Our Common Good

justinspoliticalcorner:

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential pick, is a virulent denier of climate science, with a voting record to match.

favorite of the Koch brothers, Ryan has accused scientists of engaging in conspiracy to “intentionally mislead the public on the issue of climate change.” He has implied that snow invalidates global warming.

Paul Ryan Promoted Unfounded Conspiracy Theories About Climate Scientists.In a December 2009 op-ed during international climate talks, Ryan made reference to the hacked University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit emails. He accused climatologists of a “perversion of the scientific method, where data were manipulated to support a predetermined conclusion,” in order to “intentionally mislead the public on the issue of climate change.” Because of spurious claims of conspiracy like these, several governmental and academic inquiries were launched, all of which found the accusations to be without merit. [Paul Ryan, 2/11/09]

Paul Ryan Argued Snow Invalidates Global Warming Policy. In the same December 2009 op-ed, Ryan argued, “Unilateral economic restraint in the name of fighting global warming has been a tough sell in our communities, where much of the state is buried under snow.” [Paul Ryan, 2/11/09]

Paul Ryan Voted To Eliminate EPA Limits On Greenhouse Pollution. Ryan voted in favor of H.R. 910, introduced in 2011 by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas pollution. [Roll Call 249, 4/7/11]

Paul Ryan Voted To Eliminate Light Bulb Efficiency Standards. In 2011, Ryan voted to roll back light-bulb efficiency standards that had reinvigorated the domestic lighting industry and that significantly reduce energy waste and carbon pollution. [Roll Call 563, 7/12/11]

Paul Ryan Voted For Keystone XL. In 2011, Ryan voted to expedite the consideration and approval of the construction and operation of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. [Roll Call 650, 7/26/11]

Paul Ryan Budget Kept Big Oil Subsidies And Slashed Clean Energy Investment.House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) proposed FY 2013 budget resolution retained a decade’s worth of oil tax breaks worth $40 billion, while slashing funding for investments in clean energy research, development, deployment, and commercialization, along with other energy programs. The plan called for a $3 billion cut in energy programs in FY 2013 alone. [CAP,3/20/12]

H/T: Brad Johnson at Climate Progress

thepoliticalfreakshow:

With as many as 2.9 million new and existing jobs on the line, House Republicans are refusing to pass a transportation reauthorization bill, even after the Senate’s version of the bill overwhelmingly passed through the upper chamber in a 74-22 bipartisan vote.

The deadline for new transportation funding is June 30, and if the calendar flips to July without a compromise, as many as 1.9 million workers could lose their jobs, at least temporarily. The Senate version of the bill, if adapted, would create an additional one million new jobs as well, according to Department of Transportation projections.

So why are House Republicans holding nearly three million jobs hostage? Because they want approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline to be included in the bill. This infographic gives a sense of the GOP’s priorities:

The State Department estimates that roughly 6,000 jobs would be created if the Keystone XL is approved, but as few as 20 of them will be permanent.

quickhits:

Republicans demand that foreign company be allowed to screw American consumers.
Because freedom.

Huffington Post:
The Natural Resources Defense Council on Tuesday released a report dispelling the myth that the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would lower gas prices. Rather, the opposite is true, findings show.
On a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, report author and NRDC attorney Anthony Swift called the pipeline’s impact on gasoline prices “one of the most misunderstood issues surrounding the proposed Keystone XL,” adding that when TransCanada originally proposed the pipeline, they pitched it as a way to increase the cost of oil in the United States, providing increased revenue for Canadian producers. Since then, proponents of the pipeline in the United States have pitched it as a means of decreasing U.S. gasoline prices.
Swift’s study examined these two conflicting claims, and findings suggest that the former is the true one. “Our study has found that Keystone XL is likely to both decrease the amount of gasoline in U.S. refineries for domestic markets and increase the cost of producing it, leading to even higher prices at the pump,” Swift told reporters.

The report finds that the pipeline would direct crude away from midwestern refineries that produce regular gas to Texas refineries that produce diesel. The result would be an artificial shortage for most consumers.
So, when Republicans (and far too many worthless Democrats) tell you that Keystone will bring down gas prices, they either have no idea what they’re talking about or they’re lying to your face.

quickhits:

Republicans demand that foreign company be allowed to screw American consumers.

Because freedom.

Huffington Post:

The Natural Resources Defense Council on Tuesday released a report dispelling the myth that the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would lower gas prices. Rather, the opposite is true, findings show.

On a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, report author and NRDC attorney Anthony Swift called the pipeline’s impact on gasoline prices “one of the most misunderstood issues surrounding the proposed Keystone XL,” adding that when TransCanada originally proposed the pipeline, they pitched it as a way to increase the cost of oil in the United States, providing increased revenue for Canadian producers. Since then, proponents of the pipeline in the United States have pitched it as a means of decreasing U.S. gasoline prices.

