Alan Grayson: Keystone Pipeline gives China energy independence, and us next to nothing

This is such a strong piece about Keystone that I can’t resist posting it all. It’s from Alan Grayson (an excellent writer, by the way) and sent to his mailing list.

Grayson explains in trademark prose all you need to know about the Keystone XL pipeline. It’s not about you. It’s not for you. You won’t see a dime from it. The bigs are just trying to make you the sucker to help them get bigger — and make your land and water the Brawny paper towel that wipes up their spills on your taxpayer dime.

Rep. Grayson on Keystone and Chinese energy independence. Please read through; it’s excellent (my emphasis):

Forty-one years ago, when I used to get up at 5 a.m. to get on gas station lines with my parents, I started hearing about “energy independence” – a secure source of supply for our energy needs. Today, energy independence soon will be a reality.

For China. Thanks to the Keystone XL pipeline.

Q. Cui bono? (“Who benefits?”) A. China.

Marchers take part in the Forward on Climate rally on February 17, 2013 in Washington DC, the largest climate rally in U.S. history. Rena Schild / Shutterstock.com

Marchers take part in the Forward on Climate rally on February 17, 2013 in Washington DC, the largest climate rally in U.S. history.
Rena Schild / Shutterstock.com

The Chinese economy consists of taking raw materials and energy, making that into stuff, and then selling that stuff – a/k/a “manufacturing.” Chinese leaders understand that in order for that model to work, China needs steady supplies of raw materials and energy. [But] how do you get a steady supply of energy, in a world where those supplies are dominated by a cartel, and are concentrated in a part of the world prone to war? In America, we’ve been trying to puzzle that out for four decades, without success.

Well, the Chinese have figured it out. They’re going to get their energy from Canada, a stable country, and pass it through the United States, another stable country. They will pay the Canadians the world price for oil. They will pay us nothing, or next to nothing. So Uncle Sam is Uncle Sucker.

And not for the first time. For the past decade, China has pursued an utterly unscrupulous and incredibly successful strategy in “trade” with the United States. China has been importing from the United States roughly $50 billion in goods each year, much of it food, raw materials and energy. China has been exporting to the United States roughly $350 billion in goods each year, mostly manufactured goods. And China has been buying roughly $300 billion in U.S. assets each year, mostly U.S. Treasuries. So we buy their stuff, putting their people to work. And they buy our assets, driving us deeper and deeper into debt. America loses – twice.

Now China has peeled off a tiny portion of that trade surplus, just $30 billion, and audaciously is trying to parlay that into permanent energy independence. China has put that money into Canadian tar sands.

Canadian tar sands are easily one of the dirtiest energy sources on Planet Earth. Does China care? No. As Deng Xiaoping used to say, “it doesn’t matter whether a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice.” China’s leaders are so indifferent to environmental concerns that they have no problem with 8-year-olds in Beijing contracting lung cancer from pollution – but they get upset when the U.S. Embassy in Beijing puts an air quality monitor on the roof, and posts the readings on the internet. Canadian tar sands are a very, very black cat, but China’s leaders care only about catching mice.

Chinese leaders have seized key elements of the world industrial supply chain, like rare earths. According to our government, they engage in pervasive industrial espionage. They have threatened American companies like Apple, Google and Walmart. In short, they know how to play the game.

All of the oil that passes through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline has to be sold in the United States. Why not the same rule for the Keystone XL Pipeline? But instead, we allow a tax-free zone, to facilitate Chinese energy independence at the expense of our own. Why does Uncle Sam have to be Uncle Sucker?

There are plenty of reasons to be against the Keystone XL pipeline. Environmentalists recognize it as the ultimate “bonfire of the vanities” – planet-wide carbon bonfires. The pipeline passes through an active earthquake zone. One bad spill could permanently poison the Ogallala Aquifer, which provides drinking water to millions of people, and 30% of our irrigation.
Here is another reason, perhaps the best reason of all: It doesn’t do us any good. China, yes. The Koch Brothers (who own the refining capacity that would be used), yes. Us, no.

When are we finally going to have a government with the courage to ask that simple question: Does it do us any good? Cui bono?

Courage,

Rep. Alan Grayson

Just three things to add:

The Ogallala Aquifer, drinking water to millions and 30% of our irrigation

The “Keystone ready” Ogallala Aquifer

1. No one who supports Keystone supports America as a nation or America’s national interest, and that means you, Mr. or Ms. (ex-) Secretary of State.

