Hickenlooper: Veto Keystone XL


The Denver Post's Mark Matthews–didn't see this coming, did you?

Speaking to reporters outside the White House, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper said Tuesday afternoon that he supported the administration’s pledge to veto new legislation from Congress that would fast-track construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline…

Hickenlooper said Obama, a fellow Democrat, was making the right call in opposing the U.S.-Canada oil pipeline.

“He has not been persuaded that this something in the best interest — long-term — of the United States,” Hickenlooper said. “I know there are a lot of people in Colorado who disagree with that (but) … with the price of oil down as low as it is, I don’t think the Keystone pipeline makes sense.”

Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Gov. John Hickenlooper.

Support for the Keystone XL pipeline, which would speed the passage Canadian heavy crude oil to refineries and export terminals on the Gulf Coast, has become an article of faith for just about every energy industry backer and surrogate in Colorado politics. This is despite the fact that Colorado already has a pipeline connection from Commerce City to Alberta, and the Keystone XL pipeline would never enter the state. In fact, the biggest quantifiable effect completion of the Keystone XL pipeline on Colorado would have is an increase in local gas prices, as Canadian crude is routed to global markets via the Gulf Coast. The campaign trail claims by Cory Gardner last year that Keystone XL would create "thousands of jobs in Colorado" were simply hogwash, unsupported by any objective evidence.

And of course, there is the tar sands are really bad for the planet angle.

With that said, and Gov. John Hickenlooper makes this pretty clear, the biggest reason why Keystone XL is quickly becoming a nonstarter is the plunging global price of oil–which changes the economics of exporting massive quantities of low grade Canadian crude oil, well, anywhere. Now that low oil prices and a glut of supply have taken the immediate pressure off, a rational conversation about this project reveals a high cost with dubious benefits at best to the American economy.

It may not be as satisfying, but sometimes the bottom line speaks louder than a million protesters.

33 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. MichaelBowman says:

    Thank you, Governor.

  2. Diogenesdemar says:

    Well, stick the Hickenfrackerdrinker's head on that (slimy Gardner) pretzel-guy figure, would ya?

  3. FrankUnderwood says:

    How is this possible from Frackenlooper, a tool of O & G?

  4. gertie97 says:

    He got re-elected, Frank.

  5. Moderatus says:

    What happens when oil prices go up again? I can't believe Hickenlooper is this shortsighted. Currying favor for 2016 maybe??

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Pre-21st Century commodity-based question.  When did you start advocating for alternative energy, dipstick??

    • BlueCat says:

      Not much in relation to a pipeline that won't be more than drop, more like a molecule, in the bucket as far as jobs are concerned, less where national security is concerned. It's the most insignificant thing you righties have ever made such a fuss over.  

      • Diogenesdemar says:

        . . . well except for Benghazi, Ebola, the war on Christmas, losing 2nd amendment rights, deficits, birth certificates, government run healthcare . . .

        . . .

        . . .

        . . .

        . . .

        . . .

      • Voyageur says:

        If it is really so insignicant, Blue Cat, then why has it been a left-wing litmus test so lomg.  It can't be huge for the left and nothing for the right, can it?

        • Moderatus says:

          Because the left is out to destroy the capitalist economy. That's what the war on CO2 is all about. CO2 isn't poison, it's progress. The left uses climate change mythology to attack America's free market system.

          • FrankUnderwood says:

            It's a close call which generates more toxic gases:  Yertle McConnell's Kentucky coal mines or Moddy's pie hole.

          • Voyageur says:

            Climate change is no myth.  The long closed Northwest passage is now a   routine run due to shrinking ice caps.  on this issue, reality really does have a liberal bias — though the left needs to face the fact that its hatred of nuclear power is senseless in the face of the carbon crisis.  Burning coal isn't progress but a mix of solar, wind and natural gas can reduce carbon emissions by 85 percent at less cost to the consumer.  now that is progress!

          • Diogenesdemar says:

            Have I called you a fucking idiot yet this year?

