Trump’s orders = two steps back on climate change

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The science is clear: Human caused global warming is happening and is serious. Building and expanding infrastructure to make it easier to burn fossil fuels is a very bad idea. The Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access pipeline were two such projects, and in recent years, the environmental community, politicians, and others managed to stop these projects.

Today, President Trump signed an executive order that brings these projects back to life and moves them forward.

From Rhea Suh, president of the National Resources Defense Council:

“It’s appalling that Trump wants to throw open our borders to big polluters. Eliminating the national interest determination process, used by both Republican and Democratic administrations for decades, cedes control of our borders to multinational corporations to jam through cross-border infrastructure projects. And it completely shuts out public engagement in decisions that affect our communities, air, water and climate.

“These unprecedented actions could also pave the way for approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline—a project vehemently opposed by the U.S. tribes whose land its crosses and waters it could pollute. Equally troubling, they also revive the Keystone XL pipeline— a tar sands project that would lock our country into, for a generation or more, massive development of among the dirtiest fuels of our past. They pose a grave threat to our water, communities and climate. We will use every tool available to help ensure that they are not built.”

From Climate Hawks Vote:

Climate hawks fought one White House over the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines and we won. We’re going to fight the next one. And we’re going to keep on fighting until we clear the American skies of the fossil-fueled stormfront of Trumpism – and we will, ultimately, prevail.

In the wake of Trump’s election, thousands of our members pledged resistance, including peaceful civil disobedience if necessary. We’re now calling on all Americans — including political candidates and elected officials — to pledge to resist these climate-destroying pipelines.

From Price Of Oil:

Today, President Trump will be signing executive orders reportedly to fast-track approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines. In response, David Turnbull, Campaigns Director at Oil Change International released the following statement:

“Both the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines will never be completed, no matter what President Trump and his oil-soaked cabinet try to do. Trump’s first days in office saw massive opposition, marking the beginning of four years of resistance to his dangerous policies. We stopped Keystone XL and Dakota Access before and we’ll do it again. These are fights Trump and his bullies won’t win.”

It appears that this isn’t just hippie punching by Trump, but rather, a shrewd business deal for someone. According to DeSmogBlog:

As DeSmog has reported, Donald Trump’s top presidential campaign energy aide Harold Hamm stands to profit if both pipelines go through.

Hamm, the founder and CEO of Continental Resources who sat in the VIP box at Trump’s inauguration and was a major Trump campaign donor, would see his company’s oil obtained from hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in the Bakken Shale flow through both lines.

Trump has suggested that these projects would produce tens of thousands of jobs. This is only true in Alt-Universe. In Real-Universe, they will only produce a few dozen jobs long term. In fact, making the movement of a commodity more efficient, which pipeline builder argue pipelines do, reduces the number of jobs to move that commodity, by definition.

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24 thoughts on “Trump’s orders = two steps back on climate change

  1. Trump wants to help pollution be generated here at home — and dumped into the environment shamelessly, without any regulations to stop the practice.

    The WALL may work just as well to keep us from escaping, you know. Trump and his Politburo want to turn American into East Germany. Or North Korea.

  2. Remember, the WALL is now a fence.

    And Mexico will pay AFTER (he never said before, remember) you’ve built it. UmpaLoompa promised to ask them to pay.

  3. One issue with this as it concerns the pipeline and jobs. On a micro level, yes streamlining production will lead to a reduction in jobs in that system of production. However, it will not lead to a net loss of jobs. The savings are then passed onto the consumer, which increases aggregate consumer purchasing power, which leads to greater aggregate demand for various goods and services.

    Even if the pipeline did reduce oil industry jobs, those jobs simply move to other areas due to human wants being virtually infinite. Jobs aren’t lost or gained, only moved from other areas.

  4. Zach, the wants may be “practically infinite”, but when you have static wages in the middle and lower classes, you have no money to DRIVE those human wants. Those jobs won’t be made to supply human wants that are free (because that’s all the wants that can be paid for when you’re skint).

    And here’s an analogy for you.

    You may be desperate to visit the toilet while you’re in the kitchen, but deciding that you’ll just shit your pants while preparing dinner is not a good idea, even if this saves on toilet paper.

    Oil is like your poop, your kitchen is like the land the leaking pipelines will be run over, the GHG emissions are like the E coli you’re emitting all over your kitchen,and toilet paper is like this quarters’ profits.

  5. Greg said “Building and expanding infrastructure to make it easier to burn fossil fuels is a very bad idea.”

    I would point out that whether these two pipelines are built or not doesn’t affect the burning of fossil fuels.

    These fossil fuels will be burned whether they are shipped via a Canadian pipeline or sent via truck or train.

