Oil Lobbyist Publicly Warns President Obama; XL Pipeline or Lose Presidency?

I just wrote about the GOP holding the payroll tax bill hostage for the XL Pipeline, http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2011/12/congressional-allies-of-big-oil-hold-payroll-tax-bill-hostage-to-extort-xl-pipeline-deal/.  And now an oil industry lobbyist, Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, warns President Obama, “It would be a “huge mistake” (very Soprano like), for President Barack Obama to reject the 1,700-mile, Canada-to-Texas pipeline. Obama faces a Feb. 21 deadline to decide whether the $7 billion pipeline is in the national interest.” He went on to say that some 15 unions were backing the pipeline because of jobs, which I assume will be the issue—JOBS vs. ENVIRONMENT.  However,  many union members are against the pipeline, and especially Hoffa of the Teamsters:

Global warming is for real. Air pollution is killing people and making our children sick. And you know what? We share some of the blame. In the past, we were forced to make a false choice. The choice was: Good Jobs or a Clean Environment. We were told no pollution meant no jobs. If we wanted clean air, the economy would suffer and jobs would be sent overseas. Well guess what? We let the big corporations pollute and the jobs went overseas anyway. We didn’t enforce environmental regulations and the economy still went in the toilet. The middle class got decimated and the environment is on the brink of disaster. Well I say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! No more false divides. The future, if we are to prosper as a nation, will lie in a green economy.


Gerard reiterated that it was in the national interest to erect the pipeline (just like Hoffa stated happened before) and, “Gerard said the oil group has teamed up with at least 15 unions to support the pipeline, which would create thousands of jobs.” So let’s see the roll call on those unions. Are Teamsters involved after all and speaking from both sides of their mouth too?


Um, someone really should tell both the oil industry and politicians involved that we are in a technical age and cannot lie about jobs lost from not erecting the pipeline. It was  just 1 ½ months ago Trans Canada retracted their statements about all the direct and indirect jobs created. The Washington Post broke the story:

TransCanada chief executive Russ Girling said Friday that the three-year review process has already imposed costs on his company, including $1.9 billion on pipe and other equipment stored in warehouses.

The carrying costs on those are material, and we continue to incur those costs,” he said, adding that further delays beyond the end of the year could force U.S. refineries that have signed contracts with TransCanada to look at alternatives, either other sources of supply or other transport means.

[]A key question for the administration is how many jobs the Keystone XL project would create. TransCanada’s initial estimate of 20,000 — which it said includes 13,000 direct construction jobs and 7,000 jobs among supply manufacturers — has been widely quoted by lawmakers and presidential candidates.

Girling said Friday that the 13,000 figure was “one person, one year,” meaning that if the construction jobs lasted two years, the number of people employed in each of the two years would be 6,500. That brings the company’s number closer to the State Department’s; State says the project would create 5,000 to 6,000 construction jobs, a figure that was calculated by its contractor Cardno Entrix.

As for the 7,000 indirect supply chain jobs, the $1.9 billion already spent by TransCanada would reduce the number of jobs that would be created in the future. The Brixton Group, a firm working with opponents of the project, has argued that many of the indirect supply jobs would be outside the United States because about $1.7 billion worth of steel will be purchased from a Russian-owned mill in Canada.


On top of the admission that the jobs just aren’t there, I already posted that the oil is not meant for us but China and that Canada wants more money from the U.S. for its tar sands oil but has to create demand to do so and that means getting it to Asia.


So there you have it. Lies about jobs relative to the XL pipeline have been resurrected, as well as, lies about boosting the U.S. economy through our supply chain. I read a comment on one blogsite by a Canadian that stated they felt bad the U.S. was falling for the jobs claim when Canadians were promised the most jobs from the project, not Americans. Hmmm. Pushing for jobs wouldn’t be as bad if some of the biggest leaders in our oil industry had not already admitted greenhouse gases contribute to climate change. They know perfectly well that pushing for the pipeline will more than likely cause a magnitude of natural disaster down the line but hey money comes first and apparently China.










