At America’s founding, the Constitution’s framers set up the government with checks and balances to prevent any branch from dictating the direction of the nation without input and participation from all parties that is necessary in a representative democracy. Over the past four years, Republicans have attempted to neuter the Executive Branch through various obstructive measures to assert their dominance over the President from a minority position, and to make governing nearly impossible. Republicans are not really in control because they answer to the corporate world, and of all their masters, the oil industry holds the greatest sway over Republicans, the nation’s energy policy, and if 14 Senators have their way, the President of the United States.
For four years, Republicans have attempted to force President Obama to approve a Canadian oil company’s permit to build a pipeline across America because it is too environmentally dangerous to cross Canada’s frontier. Last week, a State Department report prepared by the oil industry (Koch brothers, ExxonMobil, TransCanada, and BP) claimed the pipeline posed no threat to the environment and Republicans demanded instantaneous Presidential approval to build the pipeline shipping tar to the Gulf Coast on its way to Europe and South America. The oil industry’s appraisal that the pipeline is environmentally friendly is in stark contrast to every environmental scientist in the world that says the pipeline means “game over for Earth’s environment.” For the record, America will get not get any of the refined tar sands, but it did not stop a bipartisan group of Senators who decided that the oil industry, not the President, makes decisions reserved for the Executive Branch and they introduced a bill giving Congress supremacy over the President.
On Monday, in an op/ed a Republican representative, Tim Walberg, perpetuated the mountain of lies John Boehner has repeated over the past two years, and said, “President Obama has run out of excuses to deny job-creating Keystone XL pipeline,” but when coupled with the Senate bill taking control of the Executive branch’s purview the message is blunt; the President will either toe the line and do as he is told, or the oil industry’s surrogates in Congress will seize State Department and presidential power and approve the pipeline themselves. White House spokesman Jay Carney responded to the Senators’ power-grab and informed them that “the approval process for pipelines crossing international borders belongs to the State Department,” but the oil industry and Republicans already knew that and are proceeding according to their masters’ demands.
There are myriad reasons the President can cite for not approving TransCanada’s permit to send Canadian tar sand to refineries on the Gulf Coast, but they are not excuses as Republicans have parroted the past three years. But instead of debunking what Republicans claim are excuses for not approving the ecological disaster-in-waiting, it is easier to cite the Republican and oil industry’s excuses for approving the KeystoneXL pipeline. However, Republicans are remiss to cite the facts surrounding the pipeline, and none lesser than the pipeline is prone to ruptures and the oil is already slated for export to Europe and South America, and that America will not profit or benefit from protecting Canada’s environment.
The Republican excuses for building the pipeline include creating about 35 permanent jobs, enriching the Kochs’ 25% share of tar sand refining, boosting profits for Canada’s oil industry, raising the price of gas by 20 cents/gallon, increasing CO2 emissions to planetary environment destroying levels, jeopardizing water for 20% of the nation’s agriculture and millions of Americans’ drinking water, driving up share prices for John Boehner’s investment in 7 Canadian tar sand companies, spares Canada’s western frontier from ecological disasters, and raises Canada’s standing as a major producer and exporter of fossil fuels. Those excuses for building the pipeline do not acknowledge that KeystoneXL’s construction provides South America and Europe with Canadian oil, gives ConocoPhilips and Koch refineries steady profits for decades, rewards Kochs, ExxonMobil, TransCanada, and BP for their proxy’s glowing (but false) environmental impact report, indicates America has not had enough ecological disasters, and proves America is indeed oil independent. Republicans will never admit their excuses for building the Keystone pipeline are solely to benefit the oil industry, or that they have lied prodigiously to boost campaign donations from the oil industry, but of course they would not because it proves that big oil has controlled American energy policies for decades.
Regardless what the oil-whores in the Senate do, or say, or which bills they attempt to pass, Presidential approval means just that; President Obama is the sole voice in approving TransCanada’s permit to send tar across America’s agricultural heartland. The State Department said that “when EPA officially posts this draft, which will take about a week, we will begin a 45-day comment period, a public comment period,” and that gives the public ample time to express their opinion on the Keystone pipeline. Once Americans are armed with the facts and truth about allowing Canada to send its tar across America on its way to Europe and South America, maybe then the State Department, Democrats, and President Obama will take the time to finally speak the truth, and explain to the people that Republicans have lied, and that there is no benefit to this country in building what is nothing more than a dirty money-making scheme for the oil industry.
NOTE: The public is welcomed to submit their comments for the next 45 days HERE.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.