Swift’s study examined these two conflicting claims, and findings suggest that the former is the true one. “Our study has found that Keystone XL is likely to both decrease the amount of gasoline in U.S. refineries for domestic markets and increase the cost of producing it, leading to even higher prices at the pump,” Swift told reporters.

The report finds that the pipeline would direct crude away from midwestern refineries that produce regular gas to Texas refineries that produce diesel. The result would be an artificial shortage for most consumers.

So, when Republicans (and far too many worthless Democrats) tell you that Keystone will bring down gas prices, they either have no idea what they’re talking about or they’re lying to your face.

justinspoliticalcorner:

This week, Crossroads GPS announced a $650,000 nationwide television ad campaign called “Deflect.” The 30-second spot falsely blames Obama administration actions for the rise in gasoline prices since 2009.

Crossroads GPS is a tax-exempt 501(c)(4) group, affiliated with the American Crossroads super PAC. Karl Rove has been linked to both groups.

The spot begins by noting gas prices “then and now” — going up from the unusually low prices of January 2009 to the higher prices of today. A narrator asks what has made the difference.

The narrator then claims the reasons for higher gas prices are:

– “President Obama’s administrationrestricted oil production in the Gulf

Limited development of American oil shale

– Obama personally lobbied to kill a pipeline bringing oil from Canada.

Unlike candidate ad spots, television stations are under no obligation to run ads by outside groups, especially when the ads are factually wrong. This one is.

H/T: Josh Israel at ThinkProgress Green

fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

Debra White Plume: “If you don’t see the importance of the Lakotas & the Idahoans forming human roadblocks against Tar Sands contracted trucks in this nation’s heartland, know that those people are putting their lives on the line for this nation’s water & food security. With all the folks freaking out over foreign terrorists poisoning our food & water supplies in this country, the real threat to our nation’s homeland security is a threat to the water supplies of this nation’s heartland, which produces the bulk of the food you eat throughout the year.”
March 8 - Happy International Women’s Day to all of our sisters in struggle!

fuckyeahmarxismleninism:

Debra White Plume: “If you don’t see the importance of the Lakotas & the Idahoans forming human roadblocks against Tar Sands contracted trucks in this nation’s heartland, know that those people are putting their lives on the line for this nation’s water & food security. With all the folks freaking out over foreign terrorists poisoning our food & water supplies in this country, the real threat to our nation’s homeland security is a threat to the water supplies of this nation’s heartland, which produces the bulk of the food you eat throughout the year.”

March 8 - Happy International Women’s Day to all of our sisters in struggle!

A Canadian company has been threatening to confiscate private land from South Dakota to the Gulf of Mexico, and is already suing many who have refused to allow the Keystone XL pipeline on their property even though the controversial project has yet to receive federal approval.

Randy Thompson, a cattle buyer in Nebraska, was informed that if he did not grant pipeline access to 80 of the 400 acres left to him by his mother along the Platte River, “Keystone will use eminent domain to acquire the easement.” Sue Kelso and her large extended family in Oklahoma were sued in the local district court by TransCanada, the pipeline company, after she and her siblings refused to allow the pipeline to cross their pasture.

“Their land agent told us the very first day she met with us, you either take the money or they’re going to condemn the land,” Mrs. Kelso said. By its own count, the company currently has 34 eminent domain actions against landowners in Texas and an additional 22 in South Dakota.

[…]

A TransCanada spokesman, Shawn Howard, says the company does not have to wait for a license from the State Department to begin securing land. He said the company has tried to obtain voluntary agreements, but when that fails the company has the right to force lease agreements upon landowners in all six states the pipeline would pass through.  All of TransCanada’s permit applications, he said, have been made through its subsidiary in Omaha, Keystone Pipeline.

Medina and her fellow tea partyers oppose TransCanada’s use of eminent domain to claim private land for pipeline use, and they say Texas laws don’t protect landowners and city councils in the event of a spill.

Eminent domain has been used for years by government agencies and private companies to build roads and pipelines, as well as parks and environmental protection areas. But a recent Texas Supreme Court decision suggested that landowners may have the legal grounds to challenge companies that use eminent domain.

Essentially, republicans support the government using eminent domain to take private property and hand it over to a foreign oil company. In a surprising alliance, some Tea Party factions joined enviros to oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline via an anti-eminent domain argument.

