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June 19, 2013 03:32 PM UTC

Why does Gardner think Obama will approve Keystone Pipeline in exchange for greenhouse gas regs?

  • by: Jason Salzman

(Promoted by Colorado Pols)

Nothing wrong with a Congressman guessing on what President Obama might do.

But Rep. Cory Gardner's speculation Saturday, on a national Voice of America show, that Obama will approve the Keystone pipeline later this year in exchange for a "regulatory action on greenhouse gasses" deserves media scrutiny.

The radio host apparently didn't have the inclination to ask Gardner about his sources for the intel about Obama (presumably he has at least two such sources, and they're not talk-radio hosts).

Neither was Gardner asked, more generally, for a ray of light into why he thinks Obama might do these things.

This leaves the door wide open for some journalist to ask Gardner for the substance behind his Keystone assertions. 

Here's more of Gardner's thoughts on the topic:

GARDNER: You know, I actually think that the president will approve the pipeline. I think that sometime later in the fall of 2013 that the president will approve the pipeline. Now, I think there will be a trade-off, because he does have a significant number of his supporters that oppose the pipeline. So I think there is going to be some kind of a quid pro quo, so to speak, — an action that the president will take to try to say, “Well, all right. I’ve approved the Keystone pipeline. I’m also doing this” to try to appease or satisfy the people who [are] opposed to the approval of the pipeline. What that will be? My guess is it will be some kind of a regulatory action on greenhouse gases that could make it even more difficult to develop energy in this country. But I do think he wil approve it, but it’s going to come with something.


6 thoughts on “Why does Gardner think Obama will approve Keystone Pipeline in exchange for greenhouse gas regs?

  1. I think Gardner has this one pegged. (I want to cut off my fingers for writing that.)

    If it's not a carbon tax, it'll be something else, but Obama will sign off on Keystone. It's about the only ace he's still holding, to get something else he wants.

  2. Great post, Jason.  I've been writing an extensive diary on this very subject that I'll post later in the month.  I somewhat agree with Galapago: this is one of the 'aces' the President is holding.  While there are plenty of reasons to oppose KXL from the environmental perspective – I think the economic reasons for opposition are even more compelling. 

    I understand the Representative Gardner could justifably be classified as a wholle-owned subsidiary of Koch, Inc.  While spending his time fighting for off-shore drilling rights in Alaska, perhaps his time would have been better spent fighting for the farmers in his region for continued funding of the BCAP program and funding for next-generation biofuel research.  Colorado, home to five military bases who all have embraced the consumption of these biofuels is literally a market for the taking by eastern Colorado farmers.  If they only had their Congressman spending his time on their issues.  A BCAP program with the Colorado Corn Growers and Colorado Wheat Growers Associations' cuold have set the stage for a robust program of biofuel development from the regions waste resources and created scores of new jobs and economic activity.

    But that would require one to believe that USDA, or military and our emerging bio-energy economy had any relevance to Colorado agriculture.

    The USDA recently updated their 'Billion Ton' Study on ag and forest waste in the United States.  We produce over 1.2 billion tons of this form of waste annually in the US.  If we simply converted 17% of this waste – literally only one-sixth of the known, recurring annual waste stream – to advanced biofuels we would produce 3 times the fuel that is proposed to come down the KXL.  Yes.  wrap your head around that.  3 times the fuel with one-sixth of our known resources.  And 100% of those energy dollars would be trapped in our own economy – and we would create hundreds of thousands of jobs in rural America.  Long term, sustainable jobs.

    But then, you'd have to start with the premise that we have a legitimate Adminstration and that the future of an American bio-energy economy has any legs.

    But I repeat myself.

  3. The Mackenzie River Basin is experiencing it's second 100-year flood since 2005.  The largest single threat to the Basin is a potential breach in one of the many tailings or wastewater lakes sending the toxic water into the Athabasca River, a major tributary of the Mackenzie.  A breach in one of the wastewater impoundments in winter would be virtually impossible to remediate or clean-up.  Remind me again why we are accepting this likely eco-disaster as necessary – while we shun the opportunity for rural America to displace this system with our own domestic source from waste?

    1. You're probalby aware of the Enbridge pipeline spill into the Kalamazoo River in Michigan, but others may not be:

      Long story short – Tar sands oil sinks. When it spills, you have to dredge it up. This is fundamentally different from crude oil, which floats. Enbridge has spent close to a billion dollars trying to clean this up and they're not done yet. 

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