American People Give Keystone Strong Approval

According to a Pew Research Center poll, 66 percent of Americans support the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and this support spans most demographic and partisan groups.  This poll stands in contrast to opinions from the left and environmental groups that public opposition to the Keystone pipeline should sway the Obama administration away from approving its construction.

Some people question the safety of transporting oil via pipelines and make the argument that since there is a risk to the environment involved in the transport of oil, the Keystone pipeline should not be built.

However, this argument is self-defeating for a number of reasons.

First, as the Wall Street Journal explains (sub. req’d) it is actually safer to transport oil via pipelines than by rail, and energy companies have been increasingly forced  to ship by rail as pipeline capacity has been filled.  Oil pipelines carry far more crude and have fewer leaks per mile than rails. 

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Loan Guarantees = Waste, Waste, and More Waste

Like a small, recalcitrant child, you always have to keep a watchful eye on the federal government.  You never know what kind of crazy idea they’ve got in their back pocket.  In a fresh burst of overly enthusiastic stupidity, the U.S. Energy Department is currently reviewing nine applications for companies seeking $4.8 billion in clean-energy loan guarantees.

We ALL know how this story ends.  And it ain’t pretty.  But you know the federal government’s favorite motto:  If at first you don’t waste enough taxpayer money, waste, waste again! 

The last time the Department of Energy issued a loan or loan guarantee was September 2011, when its authority under a stimulus-financed program expired. 

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Morning Action: Waging the Budget Battle

BUDGET.  This week, the House and Senate will consider separate budgets, one offered by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), the other by Sen. Parry Murray (D-WA):

Warring 10-year budget plans come before the House and Senate this week, even as lawmakers must pass a six-month stopgap bill to avert a shutdown and keep agencies operating in the wake of cuts ordered under sequestration.

President Barack Obama is counting on Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) to get her resolution across the Senate floor and set up talks this spring with the Republican House. Playing Martha to Murray’s Mary is Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), whose charge is to keep the government household running through the summer while the “grand bargainers” — well, bargain.

Of course, there is little “common ground” between the budgets.  The alternative to the Ryan budget being offered by Sen. Murray would never balance; it would increase revenues to an average 19 percent of GDP over the next ten years, which will harm the economy; and it is grounded on the mistaken idea that our fiscal problems are a result of insufficient tax revenues rather than excessive spending.

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What Stands in the Way of Keystone?

It’s unclear how many radical environmentalists there are in the United States, but what is clear is every American is affected by energy prices.  It is also clear that the Keystone XL pipeline would result in billions of dollars of economic activity and thousands of American jobs.  An influx of Canadian oil could also help regional gas prices.  A decision from President Obama is expected in the near future.

Nonetheless, the project has its naysayers including radical environmentalists and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).  Their opinions are pretty well known and they think “climate change” is a good reason not to move forward with the pipeline.  Some may consider their opinions obnoxious, counterfactual, and nonproductive, but they have a right to voice them.  One radical group said:

In Congress, each candidate had his shot at opposing this boondoggle of a project, which, if approved, would mean more pollution, more oil spills, and more huge profits for big oil. Only one candidate did what was right and said no.

Quick rebuttal to our radical friends’ radically erroneous assertions.

First, it won’t mean more pollution.  That oil will be extracted and used.  It’s just a question of which country will benefit economically from the project – and which one will do it in a more “environmentally friendly way.”  Currently the contenders are China and the U.S.  You tell me which of those two state players is going to follow the rules.

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Morning Action: Obama’s Sequester Flip-Flops and Stimulus Failures

SEQUESTER. In 2011, President Obama opposed undoing the sequester.   The Washington Examiner has a video to remind us.  But the political winds have changed, and Obama has flip-flopped, since he wants to raise more revenue.  Rather than honoring the level of sequester cuts, Politico reports:

Certain that the political winds are in their favor, they’re forgoing serious negotiations for a high-risk public offensive, banking almost entirely on the president’s ability to persuade. They believe that the GOP will be scared of taking the blame from an angry public — and the White House says this is just the kind of thing that gave them the victory they claimed in the fiscal cliff fight and the most recent standoff over the debt limit.

The aim is to force Republicans to submit to new revenue as part of a deal to avert the $1.2 trillion in potential cuts… Obama will hold events at the White House with constituencies facing the brunt of the cuts, and travel to places where the deepest cuts loom.

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