More Talk And Still No Action

- March 15, 2013

Obama Will Talk Energy In Illinois Despite Inaction On Keystone And Waging War On Coal


Today Obama Will Travel To Chicago's Argonne National Laboratory To Address The Nation's Energy Policy. "The private meeting came ahead of a trip planned for March 15 to the Argonne National Laboratory outside of Chicago that will focus on energy, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters." (Roberta Rampton, "Obama To Address Energy In Illinois Trip After Meeting Leaders," Reuters, 3/8/13)

Illinois Is The Midwest's Oil "Hub" With "Over A Dozen Interstate Natural Gas Pipelines" And "Several Petroleum And Petroleum Product Pipelines" In The State. "Illinois is a key transportation hub for crude oil and natural gas moving throughout North America, with over a dozen interstate natural gas pipelines, two natural gas market centers, several petroleum and petroleum product pipelines, and an oil port. Illinois led the Midwest in crude oil refining capacity and ranked fourth in the Nation in 2011." (Illinois State Profile And Energy Estimates, U.S. Energy Information Administration, Accessed 3/14/13)

"In 2010, Illinois Ranked Third In Recoverable Coal Reserves At Producing Mines In The Nation." (Illinois State Profile And Energy Estimates, U.S. Energy Information Administration, Accessed 3/14/13)


Obama Has Yet To Make A Decision On The Keystone XL Pipeline And Is "Still Weighing A Decision." "Obama told Republicans at the Capitol that he's still weighing a decision on the pipeline, which would carry oil from western Canada to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast." (Matthew Daly, "Obama: Keystone XL Pipeline Not Major Jobs Creator," The Associated Press, 3/13/13)

After Nearly Two Years Of Waiting, Obama Assured Republicans That "A Decision On The Keystone XL Oil Sands Pipeline Will Arrive Soon." "President Obama told House Republicans that a decision on the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline will arrive soon, but lawmakers emerged from their meeting with Obama split over whether or not he suggested that he's leaning toward approval." (Ben Geman, "Obama: Pipeline Decision Coming Soon," The Hill, 3/13/13)

Obama Has A History Of Punting On Keystone

In 2011, Obama Delayed Making A Decision On The Keystone XL Pipeline Until After The 2012 Election. " The Obama administration on Thursday said it was delaying a decision on the contested Keystone XL pipeline while it studies an alternate route through Nebraska, effectively pushing any action well past the 2012 election and into 2013."(John M. Broder and Dan Frosch, "U.S. Delays Decision On Pipeline Until After Election," The New York Times, 11/10/11)

  • The Pipeline Put Obama In A "Political Vise." "The proposed project by a Canadian pipeline company had put President Obama in a political vise, squeezed between the demand for secure energy sources and the thousands of jobs the project will bring, and the loud opposition of environmental advocates who have threatened to withhold electoral support next year if he approves it." (John M. Broder and Dan Frosch, "U.S. Delays Decision On Pipeline Until After Election," The New York Times, 11/10/11)
  • Obama Put The Pipeline Decision Off Until After The Election To Avoid "Further Alienation" Of Key Voter Blocs. "The administration had in recent days been exploring ways to put off the decision until after the presidential election, fearing further alienation of environmental and health advocates who consider the pipeline decision a test of the Obama administration's commitment to clean energy and air quality." (John M. Broder and Dan Frosch, "U.S. Delays Decision On Pipeline Until After Election," The New York Times, 11/10/11)

In 2012, Obama Rejected A Bid To Expand The Keystone Pipeline. "The Obama administration rejected a bid to expand the controversial Keystone oil sands pipeline Wednesday, saying the deadline imposed by congress did not leave sufficient time to conduct the necessary review." ("Obama Administration Denies Permit For Keystone Pipeline," CNN's Political Ticker, 1/18/12)

  • "The Obama Administration Today Formally Rejected A Bid By Canadian Energy Company TransCanada To Build A $7 Billion Oil Pipeline Linking The Tar Sands Of Alberta To Refineries On The Gulf Of Mexico." (Jake Tapper, Kirit Radia, John Parkinson, and Devin Dwyer, "President Obama Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline," ABC News, 1/18/12)
  • The Decision To Kill Keystone Was "No Brainer Election-Year Politics" To Appease The Party's Donor Base And Environmental Advocates. "The decision was predictable simply because it was politically beneficial to all parties involved as they gear up for a 2012 campaign likely to be decided by voter enthusiasm and untold corporate millions, operatives on both sides of the issue say. The GOP has an issue that resonates with independents paying $3.50 a gallon for gas and the petroleum industry likely to pump millions into Republican campaigns and super PACs. And for all the pounding he's taking from Republicans, industry and labor unions, Obama's decision Wednesday is no-brainer election-year politics. Democrats outside the West Wing and Chicago-based campaign say the politics were clear: With the exceptions of the grousing unions (who will have no choice but to support him in 2012), the party's donor base, environmental advocates down to their hybrid SUVs oppose the pipeline." (Glenn Thrush and Darren Samuelsohn, "Keystone Call A Political Win-Win," Politico, 1/18/12)

Obama Has "No Real Scientific Reason To Reject" Keystone

The State Department Concluded That "There Would Be No Significant Environmental Impact To Most Resources Along The Proposed Pipeline Route." "A draft environmental report released by the State Department this month said there would be no significant environmental impact to most resources along the proposed pipeline route, which goes through Montana, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas." (Matthew Daly, "Obama: Keystone XL Pipeline Not Major Jobs Creator," The Associated Press, 3/13/13)

