State Department Finds Keystone XL Pipeline Won’t Accelerate Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Heather Ginsberg

State Department Finds Keystone XL Pipeline Won’t Accelerate Greenhouse Gas Emissions – Heather Ginsberg.

Well it looks like now not only do the Republicans have what’s best for the economy and people in mind, but they also care about the environment?! Imagine Democrats with confused looks on their faces! The journey to clearing the path for the Keystone Pipeline has been a bitter fought battle, but it looks like now the White House and its administration can’t fight any more.

In a new report done by the State Department it has been confirmed, “the project would not accelerate global greenhouse gas emissions or significantly harm the natural habitats along its route”.

As ABC reports (yes even the mainstream media is picking up on this),

“The approval or denial of any one crude oil transport project, including this proposed project, really remains unlikely to significantly impact the rate of development of the oil sands or the continued demand for heavy crude oil in the U.S.,” said Kerri-Ann Jones, the Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

The State Department, which conducted the study because the pipeline would cross an international boundary, also suggested in a voluminous report that impacts on air, water and landscape would be minimal.

The agency 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.”

Government analysts found that Keystone XL would each year produce the equivalent carbon dioxide emissions of 620,000 passenger cars operating for a year. But they concluded that whether or not the pipeline is approved, those emissions would still likely occur because of fuels goreglobalwarmingproduced and obtained from other sources.

Now, we all know the fight that has been going on between environmental activists and those who support the Keystone Pipeline. But now it seems that there is no real argument for the environmentalists. What can they possibly complain about now? Oh wait, here it is, apparently the government and the State Department don’t really know what they’re talking about, according to the president of Friends of the Earth. He says, “The draft SEIS reads like an on-ramp to justify the Keystone XL pipeline project. We cannot solve the climate crisis when the State Department fails to understand the basic climate, environmental and economic impacts of the Keystone XL pipeline.”

So basically it seems that no matter what supporters of the pipeline do, it is not good enough. We now have the Obama administration on our side, and it is still not enough for these “green” people. They used to try the excuse that the people of the states affected didn’t like it, but now Nebraska, Montana and South Dakota have all signed-off on the pipeline plan and their governors and congressional delegations have been calling on Obama to follow suit. It is time everyone wakes up and realizes this pipeline is the best choice to create thousands of new jobs and provide gas to thousands of people across the country.

NAPOLITANO: Obama is responsible for the mess in Libya – Washington Times

LIBYA/

LIBYA/ (Photo credit: شبكة برق | B.R.Q)

 

NAPOLITANO: Obama is responsible for the mess in Libya – Washington Times.

 

Intelligence community knew attacks were deliberate

 

By Andrew P. Napolitano

 

How many times have you heard the truism that in modern-day America the cover-up is often as troubling as the crime? That is becoming quite apparent in the case of the death of J. Christopher Stevens, the former U.S. ambassador to Libya.

 

Stevens and three State Department employees were murdered in the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, last month, on September 11th. About an hour before the murders, the ambassador, who usually resides in the U.S. embassy in Tripoli but was visiting local officials and staying at the consulate in Benghazi, had just completed dinner there with a colleague, whom he personally walked to the front gate of the compound. In the next three hours, hundreds of persons assaulted the virtually defenseless compound and set it afire.

 

Around the same time that these crimes took place in Benghazi, a poorly produced, low-grade, 15-minute YouTube clip was going viral on the Internet. The clip shows actors in dubbed voices portraying the prophet Mohammed and others in an unflattering light. The Obama administration seized upon the temporary prevalence of this clip to explain the assault on the consulate. Indeed, the administration sent U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to represent it on five Sunday morning TV talk shows on September 16th, to make the claim that the attack on the consulate was a spontaneous reaction to the YouTube clip, that it could not have been anticipated, and that the perpetrators were ordinary Libyans angry at the freedom moviemakers in America enjoy.

 

Soon, U.S. intelligence reports were leaked that revealed that the intelligence community knew the attack was not as described by Ms. Rice. The intelligence folks on the ground in Libya reported before September 16th that the attack was well organized, utilized military equipment and tactics, and was carried out by local militias with ties to al-Qaida. In response to these leaks, the State Department, for which Ms. Rice works, acknowledged that the assault was an organized terrorist attack.

