New Republican weapon on Keystone XL: a map -

New Republican weapon on Keystone XL: a map


Congressional Republicans plan to keep TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline  high on their agenda when the US House of Representatives resumes its session tomorrow, two congressmen said this morning.

“We go back into session tomorrow. This issue will be first and foremost,” South Carolina congressman, Jeff Duncan, told me in an interview. “We’re going to ramp it up,” said Duncan, who sits on the Natural Resources committee and, a member of the Republican “energy action team” in the House.

“We’re going to keep attaching it to other bills. I’m not one who likes to attach non-related legislation to other pieces legislation, or bob-tailing, but this is an issue we’ve already passed its something we believe in and we’ll keep attaching it,” said Duncan. Last month, Republican lawmakers attached legislation that would give President Obama a 60-day deadline to decide on the Keystone XL permit to legislation extending a payroll tax cut by two months.

At an energy-themed breakfast in Myrtle Beach, SC, another Republican congressman, Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina, showcased a map that he said would be making the rounds of Capitol Hill in coming weeks.

“We have an opportunity here to win the messaging war and we are going to push this as hard as we can over the next several months,” he told a packed ballroom of hundreds of assembled Republican officials and activists.

“What you are going to see over the next few weeks in Washington are these two maps,” said Mulvaney. Showing the audience an image of a map of the proposed pipeline route from Albert to the Gulf Coast of Texas, Mulvaney said: “This is what the president wants you to see.” Switching the slide to a map of thousands of pipelines that cover the US. “…And this is reality. Often those two things are divorced in Washington.”

“What you see here is that pipelines already exist. What the president would have you believe is the pipeline is somehow unusual or extreme. The truth of the matter is that there are pipelines all over this country that function each and every day without any environmental impact at all.”

(Environmentalists who oppose the pipeline have argued that few pipelines in the US carry diluted bitumen and that they have particular concerns about a pipeline in the Sand Hills area of Nebraska that crosses a large aquifer.)

The Obama administration has delayed a decision on a permit in order to review an alternative route that would take the pipeline around the environmentally sensitive region of Nebraska. Republicans accuse President Obama of delaying the process to appease environmentalists ahead of the November presidential elections.

The breakfast was hosted by a former US ambassador to Canada and a former Speaker of the South Carolina legislature, David Wilkins. He told the audience: “What most Americans view as common-sense or no-brainer energy policy, like drilling off our own shores, or in ANWR, or approving a pipeline to ship oil from Canada – a trusted ally, a stalwart partners in the pursuit of liberty, and a strong environmental steward – somehow has all fallen victim to the worst kind of partisan politics in Washington.”


(Note: this post has been updated with the same map used in Rep. Mulvaney’s presentation.)



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New Republican weapon on Keystone XL: a map

  1. Clearly there are too many pipelines already. Time to cut back and clean up.

    • Clearly?  How on earth is that at all “clearly”? What would be better than pipelines? Diesel powered trucks crossing the country on asphalt? Oil tankers travelling up and down the coast? Oo! Oo! I know, cargo planes hauling it in barrels!

      Clearly, the statement is idiotic. It’s like saying there are too many bike paths.

        • Waste less energy. Use more alternative, clean energy. 
          Waste less energy.   Stop subsidizing oil, coal and dirty energy in general. Buy local.
          Waste less energy. Support more and better public transport. Walk more, drive less, fly less. Turn off your TV, lights, computer, etc when not needed. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Waste less energy.

          In case you missed it, waste less energy in the first place. It’s been done in the past, and can be done again.

          • Holly if you want to be “green” and reduce oil consumption make sure you use this list to stop “wasting”
            Solvents Diesel fuel Motor Oil Bearing Grease Ink Floor Wax Ballpoint Pens Football Cleats Upholstery Sweaters Boats Insecticides Bicycle Tires Sports Car Bodies Nail Polish Fishing lures Dresses Tires Golf Bags Perfumes Cassettes Dishwasher parts Tool Boxes Shoe Polish Motorcycle Helmet Caulking Petroleum Jelly Transparent Tape CD Player Faucet Washers Antiseptics Clothesline Curtains Food Preservatives Basketballs Soap Vitamin Capsules Antihistamines Purses Shoes Dashboards Cortisone Deodorant Footballs Putty Dyes Panty Hose Refrigerant Percolators Life Jackets Rubbing Alcohol Linings Skis TV Cabinets Shag Rugs Electrician’s Tape Tool Racks Car Battery Cases Epoxy Paint Mops Slacks Insect Repellent Oil Filters Umbrellas Yarn Fertilizers Hair Coloring Roofing Toilet Seats Fishing Rods Lipstick Denture Adhesive Linoleum Ice Cube Trays Synthetic Rubber Speakers Plastic Wood Electric Blankets Glycerin Tennis Rackets Rubber Cement Fishing Boots Dice Nylon Rope Candles Trash Bags House Paint Water Pipes Hand Lotion Roller Skates Surf Boards Shampoo Wheels Paint Rollers Shower Curtains Guitar Strings Luggage Aspirin Safety Glasses Antifreeze Football Helmets Awnings Eyeglasses Clothes Toothbrushes Ice Chests Footballs Combs CD’s & DVD’s Paint Brushes Detergents Vaporizers Balloons Sun Glasses Tents Heart Valves Crayons Parachutes Telephones Enamel Pillows Dishes Cameras Anesthetics Artificial Turf Artificial limbs Bandages Dentures Model Cars Folding Doors Hair Curlers Cold cream Movie film Soft Contact lenses Drinking Cups Fan Belts Car Enamel Shaving Cream Ammonia Refrigerators Golf Balls Toothpaste Gasoline

  2. Kudos to  Mick Mulvaney on the map.  “Picture says a thousands words” – brilliant move.   David Wilkins loves Canada – it is wonderful to have him on our side.

