March 18, 2012

Keystone Pipeline Vote Reveals Sheldon Whitehouse's Highly Questionable Priorities

Monique Chartier

Remarkably (did the sun rise in the east this morning?), PolitiFact today ruled as "True" a statement by an R (Barry Hinckley) to the apparent detriment of a D (Senator Sheldon Whitehouse).

Benjamin "Barry" Hinckley III, the Republican candidate challenging Democratic U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, recently criticized Whitehouse's vote in support of President Obama's decision to delay approval of the Keystone XL pipeline between Canada and Texas. ...

"According to Hinckley, the impact is not just on Mid-Western construction jobs but also on jobs right here in Rhode Island," the news release said. "More than 27,000 Rhode Island jobs depend on trade with Canada, and Rhode Island sells more to Canada than to the state’s next six largest export markets combined."

The debate over the Keystone pipeline extends from Alberta to Washington, D.C. But one question hits close to home: Does Rhode Island really have 27,000 jobs that depend on trade with Canada?

More importantly, it affords the opportunity to highlight the completely misguided actions of Senator Whitehouse (and President Obama and other democrats) in opposing the project.

Let's dispense, first of all, with the assertion by its opponents that there has not been enough time to review the environmental implications of the pipeline. In fact, contrary to President Obama's statement that Republicans were trying to "rush" him into approval, a review of the pipeline on the federal, state and local level had been ongoing for years until

the [Obama State Department] backed away from signing off on the plan last year after environmentalists and local lawmakers complained.

Secondly, larger environmental concerns. Barry Hinckley summarizes nicely.

"Because Senator Whitehouse voted against the Keystone pipeline, oil from US producers in the midwest must be shipped by rail and truck, creating more carbon emissions – and the Canadian oil will most likely be shipped by oil tankers to China,” Hinckley continued. “That means greater risks to our oceans from oil spills and increased carbon emissions from tankers -- not to mention the fact that this Canadian oil will be refined and burned in China where environmental regulations are nowhere near as strict as in the US.”

Indeed, it is not an exaggeration to say that, in terms of both refinery and transportation processes, China and the US are on opposite ends of the environmental spectrum.

Now we're down to the core of the issue: why shouldn't the United States encourage the oil production and economy of its neighbor and strong ally, especially when it means the creation in the US of 20,000 new, private sector jobs? It has become abundantly clear that not all energy related jobs can be in the fast shrinking field of the heavily-government-subsidized green "industry".

More specific to the junior senator from Rhode Island, why is he discouraging the oil production and economy of a neighbor and strong ally from whom the state that he purportedly represents derives 27,000+ precious jobs?

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Eminent domain is theft, period ! ! Keystone has no right to forcefully take what is not theirs, they need to either give the current land owners the price they want, or go with another plan or route

No citation needed

Posted by: Sammy in Arizona at March 18, 2012 4:24 PM

The irony of the troll left is the rejection of this project based on opposition to eminent domain while calling for the theft of wealth from those who fit their oft changing definition of the rich.

Posted by: Max D at March 18, 2012 7:21 PM
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