XL Pipeline Gets New Commitments Although Top Oil Companies Admitted Greenhouse Gas Causes Climate Change; A Travesty for Our Future

The XL Pipeline appears to be a done deal if you search the Internet. The links I’ve referenced below are all pretty much the same with breaking news that additional commitments have been made with TransCanada to deliver tar sands oil via the XL Pipeline from Canada to Houston. What ALL of the articles fail to disclose is just who these “new” commitments are? Is it U.S. big oil, the Koch Brothers, China, who? Did these new binding commitments come from GOP members of our congress that attached the XL Pipeline rider to the Payroll Tax Cut bill? None of the articles relate anything about the new attachment to the Payroll Tax Cuts but it sure seems a coincidence the rider appeared a few days ago and then TransCanada made its announcement about new commitments.

An article in the Vancouver Sun http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Keystone
about TransCanada’s CEO Russ Girling
pretty much says the same but that he wants no part of the wrangling going on in congress over it. Suuuuuuurrrrre. Liar. TransCanada has been lobbying big time for this pipeline. After the demonstrations against the pipeline TransCanada knew it would more than likely come to an act of congress to get their wish. That 100 million dollar sucker their dangling in front of us as a big benefit to the U.S. will never make it to the average citizen. Any profits will go to big oil’s coffers and fuel a backlash for more dirty energy. As for us, the gas at the pump will go sky high. Truth is Canada has been rubbing its palms together to raise prices at the pump for its oil to the U.S. for awhile. The plan is to create greater demand for the dirty crude by shipping it directly to Asia. A billion waiting consumers in China will do the trick.

Read about it:


This is going to get nasty before it gets better. Using jobs to extort new filthy energy after big oil including Exxon admitted greenhouse gases contribute to climate change is suicide. And they want to take us with them. Oh we’ll have pocketfuls of money according to the pipeline supporters. Another suuuuurrrre!!! What good will that do against the wrath of Mother Nature in the end? And the trip to that end will be filled with more strange autoimmune diseases for our children due to pollution not to mention asthma and lung related problems. If we really liked the downpours, flooding, drought, and fires we’ve been experiencing there will surely be encore productions of that too.

Not long ago Exxon Mobil stated:

The world faces a significant challenge to supply the energy required for economic development and improved standards of living while managing greenhouse gas emissions and the risks of climate change, said Emil Jacobs, vice president of research and development at Exxon Mobil Research and Engineering Co. It’s going to take integrated solutions and the development of all commercially viable energy sources, improved energy efficiency and effective steps to curb emissions. It is also going to include the development of new technology.


Conoco Phillips stated:

ConocoPhillips recognizes that human activity, including the burning of fossil fuels, is contributing to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that can lead to adverse changes in global climate


Royal Dutch Shell stated:

Royal Dutch Shell’s PLS chief said the implementation of climate change agreements made at Cancun last month “won’t happen overnight”, and policymakers must take action now “because the clock is ticking.


Links to articles about the “new commitments” to the XL Pipeline:





Congressional Allies of Big Oil Hold Payroll Tax Bill Hostage to Extort XL Pipeline Deal

That’s right. It is what it is and we’ve seen this act for quite a while. Riders that are detrimental to the environment and wildlife attached to important bills like the one that threw wolves under the bus are a regular occurrence in a far too corporate friendly congress these days. The Sierra Club, SaveOurEnvironment, and other environmental groups report that this morning congressional allies of big oil attached a rider to the Payroll Tax Cut bill “to ignore public input, good science and environmental laws and fast-track a decision on the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline in the next 60 days.”

I have to ask whether the country is ours any longer? It hasn’t been but a month since citizens showed up en masse to surround the White House protesting the XL pipeline because it’s an attack on clean air, is bound for Asia, not us, and it will ultimately hike our prices for gas at the pump when demand from a billion people happens.

I have to think this decision comes on the heels of China and Trans Canada’s inability to forge an alternate route for the dirty tar sands oil through British Columbia and exit to Asia through the ports there. As I wrote, British Columbia was being eyed as an alternate route for the tar sands pipeline as more and more resistance for it became apparent in the U.S. http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2011/11/xl-pipeline-looks-to-be-a-good-deal-for-china-not-americans-alternate-route-through-british-columbia-being-considered/. British Columbia citizens were up in arms and just recently First Nations of British Columbia, (native ancestry in the B.C. Canada area) banned the transport of tar sands oil across their land. http://www.tarsandsaction.org/bc-nations-unite-declare-province-wide-opposition-crude-oil-pipeline-tanker-expansion/.

