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Senate Approves Short-Term Extension of Payroll Tax Cut, Gives Obama Two Months to OK Keystone XL Pipeline


Environment  (tags: animals, climate-change, CO2emissions, conservation, destruction, ecosystems, endangered, globalwarming, greenhousegases, habitatdestruction, healthconditions, politics, pollution )

Kit
- 1095 days ago - commondreams.org
GOP and Democratic sources told POLITICO "that the White House swallowed the House Republican-written pipeline rider in order to get a deal to extend the tax holiday, jobless benefits and the Medicare reimbursement rate into February."



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Comments

William K. (308)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 11:06 am
So, it looks like the fight is going to drag on for another two months. Minimum, then we'll have the middle class relief measures held hostage again.

The Republicans are trying to either get the pipeline (thereby alienating Obama's left-leaning base) or getting him to shoot down the pipeline (thereby giving them attack ad fodder that he opposed job creation). The latter will only work if the Republicans can convince Americans that the pipeline will create jobs. From the article:

"The report further states "the new permanent U.S. pipeline jobs in the U.S. number as few as 50.""

Obama may still be able to work this in his advantage. Ruling against the pipeline would be to the people's advantage.
 

Kathleen P. (0)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 12:03 pm
Oh I'm sure the pipeline project would create some jobs, but at who's expense. Creating jobs is great if they are for the better good. It would be like saying we need to start a war somewhere because that creates jobs and keeps our military busy. Plus don't the Republicans know blackmail is illegal
 

Terry King (109)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 12:10 pm
This seems to be characteristic of the Obama Presidency... Small gains in exchange for huge losses.
 

Dave C. (227)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 12:42 pm
I think Terry is right on here....I am going to be optimistic that we can pressure Mr. Obama into denying the Keystone XL in 60 days.....not certain, but will remain hopeful for today...
 

Catherine O Neill (73)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 12:50 pm
We need the pipeline. Canada will sell its oil to China & we'll have to depend on Saudi Arabia for ours.Many by-products are made from oil which BTW we all use everyday.
 

Kit B. (276)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 12:53 pm

Since we are not using the oil we drill now in the Continental United States, why should anyone think the pipeline oil will not also go abroad?

Between 7 - to max of 20,000 temporary jobs - at what cost?
 

Terrie Williams (773)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 12:55 pm
I emailed the White House today. I wanted to call but the WH switchboard doesn't answer calls on weekends. I intend to call and email every single weekday until I see that the Prez has rejected this abomination of a bill. If we all call and email every single day until he LISTENS to the people and vetoes this legislation, we might keep this travesty to the environment/wildlife/human beings from happening. He knows from the pipeline protest right outside his windows that it is not wanted by the majority of the people. If we all do our best to stay on him by calling and emailing he just might listen to the people for once. We have to try!
 

Terrie Williams (773)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 1:02 pm
Catherine, please do not buy into the propaganda. It's a scare tactic. We ARE Canada's #1 buyer of their oil. Do you honestly think they are going to ditch that amount of money for China? Really? Besides we are sitting on thousands of capped wells right here in the US (FACT). Ready to go, all they need are the pumping stations (FACT). We sell our oil from the Alaska pipeline to Japan (FACT). Not one drop of it is used domestlically (FACT). So, do you really think the tar sands oil is going to stay in the US? Really? It's going to be shipped out, like our own oil, to the global market. Little to none will be used domestically.
 

Kit B. (276)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 1:26 pm

Well, Terrie the huge source of oil the Bakken field has been opened and pumping for some years now. Not as many drilling sites are needed as before and we now also have full access to shale oil. We are drilling off-shore from Alaska to west and east coast the only moratorium being the Gulf Coast. Not worry though Big Poppa still has many rigs pumping way in the Gulf. All the drilling that is happening is why we don't make conversion immediately to renewal and clean fuel sources. No, they are ten years away, only ten to twenty years away from us.

Oh yeah, and let's not forget the many new strikes in the past few years and the opening of thousands of gas heads. This is all shipped off to Japan, China, Southeast Asia etc...
 

Yvonne White (233)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 2:12 pm
Bu$h League bull$hit marchs on...:(
 

Past Member (0)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 3:49 pm
May reason and wise strategy prevail

You never fail until you stop trying.
 

