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Biden’s Foolish Sabotage of the Keystone Pipeline

Posted on Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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by Outside Contributor
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14 Comments
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Joe Biden has not yet been sworn in, but already, he is at war with American energy — which is to say, at war with American prosperity. Biden has promised to sabotage the Keystone XL pipeline, a privately financed, multi-billion-dollar project already under way, and “cancel it on his first day,” according to a briefing document cited by the BBC.

The Keystone pipeline would, if it were allowed to, carry crude from the oil sands of Alberta to Nebraska, where the pipeline would link up with the existing distribution network to send that oil on to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. This would benefit Canadian producers and their investors, American refineries and their large, excellently paid work forces — those good, high-paying, blue-collar jobs Biden talks about — and, most important, American consumers, who would have access to yet another source of fuel at attractive prices from a nearby friendly country. This sort of thing is the point of international economic cooperation.

The notional case against Keystone is environmental in the main part, and in the lesser part an issue of Indian lands and rights. The environmental case is unsound: Canada has ratified the Paris agreement and takes environmental issues relatively seriously. Innovation and technological improvements have substantially reduced the greenhouse-gas emissions associated with Canadian tar-sands productions — by 30 percent since the 1990s, as the Canadian government calculates. Of course, it matters relatively little whether a gallon of gasoline in the tank of a Cadillac Escalade in Houston is refined from Canadian tar-sands oil or from West Texas oil — the relevant emissions come overwhelmingly from the point of combustion.

Of course there are environmental challenges associated with the oil sands, as there are with any usable source of energy, including wind and solar. These are regulatory and practical challenges that are perfectly manageable. (Which is not the same thing as a guarantee that U.S. or Canadian authorities, or businesses, will manage them perfectly — that kind of oversight is hard work and a serious business.) The same is true of “fracking” and other petroleum-extraction practices. There are many reasonable ways to manage tradeoffs between economic development and environmental priorities — if environmentalists were interested in reasonable tradeoffs, which they aren’t. Biden, already looking over his shoulder at a restive progressive caucus, apparently intends to buy environmentalists off with other people’s money.

Why?

Fossil fuels, far from being the great villain of the climate story, have been the main source of greenhouse-gas reductions in the United States over the past several decades, as relatively clean-burning natural gas displaces relatively dirty coal in electricity generation. But that is not the kind of intelligent tradeoff that interests American environmentalists, who are moralists and romantics and committed to the notion that hydrocarbon fuels are, simply, evil — and that they must be fought on every front. Hence, the American Left’s comprehensive and total war on any and all infrastructure associated with our most abundant energy sources — not only oil pipelines but natural-gas pipelines, too, along with rail-shipping facilities, refineries and other plants, and West Coast export depots intended to help U.S. producers in Asian markets. If it produces, consumes, moves, or processes oil or gas, the American Left opposes it. If Joe Biden is interested in improving the employment and wage outlook for middle-class Americans, he ought not make our industrial, chemical, manufacturing, transportation, and electricity sectors hostage to the narrow-minded concerns of a small group of fanatics.

There is a worrying Hayekian lesson in this, too: It is impossible for American businesses to make big, long-term investments in a political environment in which every project is up for renegotiation — or summary economic execution — every time the White House changes hands. Why invest in building and moving physical goods, and taking on the political risk that goes along with such investments, when you could join the booming financial sector and put your money into the money business? This is not to sniff at finance or other work in the service economy, but, surely, in a continental nation as vast as ours, with an economy as complex as ours, it shouldn’t be possible for one man serving a short term in a temporary elected office to undo years of work and billions of dollars in investment. This is pure foolishness, and it will cost us.

Joe Biden is getting ready to get off to a poor start. And if he thinks that he can buy off the green lobby by sacrificing Keystone, he is mistaken. Their ambitions are bigger and broader than that, and they will not be easily satisfied: L’appétit vient en mangeant.

If you were wondering who actually has Joe Biden’s ear, now you know.

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Kim
Kim
3 years ago

If Joe the Demented jumped into an empty pool, that might help. This and all his other liberal notions will bite all of us in the derriere.
Start taking notes, so we can be reminded what we got ourselves into. C’est dommage.

PaulE
PaulE
3 years ago

The Democrat manifesto clearly articulated that ALL fossil fuels and their means of transportation (pipelines, rail cars, tanker trucks, etc.) would be targeted for shutdown and permanent ban should the Democrats win. So why is it somehow shocking that Senile Joe will be signing an executive order to shutdown the XL pipeline?

Democrats are bold enough to tell everyone exactly what they intend to do, if they get into a position of power, well in advance of that becoming reality. The media championed a Democrat war on oil, natural gas and anything NOT strictly wind or solar based as great news for months and months. Well now the Dems will do exactly what they said they would do, starting with the XL pipeline.

Elections have consequences. Even ones that were “won” fraudulently. So strap in and enjoy the ride down America. This is just the start.

GT Patriot
GT Patriot
3 years ago

Biden and foolish. These two go together. You will see these two words joined frequently
in the next 4 years.

GT Patriot
GT Patriot
3 years ago

PaulE is right. We let this happen and now we deserve the punishment. And the dims are ready to give it to us. We are sadists.

GT Patriot
GT Patriot
3 years ago

Can’t wait for those planeloads carrying billions in cash to resume their flights to Iran. Suck it up.
All those who are employable must get a second job to pay for this. We don’t have the right to be
lazy.

Paul
Paul
3 years ago

Obama! Of the liberal idiots,who voted for Joe Blow and Camala. I hope you enjoy, having sky high taxes to pay for all this free Medicare for all.
Free college tuition for all, Green New Deal, Being told how much and when you can drive your car. The extremely high cost of Foreighn based fuels.
Socialism does not work.
God Bless America!

Paul
Paul
3 years ago

The positive part of all this is: Buyers Remorse on the Liberals when they lose there freedoms too!

John A. Fallon
John A. Fallon
3 years ago

chinajoe will DESTROY AMERICAS energy independance and give huge contracts to OUR ENEMIES,
That is what the deals hunter made are all about, the biden crime family WILL PROFIT from thier stocks in foriegn energy companies, so will ALL THE GREEDY TREASONOUS POLITICIANS, both parties are working together, THAT is what the SWAMP is all about, they ALL went into politics NOT TO SERVE, but to get filthy RICH!!!! WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!

Eddie
Eddie
3 years ago

Joe Biden is unable to reason anything out logically. He has no ideas of his own. Only thing he can do is reenact Obama policies and undo Trump policies. Other than that, his brain draws a blank.

Rick
Rick
3 years ago

Rick. If the poor soul is having mental difficulties, we fellow citizens should pray for him, and for our country. Pray that our country as well as our allies make the right decisions in he upcoming elections.

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