  • "The State Department Gave The Pipeline's Revised Route A Boost Earlier This Month With A Report That Didn't Find Major Environmental Risks." (Keith Johnson, "Exports Deepen Debate Over Keystone XL Pipeline," The Wall Street Journal, 3/14/13)

The State Department's Conclusion "Leaves President Barack Obama With No Real Scientific Reason To Reject" The Keystone Pipeline. "The State Department's long-awaited environmental report on the Keystone XL pipeline leaves President Barack Obama with no real scientific reason to reject the nation's most fiercely debated energy project." (Talia Buford and Darren Goode, "State Dept. Keystone Report Plays Down Climate Fears," Politico, 3/1/13)

The State Department Concluded That Keystone Construction "Would Support 42,100 Indirect Jobs And 3,900 Direct Jobs" And "Bring In Wages Of About $2.05 Billion." "The report said the pipeline's construction would support 42,100 indirect jobs and 3,900 direct jobs during the one- to two-year construction period, which would bring in wages of about $2.05 billion, as well as another $3.3 billion in other spending." (Talia Buford and Darren Goode, "State Dept. Keystone Report Plays Down Climate Fears," Politico, 3/1/13)

  • "The State Department Has Estimated The Project Would Create About 5,000 To 6,000 Jobs." (Matthew Daly, "Obama: Keystone XL Pipeline Not Major Jobs Creator," The Associated Press, 3/13/13)

The Keystone Pipeline Even Has Support From Labor Unions

Four Labor Unions Reached A Tentative Agreement To Build The Pipeline Because They Say It Will Directly Create As Many As 20,000 High Wage Jobs For Their Members. "In September 2010, four unions - the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry of the United States and Canada; the Laborers International Union of North America; the Teamsters; and the International Union of Operating Engineers - reached a tentative project labor agreement with TransCanada to build the pipeline, which is now finalized. They say the project will directly generate as many as 20,000 high-wage jobs for their members." (Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson, "Obama's Allies' Interests Collide Over Keystone Pipeline," The Washington Post, 10/16/11)

  • The Pipeline Has Support From Four Unions. "The oil industry, 14 U.S. senators and four unions representing 2.6 million workers have pushed for swift approval of the pipeline, which they said would help keep energy costs down, stimulate $20 billion in spending for the U.S. economy and spur creation of 118,000 jobs." (David Lerman & Jim Efstathiou Jr., "TransCanada Pipeline's Environment Risk Limited, U.S. Finds," Bloomberg, 8/26/11)


The Wall Street Journal: "For Three Years The Environmental Protection Agency Has Imposed A De Facto Ban On New Coal-Fired Power While Doing Everything It Can To Harm Existing Coal Plants." (Editorial, "Killing Coal," The Wall Street Journal, 4/5/12)

  • The Wall Street Journal: "The Agency Is Conceding That Coal Development Has Been Shut Down As A Result Of Its Many New Regulations, Such As The Recent Mercury Rule And The Illegal Permitting Delays That A Federal Appeals Court Slapped Down Last Week." (Editorial, "Killing Coal," The Wall Street Journal, 4/5/12)

As Head Of The EPA's Clean Air Division, Gina McCarthy Has "Been A Central Player In Developing Greenhouse-Gas Rules." "She has already been a central player in developing greenhouse-gas rules proposed last year that would effectively rule out new coal-fired power plants using existing commercially viable technology." (Tennille Tracy, Keith Johnson, and Ryan Tracy, "Insider Emerges As Top Contender For EPA Job," The Wall Street Journal, 2/14/13)

  • At Obama's EPA, McCarthy Took On "Much Of The Heavy Lifting Of Writing, Structuring, And Implementing" "Controversial New Climate And Clean Air Rules." "EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has taken most of the fire from Republicans as her agency rolls out a slew of controversial new climate and clean air rules. But McCarthy, the EPA assistant administrator of the Office of Air and Radiation, has taken on much of the heavy lifting of writing, structuring, and implementing the rules." (Coral Davenport, "EPA Official Was Romney's 'Green Quarterback,'" National Journal, 9/22/11)

McCarthy "Helped Fashion Tough New Emissions Standards" That "Would Make It Virtually Impossible To Build Any New Coal-Fired Power Plants In The United States." "As a senior E.P.A. official in Mr. Obama's first term, she helped fashion tough new emissions standards for cars and light trucks, tightened standards for mercury and other harmful pollutants in the air, and issued the first proposed regulations for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas pollutants for new power plants. Those new rules would make it virtually impossible to build any new coal-fired power plants in the United States." (John Broder and Matthew Wald, "Obama To Nominate New Heads For Energy Department And EPA," The New York Times, 3/4/13)

McCarthy Is In Charge Of Writing New EPA Emissions Rules That "Would Essentially Bar Construction Of Any New Coal-Fired Power Plants." "The E.P.A., which the Supreme Court granted authority to regulate carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases, is in the midst of writing regulations governing such emissions from new power plants. Those rules, expected to be completed this year, would essentially bar construction of any new coal-fired power plants unless they included the means to capture carbon gases, a technology that does not yet exist on a commercial scale." (John Broder and Matthew Wald, "Cabinet Picks Could Take On Climate Policy," The New York Times, 3/5/13)

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