The Koch Brothers do Canada
The Republicans on the US House Energy and Commerce Committee have drafted a “North American-Made Energy Security Act” — legislation which would ensure swift approval of the proposed $7-billion, 2,000-mile Keystone XL pipeline from Hardisty, Alberta to the Texas gulf coast, doubling tarsands exports to the US to over a million barrels of oil a day .
“The draft legislation requires the president to issue a Presidential Permit decision no later than November 1, 2011.”
An interesting thing about that House Energy and Commerce Committee:
LA Times, Feb 6, 2011: Koch brothers now at heart of GOP power
“David and Charles Koch no longer sit outside Washington’s political establishment, isolated by their uncompromising conservatism. Instead, they are now at the center of Republican power, a change most evident in the new makeup of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Wichita-based Koch Industries and its employees formed the largest single oil and gas donor to members of the panel, ahead of giants like Exxon Mobil . . .
Nine of the 12 new Republicans on the panel signed a pledge distributed by a Koch-founded advocacy group — Americans for Prosperity — to oppose the Obama administration’s proposal to regulate greenhouse gases. A top early goal: restricting the reach of the Environmental Protection Agency, which oversees the Kochs’ core energy businesses.”
Koch Industries processes one in four barrels of U.S.-bound Alberta tar sand, while pumping millions of dollars into highly conservative, anti-green causes.
What do Tea Party rallies, Republican victories, climate-change deniers, Wisconsin’s anti-union push, and attacks on a cap-and-trade market for carbon emissions have in common?
They’re all fueled in part by profits derived from Alberta, Canada’s oil sands.
Charles and David Koch. Together, America’s fifth-richest citizens — each worth $21.5 billion — own Koch Industries, a refining, pipeline, chemical and paper conglomerate.
A Koch Industries operation in Calgary, Alberta, called Flint Hills Resources Canada LP, supplies about 250,000 barrels of tar sands oil a day to a heavy oil refinery in Minnesota, also owned by the Koch brothers.
Flint Hills Resources Canada also operates a crude oil terminal in Hardisty, Alberta, the starting point of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.
The company’s website says it is “among Canada’s largest crude oil purchasers, shippers and exporters.”
Fun fact: “Koch Industries has had 300 oil spills (mostly from pipelines) in six states over a seven-year period.”
Speaking at the White House presser in February, Stephen Harper plumped for the pipeline:
“Canada is the largest, the most secure, the most stable and the friendliest supplier of that most vital of all America’s purchases: energy.”
and tomorrow a TransCanada exec will address the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee in support of the pipeline.
TransCanada’s chief Washington lobbyist, Paul Elliott, as it happens, also served as national deputy director and chief of staff for delegate selection for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. Because the pipeline crosses the border, it will be Clinton who will decide whether to approve it.
So what’s all this tarsands oil headed for the US in aid of anyway?
From the proposed “North American-Made Energy Security Act “:
“Continued development of North American energy resources, including Canadian oil, increases domestic refiners’ access to stable and reliable of crude and improves certainty of fuel supply for the Department of Defense, the largest consumer of petroleum in the United States.”
I think they meant to say the Department of Defense is the largest single consumer of petroleum in the US.
But what is the largest single use the DoD makes of petroleum?
The environmental disaster that is the tarsands, the health hazards to First Nations downstream from them, the undermining of Canadian sovereignty, the danger to the Ogallala Aquifer pictured at the top, the tea party nonsense, the attacks on Obama and on a cap and trade market for carbon emissions, the gutting of the EPA, the buying of committees, the funding of rightwing thinktanks and climate change deniers . . .
– all this so Koch Industries can make a buck off apes playing with firesticks.
Monday Update: Brave New Films vid on the Kochs and the Keystone XL pipeline up at DeSmogBlog today: US farmers calling on Secretary Clinton as their last faint hope to stop it. Thanks to Holly Stick.
Also from The Hill: Koch and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton respond:
“A Koch executive, in a statement Friday afternoon, reiterated that the company has ‘no financial interest’ in the pipeline project . . . ‘Given these facts, we are confused about why Koch is being singled out and inserted into these discussions,’ said Philip Ellender, the company’s president for government and public affairs.”