Two events over the past two days inform that Republicans are employed by a foreign nation’s prime minister and one of its corporations that promises to enrich the GOP’s primary campaign donors’ bottom line regardless the existential threat to the environment and the health and welfare of the American people. On Wednesday, House Republicans took the unprecedented, but not wholly unexpected, step to wrest power from the President of the United States by passing a bill that circumvents the President’s executive power and approved the environment-killing Keystone XL pipeline at the direct order of a foreign corporation and Canada’s prime minister. The Harper government has exerted its formidable power over Republicans to subvert the Constitution to advance a Canadian corporation’s intent to pump 830,000 barrels per day of tar sand bitumen to American refineries en route to South America, China, and Europe.
Following the Republican practice of blatant lying to enrich and empower corporate control of energy policy, TransCanada spokesman, Shawn Howard, said, “We appreciate the continued support from many members of Congress, who understand the importance of Keystone XL to the American economy,” and that “Keystone XL will be the safest oil pipeline, and it will help make America less reliant on more expensive oil from countries that do not share its interests and values.” TransCanada has reported that the KeystoneXL pipeline will regularly spill tar sand bitumen on American soil, as well as touted contracts already in place to sell every drop of refined tar sand on the foreign export market. Americans will never see or use any of the refined tar, but they will pay more for gas as TransCanada predicted the pipeline will increase the price of fuel at the pump by at least 20-cents per gallon. In fact, the pipeline is so hazardous to the environment that the Canadian government will not allow TransCanada to build the pipeline over Canadian soil to West coast refineries, so they charged Republicans to ignore the Constitution and pass a bill to approve the pipeline’s construction regardless it is the purview of the President of the United States.
Yesterday, a group of Senate Republicans sent a stern warning to President Obama to approve the pipeline forthwith, and forbade him from including any measures to address climate change the pipeline is certain to exacerbate on a massive scale. Two dozen Senate Republicans cautioned the President that he had better not link one single climate change policy to approval of the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline, and that he dare not “tether its fate to wholly unrelated and economically disastrous new regulatory policies.” Every climate scientist on the planet has warned that developing Canada’s tar sands will increase CO2 emissions to a point it will be “game over for the climate” in spite of the Koch brothers and ExxonMobil report to the State Department that building the pipeline is an environmentally sound endeavor with “manageable” consequences to the environment. Two weeks ago, carbon dioxide (CO2) reached the 400ppm milestone for the first time in at least 800,000 years according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and climate scientists agree the evidence is conclusive the strong growth of CO2 emissions is from burning coal, oil, and natural gas. 400 ppm is 50 ppm over the threshold scientists claim demands immediate steps to curb fossil fuel emissions or it is game over for the climate; Republicans and their corporate masters could not care less.
The real issue is not just the devastation inherent in pumping tar bitumen through the pipeline, or that the climate is going to be decimated to expand Canada’s tar industry, but that Republicans have no regard for anything but corporate interests; even a corporation’s interests. It is true they successfully put the oil industry in charge of energy policy, but they have also given corporations power to dictate policy on every issue affecting the American people and there is little anyone can, or will, do to stop the corporate takeover. The media is wholly owned and operated by corporations pushing agendas hostile to democracy and the American people, and Republicans dutifully enact laws written by corporations through the American Legislative Exchange Council. The recent Senate vote on background checks prior to gun purchases is the perfect example of Republicans giving corporate interests power to subvert the will of 91% of the population to maintain their profits, and it was a portent of democracy’s end and corporate control of government.
The Founding Fathers could have prevented America’s spiral into corporate fascism, but they likely never imagined Americans would sit idly by and allow their elected representatives to cede the government to corporations. Perhaps the Constitution’s framers believed a free press would inform the people of the impending corporate coup d’état, but corporations own the media and successfully concealed democracy’s demise. It is prescient that the media has never informed the people that Keystone is dangerous and will not provide any oil for Americans, and they will be as guilty as Republicans and the oil industry for climate Armageddon as well as America’s continued slide into corporate oligarchy. It is apropos the corporate oil industry and Republicans will be the undoing of the climate, because long before they despoil the climate and environment that will make Earth uninhabitable, their effort to destroy American democracy will have reached fruition.