04 April 2012

President Obama Is Playing Politics With Pipelines

This article is adapted from an earlier posting at Al Fin Energy


Canadians are wondering why Mr. Obama has to make simple trade issues so complicated. By obstructing much of the potential flow of Canadian oil southward, Mr. Obama opens entirely new cans of worms which did not need to be opened.
The [Keystone XL] pipeline decision was delayed until after the presidential election so Obama wouldn’t have to offend his environmental supporters while he seeks re-election. None of the excuses offered for the delay holds water: The chosen route for the project through a valuable aquifer was no great threat, the project had passed crucial safety tests, and the area is already criss-crossed by a large network of other pipelines. It was all about politics.

But the result of the decisions is the quandary now facing the president: The U.S. needs oil one way or another. Whatever the long-range attractions of reducing dependency on fossil fuels, the world isn’t going to switch to biofuels and solar power overnight, and a secure supply of oil will remain crucial for decades to come.

The source of that fuel is critical to the U.S. The problems with Iran are a perfect demonstration of that: in the absence of a friendly, secure, reliable supplier, the U.S. is forced to look to places like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. After Canada and Mexico, the top suppliers to the U.S. are Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Nigeria, Angola and Iraq. Not one real democracy in the lot, all of them with serious political and stability issues. and none of them right next door.

Canada, on the other hand, is just across the border, is a close friend and ally of the U.S., and is both ready and eager to ensure a reliable increase in supply. But Washington’s willingness to play games with the Keystone project has only served to increase Ottawa’s awareness of the need to find other customers.

...Mr. Obama could have avoided all this by accepting the self-evident benefit to the U.S. of getting Keystone built as quickly as possible. Instead he’s got to juggle Saudi capacity against Iranian vengefulness, and the long-term implications of a risky sanctions plan that could blow up in the face of its supporters.

Relying on his friends in Canada would have been so much easier. _NP_
Enbridge has recently announced the expansion of its pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, to provide an alternative pathway for Canadian oilsands in the wake of the recent Obama rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline northern leg.
Enbridge Oil Sands Alternative via Chicago

When Obama took executive action to prevent the upper leg of the Keystone XL pipeline, environmentalists celebrated as if they had won a victory. But there may be more involved in the story than what was printed in the newspapers or broadcast on the airways and cable channels. Whenever an economic decision is made by a government, sceptical people always ask: "Who benefits?"

Brian Westenhaus takes a look at the recent Enbridge announcement that it is expanding its pipeline network to provide an alternative pathway to the Gulf of Mexico for Canadian oilsands.

Oil flowing through Illinois is subject to local fees and taxes, which enrich the many corrupt FOOs (friends of Obama) who have taken up positions of power there. But one must also wonder what goes on behind the scenes before such a decision is even made.
Keystone XL Bypasses Chicago
As you can see if you follow the dotted green line representing the Keystone XL pipeline, the pipeline which Obama is stonewalling does not come anywhere close to Illinois or Chicago. In that sense, the pipeline is no good to Obama or all the crazy FOOs in that corrupt state. Unlike the alternative pipeline plan recently announced by Enbridge. Politics can be a byzantine affair, twisted and labyrinthine in its ways of distributing power and money to those who please the king.

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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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