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Grayson writes: "Today, energy independence soon will be a reality. For China. Thanks to the Keystone XL pipeline."

Congressman Alan Grayson. (photo: Getty Images)
Congressman Alan Grayson. (photo: Getty Images)


The Keystone XL Pipeline: Who Benefits?

By Rep. Alan Grayson, Reader Supported News

28 February 14

 

orty-one years ago, when I used to get up at 5 a.m. to get on gas station lines with my parents, I started hearing about "energy independence" -- a secure source of supply for our energy needs. Today, energy independence soon will be a reality.

For China. Thanks to the Keystone XL pipeline.

Q. Cui bono? ("Who benefits?") A. China.

The Chinese economy consists of taking raw materials and energy, making that into stuff, and then selling that stuff -- a/k/a "manufacturing." Chinese leaders understand that in order for that model to work, China needs steady supplies of raw materials and energy. By how do you get a steady supply of energy, in a world where those supplies are dominated by a cartel, and are concentrated in a part of the world prone to war? In America, we've been trying to puzzle that out for four decades, without success.

Well, the Chinese have figured it out. They're going to get their energy from Canada, a stable country, and pass it through the United States, another stable country. They will pay the Canadians the world price for oil. They will pay us nothing, or next to nothing. So Uncle Sam is Uncle Sucker.

And not for the first time. For the past decade, China has pursued an utterly unscrupulous and incredibly successful strategy in "trade" with the United States. China has been importing from the United States roughly $50 billion in goods each year, much of it food, raw materials and energy. China has been exporting to the United States roughly $350 billion in goods each year, mostly manufactured goods. And China has been buying roughly $300 billion in U.S. assets each year, mostly U.S. Treasuries. So we buy their stuff, putting their people to work. And they buy our assets, driving us deeper and deeper into debt. America loses -- twice.

Now China has peeled off a tiny portion of that trade surplus, just $30 billion, and audaciously is trying to parlay that into permanent energy independence. China has put that money into Canadian tar sands.

Canadian tar sands are easily one of the dirtiest energy sources on Planet Earth. Does China care? No. As Deng Xiaoping used to say, "it doesn't matter whether a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice." China's leaders are so indifferent to environmental concerns that they have no problem with 8-year-olds in Beijing contracting lung cancer from pollution -- but they get upset when the U.S. Embassy in Beijing puts an air quality monitor on the roof, and posts the readings on the internet. Canadian tar sands are a very, very black cat, but China's leaders care only about catching mice.

Chinese leaders have seized key elements of the world industrial supply chain, like rare earths. According to our government, they engage in pervasive industrial espionage. They have threatened American companies like Apple, Google and Walmart. In short, they know how to play the game.

All of the oil that passes through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline has to be sold in the United States. Why not the same rule for the Keystone XL Pipeline? But instead, we allow a tax-free zone, to facilitate Chinese energy independence at the expense of our own. Why does Uncle Sam have to be Uncle Sucker?

There are plenty of reasons to be against the Keystone XL pipeline. Environmentalists recognize it as the ultimate "bonfire of the vanities" -- planet-wide carbon bonfires. The pipeline passes through an active earthquake zone. One bad spill could permanently poison the Ogallala Aquifer, which provides drinking water to millions of people, and 30 percent of our irrigation.

Here is another reason, perhaps the best reason of all: It doesn't do us any good. China, yes. The Koch Brothers (who own the refining capacity that would be used), yes. Us, no.

When are we finally going to have a government with the courage to ask that simple question: Does it do us any good? Cui bono?

Courage,
Rep. Alan Grayson

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

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+89 # Barbara K 2014-02-28 12:05
We have so many natural disasters, like Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Wildfires, Floods, Earthquakes, etc., etc., that can damage this monstrosity and destroy vast areas of OUR Country FOREVER! We take all the risks and get none of the profits or benefits.
Who benefits? The Kochroaches.

..
 
 
+8 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-03-02 00:11
I quote you, "Who Benefits? The Kochroaches." Why do they benefit? James Madison:"too much money in the hands of the few destroy democracy."
 
 
+64 # ritawalpoleague 2014-02-28 12:26
Bushwhacked, Kochsucked, OhBombAh'ed. Time to take off the blinders, say bye bye to La La Land, and find and keep all the courage to reject the 'it's all about profit, benefits for me and mine'. It is vital, for the future of the planet and generations to come, for us to implode and revolt against all the greed and power over all addiction.
 