 

The Obama administration has publicly rejected the intelligence leaks and insisted as recently as last week during the vice presidential debate that “we” did not know the assault was an act of terrorism against American personnel and property. The word “we” was uttered by Vice President Joseph R. Biden, whose credibility hit a new low when he insisted that the government did not know what we now know it knew. A day after the debate, the White House claimed that the “we” uttered by Mr. Biden referred to the president and the vice president, and not to the federal government or the State Department. This is semantics akin to Bill Clinton’s “it depends what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”

 

Earlier this week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in one of her rare forays into domestic politics, backed up the White House. She actually claimed that the White House was kept in the dark by the State Department.

 

What’s going on here?

 

What’s going on here is the unraveling of a value-free foreign policy and its unintended consequences. The whole reason that the streets in Libya are not safe and the country is ruled by roving gangs of militias is because the U.S. bombed the country last year. In an unconstitutional act of war, the president alone ordered the bombing. It destroyed the Libyan military, national and local police, roads, bridges, and private homes. It facilitated the murder of our former ally Col. Gadhafi and ensured the replacement of him by a government that cannot govern.

 

The consulate attack defies the claims of the president, articulated loud and long during this presidential campaign, that because he killed Osama bin Laden, al-Qaida is dead or dying, and the terrorists are at bay. Thus, in order to be faithful to his campaign rhetoric, the president has been unfaithful to the truth. I personally have seen excerpts from intelligence cables sent by American agents in Libya to Washington on September 12th, the day after the attack and four days before Ms. Rice’s TV appearances, acknowledging the dominant role played by al-Qaida in the attack.

 

So, who is to blame here? The president. He is responsible for destroying the government in Libya, and he is responsible for the security of U.S. personnel and property there. He is accountable to the American people, and he is expected to tell the truth. Instead, he has leaked the possibility of more bombings in Libya. These bombings would be more than a month after the Benghazi consulate attack and would attack the very government that Obama’s 2011 bombs helped to install.

 

Is it any wonder that Bill Clinton, in an unguarded private moment, referred to Obama as an “amateur”?

 

Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, is the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel. He is author of “It Is Dangerous to Be Right When the Government Is Wrong: The Case for Personal Freedom” (Thomas Nelson, 2011).

 

Great Moments in Government Waste – Daniel J. Mitchell – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...

Cover via Amazon

Great Moments in Government Waste – Daniel J. Mitchell – Townhall Finance Conservative Columnists and Financial Commentary.

Every time some class-warfare Democrat or Charlie Brown Republican says we need higher taxes, I think of all the ways the government wastes money and I get angry because the political elite is ripping off the American people.

Should we send more money to Washington when the federal government is:

And those are just examples of nickel-and-dime programs. The bigger outrage is that politicians have created costly, inefficient, and bankrupt entitlement programs that threaten our fiscal future.

But the small examples have symbolic value, and now I have something new to add to the list. The idiots at the State Department thought it was just fine and dandy to pay 35 times the market price for some Kindles.

IPads are too fancy, Nooks aren’t fancy enough, but Kindles are just right for teaching English, the State Department thinks, which is why it bought 2,500 of them from Amazon in a $16.5 million no-bid contract, NextGov’s Dawn Lim reports. That works out to $6,600 per Kindle Touch — a lot more than the $189 retail price. The plan, according to Kim, is to send the e-readers to “designated libraries and U.S.-friendly educational centers around the world.”

Since your paying for this ripoff, you might be a tad bit irritated. But that’s only because you’re an unsophisticated taxpayer. According to PR hacks, we really are getting a good deal because of all the extras in the agreement. Put down your coffee or soda before reading this passage from the report because I don’t want to be responsible for liquid on your computer screen.

Amazon is responsible for shipping the Kindles, providing 24-7 customer service, sharing data on how the Kindles are used to access content and pushing serialized content to the Kindles regularly. Amazon is also responsible for disabling “standard features, as as [sic.] requested by DoS, for the device such as individual purchasing ability.”

Wow, free shipping. That’s worth a lot. And the customer service surely adds a couple of bucks per unit, not to mention the extra pennies it must cost to disable features and provide electronic updates.

But let’s not be too hard on clueless bureaucrats. Maybe they just don’t understand high tech. After all, moronic government officials paid more than $22,000 each for big institutional Internet routers hooked up to just a handful of computers.

It’s almost enough to make you think government spending is the problem rather than the solution.

EDITORIAL: Obama is better than you – Washington Times

EDITORIAL: Obama is better than you – Washington Times.

