Death By a Thousand Cuts Until Climate Scare Defeated – Watts Up With That?

New article by Tom Harris on RealClearEnergy

Following the suspension of Russian oil imports to the US, the Biden administration opened negotiations with Venezuela to try to secure the supply it needs to help bring prices down. President Biden also attempted to discuss increasing Saudi oil imports with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, but the Saudi prince rejected his call, as did UAE leader Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed. . Ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, even Iran is being considered by an increasingly desperate administration as a possible source of oil.

However, the White House has insisted that it will not reconsider approval of the Keystone XL (KXL) pipeline from the United States’ closest ally, Canada. Alberta Premier Jason Kenny is confident the project could, even now, be completed by the first quarter of 2023, if approved by Biden. Kenny said,

“If President Biden had not vetoed that project, it would be done by the end of this year: 840,000 barrels of democratic energy that could have displaced the more than 600,000 barrels of oil from the Russian conflict that are full of Ukrainian blood.”

The market response to the fact that KXL is about to go live would clearly contribute to a decline in oil prices. There is no rational downside to the project.

Not surprisingly, conservative politicians have accused Biden of preferring to make deals with human rights violators from Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Iran than simply agreeing to a pipeline that had received all the environmental and other approvals to proceed. Republicans, and more recently the attorneys general of 18 states in their March 17 lawsuit, mention the huge economic and job-creating benefits that the construction of KXL and the increased inflow of Canadian oil would provide. They talk about how much safer and greener this pipeline would be compared to importing oil by truck and rail. Republicans explain that KXL would help improve North America’s energy security. The attorneys general are especially questioning Biden’s legal authority to unilaterally revoke President Donald Trump’s approval of KXL.

These points are valid and important. But, since they don’t really question the main reason why both Biden and former President Barack Obama killed KXL, they will undoubtedly fail once again.

In “Protecting public health and the environment and restoring science to address the climate crisis,” Biden’s January 10, 2021 Executive Order (EO) rescinding KXL’s permit, he wrote:

“That analysis [done in 2015 by the Obama administration]… emphasized that the United States must prioritize developing a clean energy economy… The analysis further concluded that approval of the proposed pipeline would undermine U.S. climate leadership action.”

Biden then put his own spin on the reasons for KXL’s cancellation, talking about how

Extreme weather events and other climate-related effects have harmed the health and safety of the American people and increased the urgency to combat climate change and accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy.”

The president then echoed Obama’s concerns about climate leadership:

“The United States must be in a position to exercise vigorous climate leadership to achieve a significant increase in global climate action and put the world on a sustainable climate path. Leaving the Keystone XL pipeline permit in place would not be consistent with the economic and climate imperatives of my Administration.”

There are no fewer than 30 references to “weather” in the Biden EO. KXL’s cancellation was all about the US setting an example to lead the world on climate change. It was a sign of virtue on a world scale. As the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation explained in its January 23, 2021 article: “How Political Symbolism Brought Down Keystone XL,”

“An oil pipeline that became a referendum: …the economic arguments in favor of the oil pipeline could not overcome the deep symbolic value attributed to it by environmental groups and climate-focused voters. By itself, Keystone would not make the difference between a green future and a “climate disaster.” But the pipeline became a referendum on the US government’s commitment to combating climate change, a tangible thing that US activists could focus their energies on.”

Harris challenges politicians with common sense to do something.

So are Republican lawmakers, prime ministers and industry associations seriously questioning the ridiculous symbolism of climate change that underlies the president’s decision? With very few exceptions, no. Almost all of them are too afraid of being called climate change deniers by climate activists and their allies in the media.

It is not just KXL that has fallen prey to the unfounded idea that we can significantly influence the climate by moving away from fossil fuels. The coal industry was severely crippled by governments’ climate fixation. US oil and gas producers acknowledge the impact of the Biden administration’s anti-climate change and fossil fuel agenda. They see the climate-focused environmental, social and governance investment movement sweeping Wall Street and how financial regulators are enabling mandatory reporting standards on sustainability. This will eventually lead to the exclusion of oil and gas from many investment portfolios. Not surprisingly, fossil fuel producers are reluctant to expand their operations.

In “Rules for Radical Conservatives: Beating the Left at Its Own Game to Take Back America,” David Kahane reminds us that:

“A good general knows never to fight a battle on his enemy’s territory, ground, and terms unless he has no other choice.”

By accepting and in some cases promoting climate fears and renewable energy myths, most conservatives have completely ignored this fundamental ‘rule’ in political debate. So of course they lost KXL and will continue to lose on many energetic fronts in the radical left’s ideological war against our freedom and prosperity. It’s time for them to finally fight this war to win.


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