Van Jones: He should call it the “Obama Tar Sands Pipeline” & stand there for ribbon-cutting

Alternate title: OFA has a new enemy — former Obama evangelist Van Jones. Yes, it matters that Van Jones is talking smack about the Keystone Pipeline.

As you know, I’ve been banging on for a while that “legacy” is one of Obama’s big care-abouts for his second term; he wants Clinton’s post-electoral glory and other goodies, and he needs his reputation intact to get there. A big part of his reputation will rest on the Keystone Pipeline.

Obama thinks Keystone will mark him as “Obama, Bringer of Oil”. If Obama approves Keystone, as he’s obviously dying to do, he’ll go to his grave instead as “Obama, Bring of Carbon and Death”. Mark those words.

And Van Jones — the Obama version of a former “loyal Bushie” — is willing to say just that. Huge props to Van Jones. This should put the wood to OFA and its pretend climate concern (click to see what that means). Obama’s been calling people off the fences since the election, and on Keystone, Jones is one of us.

First, this excellent video — it’s brief and perfectly framed. Then a few notes.

Notes and quotes

“Pipe-eating planet-cooking goo”, at 0:50:

“Kalamazoo, Michigan, there was a pipeline trying to move that stuff. That is pipe-eating goo.  That is not oil.

“And that pipeline cracked. And when that stuff hit the water, nobody knows what to do with it. So now we’re spending almost a billion dollars, over 4 years, and the Kalamazoo river may never come back. That’s from one leak.

“This is not oil. This is pipe-eating, planet-cooking, water-fouling goo that nobody knows what to do with.””

On the “energy independence” lie, at 1:40:

“There’s a myth that says this oil is going to come to the United States, give us a lot more oil here. That’s a myth. The oil is going through US to China.

“You might ask a question: why don’t they just pipe it out of Canada, as opposed to the US? Nobody in Canada wants this stuff because they’ve seen spills after spills. And we’re going to shoot it across America farmland and America’s water ways, why?

“So a foreign corporation, who’s made no promises to sell any of it to us, can get it to the global market, mainly China.”

On naming rights, at 3:11 into the clip:

“If he honestly believes that this pipeline, which will be a huge part of his legacy, is a good thing, he should call it the Obama Tar Sands Pipeline … he should stand there for the ribbon cutting, they should have a big neon sign over it that says, ‘This is the Obama Tar Sands Pipeline’ and he should stand by it.”

[The Jones team says that the full quote above was trimmed for length in the final video, but he stands by it.]

If the average voter ever saw the pipeline in just these three ways …

Pipe-eating goo.
▪ A foreign corporation taking foreign oil across our farmland so they can sell it to China.
▪ If Obama loves it, he should name it “The Barack Obama Tar Sands Pipeline“. There should be signs all over it, big neon things.

… you could unsell it to Tea Party voters in a minute, even if they only cotton to the foreign corp–China connection, much less the rest.

This video is worth spreading, folks, and this fight is far from over. The project has some real vulnerabilities, not the least of which is Obama — the more people see it for what it is, the less Obama will want his dabs on it. And those BHO fingerprints are already all over the thing. Join the fight if you can.


To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius

Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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  • Kim_Kaufman

    Yeah, unions are definitely a problem that needs fixing also.

  • Sweetie

    Hanlon’s Razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

    Sweetie’s Reality: Rarely attribute to simple ignorance or stupidity that which is equally readily explained by narcissistic malevolent misguided elitist conspiratorial corruption.

    (which, of course, is a form of ignorance)

  • GaiusPublius

    About the unions, the meme “they think” is probably not correct. Many unions are in the tank for Obama & Democrats, so I wouldn’t call that thinking, I’d call that captured. Jones is right; these are temp jobs, but too many unions are neutered.

    About the Friday Santa Monica thing, please, if any of you is in the area, show up and make yourselves be known and heard.



  • Kim_Kaufman

    1. One problem is the labor unions. They think it will provide them jobs and so they’re for it. As Van points out, they’re mostly temp jobs.
    2. My understanding (I think) or my memory is that Greg Palast said this thing is all about the Kochs not having to buy oil from Chavez’s Venezuela. Wonder if that dynamic has changed since he’s moved on. Probably not.
    3. Obama is coming to Santa Monica Friday morning for a fundraiser. There is a demonstration at 26th & San Vicente re Obama’s Pipeline. I think Credo is doing it if anyone’s interested in showing up. My sign will be “Obama’s Pipeline” with a circle around those words and a slashmark going through it (as in “no” Obama’s pipeline). I think protesting Obama’s at fundraisers are especially good targets.