So it appears pressure has been put back on us for “CHINA’S TAR SAND OIL.” And what is the U. S. supposed to say when we’re entangled with the communist country and a debtor to them? This is just the taste of the “nothing good” that will come of relations between us and China in the future when China infringes more and more on our land, wildlife, and citizen’s property. Remember eminent domain can happen anywhere along that XL pipeline meaning a U.S. citizen loses part of his/her property for the good of China and the profit of big oil. The citizen will only get the going market rate on his/her property that he/she didn’t want to give up to begin with. It’s treasonous to me that a citizen can lose his/her U.S. property to a foreign country.

Send a message to your senators now to stand strong against the XL Tar Sands Pipeline. It’s Canada’s problem.



Kudos to Michigan State Students for Protesting Fossil Fuel and Participation in 100 Actions for 100% Clean Energy

It’s not well known that Michigan State University is home to the largest on campus coalburner in the country. Students there see the hypocrisy in a big Go Green campaign on campus when their coalburner burns 200,000 tons of coal per year and the opposite of anything green.

The students are mad. They know their future is being destroyed because of unfettered pollution. They also know that outcries by the American public to follow science, not politics or business, in making decisions for the environment and therefore our health are being overlooked because of the political clout big energy carries in our nation.

I haven’t run across much mainstream press over this protest yet but give a big, big KUDOS to State students for bringing the environment and their future to the forefront. Watch:


Look Who’s Doin all the CO2 Pollutin in the U.S.

Many would think the industrialized north would be spewing forth most of the CO2 pollution in the U.S. but it looks like the southeast currently wins that race hands down. It appears the states that continue to defend polluting industry spew the most pollution. If they could just keep it to themselves…

The map is from researchers at Purdue University. According to an article on sciencecentric.com:

The maps and system, called Vulcan, show CO2 emissions at more than 100 times more detail than was available before. Until now, data on carbon dioxide emissions were reported, in the best cases, monthly at the level of an entire state. The Vulcan model examines CO2 emissions at local levels on an hourly basis.

Researchers say the maps also are more accurate than previous data because they are based on greenhouse gas emissions instead of estimates based on population in areas of the United States.

Read the whole story: http://www.sciencecentric.com/news/08040838-revolutionary-carbon-dioxide-maps-zoom-in-on-greenhouse-gas-sources.html.


Murkowski Bill Defeated

The Murkowski bill meant to strip the EPA of its authority to regulate green house gases failed in the senate today 53/47. According to grist.org, “Every one of the Senate’s 41 Republicans — including ‘moderates’ considered possible ‘Yes’ votes for climate legislation — voted in favor of it, along with six Democrats: Mary Landrieu (La.), Blanche Lincoln (Ark.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Ben Nelson (N.D.), Evan Bayh (Ind.), and Jay Rockefeller (W.Va.).”

The idea behind not only this bill but one introduced by Jay Rockefeller earlier is to put authority to regulate greenhouse gases in the hands of congress not in the hands of what many referred to as an “unregulated agency” regarding the EPA. Imagine the lobbyists that will be unleashed? As far as the EPA being an unregulated agency, yahoo.answers.com states:

The EPA is an independent agency, but in practical real terms the Agency must answer to Congress, the President, the nation. Congress funds the programs, and the Agency must be responsive to congressional inquiries, and the laws they establish. The political appointees are responsive to the President. Also, OMB (office of mgt and budget) is a player in the mix.

If the push to get regulating away from the EPA and in the hands of congress succeeds before the end of the year, (the EPA can regulate greenhouse gas emissions in January of 2011), more than likely the the cap and trade program will be implemented by congress and it will be forever before polluting industry gets around to reducing their emissions. Example, the acid rain program is a cap and trade program that caps emissions for SO2 and NOx. Phase 1 began in 95. Phase 2 in 2000. SO2 scrubbers are just now being installed in coalburners? Many in congress believe that cap and trade is a good enough incentive to curb emissions quickly—not so much.

And according to the Grist, The cap-and-trade system in the climate bill is run by the EPA, as a title under the Clean Air Act . So we’re back to the EPA again anyway.

Read more about it:





Clean Air Under Attack; Bill Written by Lobbyists May Come Up for Vote This Week

While we still don’t know how badly the pollution from oil in the Gulf will play out, our clean air is under attack. I wrote a blog about Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski’s amendment that would pretty much trash the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Coal lobbyists wrote the amendment. It’s pretty much a Republican bill with 35 Republicans and 3 Democrats from fossil fuel states backing it. How is this in American’s best interest? Deregulation is at the heart of industry’s problem with cleaning up and that abuse eventually makes its way to us. Industry is run by numbers and that’s all industry cares about. There is no ethical consideration for people’s health and welfare in the mix. Our health is measured by industry in parts per million, a little toxicity here, a little there. If our health were a consideration we wouldn’t have tainted food, toys, tap/well water or be in a battle over clean air like this. I just heard reports about the relationship between air pollution and heart attacks last week, but this is going ahead.

