Thanks, Republicans!

by Kevin Jon Heller

The Obama administration announced the demise today of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have done nothing to promote America’s energy independence but everything to promote climate change:

President Barack Obama on Wednesday rejected a Canadian company’s plan to build a U.S.-spanning, 1,700-mile (2,700 kilometer) pipeline to carry oil across six U.S. states to Texas refineries, raising the stakes on a bitter election year fight with Republicans.


Obama laid the responsibility for the rejection of the pipeline on political gamesmanship by Republicans.

“As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment.” Obama said. “As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied.  And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree.”

TransCanada Corp. shares slid more than 3 percent after reports early Wednesday that rejection was imminent.

Rejection of the pipeline had been expected in Washington after Obama tried to delay the decision until 2013 but Congress forced his hand as part of a popular tax cut measure.

No pipeline and a payroll tax cut — the best of both worlds!  Who needs friends when you have enemies like today’s GOP?

9 Responses

  1. I don’t get it. I thought this is a blog about international law, not a platform for wacky political posturing (“today’s unhinged GOP”) and fanatical religious musings (“everything to promote climate change”)…

  2. Here is the description of the blog from the “About” page:

    Opinio Juris is a forum for informed discussion and lively debate about international law and international relations.

    The Keystone XL pipeline, which would run from Canada to the U.S., clearly implicates “international relations.”  As does climate change.  And describing the GOP as “unhinged” and the pipeline as having, if built, a catastrophic effect on the climate is simply empirical reality.

  3. So building one pipeline is going to have a catastrophic effect on climate. Bill McKibben and James Hansen think so; it must be true. I see.

  4. Yeah, we should definitely rely on a noted climate scientist such as James Inhofe instead of on the head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies,

  5. There is an informed discussion of the impact of the Keystone XL pipeline at Real Climate.  (  Their conclusion appears to be that the Keystone Pipeline on its own would not seriously alter the climate.  But if a number of such pipelines are built such that a significant percentage of the Athabaska oil sands are converted to fuel and burned, then it will essentially be impossible to avoid more than a 2 degree centigrade change in our average global temperature.

  6. Again, is this an international law blog or a platform for the DNC?  I can get this crap on the Huffington Post.

  7. Steven,

    Let me be the first to apologize for the blog’s ability to reach out across the internet, seize people’s minds like yours, and force them to go to the site.  That is very rude of us, and I will get our tech person right on it.

  8. This arbitrary and capricious executive decision will mean more oil shipped by train, truck, and tanker. Thus, more greenhouse emissions, more spills, and more supporting infrastructure. Also, more of the oil will go to Asian nations than would have had the pipeline been built; nations that have worse (or no) environmental restrictions on their refining and distribution processes.

    So, the Obama Administration’s action is bad for our economy, bad for our environment, and bad for our future.

    Fortunately, it will all be over next January.

  9. That’s pretty good, Kevin.  I guess I have to admit it works!  In my defense, I’ve signed up for email updates from OJ so I get all new posts sent to me.  True, I clicked on your bait, though.

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