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Keystone XL Pipeline

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Keystone XL Pipeline

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 21 total)
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  • #90907
    Tom Over
    Tom Over
    Participant

    Protest against Keystone XL pipeline during Obama's visit to Columbus Ohio on March 22, 2012(Photo by Bill Baker)

    A couple of hours before President Obama spoke at the Ohio State University on March 22, about 25 demonstrators against the Keystone XL pipeline project gathered on the sidewalk along High Street in front of the Ohio Union.

    A day earlier, Obama announced in Cushing, Oklahoma his decision to fast-track the leg of the pipeline that will run from Oklahoma to Texas. Critics, many of them on the political right, say the president should approve the entire XL project, while environmentalists say he’s backpedaling, and going against his ’08 campaign promise to address Climate Change.

    Cruz Barlarron, who led the mic-check of Mary Jo Kilroy when she spoke at Occupy the Courts on Jan 20, said there wouldn’t be one this time for Obama. He said there weren’t enough protesters with tickets to get into OSU’s Recreation and Physical Activity Center (RPAC) where the president was scheduled to speak in a couple of hours.

    But the protesters focused on communicating their message to High Street onlookers and passersby. People in autos honked and some cyclists in the 80 degree March heat waved and shouted in support of the protesters on the sidewalk, though one person in a car said, “I’m for fracking.”

    Several protesters had copies of the same sign. Quoting Obama, it read, “let’s be the generation that finally frees America from the tyranny of oil.” He made the remarks on Feb 10, 2007, the day he announced his run for president, according to the following source

    Danny Berchenko of 350.org Ohio told fellow protesters thru a bullhorn 2012 already has broken records

    “As we have record-breaking heat, it’s ironic that Obama is coming to Columbus to talk about more drilling for oil and gas,” Berchenko said.

    Danny Berchenko of 350.org-Ohio and fellow activists protest Keystone XL pipeline project during Obama's visit to Columbus Ohio on March 22, 2012(Photo by Bill Baker)

    Berchenko, who leads 350.ORG actions in Ohio, read an email sent to him by activist and author Bill McKibben, founder of the environmental organization.

    “ ‘ On his visits, why isn’t Obama going to solar installations and supporting alternatives to fossil fuels?’” McKibben also asked in his email why Obama is fast-tracking approval for the southern leg of Key Stone XL as the main focus of his energy plan.

    Berchenko told fellow activists to seize the opportunity to make Climate issues more prominent in our nation’s public discourse as Ohio is likely to get a lot of attention during the upcoming general election.

    “We got to keep coming out to these events and bring more people to them. So then, as more people become concerned about what’s happening to our climate, they know where to go to get involved.”

    It’s spring break. So when demonstrators marched from the Ohio Union to the $140 million recreation and fitness complex, there were, along the way, only a few laptop junkies under trees and a scattering of sunbathers whose bodies looked like beige islands in the green Oval sea.

    As the protesters against XL marched and chanted, I trailed behind a couple or maybe a few hundred meters, coasting on my bike. One of two guys dancing a sort of bare foot and shirtless Frisbee ballet answered when I asked him if he knew what the march was about, “It’s something about a pipeline in Ohio, but what they were saying wasn’t really that clear.”

    A little farther along on the Oval, a person playing catch with a baseball said, “I think they’re protesting about Obama. He’s here giving a speech. They were saying something about hydro-fracking and the oil pipeline.”

    A young woman with him, focusing on the orange and red baseball and not looking at me said, “I don’t know.” Then, seamlessly, said to the guy, “Let’s go to Jeni’s after this. Maybe they got some new flavors.”

    After the march went past the OSU main library and down a walkway westward toward the fitness and rec center where Obama would be speaking within an hour and a half or so, Delbert Booker, an African-American, said he thought the protesters against Keystone XL were Tea Partiers or some other group that might be associated with Republicans.

    In the wake of the marchers who chanted “Hey Obama, we don’t want no climate drama,” Booker said what he heard as he exited the library were the words ‘Obama’ and ‘drama’. He said he started an organization called America’s Choice For The Issues, but I haven’t found it online yet.

    Among the signs, a bull horned speech or two, and chants such as “Climate Change is a growing cancer; all-of-the-above is not the answer,” I daydreamed about having some sort of public engagement about this and other issues several times a week on street corners downtown, in the Short North, near college campuses, and in other parts of Columbus.

    There’d be no lecturing, preaching, or even chanting. Instead, we’d listen. We’d ask and answer questions, and trust that people could read our signs. And there’d be music, maybe fiddlers or violinists on unicycles, instead of pianists on flatbeds.

    Well, anyway, some of the other chants were “Oil and gas are no solution; we are sick of your pollution,” and “How many children must get cancer before we find a better answer?”

    Obama Welcome Committee(Photo by Bill Baker)

    As with the Keystone XL protest during Obama’s visit to Columbus in September of 2011, I could find no African-American among the ranks of the activists. Two guys with a big Ron Paul banner were European-American. And an older gentleman with a sign blaming Obama for the national debt and other problems was Asian.

