Obama Kills Keystone XL Pipeline

Tyler Durden's picture

Who needs actual jobs when you can have crony solar companies which go tits up in under 2 years at a cost to taxpayers of over half a bill. From Bloomberg: "The Obama administration will likely announce rejection of TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline later today or tomorrow, according to two people familiar with the matter. The decision will probably come from the State Department, which has been charged with reviewing the project, and a joint statement will come from some of the larger unions and environmental groups in support of the decision, according to one of the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity before the announcement is made. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the administration would continue studying alternative routes for the pipeline from Canada to the U.S. Gulf Coast."

WaPo adds:

The Obama administration will announce this afternoon it is rejecting a Canadian firm’s application for a permit to build and operate a massive oil pipeline across the U.S.-Canada border, according to sources who have been briefed on the matter.


However the administration will allow TransCanada to reapply after it develops an alternate route through the sensitive habitat of Nebraska’s Sandhills. Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns will make the announcement, which comes in response to a congressionally-mandated deadline of Feb. 21 for action on the proposed Keystone pipeline.

Reapply... only to be shut down again.

Oil's reaction to the news:

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pods's picture

Well, since the economy is likely to fall off a cliff soon, at least we will not need the oil?


Alien Invader's picture

Oil was so 2008. These days hot air blowing out of DC can be harnessed to power everything!

Oh regional Indian's picture

Well, when the trans-texas corridor stitches up with all the other "Freeway Modification and Extension" programs happening everywhere....then it'll be all clear enough.

Plus, in this geologically shakey age, LNG tankers make the most sense for Gas. That or a judicious mix of transport methods.

pipelines are crappy, weak logistical nightmares. Look at all the global wars around pipelines.

Enough already.



hedgeless_horseman's picture



...saved or created....

...shovel ready jobs...

The real tragedy is no new nuclear plants, nuclear waste sites, or passenger rail. 

I guess we'll just stick with our 40-year-old nuclear power plants, burning coal, and even more super-mega-big highways.

Winning the future!


HungrySeagull's picture

I have watched the NJ Turnpike grow from 6 to 8 then split into two seperate 6's then 12, then 24 and built south towards Delaware.

The last time I run south on that pike was a total sitting still traffic northbound from 15 all the way down to 7.


There was one Christmas evening some years ago where a tollbooth had  a issue and the resulting jam stretched from NYC all the way down to Richmond VA until nearly dawn.

hedgeless_horseman's picture



Ever ride the MTR or KCR trains in Hong Kong?  Amazing.

They are winning the future, while we are mortgaging ours.

trav7777's picture

I guess now I know why my Trilogy Energy did a faceplant starting a week ago.

I had thought that killing Keystone was a foregone conclusion before this decision was leaked.

economics1996's picture


This all plays into the affirmative action Kenyans’ desire to spread the wealth to the rest of the world.  America’s advantage over the rest of the world has been cheap energy and reserve currency status.  The Harvard educated communist is working on both fronts as hard as he can.  Kill the currency, Marx, kill energy supplies.  


whstlblwr's picture

Oil company propaganda on ZH. The pipeline would lose jobs, cause pollution, leaks, and gas prices would go up. Winning.

"The job estimate is based on a poorly documented and unsubstantiated study commissioned by the oil company itself, referred to as the Perryman Group study. The study inflates the job estimate by calculating jobs on a yearly basis, not the total number created as a result of the pipeline. For instance, employing 10,000 people for two years would equal 20,000 jobs by the company's count. Additionally, the estimate includes non-U.S. jobs created in Canada, "where about a third of the $7 billion pipeline would be constructed."

"TransCanada has already admitted that the project would increase gas prices for Americans by driving up the price of heavy crude in the region."


Flakmeister's picture

So the Canadian oil is the US's birthright to do with as they see fit?  What if Canada tells the US to pound sand?

And did it ever occur to you that the source of the reserve currency status was cheap energy once upon a time??


Arkadaba's picture

Interesting. Canada has been the largest exporter of oil (and brains) to the states for years. Under numerous governments. A few people have squawked about it - namely why is gas more expensive in the states as compared to Canada. The answer is we don't have the refineries. And a subset have asked, why not. 