Murkowski calls the move by the EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions back door politics. Massachusetts vs. EPA in 2007 was an epic decision by a conservative Supreme Court to curb CO2 emissions. All was passed by congress. The public was well aware of it. The Clean Air Act specifically DIRECTS the EPA to regulate air pollution that poses health/safety risks for citizens. So the coal industry with the aid of Murkowski, wrote legislation to stop the EPA. If Murkowski and the coal lobby can do this, why can’t someone undo the Supreme Court decision to allow corporations to contribute to campaign funds? Why is that decision a done deal, but Massachusetts vs. EPA not?



Email your Senators/Reps to uphold the Supreme Court decision and the Clean Air Act for our own good. If we don’t look out for ourselves, our health, who will? Industry sure doesn’t “have our back.” This will be a very close decision and shouldn’t be taken lightly.


Sign petition:


The Coal Lobby Intensifies

There was a congressional hearing on April 14th about the future of coal in a “new energy age.” Considering the recent mining disaster and 60 serious safety violations found in a short time afterward, one would think the coal industry would at very least layback for a while. We don’t expect coal would give up the fight but they could acknowledge the need to find a cleaner way of doing business in the near future possibly without coal if carbon sequestering doesn’t pan out. We expect they would invest in an alternative just in case. Even a straggler like Exxon Mobil finally invested in algae fuels. Smart move. They understand fuel. But according to oilprice.com, “Mike Carey, president of the Ohio Coal Association, accused Congress and regulators of conducting a ‘war on coal’ by imposing tougher limits on carbon emissions. He criticized the Environmental Protection Agency’s ‘endangerment finding’ about carbon dioxide emissions, which enable the regulator to take action without legislation.” Basically, they whined instead.

The 4 coal industry representatives present were admonished for “resisting measures to reduce carbon emissions and were compared to auto executives who ignored the need for change until it was too late.” I don’t remember our auto industry claiming “a war on American autos” though and they have to tow the line with emission standards set by the EPA. Instead of whining, American automakers progressed and fast. Ford didn’t borrow any money and still bumped it up a notch because competition was doing the same. That turned out well for them. It really isn’t a fair playing field to expect our auto industry to literally change overnight and not other polluting industries, which are far worse. Also, our utilities industry always threatens to pass the costs on to us whenever they get taxed or have to make changes. Just look at the commercials about taxes and oil. We don’t have the luxury of buying elsewhere like we do with cars. It’s not a free market in that sense.

Unlike the auto industry, the coal industry got a reprieve for a year from the likes of the EPA. That’s one year to lobby, wage a media blitz about coal, and continue the propaganda campaign that they’ve been accused of since the mid 2000’s. And oh that campaign money will go far here to insure the right people are in place to assist in stripping the EPA of its power to enforce the Clean Air Act on coal.

And that’s what some in the coal industry really want, to disprove the endangerment finding, the big stall. Gotta laugh at just how long they want to stall. The coal reps stated the industry wants Congress to forgo any further restrictions while it “develops carbon capture and sequestration technology, which is an untested technology and a minimum of 15 to 20 years away.” Are you kidding me, wait 15-20 years before putting restrictions on coal emissions when it’s the largest source of pollution?

The coal industry was reminded in the meeting that new power plants were powered by wind and no new coal plants have broke ground. The coal reps were warned that the rest of the energy world was moving to a lower-carbon future and the coal industry headed for an “inexorable decline.”

The coal industry vowed to fight of course. They have some hurdles to overcome, “On April 17, 2009, the [EPA] Administrator signed proposed endangerment and cause or contribute findings for greenhouse gases under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act. EPA held a 60-day public comment period, which ended June 23, 2009, and received over 380,000 public comments. These included both written comments as well as testimony at two public hearings in Arlington, Virginia and Seattle, Washington. EPA carefully reviewed, considered, and incorporated public comments and has now issued these final findings which pave the way for regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.”