 
+31 # thekidde 2014-02-28 12:44
To say nothing of the fact that if some folks got really pissed about it they could keep blowing it up. Poor China, can't steal stuff without getting shit about it.
 
 
+51 # reiverpacific 2014-02-28 13:10
Perhaps it's time to "Destabilize" the two countries Grayson mentioned as in revolution.
Gawd knows, there are enough pissed-off, discontented and practically disenfranchised people in these Fragmented States, in which the government is owned by the "Cartels" he writes about.
I don't know about conservative, holy-roller Harper's Canada but he is hot for fracking, tar sands, clear cut logging and all other destructive, extractive, exploitive activities, presumably like Sara Palin, Cheney and the "Christian" reactionaries down here, he considers that the earth mother was given to we homo sapiens to exploit before the "rapture" comes.
 
 
+17 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-02-28 13:29
The conservative web sites that I read predict that China has a doomsday date when they will end the use of our dollar as the world's standard. They will be able to do this because of the tremendous debt we owe China. Typically, they are trying to make a buck from these predictions by telling you how to safeguard your assets. This, rather than giving up a few dollars of their own in order to prevent it. What a legacy to leave those we leave behind. I wonder what would happen if the West told China to go pound sand; all debts are cancelled or we'll give you 10 cents on the dollar. Wait, that still might leave them with too much. Oh well, there's always the dollar stores to spend our dollars!
 
 
+14 # tigerlillie 2014-02-28 13:55
Why aren't you condemning the poor governmental leadership in the United States for choosing to borrow vast amounts of money from the PRC, and for the economucally disasterous decisions that led to the destabalization of the U.S. dollar?
 
 
+22 # Caliban 2014-02-28 14:11
Destabalized US dollar? The dollar remains the most stable currency in the world and is still the "world currency" for global trade. The Yuan is nowhere near this status yet, though it could be a challenger one day if the Chinese economy continues to strengthen. But that day is a very long time away--if it comes at all.

That said, I am very much against the Keystone pipeline for both economic and environmental reasons.
 
 
-14 # Jim Young 2014-02-28 14:59
Quoting Caliban:
Destabalized US dollar? The dollar remains the most stable currency in the world and is still the "world currency" for global trade. The Yuan is nowhere near this status yet, though it could be a challenger one day if the Chinese economy continues to strengthen. But that day is a very long time away--if it comes at all.

That said, I am very much against the Keystone pipeline for both economic and environmental reasons.


Really? Then what is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triffin_dilemma about?

In the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reserve_currency table for Currency composition of official foreign exchange reserves, The US dollar was at 61.4% (down from a high of 71.0% in 1999). How much of our debt is held by the PRC?

* Edit added* I am very much against the Keystone pipeline too, but would justify it only on the economic reasons (for the dead-enders that will listen to nothing else). See EnergyPolicyFor um.org
 
 
+4 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-02-28 15:16
Caliban! I can't verify the claim of China destabilizing the dollar because I'm repeating a conservative website's claim that China can do it and intend to do it. I'm not sure if they wheel truckloads of gold back and forth at Fort Knox anymore. I'm not an economist but I do see what's being sold in every store I use. I see who offers what and from where and I can hardly believe what comes from China and else where. I don't support the pipeline for the reasons given but I wonder why the government would do different when the citizenry complains little and supports it with their dollars. And although it wasn't China, how about Schwarzenegger and the bay bridge!
 
 
+18 # bingers 2014-02-28 14:34
Quoting tigerlillie:
Why aren't you condemning the poor governmental leadership in the United States for choosing to borrow vast amounts of money from the PRC, and for the economucally disasterous decisions that led to the destabalization of the U.S. dollar?


I've been blaming Reagan for exactly that ever since he did it, even when I was a Republican.
 
 
+14 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-02-28 15:38
Bingers! What always amazed me was that Reagan was a hero for his anti-communist stand against China. Then he discovered detente and now he was a hero for opening discussions with them. He created the rift and then closed it. Teflon did indeed describe him.
 
 
+7 # bingers 2014-03-02 13:44
Actually, it was Nixon who opened discussions with them and recognized them. I sincerely believe, based on a discussion I had with Reagan, that he had alzheimers before he was elected and had little to do with actually running the government. That would also explain the huge numbers of oxymoronic answers he gave to reporter's questions.
 