I can't stand Harper but he has done a few things right. One was trying to secure the Arctic under Canadian rule (sorry we do own it) and it is looking that he is walking away from the Keystone thing and trying to woo other buyers. 

Flakmeister's picture

Most of the difference in price is the Fed. and Provincial taxes....

I have no idea why there are not refineries in Ft. McMurray. Well, actually, if you look at the integrated majors involved in the tar sands and their refinining exposure, the answer becomes clear.

You know the old joke?

Everytime a Canadian moves to the States, the average IQ in each country rises....

macholatte's picture


I get tired of all the mail stating the President hasn’t accomplished anything.
An impressive list of accomplishments!

· First President to apply for college aid as a foreign student, then deny he was a foreigner.

· First President to have a social security number from a state he has never lived in.

· First President to preside over a cut to the credit-rating of the United States

· First President to violate the War Powers Act. .

· First President to be held in contempt of court for illegally obstructing oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico .

· First President to defy a Federal Judge’s court order to cease implementing the Health Care Reform Law.

· First President to require all Americans to purchase a product from a third party.

· First President to spend a trillion dollars on ‘shovel-ready’ jobs when there was no such thing as ‘shovel-ready’ jobs.

· First President to abrogate bankruptcy law to turn over control of companies to his union supporters.

· First President to by-pass Congress and implement the Dream Act through executive fiat. .

· First President to order a secret amnesty program that stopped the deportation of illegal immigrants across the U.S. , including those with criminal convictions.

· First President to demand a company hand-over $20 billion to one of his political appointees.

· First President to terminate America ’s ability to put a man in space.

· First President to have a law signed by an auto-pen without being present.

· First President to arbitrarily declare an existing law unconstitutional and refuse to enforce it.

· First President to threaten insurance companies if they publicly spoke-out on the reasons for their rate increases.

· First President to tell a major manufacturing company in which state it is allowed to locate a factory.

· First President to file lawsuits against the states he swore an oath to protect (AZ, WI, OH, IN).

· First President to withdraw an existing coal permit that had been properly issued years ago.

· First President to fire an inspector general of Ameri-corps for catching one of his friends in a corruption case.

· First President to appoint 45 czars to replace elected officials in his office. .

· First President to golf 73 separate times in his first two and a half years in office, 90 to date.

· First President to hide his medical, educational and travel records.

· First President to win a Nobel Peace Prize for doing NOTHING to earn it.

· First President to go on multiple global ‘apology tours’.

· First President to go on 17 lavish vacations, including date nights and Wednesday evening White House parties for his friends; paid for by the taxpayer.

· First President to have 22 personal servants (taxpayer funded) for his wife.

· First President to keep a dog trainer on retainer for $102,000 a year at taxpayer expense.

· First President to repeat the Holy Qur’an tells us the early morning call of the Azan (Islamic call to worship) is the most beautiful sound on earth.

· First President to take a 17 day vacation.

So how is this hope and change working out for you?




American34's picture

Whats so dang wrong with Solar and Wind anyhow. It IS clean, it does last FOREVER and we DON"T need to fight wars to get to it. Look, im not a hippy but I am pretty sure if you add the cost of all our oil wars, all the tax write offs we give the energy industry and the cost of over centralizing the power grid into it, coal and oil just aren't that great after all. And heck, even if Climate Change isn't real we end up getting tons of REAL high quality jobs building and maintaining wind and solar here in the US and not having to go anywhere else for energy and as anyone who has ever driven by a coal power plant plant can tell you, a lot cleaner and better smelling air.

economics1996's picture

Nothing wrong with wind and solar, when the market decides that is the direction to go.  As we have witnessed central planning always fails.


Flakmeister's picture

Oh goodie, let's "Let the market decide". 

But first let's remove all the subsidies.

For starters the preferential tax treatment of mineral resources.

bugs_'s picture

You can't print the sun either which is why obama's solari cronies failed.

HungrySeagull's picture

But you can rocket load those filthy nuclear waste fuel and ship it into the sun as garbage to be incinderated.


I like Sun, Geo and Wind.

But my house is not worth what it will take to install any of this crap.

