Has Hillary lost the Teamsters over Keystone XL?


Written by Daniel John Sobieski

The Fox News report that the Teamsters have decided not to endorse Hillary Clinton’s candidacy at this time, shortly after her pronouncement of her opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, does not surprise and shows the peril of trying to be all things to all constituencies.

On the one hand, there is a need to placate environmentalists and climate change true believers who oppose the pipeline from Canada. Among them is billionaire Tom Steyer, an eco-zealot who has pledged his fortune in support of Democratic candidates who want to repeal the Industrial Revolution who want us to rely on solar power even when the sun doesn’t shine and wind turbines when there’s nary a breeze.

On the other hand, there is a need for the support of unions who can provide the foot soldiers as well as money for a campaign for the White House. The Teamsters could be just hedging their bets in anticipation of a Joe Biden candidacy in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s slipping e-mail scandal-plagued campaign. But the need for union jobs Keystone XL that would create is also a compelling reason.

In announcing her opposition to Keystone XL, Hillary Clinton cited concerns over the pipeline’s impact on the environment and climate change:

“And I oppose it because I don’t think it’s in the best interest of what we need to do to combat climate change. I will be rolling out in a few days my plan for a North American approach to fighting climate change and clean energy. Because for me, we need to be transitioning from fossil fuels — I know it will take time — to clean renewable energy.”

Yet, speaking before the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco in October 2010, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that despite environmental concerns she was “inclined” to support Keystone XL on economic grounds, or the “Alberta clipper” as a questioner referred to it:

And we — but we haven’t finish all of the analysis. So as I say, we’ve not yet signed off on it. But we are inclined to do so and we are for several reasons – going back to one of your original questions — we’re either going to be dependent on dirty oil from the Gulf or dirty oil from Canada.

On the subject of “dirty oil” from the oil sands of Alberta, Hillary Clinton’s own State Department noted on repeated occasions that the Keystone XL pipeline itself would not adversely impact the environment and that the Alberta oil would be extracted anyway and merely shipped to other markets, such as energy-hungry China, the world’s number one polluter. As Investor’s Business Daily noted, Keystone XL would not affect greenhouse gas emissions in any meaningful way:

The State Department also found it “very unlikely” that the pipeline would affect water quality in any of the four aquifers through which it crossed. It also concluded that along one part of the proposed route, in the case of a large-scale oil spill, “these impacts would typically be limited to within several hundred feet of the release source, and would not affect groundwater.” There would be no greater danger than that posed by any of the more than 50,000 existing miles of safely operating pipeline already crisscrossing the U.S., including Nebraska and the Ogallala Aquifer.

As the Heritage Foundation notes, the earlier State Department approval “concluded that the pipeline posed minimal environmental risk to soil, wetlands, water resources, vegetation, fish, and wildlife, and creates few greenhouse-gas emissions. Keystone XL also met 57 specific pipeline safety standard requirements created by the State Department and the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).”

The claim that the oil Keystone XL would transport would be extracted in environmentally dangerous ways was shot down by the — wait for it — State Department, which found that the oil would be extracted anyway and sent elsewhere, perhaps to China:

He (Obama) has run out of excuses after yet another State Department review released Friday found that the project would have no real impact on climate change because the Canadian crude it would transport is going to be extracted from the oil sands if Alberta whether it is built or not.

The review found that the “approval or denial of any single project is unlikely to significantly affect the rate of extraction of the oil in the oil sands, or the refining of heavy crude on the U.S. gulf coast,” a State Department official told reporters Friday. …

The oil will be extracted whether Keystone XL is built or not. The pipeline itself, which will also carry via a link Bakken crude from North Dakota, will create tens of thousands of high-paying union jobs. According to the American Economic Forum, the seven-year delay on Keystone has already cost the American economy $175 billion in lost economic activity.

That unions want Keystone XL was seen in the testimony before Congress of a key union leader in the under-employed construction trades:

Testifying on behalf of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, Legislative Director David Mallino recently appeared before the House subcommittee on energy and power.

“The unemployment rate in the construction industry reached over 27% in 2010, and joblessness in construction remains far higher than any industry or sector, with over 1 million construction workers currently unemployed in the United States,” he testified. “Too many hard-working Americans are out of work, and the Keystone XL Pipeline will change that dire situation for thousands of them.”

The Keystone pipeline is safe, certainly safer than the oil trains that carry oil and are involved in frequent explosive derailments. It doesn’t threaten the planet and the Alberta oil will be extracted anyway. The only thing that may be in jeopardy if it isn’t built is Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.

This article was originally posted at AmericanThinker.com