  • Naja pallida

    They’re working on it… only they’re going to a deepwater port further north, away from the expense of the Vancouver region. No matter how you want to look at it, tar sands oil is going to get to market. Whether it is piped to the Gulf of Mexico or not.

  • JayRandal

    Canada should build the pipeline over to Vancouver to sell their crap goo to China. Unfortunately
    GOPers and some pals of Obama too intend to make money for themselves off pipeline traversing
    across US states down to Texas ports to be shipped to China. Whenever the pipeline breaks Obama
    and GOPers will cover up costs like doing same for BP in Gulf spill. It’s all about profiting for a few while rest of everybody else screwed over.

  • MyrddinWilt

    I wrote a piece here on Americablog pointing out that the oil was going to China. They already have a pipeline that takes the tar sands into the US. Only reason to take it to Texas is to ship it out via the Bay of Mexico.

    But I don’t think the tar sludge pipeline is happening. If Obama had wanted to approve it then the thing would have been dead and done years ago. I don’t know what the reason for the administration stance is, but they do have to watch out to make sure they don’t open their decision up to judicial review.

  • dave3137

    You know, what if the Republicans had had the guts to nominate someone who actually sounded REAL?

  • dave3137

    He’ll pretend it had nothing to do with him, and suggest that everyone else is “politicizing” the issue, while suggesting to the Republicans that he’s “compromised.” Obviously, he is misguided in that hope, if he even has it. I thought I worked to elect a president who actually had convictions. (Cojones, balls, whatever) But that’s not the case. The alternatives are far worse. Maybe he relies on that for our support.

  • Is there? I’ve been increasingly convinced we’re faced with both. Along with a generous dollop of ‘stupid.’

  • Sweetie

    There is a line between corruption and evil.

  • cole3244

    in 2012 america elected the least repulsive con candidate, next stop armageddon

  • Look at what happened north of Little Rock.

    I looked for more recent stories. Before and after pictures to document the clean-up. I couldn’t find them. Perhaps others will have better luck.

    So no, I do not want a foreign company building such a pipeline anywhere near me or anywhere near any water supply I might ever need.

  • That’s what most of us around here have been saying for well over a year now: If this sludge was in any way intended for American markets, they’d have sent it to refineries in the northern-most states.

    The ONLY reason to send it all the way to the Gulf if the actual intent is to load this planet-killing goo onto tankers and send it to other countries. And somehow it doesn’t surprise me that China tops the list, given they don’t seem to care how dirty a fossil fuel is, just as long as it combusts.

  • Drew2u
  • JozefAL

    “If the average voter ever saw the pipeline in just these three ways:

    ▪ It’s pipe-eating goo.
    ▪ A foreign corporation is taking it across our farmland so they can sell it to China.
    ▪ If Obama loves it, he should name it “The Barack Obama Tar Sands Pipeline“. There should be signs all over it, big neon things.

    You could unsell it to Tea Party voters in a minute if they cotton to just the foreign corp–China connection, much less the rest.”

    Well, we’ve already seen how NO major GOPer has come out against the pipeline DESPITE Obama’s apparent support of the project. (Who says the GOPers won’t work with Obama?)
    As to the Teabaggers, well, they’re NOT going to oppose something that their REAL backers tell them to support. And you damn well know, the billionaires pulling the strings of all the Teabagger puppets are never going to let something as inconsequential as “facts” stand in the way of getting their puppets to believe whatever the billionaires tell them to believe (it certainly helps to have a bought-and-paid-for “news” organization rallying the cannon fodder 24/7).
    Additionally, I don’t recall any massive defection from the whole “tar sands/drill, baby, drill” Teabagger brigade following the massive spill in Arkansas. If THAT couldn’t get the Teabaggers to start rethinking their position on Big Oil, nothing will.

  • mark_in_toronto

    This will be the preverbal nail in the coffin. The final word on America’s disregard for human life.

  • whipmeco

    Not to mention that it is not classified as petroleum and therefore oil companies do not have to pay to clean it up.

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