Sunday, January 29, 2012

In Our Country's (Corporation's) Best Interests

In today's Spokesman Review we have another article about a pipeline for transporting Canadian tar sands oil. Some excerpts and comments.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Canada’s national interest makes the $5.5 billion pipeline essential. He was “profoundly disappointed” that U.S. President Barack Obama rejected the Texas Keystone XL option but also spoke of the need to diversify Canada’s oil industry. Ninety-seven percent of Canadian oil exports now go to the U.S. (bolding mine)

Hence the reason for the Keystone XL pipeline to take it's oil to a port on the Gulf of Mexico or a port on the Pacific ocean where it can be shipped overseas. Right now Canada is stuck selling most of its oil to the U.S.

Meanwhile, China’s growing economy is hungry for Canadian oil. Chinese state-owned companies have invested more than $16 billion in Canadian energy in the past two years, state-controlled Sinopec has a stake in the pipeline, and if it is built Chinese investment in Alberta oil sands is sure to boom.

It's a simple supply and demand issue where those with greater demand will outbid others to get the oil they need. Canada knows this and wants to use it to its advantage.

But oil analysts say Alberta has enough oil to meet both countries’ needs, and the pipeline’s capacity of 525,000 barrels a day would amount to less than 6 percent of China’s current needs.

That's not the point. Canada doesn't want to supply the U.S. and itself. Canada wants top dollar for its oil and if China--or any other country--is willing to pay more than the U.S., then that is where the oil will go.

Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers expressed her disappointment in President Obama's decision to delay the pipeline project.

This is a project that has bipartisan support, would create 100,000 jobs, and would reduce our dangerous dependence on Mideast oil.

First, the number of jobs she presents is totally bogus. It's more like 2,500 to 6,000. Second, since the purpose of the pipelines is to allow Canada to sell its oil anywhere it chooses as opposed to just the U.S., it isn't going to do squat to reduce our dependence on oil from the Middle East. Last of all, she never addresses the impact on the environment. Business is a privileged class for our politicians and the "government regulation impeding business" mantra is often used to distract from the reason for regulation--the protection of people and the environment.

Call it being deceitful, duplicitous, disingenuous or all of the above. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is not serving her district's or her country's best interests in this matter.


Spokane Al said...

Hank, there is a spyder web of oil pipelines throughout Canada and US - - and the Keystone pipeline has been analyzed to death over the past several years. Whether the pipeline is built heading south or west, it will be built.

Environmental studies, unions, democrats, republicans, governors and many others have expressed support for the Keystone pipeline.

While I admire and respect your opinion on this issue, I tend to believe it was purely an Obama political move to push the ultimate decision past the November election as he does his best to hold on to his more liberal constituencies.

Hank Greer said...


Thanks. As you can see, I'm referring to the differences between what is being said about the project and what reality holds. I don't doubt for a moment that the Obama administration made a political decision. Too many people who care about the environment spoke up. The people and the Republican governor of the State of Nebraska woke up.

Congressional Republicans are trying to make political hay out of it and are looking foolish doing so. That has become the norm in our political leaders. Attack and make the other look bad so you look better. And it works. Congress has a single digit approval rating and nobody talks about voting out everybody.

Anonymous said...

The Keystone pipeline is a severe environmental hazard, but Obama will build it after November.

Obama has lied about everything: trade deals, the environment, Wall Street accountability, healthcare, open proces, civil liberties, war powers, accountability for torture, etc etc He always sides with elites, no matter his campaign rhetoric. So will Romney.

Republicans and Democratic politicians are dishonest and will not represent the interests of the American people.

Voting is irrational.