When elites support it, they’re simply supporting their own next job with the even-more-elite, the Koch-fueled and Exxon-perfumed. Read again what Grayson says about America not seeing a drop of “our” oil unless our government insists it be sold here. Think “our” government will do that?

2. About the “Brawny” point I made above — this is the Ogallala Aquifer on the right, the paper towel that will mop up those Keystone asphalt spills. If Mr. and Ms. Heartland don’t care now, they certainly will when it’s too late and the drinking water runs brown and arsenical.

Did you know that the Koch Bros own Brawny paper towels? Worth remembering. Click to see what other household products they own. [Link fixed.]

3. Alan Grayson is leading a group in the House that is standing up to the neoliberal privatizing branch of his own party, its President, its leaders, and doing it for us. The Kochs have him marked for defeat and they’re spending a ton to do it.

Care to keep him in officeHe sure could use your help.

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GP

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Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States. Click here for more. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius and Facebook.

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  • Paul Dourlet

    Bob Kennerson, No – Grayson is one of the few Congressman in office that tells like it is. Do you disagree with him that We the people should get money paid to us for building a pipeline paid by us ,the taxpayers for the benefit of the Chinese. ? Think about it. If the Chinese and the Koch brothers want this pipeline so badly why not pay for it themselves ? Another thing . The Ogalla Aquifer. The Life Blood of theGreat Plains States.Our bread basket-wheat and corn is grown there.An oil leak in a pipeline like this- would be an eco-diaster bigger then any thing we have ever seen before. Try to imagine 100s of thousands maybe millions of gallons of oil being absorbed by the porous rock of the Aquifer.Think Bob and stop watching Fox News.

  • Bob Kennerson

    What a stupid, misled, liberal dirtbag he is.

  • Indigo

    Meanwhile, the old Know-Nothing Party’s mud-slinging is in full gear under the theory that if you throw enough mud (sh*t), some of it will stick. Now Grayson’s facing spousal abuse charges, brought by his estranged wife with the help of “concerned citizens” which here in central Florida can only mean old-guard citrus trustafarian money: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/os-alan-grayson-domestic-violence-wife-20140304,0,7338590.story

  • Bill_Perdue

    He’s already taken the step of having Keystone approved by the State Department. When his ducks are all in a row he’ll make some announcement at midnight on a day when other big news stories are occurring.

    That’s exactly how the Democrat/bigot Clinton handled DOMA. “He had just flown across the country after an exhausting campaign day in Oregon and South Dakota, landing at the White House after dark. But President Bill Clinton still had more business before bed. He picked up a pen and scrawled out his name, turning a bill into law. … President Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton returning to the White House shortly after midnight Sept. 21, 1996, after a four-day campaign trip. Once inside, he signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law. It was 10 minutes before 1 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21, 1996, and there were no cameras, no ceremony. ” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/26/us/politics/bill-clintons-decision-and-regret-on-defense-of-marriage-act.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

  • Bill_Perdue

    We won’t be blaming you, we’ll blame the Tories and the Liberals and the Democrats and the Republicans and all the other lap dogs of the rich.

  • Bill_Perdue

    I’m sure a deal has been set to enrich American companies, but not American workers.

  • Drew2u

    As long as we shine the spotlight on who gets the oil and the money, the toxicity of the substances, the frequency of hazardous accidents, the negligence of the companies, and the amount of people already out there trying to stop the oil in their own backyards, then we can at least do our best to hinder everything. Check out all the protests in Minnesota and Wisconsin at the Enbridge wikipedia link.

    http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2014/3/3/michigan-tar-sandsindustryaccusedofactingwithimpunity.html

  • Allen White

    All this crap going to China to help support THEIR military machine. And don’t forget that it will take 22 gallons (per barrel ) of fresh water to move this poison sludge to texASS, not to mention that this heavy crap can ONLY be made into Diesel and JET fuel, NOT gasoline.

  • Carl Crowley Sr.

    your statement makes a lot of sense Becca, I hadn’t considered that.

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    There never has been any doubt that the oil was destined for the international market, despite what the ignorant “drill, baby drill” crowd have been pushing. If the US wants that oil, it is going to have to pay the price. The only hope we have is to be the highest bidder.

