Saturday, November 07, 2015

The Keystone XL Pipeline May Be Dead, But Corrupt Democrats Like Patrick Murphy Who Backed It Aren't


Yesterday President Obama succumbed to the same pressure from serious activists that made Hillary Clinton switch positions on the Keystone XL Pipeline a month or so ago. Friday morning he announced that the 7-year "review" of the Keystone XL Pipeline project was over and that the controversial and dangerous Pipeline would not be built.
“The pipeline would not make a meaningful long-term contribution to our economy,’’ the president said in remarks from the White House.

The move was made ahead of a major United Nations summit meeting on climate change in Paris in December, when Mr. Obama hopes to help broker a historic agreement committing the world’s nations to enacting new policies to counter global warming. While the rejection of the pipeline is largely symbolic, Mr. Obama has sought to telegraph to other world leaders that the United States is serious about acting on climate change.

The once-obscure Keystone project became a political symbol amid broader clashes over energy, climate change and the economy. The rejection of a single oil infrastructure project will have little impact on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, but the pipeline plan gained an outsize profile after environmental activists spent four years marching and rallying against it in front of the White House and across the country.

The rejection of the pipeline is one of several actions Mr. Obama has taken as he intensifies his push on climate change in his last year in office. In August, he announced his most significant climate policy, a set of aggressive new regulations to cut emissions of planet-warming carbon pollution from the nation’s power plants.

Republicans and the oil industry had demanded that the president approve the pipeline, which they said would create jobs and stimulate economic growth. Many Democrats, particularly those in oil-producing states like North Dakota, also supported the project. In February, congressional Democrats joined with Republicans in sending Mr. Obama a bill to speed approval of the project, but the president vetoed the measure.
But there aren't many Democrats in Congress from North Dakota; there's one. The vast majority of Democrats who backed building the Keystone Pipeline are just garden variety corrupt politicians, not a whit better than any garden variety Republican politician. Take Patrick Murphy for example, an ultra-corrupt Florida New Dem who Wall Street is currently trying to buy a Senate seat. Florida has no refining or oil industry and would see no benefits from the Keystone Pipeline. Murphy-- who has been ordered by Chuck Schumer and Jon Tester to do the best he can portraying himself as an environmentalist-- despite having been one of only 28 Democrats to have voted to drill for oil off Florida's coast (170 Democrats voted NO). The only other Florida Democrat to vote for off-shore drilling was corrupt conservative New Dem Joe Garcia, who was promptly defeated for reelection.

Meanwhile Murphy has voted an astounding six times to build the Keystone XL Pipeline. In January, for example, he joined 27 other corrupt conservative Democrats-- many of whom have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in legalized bribes from Big Oil and Gas, like pro-Pipeline Blue Dogs Henry Cuellar (TX-$397,275) and Jim Costa (CA-$317,199). Like Murphy, these are some of the most consistent backers of the GOP agenda of any Democrats in the House-- scum like "ex"-Republican Brad Ashford (Blue Dog-NE), Sanford Bishop (Blue Dog-GA), Cheri Bustos (Blue Dog-IL), Jim Cooper (Blue Dog-TN), Gwen Graham (Blue Dog-FL), Dan Lipinski (Blue Dog-IL), Sean Patrick Maloney (New Dem-NY), Donald Norcross (from New Jersey's notoriously corrupt Norcross Machine), Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN), Filemon Vela (New Dem-TX), etc.

In May of 2013, long before either Grayson or Murphy was running for the Florida Senate seat each is now contesting, another Keystone vote-- with Murphy voting with the Republican polluters and Grayson voting with the Democrats and environmentalists-- the actions of both congressmen should help Florida primary voters understand just what they would be getting as a candidate. Grayson offered a resolution challenging the constitutionality of the GOP plan to take the decision-making for Keystone XL pipeline out of President Obama's hands. "The Keystone XL Pipeline deal is an earmark to a foreign corporation, plain and simple," Grayson said. "House Republicans claim to have been incredibly keen on ridding our legislative system of Congressional earmarks-- yet here they are-- hypocritically sneaking one in for a foreign corporation. They seem to believe that the 'no earmarks' rule does not apply to them. That’s just unacceptable." Only 19 Democrats voted with the GOP that day, Murphy, of course being one of them. No other Florida Democrat, neither Gwen Graham nor Joe Garcia, voted to strip President Obama of his decision-making power; just Murphy-- who Chuck Schumer and Wall Street are now determined to reward with a Senate seat!

"Today," said President Obama, "the United States of America is leading on climate change with our investments in clean energy and energy efficiency. America is leading on climate change with new rules on power plants that will protect our air so that our kids can breathe. America is leading on climate change by working with other big emitters like China to encourage and announce new commitments to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. In part because of that American leadership, more than 150 nations representing nearly 90 percent of global emissions have put forward plans to cut pollution.