Flakmeister's picture

But you can rocket load those filthy nuclear waste fuel and ship it into the sun as garbage to be incinderated.

 Did you really just say what I think you said?

Do a computation of the historical failure rate for large payload launches and get back to me, kay?

DaveyJones's picture

actually we do eat the sun or at least its converted energy. That was true for every human era except the petroleum, soon to be extinct.     

LFMayor's picture

ROI on wind and solar is crappy.  Those big windfarms are upside down when you weigh the amount of electricity they produce compared with the manufacture, transport, erection and maintenance costs.  Huge government subsidy is the only thing making those stand up.

But before you make any decisions, watch a few more flashy commercials that showcase melting pot community college students putting on swiss seat harnesses to learn about turbine maintenance in a community cooperation effort sponsored by some corporation ass deep in graft and political favors.

NotApplicable's picture

Some stupid dentist in town spent over $30k (highly subsidized, of course) installing a windmill at his office, which is in a place where it will never, ever be cost effective. He got his name and face all over the news though, so perhaps it will attract all of the idiots to him. I wish him the best of luck with that.

Meanwhile I've got one of the best spots in the region (on a bend of a major river bluff which faces prevailing winds), and I still don't think it is worth doing when you see the speed required to actually generate power.

I'll likely install an older-style one someday and hook it to a water pump.

cranky-old-geezer's picture



A $30,000 wind generator doesn't even generate enough power for a small home.

The technology doesn't even approach the energy density needed for a typical home, much less any commercial or industrial need.

Fossil fuel power has far greater energy density, and nuclear power exceeds fossil fuel by leaps and bounds.

Nuclear is the obvious common sense choice.  And yes there are safe clean nuclear technologies available, like Thorium Molten Salt for example.

But TMS isn't as profitable to reactor makers as Uranium. 

So again, corporate profits dictate what technology is used, safety be dammed.

rosiescenario's picture

The Thorium cycle should have been receiving some real research funding rather than Bammy's Cronies....it offer sreal rpomise, but you can imagine how much lobbying against it there must be between the oil companies and AIPAC.

DaveyJones's picture

if placed in the correct locations, wind returns 30% on average from its energy potential rating if on land and 40% off shore. We have already done an extensive study along the east coast indicating we could produce approximately 70% of our electrical needs including electrifiying most of our small vehicle fleet. The answer is not rogue members of the dental profession. Much like our current energy systems, and given how behind the eight ball we are on desperately needed systems, this will take a coordinated (and non-corrupt) effort to pull off. Unfortunately we have chosen a different and criminal coordinated effort directed at soon depleted sources in the middle east. The cost of that alone (plus lifelong medical) would have gone a long way to get that going. And, unlike IRAQ, I hear the job site carries a just a tad less risk. THe real answer is a multitude of production systems where they make sense. Local electrical production will also be key as so much is lost in long term transmission. Storage is the biggest part  of the puzzle but a lot of brilliant ideas are out there including vehicle components that plug back into the grid and can send the energy either direction. Heating stone elements somewhere in the house when production is at peak for later release also makes sense. By far the most practical and effective techiniques would be passive solar design in our homes and buildings that capture the heat      


Encroaching Darkness's picture

"It IS clean, it does last FOREVER and we DON"T need to fight wars to get to it." Well - solar panels using today's technology might last twenty years; there are numerous examples of installed solar projects that will NEVER pay out, based on the energy savings differential and useful life. It's clean as long as the plants that make them aren't in your backyard - China makes lots, and has lots of environmental challenges as a result. We won't fight wars to get the sunlight - but getting some of the rare elements involved in manufacturing solar cells can get chancy. Look, I'm not saying it CAN'T work - but given the results of Solyndra, First Solar, etc. are YOU willing to invest in US facilities to make them? Even with the enormous government subsidies, nearly all solar cell manufacturers are losing money right now. Yes, there are energy subsidies for oil&gas exploration, etc. Let's end all subsidies, and see who wins - wait, that would be a FREE MARKET approach, and we can't have that, it reduces the role and need for government. Any medium-sized town has folks who can repair gas engines; how many can repair solar panels? WAIT, you say you can't repair solar panels - that once the silicon cracks, you have to start over with a new cell? Great technology, solar, it's expensive, works 1/2 of the day and is unrepairable - can't wait to get some! (/sarc)

