On Saturday's Bulls and Bears (1/26/2013), the topic was the approval of the Keystone Pipeline in Nebraska. Host Brenda Buttner could not have sounded more enthusiastic about that development as she opened the discussion. Her tone turned disapproving as she noted that there's “still no decision” from the White House. She added, “Gary B. (Smith), you say it's a no brainer for our economy, huh?”
Smith chuckled as he said, "I don't even know why we're talking about this. It adds jobs, it brings more natural resources into our country, it's already been proven to have almost zero environmental impact. This is a no brainer. And yet the administration is still slow walking this, I guess, for whatever crazy reason... Let the market operate."
Caroline Heldman was the lone voice of dissent on the five-person panel (not including Buttner), though only three other panelists had a chance to speak. She said, "We're talking about 2 – 4,000 temporary jobs from Cornell University. It will actually increase the price of gas and diesel in the United States because it will compete with Midwest resources. It adds three times the carbon footprint drawing from tar sands versus regular extraction, and the idea that it won't cause environmental damage when you are literally going through a deforesting and putting a pipeline over aquifers? You've got to be kidding me. Of course there's an environmental impact, and there's negative economic impact."
Buttner jumped back in. "All the states that it would go through have approved it Toby (Smith). That says something does it?"
Tobin Smith said, "By having this pipeline approved, we now start the wheels for the 12 other pipelines that we need because if we get those pipelines built, we will be larger exporter of oil than Saudi Arabia... This could be 5 million, maybe 6 million jobs."
Last year, Fox contributor Sally Kohn wrote a column for FoxNews.com in which she listed six reasons why Keystone is a bad deal: It wouldn't reduce oil dependency, it would increase domestic oil prices, it overstated the number of jobs created, the current pipeline leaked 12 times in 2011, the environmental concerns are justified, and mining tar sands would worsen climate change.
But Buttner never cited any of that, leaving it for her panelist to present those findings as a matter of opinion and making sure that she'd be greatly outnumbered by the other side.
Diverting oil to a tariff free,export only terminal + bypassing existing midwest refineries + loss of jobs in those existing refineries + a spike in midwest oil prices= WE LOSE and BIG OIL WINS.
So the whole ‘no brainer’ thing is better expressed as a ‘NO brainer’.
I saved this from a Canadian Newspaper about 2 years ago but I lost the link: One of the most important facts that is missing in the national debate surrounding the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is this – Keystone XL will not bring any more oil into the United State for decades to come. Canada doesn’t have nearly enough oil to fill existing pipelines going to the United States. However, existing Canadian oil pipelines all go to the Midwest, where the only buyer for their crude is the United States.
Keystone XL would divert Canadian oil from refineries in the Midwest to the Gulf Coast where it can be refined and exported. Many of these refineries are in free trade zones where they may be exported to the international buyers without paying U.S. taxes. And that is exactly what Valero, one of the largest potential buyers of Keystone XL’s oil, has told its investors it will do.
The idea that Keystone XL will improve U.S. oil supply is a documented scam being played on the American people by Big Oil and its friends in Washington DC. Canada’s excess pipeline capacity is well known. In a Department of Energy report evaluating Keystone XL’s impacts on U.S. energy supply over the next twenty years, the agency found that it will take decades for Canada to produce enough oil to fill existing pipelines. On page 90, the report concludes that the United States will import the same amount of crude from Canada through 2030 whether or not Keystone XL is built.
When Canadian regulators at the National Energy Board (NEB) considered the Keystone XL proposal in 2008, they asked TransCanada to justify another pipeline when there was already so much spare capacity. TransCanada conceded that Keystone XL would take oil from existing pipelines, increasing shipping costs. However, TransCanada argued that this cost would be more than offset as shifting Canadian oil from the Midwest to the Gulf would increase the price that Americans paid for Canadian oil by $3.9 billion.
Who’s in a better position to know?