    One Black man had a sign, but he wasn’t a protester. The sign was a call for a ticket to get into the event: “Help, I want to see the president.”

    Another Black man who looked to be in his 40’s and 50’s said, “What’s there to protest? He’s the president.” I told him protesters against Keystone XL are not necessarily hostile toward Obama; they just want him to lead our country to invest in alternatives to fossil fuels.

    Pranav Jani, an OSU associate professor who works with International Socialists Organization (ISO) on campus, talked with him and his friend. Later I overheard the guy saying, “I’m here for the president. I don’t care about that environmental crap.”

    To me, this maybe was an example of someone focusing on a single issue: the fact that the US has a non-White president.

    This reminds me of how a young Black woman at the PACT town hall meeting on the Near East Side coldly stared me down for a good 4 or 5 minutes, apparently as she noticed me taking notes and giving looks of disproval as Chareta Tavares moderated proceedings.

    I wonder whether the young woman glowered at me because she assumed I didn’t like Tavares because I’m threatened by a Black woman with power. I shouldn’t try to read minds, but maybe I ought to account for how race might affect my own and other people’s perspectives on a wide variety of issues.

    Occupy and the grassroots aspects of the Tea Party movement might involve a healthful amount of skepticism and distrust toward those who have authority or power. But speaking for myself, maybe I subconsciously allow myself to express that skepticism and distrust more openly when the person with the authority and power is not a White male. See related thread

    But I digress–hopefully usefully to someone somewhere. And I digressed a bit biking my way to meet up with the protesters against Keystone XL, when I met three people demonstrating in support of it.

    All of them were wearing Energy Citizen t-shirts. One of them, Jonathan Petrea, asked me what the protesters against XL might be thinking. I told him they say people trying to make money at the expense of public health and the environment are pushing the project.

    Petrea said, “There is nothing wrong with making money. Once you make that money, you invest it when the demand for alternative energy is there.” He said it’ll be there as early adopters come into the market. Petrea said XL will bring much needed jobs to US workers.

    OK. But how much trust should we put into financial markets when it comes to our future well-being and the well-being of future generations ?

    #489264

    cheap
    Member
    #489265
    Tom Over
    Tom Over
    Participant

    cheap said:
    http://www.americans4opec.com/

    Thanks for the link. One might argue XL is a short-sighted fix, if it’s a fix at all for US reliance on potentially hostile foreign sources of oil.

    The extent to which our country might be better off to get more serious about investing into non-fossil fuels might be a useful question.

    It may be the case that the nations that have developed alternatives to fossil fuels will at some point in the future have a strategic advantage–economically, politically, and militarily—than those that do not. The concept of corporate greed trumping US national interest might apply regarding that point.

    Another question is whether the all-of-the-above approach candidates talked about in ’08 and now again in 2012 is genuine, or just code for doing little or next to nothing to build a non-fossil-fuel energy regime.

    #489266

    pedex
    Participant

    TomOver said:
    Thanks for the link. One might argue XL is a short-sighted fix, if it’s a fix at all for US reliance on potentially hostile foreign sources of oil.

    The extent to which our country might be better off to get more serious about investing into non-fossil fuels might be a useful question.

    It may be the case that the nations that have developed alternatives to fossil fuels will at some point in the future have a strategic advantage–economically, politically, and militarily—than those that do not. The concept of corporate greed trumping US national interest might apply regarding that point.

    Another question is whether the all-of-the-above approach candidates talked about in ’08 and now again in 2012 is genuine, or just code for doing little or next to nothing to build a non-fossil-fuel energy regime.

    XL isn’t a fix for anybody

    corporate greed trumps everything at the moment—-this is why the banks are still in business, contract law no longer means much, Wall Street is now a seedy casino, and grand theft like MF global goes unpunished

    The US has never ever had an energy policy other than to use more, there is no plan B. To do so requires an end to empire.

    #489267
    Tom Over
    Tom Over
    Participant

    pedex said:
    XL isn’t a fix for anybody

    corporate greed trumps everything at the moment—-this is why the banks are still in business, contract law no longer means much, Wall Street is now a seedy casino, and grand theft like MF global goes unpunished

    The US has never ever had an energy policy other than to use more, there is no plan B. To do so requires an end to empire.

    Any suggestions about what we can do? I say ‘we’ because individual actions only go so far. How well do you relate to the approach of defining the problem and working as communities toward solutions?

    Often, I find myself and observe others praising or criticizing people, instead of focusing on problem-solving.

    #489268
    ColumbusTime
    ColumbusTime
    Participant

    On his “don’t blame me for gas prices tour” last week, the President ordered agencies to fast track parts of the Keystone pipeline, starting at the southern (wrong) end of course, since he knows nothing but how to pander.

    Oil is here to stay for a long time. No problem working to enhance & find other energy sources, but we will need a lot of oil for the immediate future.