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    The oil industry is going to find a way to get that oil to market, one way or another. No matter who they have to pay off to do it. As I’ve long said, the Keystone XL is just a way to expedite it. There are other pipelines, there are other ports, and then there’s always rail.

  • jomicur

    Well, I agree that anything that upsets Harper is to be desired. But “stalling on any decision” is standard practice for this administration. Barry will put it off as long as he can, then finally do what the right wing wants, claiming that “it’s the best we can get at this time” or some such. We’ve seen him doing this on one issue after another. And with midterm elections approaching, he’ll almost certainly delay approval till November or later. Meanwhile, his surrogates are barracking for the project. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/03/03/allies-of-obama-steyer-endorse-keystone-pipeline/

  • Drew2u

    Here’s another article that will interest you. It talks about freshwater supplies in the u.s. versus tracking sites.

    http://ecowatch.com/2014/02/18/trading-water-for-fuel-fracking-crazy/

  • Tone

    I don’t know that Obama’s camp is pushing for it.. are they? From my side of the border what I’m seeing is that his administration is stalling on any decision at all. In fact the White House has all but told Ottawa to piss off on the issue. This pleases me no end because it frustrates our asshat PM Harper to no end. Way to go Obama!

  • Tone

    If Enbridge gets its way, we will. First Nations opposition is our best weapon against Northern Gateway though and they are mostly on side.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    The easiest way of all to shut down any assertions that this horrific tar sands sludge is intended to be refined for U.S. use is simply to ask, “Then why don’t they pipe it to refineries in North Dakota and be done with it? The only reason to pipe it all the way to the Gulf is because that’s where the oil tankers are.”

    Of course we should be doing everything in our power to STOP burning carbon…

  • cole3244

    another example of the elites looking out for elites and the masses wherever they are having no rights other than the right to fight and die protecting the 1% and their economic way of life.

  • caphillprof

    You will note that the Canadians aren’t building a pipeline to their own Pacific port–too environmentally dangerous. Let the dumb Americans do it.

  • jomicur

    Well, seriously, if the primary purpose of Keystone was to benefit the American people, as opposed to moneyed interests, how likely is it the Obama administration would be pushing so hard for it?

  • Tone

    Good report! Millions of Canadians, who realize all the environmental dangers, the tricky economic game being played, and the fact that it will not help workers as much as their bosses, oppose KXL. I do not want to have to apologize to my American friends for the rest of my life for poisoning their back yard.

  • GaiusPublius

    Thanks for the link heads-up. Fixed. Also, good info in this comment.

    GP

  • Bill_Perdue

    Excellent report, GP.

    We have to stop the Keystone pipeline, even if it means organizing mass demonstrations and massive civil disobedience. In truth, our lives depend on stopping it.

  • Indigo

    Why? Because the Wall Street puppet masters said so. Why else?

  • Drew2u

    Why would Obama approve of the pipeline? Because it’s part of the “all of the above solutions”.
    Plus he has campaign contribution debts to pay back, same with the TPP. Gotta have that great Presidential Library, right?

  • http://liberawheeler.blogspot.com Elijah Shalis

    Why would Obama approve a Pipeline and lines China and the Koch Brothers pockets? I hate the fact that Kerry approved a portion of it. They are just going to put a ton of the profits into the conservative political machine and it will create little long term jobs and a horrible environmental impact.

  • Bill Deal

    The truth about the Keystone XL Pipeline, and its real value to the US, was known from Day 1, and can be analyzed and understood in just three words: PORT Arthur, Texas.

  • Drew2u

    Don’t forget Enbridge’s Plan B, going through the Great Lakes region:

    (also note that the pipelines going through MN/WI are part of the Koch Bros’ property. Enbridge is best known for the spill into the Kalamzoo River that almost made its way to Lake Michigan)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enbridge#Spills_and_violations
    http://www.epa.gov/enbridgespill/
    http://www.torontosun.com/2013/09/08/enbridge-has-a-history-of-spills-leaks

    But, ya know, we need an “all of the above solution”. I’m sure this is another article that Ed Schultz will ignore.

    (also, the link to the Koch Bros products doesn’t work for me)

  • Indigo

    So the Candians want to use the US Midwest and US ports to ship their crude to China at a profit. Huh! That’s oddly reminiscent of what we thought to do with Afghanistan. We’re Canada’s Afghanistan? Hello, Ottawa? F–k off!

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