Obama Now Scrambles To Approve Transcanada Pipeline... Or At Least Half Of It; Environmentalists Furious

Tyler Durden's picture

What a difference two months of record high gas prices make. After Obama unceremoniously killed the Keystone XL pipeline proposal in January, and has since seen his popularity rating slide in inverse proportion to the surge in gas prices, which as noted yesterday have now passed $4 (still quite a bit better than Europe's $9.81 average/gallon), he is now actively seeking to fast-track its approval. Or at least half of it. Per Reuters: "President Barack Obama will issue a memo on Thursday directing federal agencies to prioritize permitting of TransCanada's southern leg of the Keystone oil pipeline, a senior White House official said on Wednesday. With his Republican opponents hammering away at the president over high gasoline prices, Obama will visit Cushing, Oklahoma on Thursday to promote his energy policies, which include support for the southern leg of the pipeline."

It gets funnier:

But TransCanada has not yet applied to build the southern leg, so it remains uncertain exactly which agencies would need to grant permits. Fish and Wildlife, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers are some that would almost certainly would have to sign off.

 

TransCanada will also need permits from Oklahoma and Texas which could slow the process.

 

The memo "directs federal agencies to name the Cushing pipeline as a top priority of the new executive orders' expedited permitting process," the official told reporters in a conference call. The memo will also push the agencies to prioritize other oil pipelines that would relieve bottlenecks getting petroleum to market

So let's get this straight: Obama is seeking to fast-track an "application" which has not "applied", and even if he does approve it, at least three other agencies' palms will have to be greased. In the meantime, nobody knows what happens with the other half.

In the meantime, while nothing at all is certain to get done for years to alleviate the Cushing Congestion, the environmentalist have finally realized they too were just Corzined:

Environmentalists are crestfallen. They've mounted a massive campaign against Keystone XL, assailing the plan to transport millions of barrels a week of bitumen from the Alberta oilsands — an energy source they decry as "dirty oil" — through six U.S. states to Texas refineries.

 

"The administration cannot purport to protect the climate while simultaneously bending over backward to allow a pipeline to the continent's biggest carbon bomb," Kim Huynh of Friends of the Earth said in a statement.

 

Huynh wondered if environmentalists have been snookered.

 

"Was the president's initial rejection of the Keystone XL simply a farce to temporarily appease the environmental voters who dared to hold him to his own promises about real leadership on the climate and shifting to 21st-century clean energy solutions? It would seem so."

 

Bill McKibben, who spearheaded several White House anti-pipeline protests last summer, noted that some had suggested Obama rejected

Keystone XL for purely political purposes.

Then again this is all in a day's work for the man who has just succeeded in bringing YTD debt issuance to a record $122 billion over net tax refunds as of today.

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SHEEPFUKKER's picture

He did promise change.....as in change his mind. 

Fluffybunny's picture

The sad part is that it's against Obama's "principles" and he doesn't even believe it will help with oil prices (whatever the real result may be).

 

Yet he goes ahead with this just to eliminate one republican talking point and pander to the public. Going to be a tight competition between the two master floppers, Romney and Obama.

 

 

covsire's picture

What's sad is how he really does eliminate that talking point.. He's doing exactly nothing at all to build it and yet he and his cronies in the media will trumpet it.  In reality he's building the walls of a bomb shelter with no roof and claiming credit for the whole shelter.  Top it off with that moron Boehner who won't be able to get 2 words out about the trickery of it all.

CrazyCooter's picture

If I read this correctly, the "southern leg" would connect Cushing to the gulf, correct?

If so, this means that the WTI/Brent spread might see some compression if this segment opens up.

This may have nothing to do with bitumen and everything to do with getting bakken oil to global markets.

Regards,

Cooter

Real Money Wins's picture

John Corzine would be proud of his buddy Barak. It takes skilled and quick hands to play the shell game and win so that those playing against you think you did it legal and didn't cheat.

economics9698's picture

Obama would suck cock on pay per view to get re-elected.

The Big Ching-aso's picture

 

 

Ya know, the really sad part is even if they do the pipeline the Saudi's would then cut back production, jack up prices, and we'd still be fucked.

AldousHuxley's picture

There are environmentalists in TEXAS?

 

anyway environmentalists are Ted Turner employees just trying to protect his ranch.

 

Republicans love this government pork in their own backyard for jobs and shit.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

LOL.  Doesn't Obama know about EROI?????

The Canadian tar sands actually have negative net energy.

Matt's picture

Wouldn't alleviating the bottleneck at Cushing cause oil, and as a result, gasoline, prices in North America to INCREASE?

CrazyCooter's picture

That is precisely my point.

The upper part of the pipe line got sacked. This was actively being permitted. The lower part of the line just got a hall pass and its not being actively permitted (yet).