    It is just a matter of how much fossil fuel it takes to delivery the fossil fuel to its destination – not whether it will ultimately be burned.

    We are going to burn it all eventually.

    That is unless someone invents a cheaper form of energy than fossil fuels (which they have not yet).

  6. None of the jobs matters much the day after civilization collapses.

    The real jobs are in clean energy made at home.

  7. RickA – “These fossil fuels will be burned whether they are shipped via a Canadian pipeline or sent via truck or train.”

    No, that’s simply false. There is a price point at which it doesn’t make economic sense. You’re not considering that at all. Plus there is the rapidity of bringing the product to market and the resultant price changes and how that affect consumer behavior. Each of these would point to this being a bad thing for the climate. It’s not 6 of one and a half dozen of the other.

  8. Kevin: Correct.

    This is one of the big problems with the pipelines. The arguments that they are a good idea, ripped from the proper context, don’t look so bad. But they are very limited arguments.

    We have to stop building petroleum infrastructure.

  9. Greg #7:

    I disagree.

    People still have to eat, whether civilization has collapsed or not.

    After all, civilization has collapsed many times before and we are all still here – eating.

    Some jobs do matter more than others (of course).

    I put farming right up near the top.

  10. Kevin #8:

    Or course, you are correct.

    Once the price of fossil fuel, as delivered to its destination, is more expensive than alternative forms of energy, the amount shipped will lessen.

    However, we shipped an awful lot at $140 / barrel – which is more than twice the current level.

    I don’t know what that price level is or will be.

    It is all relative to the costs of other forms of energy.

    Right now, fossil fuels are cheaper than all other forms of energy.

    Until that changes – it will get shipped and used.

  11. Greg said “We have to stop building petroleum infrastructure.”

    The only way that will happen is if “we” invent some form of energy which is cheaper than fossil fuels.

    Than the stopping of building petroleum infrastructure will happen organically – by the market.

    Otherwise – not.

    The more scarce oil gets (the higher the price per barrel) the more economical it is to search out and extract the more expensive sources.


  12. Rick: I disagree.

    Of course you do, you disagree with truth all the time.

    Dick: People still have to eat, whether civilization has collapsed or not.

    Not the dead ones. And none of them eat oil. We don’t have the digestion for it.

    Dick: Right now, fossil fuels are cheaper than all other forms of energy.


    Hydro cheapest
    Offshore wind
    Solar PV over 40% of the USA
    “Dirty” Coal. Well, Coal in an old station
    Onshore wind
    “Clean” Coal
    Solar over 100% of the contiguous USA
    Nuclear most expensive.

    Drop the fossil fuels one or two pegs if they’re paying for their externalised costs.

  13. “The only way that will happen is if “we” invent some form of energy which is cheaper than fossil fuels.”

    Already done, Dick.

    Solar PV and wind.

  14. I quibble with your ranking.

    Geothermal (at the utility level) is just not available everywhere.

    Ditto for hydro.

    Wind onshore is cheaper than wind offshore.

    Wind and solar are not baseload (they are not available all the time).

    But if your right – than fossil fuel usage will just gradually taper off.

    Problem solved.

  15. It already has started tapering off.

    Wake up. Pull your head out of your ass.

    And start migrating your damn FF industry investments so that you can cease your relentless advocating of the FF industry.

  16. “Than the stopping of building petroleum infrastructure will happen organically – by the market.”

    Who was it who had no problem with the government of a state interfering with “the market” to influence the cost and availability of alternative energy sources? Who was that lying hypocritical sack? Anyone? .

  17. “I quibble with your ranking.”

    You’re wrong, but this:

    “Geothermal (at the utility level) is just not available everywhere.”

    Is irrelevant. YOU claimed “cheaper” ***NOT*** “available everywhere.

    Is there a nuke station in every town and city? A coal fired station in every town and city and village? No? Then THEY’RE not available everywhere, are they.

    Not to mention that’s got fuck all to do with the price of it, retard.

    Given you were so fabulously wrong and irrelevant, you need to take this on board and REEXAMINE your assertions there.

  18. “Wind and solar are not baseload (they are not available all the time).”

    Neither are nukes. They’re offline about 20% and in heatwaves they have to close down because they can’t cool.

    Neither are coal power stations since they can run out of fuel and also need maintenance. Same for the rest.

    And they all fallover by accident,though an entire windfarm or solar array won’t. So thoe are more available in times of accident or repair.

    So I guess that none of the power systems are suitable. None of them available 100% of the time, none of them everywhere.

  19. And nuclear, coal and oil aren’t load following, so they’re not suitable either. Most gas ones are backup generators and expensive to run, so running them all will increase the cost of gas power generation some more.

  20. He’s just getting started. It is illegal under US law to fund UNFCCC(or perhaps even be a member), because Palestine is a member.

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