More at RollCall

(via climateadaptation)

kathiek:

Beginning at noon today, the progressive community will focus for 24 solid hours on the Keystone battle, shooting for half a million emails to the Senate—the most concentrated burst of environmental advocacy this millennium. We’ll know if it works if the Democrats who control the chamber do one simple thing: back their president.

kathiek:

Beginning at noon today, the progressive community will focus for 24 solid hours on the Keystone battle, shooting for half a million emails to the Senate—the most concentrated burst of environmental advocacy this millennium. We’ll know if it works if the Democrats who control the chamber do one simple thing: back their president.

yobaba:

Beginning at noon on Monday, the progressive community will focus for 24 solid hours on the Keystone battle. We’ll try to generate half a million emails to the Senate — the most concentrated burst of environmental advocacy this millennium. We’ll know if it works if the Democrats who control the chamber do one simple thing: back their president.

Barack Obama did the brave thing. He stood up to the American Petroleum Institute (a.k.a. big oil) and their explicit threat to exact ‘huge political consequences’ unless he granted Keystone an immediate permit. And the GOP did the expected thing — all along they’ve voted with near unanimity to speed up the pipeline. That’s par for the course from a party awash in oily money — a party whose leaders vie to denounce global warming as a hoax, and whose current frontrunner believes that thanks to the EPA Americans are living through ‘a reign of environmental terror.’

There are plenty of Dems who have also taken money from Big Oil.  Write your Senator and tell them how you feel about that.

Keystone XL: Time for the Senate to Show Some Courage

Let’s be clear — I am an engineer; I am not telling you we shouldn’t build pipelines. We just should not build this one.

theamericanbear:

Today, more than 12,000 people from across the United States and Canada gathered at the White House to call on President Obama to stop the TransCanada Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.  After a rally in Lafayette Square addressed by elected officials, youth climate activists,  environmental leaders, climate scientist James Hansen, religious leaders, Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams, Naomi Klein, and local opponents of the pipeline from South Dakota, Texas, and Nebraska, the boisterous crowd formed a human chain that completely encircled the White House.  The protest, organized by Tar Sands Action, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, 350.org, and others, appeared to exceed turnout expectations, with the human chain running several people deep in most areas.  President Obama acknowledged last week that he will make the final decision on the controversial pipeline — a decision expected before year’s end.

Beautiful.

A recent campaign stop by Rick Santorum reveals at least part of the strategy. During the question and answer period of an event last Monday at the Pizza Ranch in Ames, Iowa, Santorum was asked by a man if he would pledge to support the Keystone XL, an oil pipeline currently under construction to bring crude oil from Canada through several states to refineries in Texas. Santorum disregarded the question, and spoke for a few minutes about problems encountered by the fracking industry in his home state of Pennsylvania. The man interjected and again asked whether Santorum would say definitively if he supports the pipeline. Santorum, looking slightly annoyed, relented and said yes.

During the event, two young people in the back of the room handed out cards and pamphlets from a new organization called the Iowa Energy Forum. “We’re a grassroots group,” said Connor Reed, one of people sporting Iowa Energy Forum t-shirts. The website for the forum says it is simply “a growing community of concerned citizens committed to two goals – achieving energy security for our country and holding our elected officials accountable for shaping energy policies.” The website highlights Canadian tar sands and the importance of the Keystone XL pipeline, as well as the need for more domestic drilling.

Rather than being a grassroots organization, the Iowa Energy Forum is a slick, new creation of the oil and gas industry. The group is financed by the American Petroleum Institute, a trade association representing Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP, Transcanada, Shell Oil, and other oil industry heavyweights.

After witnessing the spectacle at the Santorum event, ThinkProgress observed Iowa Energy Forum staffers attending various Iowa Tea Party events and Herman Cain campaign stops. Iowa Energy Forum trackers have pressed their issue to Mitt Romney and other 2012 candidates.

Daniel Weiser, a partner at the Iowa lobbying firm Capitol Strategies, told ThinkProgress that his company helped set up the Iowa Energy Forum. “We’re lobbying for them down in the capitol, got the legislative task forced signed up,” Weiser said. Weiser’s firm helped recruit about 40 people so “theoretically when a presidential candidate comes, we have people to speak to them.” The goal, Weiser said, was to press the candidates on supporting domestic energy production, including renewables. However, Weiser admitted that fossil fuels are the priority. “Drilling for oil and natural gas, those are the biggies.”

LS2g, the lobbying firm managing the Iowa Energy Forum, the oil industry front group

However, the main drivers of the front group appear to be linked to LS2g, a corporate public relations and lobbying firm based in Des Moines. Chuck Larson and Karen Slifka, former Republican Party operatives, manage the Iowa Energy Forum and the LS2g office serves as the group’s headquarters.

In addition to astroturfing candidate events, the Iowa Energy Forum has pushed to defend billions in targeted subsidies to the oil and gas industry. The group recently hosted American Petroleum Institute economist John Felmy, who blasted attempts by Congress to repeal such giveaways. The group has managed to snag notable politicians, including Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA), to appear at their press conferences.