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President Obama Flushes Keystone XL, Republicans Lose Gamble

President Barack Obama's decision to reject TransCanada's application to build the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline is not a permanent win for landowners, environmentalists, Native American activists, and Great Plains water-drinkers. "This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline," says the President, "but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people." President Obama still carefully avoids endorsing the arguments that Keystone XL will threaten our land and aquifers, raise our gasoline prices, and ship its oil to China. Those arguments remain ours to make.

The President is, however, playing some tough poker with Republicans. He makes clear that his rejection of the Keystone XL permit results entirely from the Republican games-playing in Congress, as they held the payroll tax extension hostage last month to force the State Department to rush its review process. The Obama Administration said before that vote that a 60-day deadline would likely kill the permit. But Republicans thought the President would be too scared of the Big-Oil campaign rhetoric they could throw at him: "Keystone XL means jobs! Cheap oil! Energy independence!"

The President knows those three aces are bogus. The Republicans thought the President would play like a man holding a pair of deuces. By dropping the Keystone XL permit, the President is playing like a man with a hand full of diamonds.

So Republicans got hammered for voting to raise taxes on everybody for Christmas, and didn't even get swift approval of Keystone XL out of the deal. Republicans, you just got flushed.

Bonus Loser's Hyperbole: Rep. Kristi Noem's reaction to having her bluff called? Lie bigger! Noem tweets that Keystone XL would create 130,000 jobs, 6.5 times more than the already exaggerated 20,000-job claim made by TransCanada.


  1. Taunia 2012.01.19

    I assume since she's finally graduating college she can read now, right? Cornell University sums things up about KXL pretty well including the 2,500-4,650 temporary construction jobs; that's about 70,000 fewer jobs than this administration has already created in the gas and oil industry.

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.19

    Taunia: you'd think they'd have covered math. She must have taken that first semester, back in 1990, along with her speech class, where she would have learned the importance of using factual evidence.

  3. Taunia 2012.01.19

    Careful, Cory. You're in the company of (or the near proximity of) greatness.

    But wait! There's more! For the cost of another term, you can witness her All Awesomeness when she goes for her master's.

    She is, after all, "American's most powerful undergrad".

  4. Owen Reitzel 2012.01.19

    What I thought Corey was how poorly the conservative media did in trying to explain what you just explained. I think it was KELO that had some guy who was unemployed and had worked on a pipeline. He, of course was mad at Obama.
    My advice was to him was become a welder. All kinds of openings for that in South Dakota (Mitchell).

  5. caheidelberger Post author | 2012.01.19

    Taunia, I cringe. But I would ask the WaPo writer just what power Noem has wielded? Has she made anything happen? She can't even get her dust bill through the Senate.

    Owen, right on! The governor is whining about the thousands of welding jobs we're losing... but supposedly we already have more welding work than South Dakotans available to fill those jobs. Total Newspeak!

  6. Taunia 2012.01.19

    Owen, the "conservative" media reported exactly as they were paid to report. I haven't found one conservative media outlet that's favorable to this administration, or the serious ramifications of this pipeline or the truth about the jobs associated with this pipeline and where this outrageously bad "oil" is going.

  7. Chris S. 2012.01.19

    Wait, wait--I thought the government couldn't ever create jobs. Now Noem is saying that not only can the government create jobs, it can create eleventy-billion jobs (if she makes up numbers, then so can I) by rolling out the red carpet for a Canadian company. So which is it?

  8. Bill Fleming 2012.01.19

    Of course the government can create jobs.
    The government created Noem's job.

  9. Owen Reitzel 2012.01.19

    How right you are Taunia. This oil is goiong to the world oil supply. How is that helping us?

  10. larry kurtz 2012.01.19

    Breaking @bgazettelocal BG Local News: Exxon increases estimate of Yellowstone River oil spill by 50%: ExxonMobil Pipeline Co. has increased by 50 per cent.

  11. larry kurtz 2012.01.19

    Check this out: geothermal wind power, "Invelox also does not produce the vibrations that contribute to what is known in the scientific community as “Wind Turbine Syndrome.”"

  12. larry kurtz 2012.01.19

    Some are calling for a moratorium on new wind farms until bird and bat kill are mitigated. New technologies are being developed: above link.

  13. Bill Fleming 2012.01.19

    Cool stuff LK. That's what we need. R&D. Figure out how to do it right. Hey, we can put a man on the moon, but... well, you know.

  14. Douglas Wiken 2012.01.19

    By the amount of letters to the editors, I kind of assumed conservatives all thought that the demise of the 100W incandescent light bulb was the cause of all economic woe and destruction of all constitutional rights.

    Trans Canada or whatever might have better luck if they played straight and did a better job of pipeline routing, than spending a lot of industry money on glitzy misleading ads with an ever changing story.

  15. Ty 2012.01.21

    Each and every claim of Transcanada can be disputed. Tax revenue? talk to counties that have keystone 1. Jobs? check out :
    The jobs claims are pure fantasy.The Global Labor Institute does not endorse this fraud. Makes hash out of representative John Behnors claims of unions endorsing this scheme.
    The more information that leaks out the more evidence there is that this is nothing more than a scheme to increase profits. The public gets the shaft. With no public good, what is the legal ramification of using eminent domain? It becomes illegal, no eminent domain means no pipeline.

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