State Department bequeaths words of ‘The One’ to a waiting world

The administration is downplaying the revelation that the State Department blew $70,000 in taxpayer cash buying copies of President Obama’s books. As first reported in The Washington Times, the purchase was meant to “engage key audiences in discussions of foreign policy.” It’s another uncomfortable reminder of the degree to which those who surround Mr. Obama feel it necessary to bathe him in adulation.

More than any president of recent or even distant memory Mr. Obama enjoyed a rock-star persona. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” Los Angeles Times reporter Joel Stein wrote after attending an Obama rally in February 2008. “People are crying, rending their garments.” In 2009, Newsweek editor Evan Thomas declared, “In a way Obama is standing above the country, above the world. He’s sort of God.”

Mr. Obama’s sense of personal esteem came through in many of his speeches, such as the classic statement in June 2008: “I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.” Mr. Obama was the first president-elect to require a special seal for his non-office. He thought it was perfectly reasonable to present Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II with an Ipod pre-loaded with audio of his inaugural address and 2004 speech before the Democratic National Convention – just in case she hadn’t downloaded them herself yet. Others have noticed Mr. Obama’s odd use of personal pronouns. Statistical analysis shows that he may not use the first person singular more often than some of his predecessors, but the way he does so clearly shows he considers himself a singular First Person.

Like many people with healthy egos, Mr. Obama does not suffer fools gladly – fools being anyone who doesn’t nod vigorously when he speaks. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, described Mr. Obama’s short temper when being forced to deal with Congress during debt ceiling negotiations last July. “It’s almost as if someone cannot have another opinion that is different from his,” he said. “He becomes visibly agitated. … He does not like to be challenged on policy grounds.” He is the president who blamed Americans for being soft and told people facing hard times to “eat your peas.”

Mr. Obama does have a self-congratulatory rival. Late last year a 6-by-9-foot, 800-pound bronze plaque honoring Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was reinstalled in the Ronald Reagan Building after an almost decade-long absence. This tribute was installed in the lobby of the U.S. Agency for International Development in 1998 and features an excerpt from a speech by Mrs. Clinton about “expanding the circle of human dignity.” Below it, a statement from then-USAID administrator J. Brian Atwood reads: “May all who pass through these portals recognize the invaluable contribution to worldwide development made by the First Lady of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton.” It is one thing to make such a grotesquely sycophantic statement, it is quite another to have those words cast in bronze. The plaque was taken down during the George W. Bush administration and now is returned at Mrs. Clinton’s urging.

The story of the Obama book buys faintly echoed a scandal involving former House Speaker Jim Wright, Texas Democrat, who encouraged supporters and labor unions to make bulk purchases of his book, “Reflections of a Public Man.” Revelations of the purchases helped drive Mr. Wright from office in 1989. There is no legal impropriety in the State Department spending tens of thousands of dollars to bring Mr. Obama’s books to the world’s readers, it’s just in very poor taste.

Both sides turn up heat in final Canada-to-Texas pipeline hearing – Washington Times

Both sides turn up heat in final Canada-to-Texas pipeline hearing – Washington Times.

By Tim Devaney – The Washington Times

The Obama administration appears poised to approve a proposed $7 billion Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL oil pipeline despite a series of increasingly passionate public protests in recent weeks, both in Washington and in the environmentally sensitive areas the project would cross.

The State Department, which must approve the proposal for it to go forward because the pipeline originates in Canada, appears to be leaning toward approval after Friday’s combative final public hearing in Washington.

Protesters gathered outside the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center early in the morning, and then filed into the hearing room, where many pleaded with the State Department to reconsider its support for the pipeline. Supporters, which include both business and labor groups, say the project will provide needed energy from a reliable ally, reduce the nation’s reliance of overseas suppliers, and create thousands of new construction and maintenance jobs.

Those economic benefits are overstated, critics say, and that the project bisecting the nation’s midsection will wreak environmental havoc on sensitive land.

State Department officials will now review public comments, and wrap up a 90-day review period in mid-November. Then, it will issue its decision to the White House in December. President Obama has faced pressure from environmental groups, including a series of protests outside the White House, as the decision day has neared.

At Friday’s packed hearing, Robin Mann, director of the environmental group Sierra Club, said she had come from Pennsylvania to make her voice heard. She hopes the State Department will take her concerns and those of other pipeline opponents seriously.

