[This is the transcript of my regular KVMR commentary broadcast of 19 November 2014.]
Last night, after six years of delays, Dirty Harry finally brought the Keystone XL pipeline vote to the floor of the Senate where it failed to pass by one vote. This vote has been put off for more hokey reasons than you can count, and was finally allowed by the Democratic Senate only to give Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana one last chance for re-election on the claim she has been a strong proponent of our national fossil fuels energy program, which is not even close to being true. But such is politics.
Had the bill passed, it would have joined its twin in the House, and wound up on the president’s desk. There, according to the president’s own words and recent pronouncements from the WH, it would have been vetoed. Now why, you ask, would President Obama veto the construction of an obviously beneficial piece of national infrastructure that creates jobs, carries crude in the most environmentally safe way, while generating revenues and taxes in the process?
Taking the president at his word, the answer lies in some combination of the man’s profound ignorance of economics, his embrace of leftwing ideology, and/or an utter contempt for the intellectual acumen of his voter base. First, he has no idea how global markets work when he claims that the piped Canadian oil would be exported from Louisiana refineries, thereby having “no effect on fuel prices in the United States”. The rest of us know that crude oil is a fungible commodity on the world market – supply or demand in one part quickly affects prices all over.
In the revelation of this ignorance the president was joined by Sen Markey of Massachusetts and a number of other Democratic senators. Still, some wonder why we have had the slowest economic recovery on record, and that leftwing governments worldwide continue to have problems with their economic policies.
Then there’s our own Senator Barbara Boxer opposing the pipeline on environmental grounds, citing that fracked oil is the “dirtiest” crude in the world, and concluding that stopping the pipeline would somehow reduce production of such oil and protect our environment. The fact that Keystone would have no impact on the amount of fracked oil produced and its transport to market is a foregone conclusion. Regardless that eventually it will be safely piped across the US or Canada, makes no impact on the mind of this woman. She is ignorant or a cynical liar, you decide.
Finally, the Democrats hold their voters in the lowest regard when it comes to debating the pros and cons of their socialist agenda for the country. This was most recently confirmed as Obamacare was sold to the demonstrated and subsequently admitted “stupid American voter” with the biggest pack of government lies in recent memory. And according to the administration’s arguments against Keystone XL, stopping that pipeline deserves nothing less.
But today not all the news from the energy sector is bad. While America’s energy reserves and production are approaching all-time highs, we hear that Sunfire, a German company in Dresden, has finally demonstrated a commercially viable way to convert water and CO2 into synthetic petroleum-based fuels like diesel and kerosene. The process involves using electricity to convert water to steam from which the oxygen is removed leaving hydrogen. Using what is known as the Fischer-Tropsch process, CO2 which is harvested from the atmosphere, is then combined with the hydrogen to produce the end products. The potential for this method of making synthetic fuels has been known, studied, and variously applied for years, but now Sunfire has finally shown how it can be done at commercially viable conversion efficiencies. And the environmental benefits of its large scale applications using wind and solar sourced electricity are obvious. (H/T to reader and more here)
But not so fast. Given the perfidy of governments, the way to market for such a technology is yet not certain. Sunfire’s CTO says, “It is now a matter of regulatory factors falling into place in a way which gives investors a sufficient level of planning reliability. Once that has occurred, it will be possible to commence the step-by-step substitution of (extracted) fossil fuels.”
My name is Rebane, and I also expand on this and related themes on georgerebane.com where the transcript of this commentary is posted with relevant links, and debated extensively. However my views are not necessarily shared by KVMR. Thank you for listening.