Past Member (0)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 4:15 pm
Kit, I love your kitties.

Well, I thnk that about does it. I've commented on all your articles.

I think you're dangerous....lol. You make us think. Thinking is dangerous,
Want to check out my scars? ROFLOL
 

Susanne R. (249)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 9:31 pm
It's self-serving politics as usual for the Republicans. They're doing NOTHING to create jobs, they're eliminating public sector jobs at every opportunity, and they'll vote to extend unemployment benefits ONLY if a decision can be made on the Keystone XL pipeline within two months! They refuse to help the struggling poor and unemployed UNLESS they get something in return for their wealthy masters. They wouldn't extend unemployment benefits the last time they expired UNLESS the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy were extended. Why can't voters see through these manipulative corporate ass-kissers? What this tells me is that: 1) they don't care about creating jobs; 2) they don't care about families that are struggling because the bread-winners can't find jobs and don't have health insurance; 3) they're working with big oil to get the tar sand oil project pushed through; 4) they don't care about how this project will affect the environment and the health of U.S. citizens; and 5) they'll do anything to make President Obama fail.

This is the party that wants God in government. Many of their members actually claim to speak to God. Sometimes I wish it were actually true because if they did, He'd tell them to "feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, care for the sick, etc." He'd also tell them to stop dropping His name because they have nothing in common...
 

Jennifer C. (169)
Sunday December 18, 2011, 11:21 pm
Thanks.
 

Ruth R. (216)
Monday December 19, 2011, 12:07 am
Go Solar On Every House. No pipeline.
 

Cam V. (417)
Monday December 19, 2011, 1:57 am
Yes Terri, my country WILL sell this oil to China. Trust me on this. Canada is not standing still. The leader of my country has been busy reparing our economy and moving us forward. He will not wait for the leader of your country to do what is right for the American people. It is our expansion in our oil and gas industry that has added a huge push to get Canada back on the right track. Join us or stand still. You have a lot of folks about to come out of your military and there are no jobs for them.
Obama can be part of the solution or continue to be part of the problem. Either way - we get the same money from China as we would get from you. No difference to us.
 

Quanta Kiran (65)
Monday December 19, 2011, 2:23 am
Thanks.
 

lee e. (114)
Monday December 19, 2011, 5:43 am
The Beverly Hillbillies moved to DC and became the root of all evil
 

John Gregoire (262)
Monday December 19, 2011, 6:26 am
The point here is that Obama can no longer hide by delaying his decision on XL. He just failed us by passing the detention provions and will now get a last chance to defend our environment by cancelling XL forever.
 

Arielle S. (317)
Monday December 19, 2011, 7:15 am
We don't NEED this pipeline - we NEED to find alternative energy and start fixing this country.... all the oil in the world is no good if we can't drink the water or breathe the air......I am so very weary of being blackmailed by the lobbyists who control Congress.
 

Susanne R. (249)
Monday December 19, 2011, 7:29 am
@Cam regarding: "He will not wait for the leader of your country to do what is right for the American people."

Isn't that just a bit arrogant and condescending? How would Steven Harper know what's right for the American people? Many Canadians have used this forum to say that he doesn't know what's right for the Canadian people!

Your entire statement is about the MONEY generated by the tar sands oil and doesn't give the slightest bit of consideration to the impact the pipeline will have on our environment! As far as "jobs for our returning soldiers" is concerned, they've been exposed to enough explosives and harmful chemicals already. There's no guarantee of HOW many jobs this project will create, how long these jobs will last, or of how "safe" these jobs will be. It's inevitable that many workers will be exposed to volatile compounds and hazardous emissions on a day-to-day basis. The long-term effects, if the jobs actually last any length of time, could very well be deadly. I'm hoping that most Americans want better for our veterans AND our environment, and it saddens me that a country like Canada, blessed with such pristine beauty that had been preserved by previous administrations, is losing its virginity to GREED. You may not care now, because the money is plentiful, but future generations that have to deal with the pollution and the filth and the illnesses caused by the poor air quality and the ugly scarring of their country's once-beautiful landscape will not judge you kindly.
 

Kit B. (276)
Monday December 19, 2011, 8:36 am

We said, Susanne. I see few Canadians that like or agree with Harper and many that despair that it will about 4 years before they can kick him to the curb.