Activists conducted a “sleep-in” Thursday night, allowing dozens of pipeline opponents to move to the front of the line at Friday’s hearing, which was attended by more than 800 people.

“These people were not paid, not bused here,” Ms. Mann said. “These are people who took off work to attend these hearings. They are not convenient times, but this is important enough for them to attend.”

Opponents to the pipeline say it could endanger hundreds of miles of pristine American heartland from Montana to Oklahoma, with particular concerns for Nebraska’s Ogallala Aquifer, the underground source of drinking water and irrigation water for much of the Midwest. Nebraska’s Republican Gov. Dave Heineman and the state’s Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns are working to block the pipeline’s approval.

“This pipeline is not in our nation’s best interest,” Ms. Mann said. “It is dangerous, dirty and unnecessary. The environmental risks are too great for the benefits of this pipeline.”

To keep the pipeline running, electrical-pump stations along the 1,700-mile stretch would have to step up production. That could lead to higher electricity costs for locals and more greenhouse gases polluting the air.

Environmentalists point out that 12 spills occurred during the first year along the constructed portion of the pipeline, Keystone 1.

“Frankly, the industry is not prepared to clean up the pipeline, it’s not prepared to clean up these spills,” said Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth. “We already know this thing is going to spill.”

But Canadian pipeline industry officials said at the hearing that the extent of the spills from existing pipeline routes has been greatly exaggerated. Numerous speakers pointed to both the direct and indirect employment impact of the pipeline’s construction.

“The United States has a choice of receiving more oil from its most secure, most stable and most reliable trade partner, Canada, or to continue to import from less-stable locations that do not share the interest and values of Americans,” said TransCanada President and CEO Russ Girling.

“One way to help out the people who are missing out on the wealth is by creating good jobs,” said David Miller, spokesman for Laborers’ International Union of North America, “and that’s exactly what this pipeline would do.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, last week offered three reasons to approve the pipeline. First, it will create jobs, some 13,000 constructions jobs and 7,000 manufacturing jobs. Second, it will increase the nation’s energy supply, and make the country less dependent on overseas oil. Third, Canada is more sensitive to the environmental impact than are Middle Eastern oil countries.

For a nation struggling to find jobs, the pipeline is too good of an opportunity to pass up, Mr. Graham said. That’s perhaps the most likely reason why the Obama administration would shun environmentalists and approve the pipeline project.

“If they don’t, this will be a defining issue in 2012,” he said.

House Republicans introducing Legislation to restrict United Nations Funding – Tea Party Nation

House Republicans introducing Legislation to restrict United Nations Funding – Tea Party Nation.

Posted by Kathleen Gose on August 30, 2011 at 10:18am in Tea Party Nation Forum

The Chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen will introduce legislation today to require the United Nations to adopt a voluntary budget model which will restrict funding on a selective basis instead of the formula funding that is now in place. This legislation would enable countries to selectively fund U.N. agencies and would limit the use of U.S. funds to only purposes outlined by Congress. Currently the United States (that’s you and me) fund 22% of the annual operating costs of the United Nations.

The intent of the legislation is to create competition between the U.N. agencies for funding which in theory would require a sound organization structure, tight fiscal controls and stated objectives that could be measured. In other words they will have to adopt a business model rather than throwing our money at the wall to see what sticks.

The bill will also suspend funding for peacekeeping operations until management changes are made. As you recall there was similar legislation introduced in 2006 as a result of the graft and corruption at the U.N. That legislation failed to pass but the level of corruption and waste persists in the U.N. The bill will also end funding for Palestinian refugees. There has been tremendous criticism regarding the U.N. agencies work in Gaza and the West Bank as facilitating the perpetuation of hate among the Palestinians.

http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/press_display.asp?id=1902

The bill also could withhold funding for the UN Human Rights Council until the State Department can certify that none of the members of the Council are subject to Security Council sanctions or are states that sponsor terrorism. That will keep countries like Libya, Syria, Iran etc off the Human Rights Council. That makes sense to me!

This legislation is certain to meet stiff resistance from Senate Democrats and President Obama. The President’s so-called alliance building and appeasement foreign policy require limited accountability and no results. 

So what are your thoughts on selectively funding the United Nations based on the proposed legislation? Is it a good idea? Should we be funding the United Nations at all? Should we take the gloves off and come out swinging for this piece of legislation?

News Source for Forum:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-08-30/republicans-to-unveil-bill…