          • Canines says:


            Project Censored's #1 story of the year:

            1. Ocean Acidification Increasing at Unprecedented Rate

            It’s well known that burning fossil fuels in the form of coal, oil, and natural gas releases carbon dioxide (CO2) into the air. Less understood is that a quarter of this carbon dioxide—about twenty trillion pounds, every year—is absorbed by oceans. Writing for the Seattle Times Craig Welch invited us to “imagine every person on earth tossing a hunk of CO2 as heavy as a bowling ball into the sea. That’s what we do to the oceans every day.” As Welch and others reported, this carbon dioxide is changing the ocean’s chemistry faster than at any time in human history, in ways that have potentially devastating consequences for both ocean life and for humans who depend on the world’s fisheries as vital sources of protein and livelihood.

            When CO2 mixes with seawater, it lowers the pH levels of the water, making it more acidic and sour. In turn this erodes some animals’ shells and skeletons and robs the water of ingredients that those animals require for healthy development. Known as ocean acidification, this phenomenon, Welch wrote, “is helping push the seas toward a great unraveling that threatens to scramble marine life on a scale almost too big to fathom, and far faster than first expected.”


          • Canines says:

            What kind of leftist loonies are they publishing within The Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, these days? Was this even peer reviewed? NY Times:

            Not long after two mild earthquakes jolted the normally steady terrain outside Youngstown, Ohio, last March, geologists quickly decided that hydraulic fracturing operations at new oil-and-gas wells in the area had set off the tremors.

            Now a detailed study has concluded that the earthquakes were not isolated events, but merely the largest of scores of quakes that rattled the area around the wells for more than a week.

            The study, published this week in The Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, indicates that hydraulic fracturing, commonly called fracking, built up subterranean pressures that repeatedly caused slippage in an existing fault as close as a half-mile beneath the wells.

          • taterheaptom says:

            CO2 isn't poison, it's progress. The left uses climate change mythology to attack America's free market system.  

            Holy Fucksticks.  That is truly willfully ignorant.  

        • BlueCat says:

          The economic and security effects are insignificant while the right keeps trying to frame it as a jobs and security bonanza. It's huge for those who oppose it, including American Indians, for reasons you don't need to hear again. I'm sure you're aware of them. But it certainly is not huge for the right for the reasons they state; jobs and national security. Regardless of whether you support the pipeline or oppose it, the opposition is honest about their real concerns and goals. The supporters on the right, the ones whose talking point are mindlessly parroted by modster, are not. 

  6. Voyageur says:

    Lets see what happens if Keystone comes to Obama bundled with a gas tax increase and a long-needed infrastructure program for highways, transit, and some harbor improvements.  If the economics really do rule out the pipeline, as the left now insists, then it does no harm to approve it!  But those whose opposition to the pipeline is theologically based will demand a veto even if it throws the baby infrastructure bill out with the keystone bathwater.   Obama should insist on a high price for Keystone approval but if a reasonable compromise package comes to his desk, he should sign it.  Then, if the economics have really changed permanently, we can forget about this argument.   Actually, I suspectr the market will rebound — car sales are already soaring — and we will have $90 crude and the pipeline both within ten years.  The economic cycle is just that, a cycle, and is bound by the passions of neither left nor right.

  7. taterheaptom says:

    Hello, My name is Tom and I am a FossilFuelaholic.  I work on it, one day at a time, but many of my friends and colleagues are still in denial.

    Leave fossil fuels buried to prevent climate change, study urges

    Oil has the lowest proportion of unburnable fuel, with a third left unused. However, the Middle East is still required to leave 260bn barrels of oil in the ground, an amount equivalent to Saudi Arabia’s entire oil reserve. The study’s conclusion on the exploitation of Canada’s oil sands is blunt, finding production must fall to “negligible” levels after 2020 if the 2C scenario is to be fulfilled. The research also finds no climate-friendly scenario in which any oil or gas is drilled in the Arctic.



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