I wonder if Cam or those who think as he states know the real and present dangers of pipe lines? I wonder how many think the Alaskan pipeline is safe, does not leak (constantly) and fully endangers human life as well as the thousands of ecosystems it has destroyed permanently. This a very bad gamble for a few temporary jobs.
 

Terrie Williams (773)
Monday December 19, 2011, 8:37 am
Cam, as far as I am concerned I hope your country's leaders do sell it all to China. Then, maybe, the US can get on with alternative energy sources for a cleaner environment, less illness and less dependence on other countries for our needs. I would love that! It just saddens me that you would put dirty tar oil over your own vast wilderness that could be a money (hint GREED) maker for tourism for your country. Wild-watching is a growing industry and it minimally impacts the air, the water or the land. But no, keep going for the crap that will ultimately kill everything and everyone around it. You are a sovereign nation, you can do what you want with it.
 

Tatjana C. (3)
Monday December 19, 2011, 11:12 am
In the beginning, I was convinced, Obama would be good for America, but now I'm not sure anymore...
 

Beth FS (149)
Monday December 19, 2011, 11:16 am
Obama needs to stop being a puppet.
 

Holly Lawrence (473)
Monday December 19, 2011, 11:56 am
noted..thank you!
 

Vicky P. (466)
Monday December 19, 2011, 12:43 pm
Canada sells it's oil to the world markets, and it will sell to China if needed, we have a Conservative in power right now and he will sell to the highest bidder if the US does not take.
 

Taylor isMyName (33)
Monday December 19, 2011, 12:54 pm
Many thanks for the article... love reading the discussion here.
 

Vallee R. (253)
Monday December 19, 2011, 1:13 pm
Lots to answer to - first Elizabeth - Obama will never stop being a puppet just as the Bush's and Clinton didn't - and the US doesn't want clean alternative energy - we have all the resources - but I love how they are doing solar - you rent the equipment from them and then pay more each month anyway then the electricity we have now - plus the regulations at least where I live make it very expensive - I used to live off the grid with solar - my solar - globalists want the pipeline .

Tatjana - many of us thought Obama would be good - he's a great actor and puppet - that's it.
 

Cam V. (417)
Monday December 19, 2011, 3:17 pm
First of all Canada is nobodies puppet and Stephen Harper now has a great majority Conservative Government because we kicked our Liberals (far left democrats) OUT. Our economy and the well being of our citizens is not a toy to be played with. If you are not going to be serious about governing Canada then get the hell out.
I am a fiscal conservative with many liberal leanings but even I was fed up with the game playing that was going on in my Canadian government. So we the people put a stop to it.
Of course you are going to hear from Canadian left wingers offering arguments as to our differences but you know what you will rarely see among Canadians? Us calling each other arrogant or condescending ..... those are personal attacks and as political ideology is nothing more than opinion it really does not belong in this conversation at all unless that is all you have.
Our North America oil companies are never going to get serious about alternative energy until we force them to start coming after the gas and oil reserves we have on tap here. Ever! They have a hundred years or more of the crap they can bleed us dry on so I have always said MAKE THEM TAKE IT! Make us pay through the nose so we learn to get less dependent on it. Make them do in accordance with our stringent rules and regulations so they stop raping third world countries where they buy it for pennies and bleed us dry on the cost of buying it anyway.
I know all about the pipelines Kit. I also know using what we have here is the only road to forcing companies to start looking at alternatives. For the last ten years we have really increased our grab on our Canadian reserves and because they are being closely monitored by the government so far so good. It is all about the way they are going to handle it. You can ignore as yours did with your oil and gas platforms or force these companies to be responsible for them as my country does. What you need is a real leader and right now you do not have one.
 

Susanne R. (249)
Monday December 19, 2011, 10:04 pm
Perhaps you should re-read my comment, Cam. I said that It would be arrogant and condescending of Stephen Harper to decide what's right for the American people, and that's exactly what you suggested when you said, "He [Stephen Harper] will not wait for the leader of your country to do WHAT IS RIGHT for the American people."

You stated, "Us calling each other arrogant or condescending ..... those are personal attacks and as political ideology is nothing more than opinion it really does not belong in this conversation at all unless that is all you have." You're right. It doesn't belong in this conversation because it has no basis in reality. Although the words "arrogant and condescending" were used in my comment, they were not used in the context you suggest in your response.

