Influential U.S. think tank urges Obama to reject Keystone XL


mentalfloss
#1
Influential U.S. think tank urges Obama to reject Keystone XL

An influential liberal think tank is urging President Barack Obama to reject TransCanada Corp.’s plan to build the Keystone XL pipeline, dismissing the State Department’s conclusion that the project won’t lead to higher greenhouse gas emissions from the oil sands.

In a comment submitted to the department released Monday, the Center for American Progress (CAP) challenged the assumption that the project would have little impact on the amount of future investment or production from Alberta’s carbon-intensive oil sector, noting that the Canadian government and many independent analysts have said all proposed pipelines are needed to get the anticipated volume of crude to market.

“After a careful review of the [State Department’s] final supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and other outside evidence, we conclude that the approval of the Keystone pipeline permit will lead to a significant increase in carbon pollution, while creating relatively few jobs,” the Washington-based think-tank said. “Therefore, we strongly recommend the disapproval of the pipeline’s permit application.”

CAP plays on the left side of Democratic Party policy making. Its founder and former chair is John Podesta, who is now serving as senior environmental adviser to President Obama. When he was appointed in December, Mr. Podesta said he would recuse himself from the Keystone XL deliberations because he publicly opposed the project while serving at CAP, though he has been pushing the president’s climate agenda in other areas.

Billionaire Democratic fundraiser Tom Steyer – who has campaigned aggressively against Keystone XL – is a CAP director.

Federal Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver and TransCanada chief executive officer Russ Girling both expressed confidence last week that the White House would approve Keystone XL, and are hopeful a decision will come by early summer.

In the environmental assessment released in late January, the State Department concluded that “approval or denial of any single [pipeline] project is unlikely to significantly affect the development of the oil sands,” and hence, the production of greenhouse gases from Alberta. That was the key benchmark set by Mr. Obama in a speech last summer.

The Canadian government underscored the department’s finding with respect to GHGs in its submission that was sent last week to Secretary of State John Kerry. It said reliance on rail would entail greater safety risks and more environmental impact. The pipeline would be the “safest, most economic and least GHG intensive method available,” the letter from Ambassador Gary Doer said.

But echoing environmental activists, the Center for American Progress said it is not credible to suggest there would be no impact on the pace of oil-sands development from the construction of an 830,000-barrel-per-day pipeline to the massive Gulf Coast refining market that is particularly suited for processing the diluted bitumen.

And it rejected the argument that rail could fill the gap if the pipeline was denied. Far less crude reached the U.S. Gulf Coast by rail last year than the State Department review had been expecting, while safety concerns could slow the expansion and increase the cost of rail.

CAP’s director of climate strategy, Daniel Weiss, said Canadian optimism about a pending approval may be misplaced. He noted Secretary of State John Kerry will play a major role in the decision-making, and Mr. Kerry has ratcheted up his department’s activism on climate change since taking office.

“If the United States were to disapprove of the pipeline it would send shock waves across the world’s energy industry and signal that the time for business-as-usual is over when it comes to climate change,“ he said.

Influential U.S. think tank urges Obama to reject Keystone XL - The Globe and Mail
 
pgs
Free Thinker
#2
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Influential U.S. think tank urges Obama to reject Keystone XL
An influential liberal think tank is urging President Barack Obama to reject TransCanada Corp.’s plan to build the Keystone XL pipeline, dismissing the State Department’s conclusion that the project won’t lead to higher greenhouse gas emissions from the oil sands.
In a comment submitted to the department released Monday, the Center for American Progress (CAP) challenged the assumption that the project would have little impact on the amount of future investment or production from Alberta’s carbon-intensive oil sector, noting that the Canadian government and many independent analysts have said all proposed pipelines are needed to get the anticipated volume of crude to market.
“After a careful review of the [State Department’s] final supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and other outside evidence, we conclude that the approval of the Keystone pipeline permit will lead to a significant increase in carbon pollution, while creating relatively few jobs,” the Washington-based think-tank said. “Therefore, we strongly recommend the disapproval of the pipeline’s permit application.”
CAP plays on the left side of Democratic Party policy making. Its founder and former chair is John Podesta, who is now serving as senior environmental adviser to President Obama. When he was appointed in December, Mr. Podesta said he would recuse himself from the Keystone...

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The Center for American Progress .
Good name but were is the progress if they don't allow Keystone X L ?
 
Colpy
Conservative
+1
#3
 
BaalsTears
+2
#4  Top Rated Post
The Center for American Progress isn't a think tank. Rather, it's a propaganda arm of the Democratic Party established by John Podesta who works for Obama currently and Bill Clinton formerly. As such its reports aren't independent or objective. Such reports are flawed due to bias based on a political agenda.
 
mentalfloss
#5
Just out of curiosity - how many think tanks do the republicans have?
 
Tecumsehsbones
+2
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Just out of curiosity - how many think tanks do the republicans have?

At least as many. The Heritage Foundation and the Cato Institute spring to mind.

I liked the article in the OP calling it an "influential" think tank. It's like a "high-powered" rifle. The press calls every rifle "high-powered," even if it's a little .22 plinker. Who's going to bother with a story about "tiny, meaningless think tank with no influence whatsoever urges Obama to reject Keystone?"
 
Nuggler
+1
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Just out of curiosity - how many think tanks do the republicans have?

d'oh......one..........er.........two.........anot her one..........there's one.

lol
 
mentalfloss
#8
Very true Tecumseh.

It would be nice to have an honest debate about this subject but unfortunately we have lobbyists on all sides. It turns the issue into those with the most money having an unfair influence.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Very true Tecumseh.

It would be nice to have an honest debate about this subject but unfortunately we have lobbyists on all sides. It turns the issue into those with the most money having an unfair influence.

