Barack Obama To Murder Your Keystone XL Oil Pipeline With His Bare Hands
This post sponsored by a grant from the Patty Dumpling Endowed Chair for Oil Spills, Fracking, Clean Coal, Dirty Lies, and Laying Pipe
In keeping with his pledge to focus on "things that both sides can agree on," brand new Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is promising that the very first bill to go before the Senate this week will mandate the building of the Keystone XL pipeline, that vitally important project that will employ everyone between Canada and Louisiana and ensure energy independence -- and possibly even free gasoline -- for the United States. Or maybe it's a hugely disruptive project that will employ a few thousand people while it's being built and will move Canadian oil across America so it can be refined in Gulf Coast refineries and then mostly exported. It's definitely one of those, and the Republicans want it a lot, so now that they have a majority in both chambers of Congress, by god, they're going to pass it.
And then Barack Obama will probably veto it, and Republicans can get on to the important work of passing the first of several hundred more repeals of Obamacare expected in the next two years.
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said on CBS's Face the Nation Sunday that while Democrats hope to add amendments making the pipeline bill a bit less horrible, such as a requirement that all oil from the thing be kept in the USA, he's pulling for Obama to veto whatever version of the pipeline bill eventually gets passed. Schumer said that there is little chance that enough Democrats would join Republicans to override a possible veto. Schumer did not address whether a victory for Keystone would retroactively get former Mary Landrieu re-elected to the Senate. [contextly_sidebar id="LsPOhbu04Ah1YoWl6IXwxphBdD76er9V"]
As for President Obama, he hasn't said whether he would veto the pipeline, but his public comments on the issue have been so skeptical that it would be a hell of a surprise if he turned around and signed a bill. In his final press conference of 2014, he noted that Keystone pipeline was all about transporting Canadian oil to Gulf refineries, where it would then go on tankers for export. He also said that Keystone's potential impact on the economy had been oversold:
Once that oil gets to the Gulf, it is then entering into the world market and it would be sold all around the world… There is very little impact, nominal impact, on US gas prices, what the average American consumer cares about, by having this pipeline come through.
And sometimes the way this gets sold is, let's get this oil and it's going to come here and the implication is that's gonna lower oil prices here in the US It's not. There's a global oil market. It's very good for Canadian oil companies and it's good for the Canadian oil industry, but it's not going to be a huge benefit to US consumers. It's not even going to be a nominal benefit to US consumers.
So we're pretty sure an Obama veto of a bad Keystone bill is a dead certainty, unless of course Barry decides he's going to go all compromisey and bipartisan again (that doesn't seem to be how Lame Duck Barry plays, though). After all, now that Michele Bachmann has gotten gas prizes down to $2 a gallon, bringing all that delicious tar sands oil to America could be just the thing to make gasoline so plentiful that Exxon will be paying us to take it off their hands.