Merry Christmas, Cam!
 

patricia lasek (317)
Tuesday December 20, 2011, 3:19 am
i'm getting sick and tired of the thugs in Washington who are supposed to represent the American people. They only represent the corporations.
 

Lynn Squance (232)
Tuesday December 20, 2011, 1:39 pm
Excellent piece and discussion Kit.
Great comments William K, Susanne, Terrie and Kit.
Kit, I am one of those Canadians who despair about having to put up with Harper for 4 years. Harper is arrogant, condescending, manipulative, and controlling. I will give him some credit for our economic position. But please realise that Canada is more highly regulated in areas such as banking, investment, financing, and consumer protection than the US and that has be in place for decades and is not the result of Harper. Harper received a majority seat government but only had a 36.9% popular vote. Our system says "first across the line" wins. So for example, if there are 10,000 votes in a constituency or riding, and three candidates, If Harper's candidate gets 3,000 votes and the other 2 candidates get 2,900 each, Harper wins the riding even though he only received 30% of the vote. No majority votes here. Even if you suppose that the 1,200 that didn't vote, voted for Harper's candidate, he still wouldn't have a majority. Our system is in need of revision as is the US system --- what's worse, I don't think that there is any limit on the number of terms. I believe this is his 3rd with this one being the only majority. Gotta love it!

Harper’s riding is in Alberta, right in the path of the pipeline I believe, or at least close to it. Canada will benefit from the oil patch jobs because they are wider ranging, not just pipeline related. TransCanada Pipelines has already admitted several months ago that it substantially overstated (sic lied about!) the number of jobs and the duration of jobs that would be created in the US. And the Keystone XL will terminate at a Koch brothers refinery on the Gulf coast. Never a good sign where the Koch name is invoked! And as I understand, much of the Koch oil goes overseas, not into the US market. So where is the benefit to the US people? And what price this pipeline? The environmental ramifications could be monstrous. I was once told that ‘could be’ is not ‘would be’. Well, if that is the case, then why do we have flu vaccinations etc? We have them for possible eventualities. Devastating environmental eventualities, even in the most positive scenarios, are likely to happen. Oil getting into the water table and polluting it beyond all recognition is likely. Destruction to wildlife habitat is likely.

I saw someone comment on another article that the pipeline goes through First Nations territory and they have said ‘no’ to it. I am not sure of this with the Keystone XL but it is a possibility. However, I do know that the Enbridge pipeline from the tar sands in Alberta, across BC to the Pacific coast is mired in controversy, and to be sure, the oil for China would likely follow this route. I’ve even heard that the tar sands oil could be sent to the coast, loaded into supertankers and then shipped down the rugged west coat of BC, the US and Mexico, through the Panama Canal and up the Gulf to Corpus Christi where the Koch refinery is located. The Gitxsan First Nation treaty committee negotiated, and as I understand, made a deal with Enbridge for the western pipeline. They did not have the authority nor does the pipeline run through their territory, and as a result have ticked off other First Nations through whose territory the western pipeline would run. For this pipeline, there are significant environmental concerns. The terminus is at the head of a long and narrow inlet. The supertankers would have to navigate this very narrow channel in all sorts of weather. There is no room for any error in navigation. With these tankers and this toxic cargo, a spill at sea would be devastating to say the least, and larger than the Exxon Valdez spill. This tar sands oil sinks and continues to pollute the ocean, fish stocks, birds, marine mammals and land animals. Oil booms etc would be virtually useless. In addition, this pipeline would go through some of the most pristine Pacific rain forest wilderness, home to the Kermode or Spirit Bear. This area is not easily accessible so land based pipeline spills would be very difficult and costly to clean up.

I believe that the right thing to do is kill the Keystone XL and Mr Obama MUST do that for the health and welfare of the American people and the land. The Republican/Teabaggers must stop holding the American people hostage in their war with Mr Obama, and that’s exactly what they are doing by trying to leverage the Keystone XL with the payroll tax cut that benefits the middle and lower classes. The non-class class warfare of the Republican/Teabaggers (Sigh!)!!! As for Canada and the Enbridge pipeline, I also strongly believe that has to be stopped. If the oil companies are so intent on tar sands oil, then refine it at home, in Alberta. I would however prefer to see the oil companies go after alternate clean sources of energy like wind and solar power. Perhaps we could hook up the Congress and the Canadian Parliament and capture all the hot air there to generate some power.