  3. Any leader who would prevent private enterprise from putting a 48 inch diameter pipe into the ground that would provide thousands of American jobs does not deserve to be President. Even worse, he didn`t do this for principled reasons, he did it to appease his Hollywood friends and to suck for votes in the enviro=movement.

    If the Republicans are wise enough to concentrate on Obama`s distaste for creating jobs, then he is a Carter—-a one-term President.

    • Even TransCanada has admitted the job numbers are bogus.

      And anything like this legally requires an environmental review, so that’s what he did.

      If Repubs were keen on jobs, they’d be backing the $5 trillion global clean technology market and the jobs that go with it, because at the moment they’re losing them to more aggressive competitors like China and Germany.

      • I appreciate your star trek reference.

        just wondering … where does the 5 trillion come from, tax money or private investment? also china is probably the worst example of an environmental steward you could have picked.

  4. There is only one pipeline that is now carrying the caustic, very corrosive diluted bitumen.  That’s the Enbridge pipeline which has already had 12 leaks, including dumping 850,000 gallons of tar sands oil into the Kalamazoo River.  I don’t think anyone with a lick of sense wants our entire country bisected by a Canadian owned export pipeline.  The jobs are few and the risk too great.
    BTW  Mr Duncan has received over $50,000 in contributions from oil companies.

    • Leonard—seeing that you mentioned oil in your comment, you may not be aware that the map is about all commodities pipelines including natural gas and the pipeline you mention is probably the natural gas one to Prince Rupert.
      I`m sure you know that they use natural gas to heat their homes in Terrace, Prince Rupert, etc.—this gas must arrive by these communities by underground pipeline–a much preferred method than the diesel powered trucks or cargo planes that Thwim mentioned above.

      • There is a pipeline that has been approved to bring as from northeastern B.C. to Kitimat, where it will be turned into liquid natural gas(LNG) and shipped at very low temperature by tanker to Asia.

        But to compare a gas pipeline to one carrying bitumen is much worse than the old “apples and oranges” example.  Gas, when it leaks, rises and dissipates.  An oil leak poisons the land and water.

        • Yes.  However, Cavin was referring to the existing PNG pipeline.  It has been there for a long time.

      • So the map is showing the small line that services the less than 30,000 people on the north coast?   How come my neighbour’s barbeque isn’t on the map?

        • That PNG pipeline services a lot more than 30000 people, and it is my opinion that, even though these people are not in my back yard, they have as much a right to heat their homes with natural gas as any Canadian.

    • The TransMountain pipeline ships crude to Vancouver.

  5. I have yet to meet an opponent of Keystone XL who has the faintest comprehension of the real world.

    • Trans Canada has noone to blame but itself for the way it handled this affair. Looking like a sleazy rich uncle lobbying the hell out of a foreign state legislature,  hiring industry friendly buds to participate in the supposedly non partisan enviromental process, cozying up to the state department, threatening dissenting landowners with eminent domain, making less then subtle veiled threats to take the energy elsewhere if they didn’t get their way…all of these activities carried out in a foreign country, which is pretty ironic considering the storm brewing over foreign interference in the gateway project.
      To top it all off the industry is repeating the same mistakes over gateway – demonizing enviros and getting the backs up of the people they most need to be onside – FNs. Geez i thought these guys are supposed to be smart! Even i know antagonizing the very people you need to get your project through by acting as if things are a foregone conclusion or even a “no brainer” is not good PR or the way to play a  winning hand.
      I don’t know anything about pipelines or how to make a truly sustainable green economy, but i do know that coast, its people and one or two of the most influential enviromentalists involved, and i can assure you the very best the pipeline industry will get out of this if they are very lucky, and they start listening to people, and stop just trying to buy people off, is a route to PR.

      • I think it was correct to stop the project but an independent study funded by the the US govt should be done and the results published in 6 months… Then we could vote with some real information on the table.. The study would create jobs and a 30+ year potential for problems would be started AFTER some real assessment… The jobs would only be postponed for 6 months…. I am willing to bet the 20k job number has been inflated too…. What is the hurry??

    • Crit…You hit the nail on the head! :)

    • I oppose shipping unupgraded bitumen on XL. Where does that place me in your spectrum?

      • Why?  Do you think the bitumen needs to be upgraded in Canada for some reason?

        • Maybe he used to fish in the Kalamazoo River.

        • Economics. It involves an understanding of transfer pricing, Game Theory, how refineries make money. The NGP study PREDICTS a $30 spread in bitumen vs synthetic crude oil (SCO) at Edmonton. This is economic to upgrade in Canada  – just that more money is made by O&G companies by not doing so.

          A public policy issue, with security of supply, environmental issues overlayed. A bit complex.

    • Why is the state department heading up an environmental investigation? The Final EIS was pretty bad…..they danced around the real issue at hand – whether the risk of contaminating the Ogallala is real. They pretty much said “oh yeah we don’t think an oil leak would contaminate the aquifer, benzene would volatilize.” They fail to realize the pipes are buried >4 ft underground making it harder to volatilize. 

  6. I vote no.

  7. There are less than 50 jobs for Americans after the pipeline is completed.(40,000 was quoted in the begining)

    We know that when the “dilbit” is will poison the Texan air iand will increase the number of people with lifetime sicknesses and increase the number of early deaths of the elderley .

    This poison air will blow into to windward States

    The”dilbit” noted above not oil! It is a mixture of 70% bitumen and 30% diluents.Diluents are added to make the mixture flexible to be pushed with high pressure pumps through the pipe. Diluents may be carcinogens.

    Politicians voting for the pipeline are very likely expecting a cash donations from the big time investors in the pipeline to help pay for election expenses