    #489269

    Alex Silbajoris
    Participant

    ColumbusTime said:
    On his “don’t blame me for gas prices tour” last week, the President ordered agencies to fast track parts of the Keystone pipeline, starting at the southern (wrong) end of course, since he knows nothing but how to pander.

    Oil is here to stay for a long time. No problem working to enhance & find other energy sources, but we will need a lot of oil for the immediate future.

    Or it might have something to do with the glut of oil in Oklahoma and improving the ability to get that to the Gulf.

    http://www.kfor.com/news/local/kfor-why-oil-glut-is-hurting-oklahoma-20111103,0,6193840.story

    #489270
    ColumbusTime
    ColumbusTime
    Participant

    Or it might be that he wants to look like he is doing something, after doing nothing but wasting money on Solyndra, et.al, and going on the record (as with his Energy Secretary) of wanting higher energy prices.

    But yes, there is a good chance it also shows that all those against the Keystone XL pipeline will get knifed in the back after the election when he approves the entire thing.

    #489271

    Alex Silbajoris
    Participant

    Jeezus do you have an axe to grind, or what? You’re sounding the same in every thread. How do you plan to blame Obama for something in the morels thread?

    #489272
    ColumbusTime
    ColumbusTime
    Participant

    The proper spelling is Jesus, agent of nature.

    #489273

    Pablo
    Participant

    Don’t you people understand that if Keystone is approved gas will drop to $1.25/gallon?

    Geeze!

    #489274

    gramarye
    Participant

    The Keystone XL debate has grown into something larger than itself–it’s become a symbol now, which is unfortunate for both sides, because it’s ill-suited for the role.

    In practical terms, the Keystone XL pipeline would not be all that significant because we already have many pipelines crisscrossing the country. That means that stopping it really won’t accomplish all that much for environmentalists and building it won’t accomplish all that much for industrialists.

    Despite my generally pro-industrialization leanings, I’m not immovably committed to the Keystone XL project. It just isn’t significant enough. (The regulatory status of offshore drilling, for example, is significantly more economically consequential.) In addition, I find myself wondering why they couldn’t transship the oil through Great Lakes refineries and terminals instead of Gulf ones, such as the Wood River and Patoka refineries in Illinois that are already on the same pipeline network that Keystone XL was intended to expand. (Remember, Keystone XL is a proposed expansion of the existing Keystone pipeline, not a new pipeline. The line between Alberta and Illinois is already complete.)

    #489275

    Pablo
    Participant

    Well said. The Keystone XL is just a capacity increase, right? Can’t some of the Canadian crude also be diverted to other refineries in the Great Lakes region? There are already many pipelines that crisscross the Ogallala aquifer:

    #489276
    rus
    rus
    Participant

    York: Obama faces defeat on Keystone pipeline

    http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/article/yorkobama-faces-defeat-pipeline-dems-defect/491396

    The latest action happened Wednesday, when the House passed a measure to move the pipeline forward. Before the vote, Obama issued a veto threat. The House approved the pipeline anyway — by a veto-proof majority, 293 to 127. Sixty-nine Democrats abandoned the president to vote with Republicans. That’s a lot of defections.

    When the House voted on the pipeline in July of last year, 47 Democrats broke with the president. Now that it’s an election year and the number is up to 69, look for Republicans to hold more pipeline votes before November. GOP leaders expect even more Democrats to join them.

    Then there is the Senate. Democrats are using the filibuster to stop the pipeline, which means 60 votes are required to pass it. (Some Democrats who bitterly opposed the filibuster when Republicans used it against Obama initiatives are notably silent these days.) In a vote last month, 11 Senate Democrats stood up against Obama to vote in favor of the pipeline. Add those 11 to the Republicans’ 47 votes, and the pro-pipeline forces are just a couple of votes away from breaking Harry Reid’s filibuster.

    #489277

    Paul
    Participant

    gramarye said:
    Despite my generally pro-industrialization leanings, I’m not immovably committed to the Keystone XL project. It just isn’t significant enough. (The regulatory status of offshore drilling, for example, is significantly more economically consequential.) In addition, I find myself wondering why they couldn’t transship the oil through Great Lakes refineries and terminals instead of Gulf ones, such as the Wood River and Patoka refineries in Illinois that are already on the same pipeline network that Keystone XL was intended to expand. (Remember, Keystone XL is a proposed expansion of the existing Keystone pipeline, not a new pipeline. The line between Alberta and Illinois is already complete.)

    It’s not clear from your comment if you understand that the Keystone XL pipeline is not intended to supply oil for the US domestic market. Its economic driver is getting dil bit to Texas for it to be upgraded and refined and sold to Latin America and Europe.

    There is more than sufficient capacity with the existing infrastructure to supply all the oil that the US consumes domestically.

    Right now the Canadian oil sands companies are most concerned with getting their landlocked product out to the global market. See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enbridge_Northern_Gateway_Pipelines

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