I apologise for length but this article and some of the comments have touched a nerve
 

Kit B. (276)
Tuesday December 20, 2011, 2:24 pm

Some dissent from Cam's position from another Canadian? Wow! Guess there is still some reason and thinking out there.

Cam - I think thee doth protest too much! We, neither the US or Canada needs this pipeline, the oil companies WANT this pipeline and will say whatever or buy whomever, to get what they want. I will recommend a book, though it will cause you to have rethink your position. Greg Palast, "Vultures Picnic" it is a FACT based book about drilling, pipelines and oil companies, what they have done, and will continue to do to our environment. Think rationally, for the sake of your children and their children, if not for yourself. You don't have to take a position just because it sounds economically conservative, you can learn more first, then make the decision.
 

Past Member (0)
Tuesday December 20, 2011, 2:49 pm
According to what I've heard, the oil will NOT be for America.
But, they want us to think the jobs will be.
I don't believe them.
Why should they stop sending jobs overseas?
Don't ask me how. Ask them.
 

Kit B. (276)
Tuesday December 20, 2011, 4:02 pm

The quote on Care2 today was from Mark Twain, "Don't go around saying the world owes you a living; the world owes you nothing; it was here first." My question would be; "What do we owe the world?" It is our only home, our only source of water and food, therefore our only source of life. Should we not work to sustain our life source?

 

Cam V. (417)
Tuesday December 20, 2011, 6:00 pm
Always great to 'see' another Canuck here Lynn. Have you met Margaret Mayer from Ontario? Great gal and you like her did not vote for Harper and do not support the conservative mindset which is your right. I recall when we lost our triple AAA rating here in Canada it has been the Harper government making changes that got it back for us in about nine years and one of the biggest things that contributed to that was our increased oil and gas production.
I am as enviromentally aware as the next person and I agree we need to start taking better care of the land. But that is not going to happen until we force them to take the oil and gas out of North America. It is like we are letting them keep a prize in the bottom of the bag for future reference. Any thought that those companies will make huge strides towards discovery or even allowing exploration or accrediation of alternative energy until we do that is laughable! They have in fact been buying up patents that have potential and vaulting them so they are kept under wraps.
The American economy needs the same kind of hit we got here in Canada and we got it from oil and gas. We are regulated to death because we are now and have been for a number of years a socialist democracy. Those very regulations have to a great extent protected our environment but some of them verge on the edge of ridiculous.
Frankly I do not give a ding dang who buys it as long as we here in Canada benefit from it and we do. I am also glad to see this government has our national debt paid way down. Something America needs to do and soon if it is to remain the strong nation that it is. We will differ in our opinions Lynn but I hope you agree with me that it is only about our politicial opinions. Nothing personal at all.
I agree with you dear Kit that we owe this world everything. But why is it all right for us to allow these companies to rape and pillage and rob third world countries leaving behind a terrible mess that we here in North America would send them to jail for? Are we so arrogant that we will not demand they take it here and take it now and take it right so that they stop harming other nations that are either uninterested or so corrupt they don't give a dang about the earth or their people? That is my argument about this whole thing. If we can get to the point in North America where we no longer rely on outside sources of oil and gas only then will we ever be truly free and blameless in what goes on outside of our own countries. Until we have that kind of freedom we remain dependent on them and thus must make them depend on us for something - and so the ugly circle continues.
 

Sonny Honrado (6)
Monday January 9, 2012, 6:29 pm
Noted.
 

Joann S. (0)
Monday February 27, 2012, 12:59 am
I think a lot of us have been noticed that the Payroll Tax Cut has been in the news a whole lot recently. Last year, most working Taxpayers saw a small increase in their paychecks due to the payroll tax cut. This increase could be earmarked, saved and used wisely. Experts, however, say that, in the long run, the payroll tax cut does more damage than good. You can get more information by just going here: How the payroll tax cut affects the consumer
 

Past Member (0)
Tuesday February 28, 2012, 1:34 pm
This pipeline really cannot be allowed to go ahead. Has Obama the courage to stand up and do what is right?
 

yana dimitrova (37)
Sunday April 29, 2012, 9:53 am
Thank you.
 
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