American34's picture

I am pretty disappointed in all the responses here to my comment on Wind and Solar power. First, off I didn't mean the Solar Panels lasts forever, I meant the wind. I thought that was obvious but apparently not. 2nd, I am big advocate of Free Market Economics, I agree with the ideal of ending all the subsidies. However, I believe the role of government in society is to stear the society it governs in the direction that is best for that society. What is government anyhow, it is US, it is the sum total of what society as a whole gives to promote common goals. Well at least that is what is should be. I am a big proponent of Self Sufficiency, even on a society wide scale. If that means the government/society needs to give the Free Market a push in the right direction to bring about energy independence then I think subsidies are alright. HOWEVER, our entire economic and government system is so corrupt and off balance it is not even funny.

As for the efficiency and cost of Wind and Solar some of you need to do your research. I have been honestly considering using Wind and Solar to provide a significant portion of my electrical needs and it isn't near as expensive as many of you are implying. Don't believe the rumors and hype, do your research, look around and talk to some folks who have already done it before you judge them all as fools. No matter the issue being discussed it is important to have an honest idea of what your talking about. Lastly, Wind and Solar should be looked at as part of the solution and not the whole, as well as an investment. Yes, the upfront costs are somewhat high, but so are the costs of building a power plant of any kind. Its called investing in the future. A mix of Wind and Solar that will power a home in an average location can take 10 years to pay off. Thats not bad, especially when you get another 10 years out of the average system. Not everything is free OR easy, especially things worth doing. 

Encroaching Darkness's picture

" However, I believe the role of government in society is to stear the society it governs in the direction that is best for that society."

Sorry you're disappointed - but you're going to be disappointed, consistently, as long as you believe this.

Government CANNOT KNOW " the direction that is best for that society" - that gives government omniscient powers. Hell, most governments cannot see beyond the next election - and if they could, wouldn't do what's "best for that society" if it had any chance of impairing or preventing their re-election.

"HOWEVER, our entire economic and government system is so corrupt and off balance it is not even funny." THERE, you do get at least part of it - now reconcile that with your previous statement.

Governments are made up of flawed human beings - sometimes, the more flawed, the more electable, it seems like. Given that, how can you hope for them to understand what "is best for that society."?

"it isn't near as expensive as many of you are implying." because of government subsidies. Subsidies are a government intervention into free markets. How can a government made up of power-mad control freaks hope to pick winners and losers in technology? Look up "Capstone Turbine"; one moving part electrical generation, multiple power sources possibilities, dependable (No, I don't own one, or any stock in it!) Should the government decide whether Capstone is better than solar (works all day, not just half) or wind (never shuts down even if no wind is available) ? Would you be better off, worse off or indeterminate if it did subsidize Capstone instead of solar? Why?

Picking technology winners and losers is NOT a government function; think Solyndra, LightSquared, First Solar and all the other frauds recently funded. Let FREE MARKETS pick the winners and losers, and avoid making government bigger to do things it is incapable of doing.

American34's picture

Thank you for your comments. At least you take the time to explain yourself in a thought provoking manner without filling your comments full of useless four letter words. However, the Free Market isn't exactly all knowing either. It is a very good way of letting the public choose and therefore creates a highly competitive and efficent way of allocating resources but it is a somewhat poor method of long term planning, such as 20 or 30 years out.  Not to mention Government is essential for certain aspects of a peaceful society, such as a good Military, public transportation(Interstate System), and Free Market management such as standards of measurement(Standard 120V no matter who provides the power) and of course Police and Fire.

Both the Government and Free Market hold their proper places in a good society. I suppose you are right though, no Government can last too long without being corrupted. So why should we be surprised that like every other empire in history America too will fall. No country lasts forever, heck the idea of a "Country" as we know it is only a very recent idea indeed.

Flakmeister's picture

Yep... let the markets decide but remove the subsidies for fossil fuels as well...

For shits and giggles, do you recall this?

