The future of Keystone under the Obama administration

oil pipeline

There are serious questions on how President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry will lean and make an eventual decision on the XL Keystone application for a presidential permit.

The US Department of State (DOS) left an out for President Obama to make the decision made on his climate change ideology, which includes the reduction of carbon emissions.

In his State of the Union address to Congress the president advocated an energy policy aimed at reducing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), which he claims are causing catastrophic changes to the earth’s climate and “harming western communities.” In his policy prescription, the president advocates a combination of increased regulation of the energy and transportation industries and more government spending on research designed to bring low-carbon-emitting sources of energy, i.e., so-called renewables, to market. He considers those actions to be the only viable options “leading to a cleaner, safer planet.”

Craig D. Iso, Ph.D., a climatologist, former president and current chairman of the board of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, asserts in contrast to the president that the science of climate change is far from settled.

Iso contends that the presidents concerns for the planet are based upon flawed and speculative science; and his policy prescription is a recipe for failure.

With respect to the science, Obama conveniently fails to disclose the fact that literally thousands of scientific studies have produced findings that run counter to his view of future climate. As just one example, and a damning one at that, all of the computer models upon which his vision is based failed to predict the current plateau in global temperature that has continued for the past 16 years. That the earth has not warmed significantly during this period, despite an 8 percent increase in atmospheric CO2, is a major indictment of the models’ credibility in predicting future climate, as well as the president’s assertion that debate on this topic is “settled.”

Source: Politisite

The opponents of the pipeline don’t really object to the pipeline, but ae really only interested in shutting down the Alberta oil sands. Many of their claims are exaggerated in view of the evidence and oversight provided by the Canadian federal and Alberta provincial governments. Despite this there is no deadline for the president to reach his decision, despite two favorable DOS SOEIs. Federal agencies now have 90 days to provide comments and there are an additional 30 days for the public. Most of the comments, about 90 percent have come from opponents of the pipeline, read Alberta Oilsands.

After the reports release, which appeared favorable toward the pipeline, DOS Kerri Ann Jones, assistant secretary of State for oceans and international environmental and scientific affairs, made it clear that an automatic approval was not a given.

“We do have to take this work … and look at it against the broader question about where this project fits in our national and international efforts to address climate change and foreign policy and energy security,” Ms. Jones said.

“Given the priority that climate is for President Obama and Secretary [John] Kerry and the U.S. in general, that is certainly a key consideration.”

Financial Post

The future of Keystone

Despite five years of study, it would appear that the decision will be based on ideology, which is flawed at best. Germany’s renewable energy experience is a good example. After the announced closure of Germany’s nuclear power plants, Germany had to start firing up dirty coal to supplement green energy. This resulted in increasing carbon emissions, rather than reducing them.

The SEIS report states that the pipeline would create some 42,000 jobs, most of them good paying union jobs. There are the benefits to towns along the pipeline route with sub contracts to local heavy equipment operators and the benefits to towns with the local work force and small business.

Based on past decisions by this ideology based administration, the president in discussions with Secretary of State John Kerry will probably ignore the report’s findings and go with his ideological base. In any case, it is doubtful that any decision will be made prior to the midterm elections. After all everything is decided based on politics by this administration. Maybe we will be surprised.

About the Author

Karl Gotthardt - Politisite Managing Editor Maj. Gotthardt is a Retired Military Officer with 35 years service in the Canadian Armed Forces. He spent most of his time in the Military in Infantry Battalions. Karl took part in training for Afghanistan as an Operator Analyst with the Canadian Maneouvre Training Centre. Karl is a qualified military parachutist and military free fall parachutist. He earned his U.S. Master Jump Wings in Fort Benning, Georgia. Karl enjoys working with horses for the last 24 year. He owns six. He has experience in breeding, training and of course riding.Karl was born in Germany and is fluent in both English and German and he speaks enough French to "get in trouble". Karl has written or writes at NowPublic, All Voices, Tek Journalism and many others.

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