Opening this pipeline will eliviate the supply glut at Cushing allowing that inventory to flow to the gulf for export in global markets.

Just doing the math...

Regards,

Cooter

CrashisOptimistic's picture

Pretty much exactly that.

This moment, Cushing oil has a limited number of customers, mostly Midwest refiners.

Pipe that oil to the Gulf and it has an entire planet of refinery customers.  Its price has to rise.  Brent may come down a tad, but WTI will move up.

Net net . . . higher gasoline prices in the US midwest.

AmCockerSpaniel's picture

What this would do is keep North America's oil supply safe, in North America. As for price...... It is a world market.

Idiot Savant's picture

Having all our oil refined in one location doesn't give me warm fuzzy feelings. All located in a spot that gets hit by hurricanes quite frequently. Closure of east coast refineries is not good.

dbomb12's picture

They already have it 11/21/2011

Why the Seaway Pipeline Damages Hope for Keystone XL and Collapses the Brent-WTI Spread Read more: http://www.minyanville.com/businessmarkets/articles/bitumen-crude-oil-crude-oil-supply/11/21/2011/id/38023#ixzz1pogKuq4Q
kaiserhoff's picture

Obamy said "drill baby, drill" right before the BP spill.

He and his liberal buddies were becoming "reconciled" to Nuclear power, right before Fukushima.

Quick, someone hide his copy of "The Sun Also Rises."

nmewn's picture

"He and his liberal buddies were becoming "reconciled" to Nuclear power, right before Fukushima."

Now, it's The Great O'Barry Oil Tour...very transparent...lol.

CrazyCooter's picture

Totally off topic, but my Dad told me a funny story the other day from back in the 70s. He had this women's libber chewing on him about whether god was a man or a woman. So, my old man thinks about it a bit, and tells her God is a woman. Her jaw hit the floor. This garnered the acute attention of everyone present in the cafeteria who happened to be in ear shot.

So, after regaining her composure, she asked him why. He said, well, since there have been thousands of religions in last few thousand of years, god must be a woman because she changes her mind every year.

The cafeteria roared and the libber lady was fumingly pissed.

Regards,

Cooter

Assetman's picture

Yeah... like Obama didn't "like" important civil liberty stripping provisions of the NDAA, yet he signed the damn bill anyway.

Evironmentalists overlooked the above, because it only restricted the civil rights of (suspected) terrorists.  Now that Obama is backdooring the stripping of (suspected) environmental rights, only the environmentalists are screaming bloody murder.

Yet these same self-suscribed "liberals" will be resigned to vote for Barry-O, because they want nothing to do with the Red Pill.

Stoopid Americans.  They just don't bother to get it.

 

Carl Spackler's picture

Doesn't matter what he promised.  It's a straw man argument.  NOTHING CHANGED.

The President has no legal authority to stop any pipeline construction within the United States.  It is a legal matter between the state governments affected.

The ONLY reason the Keystone XL pipeline issue is even on the President's desk is because the pipeline CROSSES THE U.S. BORDER INTO CANADA, requiring the State Department to get involved concerning diplomatic risks. 

Now, Obama tis attempting to take credit for something (an OK to TX pipeline) for which he has ZERO legal authority towad.

This is a political spin that will only make his environmental wacko friends (like the woman quoted) start to lose their enthusiasm for supporting him, while his media friends try to tout it as a victory.

Call me when he approves the final one mile of pipeline crossing the U.S. border into Canada ! 

That is the only section that matters in the Keystone XL affair.

 

 

Carl Spackler's picture

Doesn't matter what he promised.  It's a straw man argument.  NOTHING CHANGED.

The President has no legal authority to stop any pipeline construction within the United States.  It is a legal matter between the state governments affected.

The ONLY reason the Keystone XL pipeline issue is even on the President's desk is because the pipeline CROSSES THE U.S. BORDER INTO CANADA, requiring the State Department to get involved concerning diplomatic risks. 

Now, Obama tis attempting to take credit for something (an OK to TX pipeline) for which he has ZERO legal authority towad.

This is a political spin that will only make his environmental wacko friends (like the woman quoted) start to lose their enthusiasm for supporting him, while his media friends try to tout it as a victory.

Call me when he approves the final one mile of pipeline crossing the U.S. border into Canada ! 

That is the only section that matters in the Keystone XL affair.

 

 

william shatner's picture

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/03/21/geithner_asked_what_wo...

 

"If this were the last debt ceiling increase you could ask for, the final one, and you had to make it large enough for all current and future obligations, what would the request need to be?" Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) asked Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner at a Capitol Hill hearing on Wednesday.

"I don’t know how to answer that question," Geithner said to Gowdy.