"America is now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change. And frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership. And that’s the biggest risk we face-- not acting.

"Today, we’re continuing to lead by example. Because ultimately, if we’re going to prevent large parts of this Earth from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable in our lifetimes, we’re going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground rather than burn them and release more dangerous pollution into the sky.

"As long as I’m President of the United States, America is going to hold ourselves to the same high standards to which we hold the rest of the world. And three weeks from now, I look forward to joining my fellow world leaders in Paris, where we’ve got to come together around an ambitious framework to protect the one planet that we’ve got while we still can.

"If we want to prevent the worst effects of climate change before it’s too late, the time to act is now. Not later. Not someday. Right here, right now. And I’m optimistic about what we can accomplish together. I’m optimistic because our own country proves, every day-- one step at a time-- that not only do we have the power to combat this threat, we can do it while creating new jobs, while growing our economy, while saving money, while helping consumers, and most of all, leaving our kids a cleaner, safer planet at the same time.

"That’s what our own ingenuity and action can do. That's what we can accomplish. And America is prepared to show the rest of the world the way forward."

Patrick Murphy's response: crickets, of course. [Actually, what he said to a reporter who asked him yesterday was that he spoken "with some of the Canadians about what they were doing and their plans and things..." Apparently the Canadians didn't tell him that their own ports had voted overwhelmingly it not allow the filthy and dangerous sludge to be transported to them. But no one ever accused Murphy of being a smart man or a thorough one.]

Regardless of Murphy's convenient incoherence, this is what Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Raúl Grijalva said right after the announcement. "This is a testament to years of public action on a critical issue. After pushing together in the right direction and never losing hope, citizen activists prevented a major source of dirty fossil fuels from being rubber-stamped. Everyone who believes individuals can move mountains when they work together will remember today with pride as long as they live. I know I will, and I know how thankful I am for the work of everyone who made today happen... Nothing is inevitable when enough people stand shoulder to shoulder and never flinch. Now let’s get back to work building a sustainable energy economy that doesn’t even have to debate whether the next Keystone is a good idea."

Grayson was overjoyed when he heard about the president's decision and immediately let Florida Democrats know:
Congratulations, Planet Earth! President Obama has rejected TransCanada’s Keystone XL Pipeline application.

The Keystone Pipeline would have moved oil from one of the dirtiest sources on the planet-- the Alberta tar sands-- directly to Gulf Coast oil refineries owned by... wait for it... the Koch Brothers. And thence out of the country.

Net increase in US oil production: zero. Net increase in gasoline available in the US market: zero.

But if the pipeline had been built, the price of US gasoline would have gone UP, as Canadian oil competed against US oil for limited refinery capacity.

Oh, and the Koch Brothers had made sure that our government couldn’t tax the oil passing through the pipeline, even though just about every other country in the world with a pipeline does.

And one last thing: the pipeline could have destroyed an aquifer that provides drinking water to millions of Americans, and 30% of our irrigation water.

How do I know all this? Because I exposed the Keystone Pipeline as a Koch Brothers pet project years ago. Even though the Koch Brothers had spent more than $4 million to defeat me in 2010. They can’t push me around.

Thank you, President Obama. I thank you, and the environment thanks you.

...Now let’s talk about my Democratic primary opponent, Patrick Murphy. He voted at least six times to take the Keystone Pipeline decision away from President Obama, and force the President to license it.

To heck with the President’s legal authority, says Patrick Murphy. To heck with the environment, says Patrick Murphy. Patrick Murphy wanted those big, fat oil-and-gas PAC checks. You and I think about clean air and clean water. Patrick Murphy thinks about mucho dinero for his campaign.

Even as the evidence against the Keystone Pipeline grew and grew, Patrick Murphy remained dedicated to it. Why? Because as Esquire magazine said, when you buy Patrick Murphy, he stays bought.
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME) was another staunch opponent of this terrible idea. Murphy should read what she had to say and rethink his dedication to right-wing framing on environmental issues-- not because he's in a tough primary battle, but because he still needs to learn a lot about what it means to be a Democrat. Pingree: "The Keystone pipeline was a bad idea from the beginning. It would have been bad for the environment and bad for the country's long-term energy security. Instead of investing in dirty tar-sands oil that will create massive amounts of greenhouse gas pollution, we should be developing new sources of clean energy that create good paying jobs right here in this country. We can produce a lot more jobs for a much smaller investment by focusing on clean energy projects. Maine is a great example with the wind power industry already supporting over 1,500 jobs a year while at the same time creating a new source of clean energy that we can use right here at home."

Please consider contributing to Alan Grayson's grassroots campaign for the open Florida Senate seat. Polls show him beating whichever Republican is nominated. This is money Grayson's opponents will be able to tap into, not money he'll ever get a dime of.

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