That’s a lot of comments to overcome and the period open for discussion is closed. But Big Coal has enough lobby power to reopen the discussion. Senator Markey remarked, “While the rest of the energy world is already moving to a lower-carbon future, people wonder whether the coal industry is stuck in another time.”

We’ll see how this plays out. The coal lobby has made the biggest dent in their favor in the senate energy bill. Since coal is the biggest polluter that doesn’t say much for the bill.


Clean coal lobbying blitz: http://www.publicintegrity.org/investigations/climate_change/articles/

About the EPA and comments: http://www.animallawcoalition.com/farm-animals/article/1128


Independent Scientists to Examine IPCC’s Processes and Procedures

An independent panel is set to scrutinize the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It comes on the heels of the hacked emails of top IPCC scientists in England, a bad report about the rate of Himalayan glacier melt, and arguments by deniers that all is not up to par with IPCC reports.

So according to an ENS article, “A multinational organization of the world’s science academies will conduct an independent review of processes and procedures used by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to arrive at its reports on the science of climate change.” This organization is the IAC or Inter Academy Council that will pick the expert panel of scientists “to examine every aspect of how the IPCC’s reports are prepared, including the use of non-peer reviewed literature and the reflection of diverse viewpoints.”

The article further stated, “The review will be led by the IAC co-chairs Robbert Dijkgraaf, PhD, president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Science, and Professor Lu Yongxiang, president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.”

Dijkgraaf said in that article, “‘Our goal will be to assure nations around the world that they will receive sound, definitive scientific advice on which governments and citizens alike can make informed decisions.'” The word assure looks to be definitive.

After reading the whole article, it doesn’t appear the IPCC is at all deterred by any of this. It seems they invite the scrutiny so that their next report improves. It’s not exactly an admission of guilt. It looks like all the fuss by deniers that there is a big cover up about omissions of data that should be investigated is happening; the bluff has been called. Will everyone unite after this major investigation? Sheesh, doubtful. What happens if the independent panel finds there is very little wrong or that what is in error in the IPCC reports does not alter the fact that climate change is accelerating and it is fueled by excessive manmade pollution/emissions?

In preemptive defense of this independent council because deniers are going to sling arrows in every direction anyway, the article stated the experts aren’t paid by anyone, which removes motivation other than making sure data is correct and interpreted properly. As a matter of fact, they are “pro bono volunteers who are not under obligation to any government, the IPCC, or the United Nations.” Pro bono means “done for the public good without compensation.” The UN will fund only the travel and meeting expenses. In other words, the guy’s in the hot seat have to pick up the tab.

All the skeptic finger pointing has come to fruition. The world expects unity when all is inspected, or better yet, scrutinized and decided by scientists uninfluenced by either side of the climate debate. We’ll see what happens.

Read the whole article: http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/mar2010/2010-03-10-01.html.


Scientists Other Than IPCC Affirm Consensus on Global Warming

An ENS article reported: “A panel of eminent U.S. and European scientists has confirmed the widespread scientific consensus that the Earth’s climate is warming due to human activities, but said they and their colleagues should have responded more quickly and effectively to news of an error in a major climate report and hacked researcher e-mails.”

In an annual symposium at the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) scientists acknowledged a recent error and reports about hacked e-mail leaving out data relative to global warming. However, “many scientists say comments from the emails were taken out of context and used in misleading ways.” Really “There has been no change in the scientific community, no change whatsoever,” in the consensus that global average temperatures have been steadily climbing since the mid-20th century,” said Jerry North, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University.

These scientists not unlike last night’s blog, found little amiss that would make much of a change in our climate future, but believe after the error and hacked emails there needs to be much more communication to the public in laymen’s terms so that the public understands the science behind climate change and doesn’t buy into the misleading spin attached to every mistake turned up. The scientists at the AAAS symposium “expressed shock at the political effects of the disclosures and said the impact was far out of proportion to the overwhelming evidence that human activity is changing the Earth’s climate.”

Meanwhile, “An independent investigation is ongoing. The Royal Society will provide advice to the University of East Anglia in identifying assessors to conduct an independent external reappraisal of the Climatic Research Unit’s key publications.” Lord Martin Rees, president of the Royal Society in the U.K. said “It is important that people have the utmost confidence in the science of climate change. Where legitimate doubts are raised about any piece of science they must be fully investigated – that is how science works. The names being put forward by the society will be acting as individuals, not representatives of the Society and the Society will have no oversight of this independent review.”

Read the article: http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/feb2010/2010-02-20-01.html.