From a post of mine on another thread:

Do you remember mandated cellulosic ethanol targets under GWB? Where was the outrage when the companies backed by the Feds then went tits up? Hell, at least solar panels are a demonstrated technology....


U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman, who steered a $76 million federal grant to Range, said that “by relying on American ingenuity and on American farmers for fuel, we will enhance our nation’s energy and economic security.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture followed up with an $80 million loan guarantee. Georgia officials pledged $6.2 million. Treutlen County, one of the state’s poorest, offered 20 years worth of tax abatements and 97 acres in its industrial park.

rosiescenario's picture

Based upon empirical research, it appears the present role of government is to convince the people it is doing one thing while doing the opposite as so directed by a variety of special interest groups.


The government does not solve problems, it creates even newer and more dangerous ones.

Manthong's picture

If you want the model for mass transportation via rail.. go to Singapore.

Beyond description.. fast.. modern.. understandable.. clean, safe.. get just about anywhere in no time.

But that pipeline is about more than just cars V rail.

economics1996's picture

So what do we do in America where 30% of the population is feral?  No one rides public transportation in America because they are afraid of being attacked or killed.  It not like we raise civilized people with a mother and father over here.


LFMayor's picture

shhh.  you shouldn't talk about protected peoples like that man.  You'll go up on the FEMA list for sure.

Van Halen's picture

Hello! Secret FEMA agent in disguise here! You've been caught engaging in unsanctioned opinions. Please report to your nearest reeducation camp immediately.

economics1996's picture

The thought police have good records on me.  

Manthong's picture

"So what do we do in America where 30% of the population is feral?"

Great point.  Answer: concealed carry and caning (preferably public).


Silver Dreamer's picture

The DC Metro is heavily used.  In fact it is so packed that parking before you get to the train and space on the them are both hard to find.  Tons of people are using the trains even though they break down, crash, have A/C that doesn't work in the summer, and have heaters that do not work in the winter.  Even the occasional person that smelled like urine didn't stop people.

Public transportation is being used in the DC/MD/VA area.  It just isn't worth it though financially or time wise.  Why would I bother with the Metro when it makes my commuting time three times longer while putting up with all of the crap I mentioned above?

prodigious_idea's picture

You might poll some people on that theory.  Sure, violence is a consideration but you'll probably find that most don't use it because it's either nonexistent in their area, inconvenient, or the fact that petrol/diesel is too cheap to keep people from using it.  Even when oil was $140/bbl consumption hardly dipped.  Pump prices don't reflect true cost anyway.  Did somebody say something about subsidies?  Consider the preferential tax treatment for oil extraction/refining industries (i.e. subsidies).  And the US spends $60B+ annually maintaining waterways between the US and our foreign petroleum suppliers (subsidies).  Finally, the cost of military intervention/bases involving oil-producing regions (subsidies)?  Real cost of oil:  at least $250/bbl

economics1996's picture

The elasticity of demand for gas is -0.06% or a 10% increate decreases use 0.6%.  So a 100% increase in gas prices would drop usage 6%.  Mass transportation is impractical for all but a few highly concentrated areas of the world.

prodigious_idea's picture

My ignorance is showing, but is there a relevant range for the elasticity "constant".  In other words, what happens at $100/gal?  Agreed on pragmatic problems with mass transportation.  Eisenhower didn't push thru highway funding because population is concentrated in the US.

UP Forester's picture

My handy-dandy computer calculator says that would equal -171.4285714%

Try it sometime.

And I know, I know, Maths iz hard.

economics1996's picture

In the long run everything is elastic.

Lord Koos's picture

I'd like to see a study of how much petroleum products are consumed by the military.  I know that by the time gas gets into a humvee in Afghanistan it costs around $400 a gallon.  It's like the Pentagon is perpetuating war just so it can fund its own operations.

Freewheelin Franklin's picture

That "merge" at 7A is a bitch, ain't it?

trav7777's picture

it's just total mfin brilliance at all levels.

Vaiman's picture

He's just givener hard to bend the country over and do er good.  Canada will end up sending the oil to China! 

weinerdog43's picture

Um, hello.  That's where it was going anyway.  The pipeline was going to ship the oil to Europe and Latin America.  It was not going to be used in the USA.