After being prodded by the Congressman, Geithner eventually told him, "it would be a lot."

“It would be a lot,” Geithner finally said. “It would make you uncomfortable," he added.

Atlas_shrugging's picture

You can't have your environmentalist and eat him, too

The Big Ching-aso's picture

 

 

The squeaky pipe gets the oil?

Urban Roman's picture

On the other hand, the oil just falls out of the half-pipe.

SheepleLOVEcheddarbaybiscuits's picture

fuck the environment and animals, we need jobs now or we are completely fucked.....

goldfish1's picture

Another under-educated comment courtesy of the public school system and media programming.

TMT's picture

He actually has a point (I think).  The eco-nazis want us to change everything to prevent a .0001 increase in temperatures 50 years from now.  And for this fix just fork over your liberties and checkbook.  I say ... fuck that and fuck them.  First, it's utter bullshit (at a bare minimum unproven).  Second, they could give a fuck about the ramifications to the economy ... okay we'll prevent that .0001 rise but we'll all be eating dog food.  Third, if they truly cared about saving civilization (which they don't, they simply want to control everyone else and the "environment" is simply their trojan horse) then they should focus their energy on D.C. and the Fed - who together are doing more damage than fossil fuels.

Make sense?

nmewn's picture

If it were a "crisis" to the entire planet (people burning fossil fuels) all governments worldwide would simply ban it.

They don't.

They would rather tax it...which tells you all you need to know.

Toxicosis's picture

No, governments would not ban oil production or use of oil and it's mulitple by-products as that would be the virtual end of all industrial economies and you'd even run out of toothbrushes, then what would you do.  Government's already tax oil and gas brutally in many countries but banning it would end the vast majority of banking, business, military and even central planners.

Harbanger's picture

Did you know that Margaret Thatcher started the Global Warming scare?  It was a scare tactic for political reasons just to break the coalers in the UK. 

NidStyles's picture

It's not about talking points junior. It's about the lack of principles and easy money. Eliminate the easy money and almost everything returns to normal, because it would have to. Your cry only advocates the Government creation of do-nothing employment.

Baleful Runes 4 U's picture

"fuck the environment and animals, we need jobs now or we are completely fucked....."

You're fucked anyway, you myopic fuck. Haven't you caught the program yet?

Scottj88's picture

Environmentalists vs "More Jobs & Energy Resources"

-

Just one of the many psychological paradigms Americans are stuck in...

What about Gull Island?
What about suppressed innovation?

This drama is old.

Let the truth prevail...

Chuck Walla's picture

See the ZH article on "Sociopaths run the country".

Buck Johnson's picture

Our country is totally dysfunctional, when you have a dysfunctional people you can't help to have a dysfunctional govt..

Gully Foyle's picture

transaccountin

Counterpunch had an article months ago making a similar point. Theirs was Obama would allow it after the election.

I guess he caved sooner than was expected.


StychoKiller's picture

From yer link:

[quote]

Davis said while he asked voters to cast their ballots for Smith, it was about ensuring the seat stayed in Democrat control and was not a show of support for Smith. Davis said Smith should not appear on the November ballot given the ethical cloud he now faces.

"I was glad to see Derrick win the election, but I think in reality one can say that Democrats won the election," Davis said. "I don't think they were necessarily voting for Derrick, but I think they were saying 'Democrat, Democrat, Democrat.'"

"It's not just about the man, but it's also about, as Ossie Davis said, the plan," Davis said. "So I think people were intelligent enough, they were wise enough, they understood enough that they wanted to give themselves another chances to get a good, solid Democrat to represent them."

[/quote]

How is it that people are too dumb to fend for themselves, yet so intelligent that they can vote for the right person to fend for everyone else?

Wishing the government to be a great protector and benefactor does not make it so.  It is not difficult to find evidence that it is anything but.

All you're really asking for is to exchange the potential corruption of a private merchant for the assured corruption of a government bureaucrat. If a merchant cheats you, you won't go back.  If a merchant cheats enough people, he'll go out of business.  If a government bureaucrat cheats you, then he receives no punishment.  In fact, he'll probably receive more funding and more authority to do a job he was too incompetent to do and had no incentive to do effectively in the first place.

Fail2Deliver's picture

Obama now has his "out" for the election. He can say he is all for the pipeline, but that darn EPA just will not approve the permits....wink,wink

franzpick's picture

Good.  Maybe Obama has finally bitten off more than he can eschew

t_kAyk's picture

the desperation is palpable... 

Ignatius's picture

President Obummer has fucked every one of his base support groups... the environmentalists were due.

Lost Wages's picture

And you wonder why Liberals are ready to go Black Bloc (and beyond).

leathaface's picture

i am sure that timmy and ben can supply the grease for Obummer to work his magic!