Or perhaps a fair influence.
 
mentalfloss
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

Or perhaps a fair influence.

Is it really fair when it's tied to $$$ though?
 
Tecumsehsbones
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Is it really fair when it's tied to $$$ though?

Of course. Or of course not. Seeing as how "fair" is a term without a usable definition, it can mean anything. Ergo, all answers are equally true.
 
petros
+1
#12
The real thinking fish are free range. No tanks.
 
mentalfloss
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

Of course. Or of course not. Seeing as how "fair" is a term without a usable definition, it can mean anything. Ergo, all answers are equally true.

With respect to resolving an issue objectively, is it fair?
 
EagleSmack
+2
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

With respect to resolving an issue objectively, is it fair?

Here is a resolution. Stop trying to take other peoples money. Try being objective.
 
mentalfloss
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmackView Post

Here is a resolution. Stop trying to take other peoples money. Try being objective.

You keep accusing me of doing something I have never endorsed.
 
petros
+1
#16
Climate change and the tax scheme are one in the same.
 
Tecumsehsbones
+1
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

With respect to resolving an issue objectively, is it fair?

Political issues cannot be resolved objectively, and even if they could "objective" is pretty much the opposite of "fair," since much of what we call "fairness" involves attempts to compensate for the inequalities of real (objective) life.
 
EagleSmack
+1
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

You keep accusing me of doing something I have never endorsed.

I have a good memory MF. I recall a comment you made quite some time ago saying those countries who have enjoyed progress and technology now must shoulder the burden for the rest of the developing nations.

Let's not play games.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmackView Post

I have a good memory MF. I recall a comment you made quite some time ago saying those countries who have enjoyed progress and technology now must shoulder the burden for the rest of the developing nations.

Let's not play games.

Sounds fair to me. (See my comments on "fair" further up the thread.)
 
BaalsTears
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

Just out of curiosity - how many think tanks do the republicans have?

There are very few really independent and objective think tanks in the US. The Center for Strategic and International Studies is one. Imo the Cato Institute is another.

The American Enterprise Institute is oriented towards the Big Business/Chamber of Commerice/Country Club faction of the Republican Party. The Heritage Foundation is more Tea Party oriented. The Brookings Institute is liberal. The Center for American Progress is so leftist it makes the Communist Party of the USA look objective.
 
petros
#21
For the poor of the world to prosper, they are going to have to become energy consumers.
 
EagleSmack
#22
Oh yeah? China... a nation that is thousands of years old... a massive economy, soon to surpass the US... a highly capable military... a manned space program... a country that could buy and sell Canada is one of those developing countries.

Fair...LMAO... whatev.
 
mentalfloss
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

Political issues cannot be resolved objectively, and even if they could "objective" is pretty much the opposite of "fair," since much of what we call "fairness" involves attempts to compensate for the inequalities of real (objective) life.

There is a logical conclusion to most arguments, but that conclusion is independent of the lobbying on both sides.

And Eaglesmack, I believe that governments should take steps toward reducing carbon emissions and taking such steps doesn't have to adversely affect the economy or the tax payers.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

There is a logical conclusion to most arguments, but that conclusion is independent of the lobbying on both sides.

Logic is merely a way of organising information. It cannot produce new information. And it cannot answer "values" questions like "Should Keystone be built?" You can use logic thusly:

Major premise: If Keystone will reduce the amount of oil spills, it should be built.
Minor premise: Keystone will reduce the amount of oil spills.
Conclusion: Keystone should be built.

Good luck getting agreement on either the major or the minor premise.
 
mentalfloss
#25
It's more about stopping an unnecessary trend.

Keystone XL on its own may well be moderately unsafe for the environment, but we should be looking further down the line.

Ultimately, the earlier (and smoother) we make our transition to energy independence, the better it is for the economy and the environment.
 
EagleSmack
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post


And Eaglesmack, I believe that governments should take steps toward reducing carbon emissions and taking such steps doesn't have to adversely affect the economy or the tax payers.

Please please please... you're a dreamer and naive.

A good guy... but a dreamer and naive when it comes to this.
 
mentalfloss
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmackView Post

Please please please... you're a dreamer and naive.

A good guy... but a dreamer and naive when it comes to this.

The economic benefits of environmental policy
 
Tecumsehsbones
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post

It's more about stopping an unnecessary trend.

Keystone XL on its own may well be moderately unsafe for the environment, but we should be looking further down the line.

Ultimately, the earlier (and smoother) we make our transition to energy independence, the better it is for the economy and the environment.

I sort of agree, depending on what you mean by "energy independence." If you mean renewable energy, I agree completely. I think we should start investing massively in alternate energy technology. But by even the most optimistic estimates, we'll still need oil for a long time. Thus, Keystone, if safer/more efficient for transporting oil, is a good idea.
 
EagleSmack
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by mentalflossView Post


Ultimately, the earlier (and smoother) we make our transition to energy independence, the better it is for the economy and the environment.

Canada and the US are on the verge of becoming energy dependent... and THAT is upsetting the apple cart for the alarmists.

Projects like Keystone, if approved, is a huge defeat for alarmists.

Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

I think we should start investing massively in alternate energy technology.

We have been. How many millions wasted?
 
mentalfloss
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

I sort of agree, depending on what you mean by "energy independence." If you mean renewable energy, I agree completely. I think we should start investing massively in alternate energy technology. But by even the most optimistic estimates, we'll still need oil for a long time. Thus, Keystone, if safer/more efficient for transporting oil, is a good idea.

We already reached peak production a long time ago so dropping this project really won't do any harm.

I think we have enough at current production levels to last us for at least 100 years or so.
 
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