Friday, March 04, 2011

Koch Brothers poised to win if Keystone XL pipeline approved

If this story is new to you, then please read my previous post about the Keystone XL pipeline here. The following is from De Smog Blog, emphasis theirs.

The Keystone XL pipeline, currently awaiting a thumbs up or down on a presidential permit, has been the subject of ferocious debate.  While proponents tout the pipeline project as a boon to national security, and a move that would reduce America's dependence on "unethical oil", its opponents are fearful of the environmental nightmare it would create (to say nothing of the imminent threat of future devastating spills like last year's Michigan Kalamazoo spill).  The pipeline, if built, would increase significantly the import of dirty tar sands bitumen from Canada's oil sands to the U.S. by as much as 510,000 barrels a day.

What's been left out of the fierce debate over the pipeline, according to SolveClimate News, is the prospect that if President Obama okayed the Keystone XL pipeline, he would be handing a major victory and great financial opportunity to Charles and David Koch, his staunchest political enemies and the most powerful opponents of his clean economy agenda.

SolveClimate's analysis shows that Koch Industries is already responsible for close to 25 percent of the tar sands crude that is imported into the United States, and is well-positioned to cash in big from increased Canadian tar sands imports.

Proponents argue that Keystone is the "American" thing to do: it puts national security interests at the fore, and moves the United States away from reliance on foreign oil.  As it turns out, the project is nothing more than a vote for corporate muscle and power.  It hands two of the worst polluters in the country, both hell-bent on derailing a clean energy future, an all-access pass to grow their personal business fortune at the expense of the environment, the country and the planet.

More from Solve Climate News ...

A Koch Industries operation in Calgary, Alberta, called Flint Hills Resources Canada LP, supplies about 250,000 barrels of tar sands oil a day to a heavy oil refinery in Minnesota, also owned by the Koch brothers.

Flint Hills Resources Canada also operates a crude oil terminal in Hardisty, Alberta, the starting point of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

The company's website says it is "among Canada's largest crude oil purchasers, shippers and exporters." Koch Industries also owns Koch Exploration Canada, L.P., an oil sands-focused exploration company also based in Calgary that acquires, develops and trades petroleum properties.

David and Charles Koch have their fingers in every single pie lately: the Wisconsin union bust out, the corrupting of Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Thomas, and the funding of climate change skepticism at their wholly-owned subsidiary Americans for Prosperity as well as the conservative think tank Cato Institute, to name just a few. They have also been the primary source of funding for the Tea Party movement. The New Yorker's article is a good primer for understanding the nefarious reach of the Koch's tentacles.

Last month it was revealed that Koch Industries had exceeded even Exxon Mobil in campaign contributions to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The committee, you may be aware, has EPA in its crosshairs, and just this week 4 Democrats joined the Republicans to block the EPA's efforts to curtail greenhouse gas emissions.

Keystone XL's fate, however, lies solely with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She stated in October of last year that she is "inclined to support" it and "probably not" willing to reconsider, but has signaled some reservations -- perhaps doubt, even -- as recently as this week.

Now is the time for you to make your opinion heard. Unless I am mistaken, Secretary Clinton is in the process of making her decision even as I write this, even as you read it.

Go now please, and tell her what you think.

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