Congratulations, America…we’re RICH! We’re all finally on easy street, living the high life, rolling in that sweet green covered in a light coat of the blackest tar sands in the world! Yes, it looks as though the Keystone XL pipeline has 61 percent of the votes in Congress now, which means that all the people of America will once again be living in the lap of luxury, free from dependence on non-Canadian foreign oil.
The Keystone XL, set to carry some of the dirtiest fossil fuel on Earth, has been Republican Priority No. 1 for years now, and since winning the mid-terms via Zombie Vote, they’ve made no secret of the fact that approving it is still right at the top of their to-do list. And we can expect that to happen at about 12:03 a.m. on New Year’s day, as soon as the new Republicans are sworn in.
As of right now, though, the measure still lacks the 67 percent majority needed to overcome a presidential veto; so, Obama could easily kill any Keystone legislation with the stroke of a pen. The question remains: Will he do it?
The President’s been playing coy about the pipeline for years now, supposedly waiting on the results of an “independent process” (federal review) that’s been going on for six years now. With the mail obviously slow in coming in D.C., Obama has yet to take a stand on the matter. And he’s in a no-win situation either way.
If he approves the pipeline, his own base and anyone remotely concerned about the environment or furthering development of alternative energy will be incensed. Obama already has a very shaky record on following through with his climate promises, and approving the pipeline would put one big, fat nail in his coffin. Not just here, but internationally as well; if he approves the Keystone, he’ll have a hard case to plead at the U.N. climate convention in Paris next year. Not just because the U.S. is the global leader in energy policy but also because…well, this global warming denial stuff makes us all look more than a little stupid.
Though, our non-voters putting James “I hate the EPA and its global warming hoax” Inhoffe in charge of our environmental policy probably did that already.
On the other hand, if Obama actually stands on principle and doesn’t approve the pipeline, he’ll be a hero among environmentalists, but branded as an “obstructionist” by every Republican with access to Shawn Hannity. Define “irony.”
So, here’s what it comes down to for Obama: Does he show the same spine he did during the shutdown, and stand by the people who put him in office — or does he explain why he’s standing in the way of something that will make
EVERY! AMERICAN! FILTHY! RICH!!!
Oh, wait. About that.
Turns out, objectively speaking, that’s not entirely accurate.
Yes, you definitely will be living in the lap of luxury…if you’re a stockholder in Valero, which is now poised to refine and export 310,000 barrels a day of Keystone tar sands oil completely tax free. So, if you’re the CEO of Valero…time to buy that Central American country you’ve had your eye on! Same goes for Koch Industries, Exxon, or any of the other companies making money from the pipeline.
Which, of course, includes the largest tar sands refinery Motiva, half-owned by Saudi Refining Inc., and set to receive more than $1.1 billion in tax breaks.
Yes, it’s one of those funny little things that Republicans (and even most democrats) fail to mention in casual conversation. To wit:
It’s not as though we have nationalized oil companies like almost every other civilized, oil-producing nation on Earth.
So, no; unless you’re a stockholder in an oil company, the CEO of the same, or a politician on Valero/Exxon/Saudi Refining’s payroll…it’s probably best not to count on that fat Keystone XL paycheck. Because, as it turns out, WE won’t be making a dime. And taxes? Hah…not if Valero has anything to say about it.
But, this is America…and everyone knows that our well-being is directly proportionate to how many more billions of dollars billionaires and stockbrokers make.