. Eight times larger than Saudi? They said it, not me. [Insert conspiracy theory here]. Vertical integration will be the downfall of us all. Excess supply would have a depressing effect on price. Or not?

Anonymous said...

Over looked is the terminus of this pipeline which is the seaports of Texas. This is a better location than to have to heat and pump this tar over the tundra and over the Rocky Mts. to Vancouver Canada seaports. Most Alaskan oil from the Alaska Prudoe Bay is exported after ariving in California.