 
+16 # The Buffalo Guy 2014-02-28 14:51
Tigerlille! I left a little for you to condemn Yes our government takes the easy way out but go to a department store and see where what they sell is made. Little is made in the USA anymore and who buys this stuff? So I'm complaining to the folks on this website. You can't just blame the government when you are complicit in the problem.
 
 
0 # Malcolm 2014-02-28 23:02
Hold it! Wouldn't that be SLIGHTLY immoral? Nobody FORCED THE USA Togo into so much Chinese debt, did they? We owe them the money, and the moral thing to do is to repay it.

On the other hand, some of us-those who aren't conspicuous consumers-shoul d WE have to suffer like they do?
 
 
+43 # motamanx 2014-02-28 13:36
Oil is a lubricant, not a fuel. If it is used correctly, as was intended, there was enough oil forever. Burn it up as fuel, and soon we'll be having to scrape tar sludge and transport it through the most fertile farmland in America. That is what is being proposed now. This represents a total lack of leadership; because that leadership has been bought by big industry. If ever there was a time to change this unfortunate set up, it is now. And overturning Citizens United is the best place to start.
 
 
+13 # Anarchist 23 2014-02-28 13:47
More Mordor! More children sacrificed to Moloch...the sheeple will never wake up..they will die instead of letting go of their illusions, sitting in front of their TVs watching Faux News. Actively Evil or criminally Stupid; you make the call! I believe that 'they' are actively evil and the sheeple have become criminally stupid or they would be in the streets and fields and factories...sle ep on, oh sheeple of Untied Stasi Staats of Amerikkka!
 
 
+10 # Anonymot 2014-02-28 14:04
Dear Mr. Grayson,
Are you on the inside? Do you know who the Koch Brothers own? Have you read this? They bought them both, the white cat and the black cat: all:http://read ersupportednews .org/opinion2/2 77-75/22216-a-s hadow-governmen t-controls
 
 
+3 # Anonymot 2014-02-28 14:07
Excuse me, start at http
 
 
+13 # bingers 2014-02-28 14:36
And the State Dept. IG says the vetting was perfectly fine, despite the fact that the corporation hired for the job is or was also TransCanada's lobbyist.
 
 
+4 # Jim Young 2014-02-28 15:07
Quoting bingers:
And the State Dept. IG says the vetting was perfectly fine, despite the fact that the corporation hired for the job is or was also TransCanada's lobbyist.


Who thinks the State Department IG is "perfectly fine," given their snow job?
 
 
-12 # Quickmatch 2014-02-28 15:26
There are negative aspects about the XL, and few positives. This article pretty much hypes the negatives and diminishes the positives. What is this "active earthquake zone" that is supposed to pass through? Not the areas of 2.0 quakes we've been hearing about, that crack gypsum walls and rattle dishes? Where will the oil be refined? Where will the finished products go--to China? Attributions?
 
 
+6 # karenvista 2014-03-01 18:12
Quoting Quickmatch:
There are negative aspects about the XL, and few positives. This article pretty much hypes the negatives and diminishes the positives. What is this "active earthquake zone" that is supposed to pass through? Not the areas of 2.0 quakes we've been hearing about, that crack gypsum walls and rattle dishes? Where will the oil be refined? Where will the finished products go--to China? Attributions?


The tar sands will be refined in Port Arthur, TX which already has a 40% higher rate of deaths from cancer because of the refineries there than the average for the rest of the state. With an 82% higher well to tank pollution rate Keystone XL will make Port Arthur an environmental pollution Sacrifice Zone. By the way, the Koch Bros. own the whole operation.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/10/idUS292515702420110210

There was a 4.2 magnitude in the Keystone XL region in 2002. That ought to break some pipe.
http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2010/07/07/StelmachsClumsyRomance/
 
 
+2 # karenvista 2014-03-01 18:14
Sorry! Don't know why it posted twice.
 
 
+2 # karenvista 2014-03-01 18:12
Quoting Quickmatch:
There are negative aspects about the XL, and few positives. This article pretty much hypes the negatives and diminishes the positives. What is this "active earthquake zone" that is supposed to pass through? Not the areas of 2.0 quakes we've been hearing about, that crack gypsum walls and rattle dishes? Where will the oil be refined? Where will the finished products go--to China? Attributions?


The tar sands will be refined in Port Arthur, TX which already has a 40% higher rate of deaths from cancer because of the refineries there than the average for the rest of the state. With an 82% higher well to tank pollution rate Keystone XL will make Port Arthur an environmental pollution Sacrifice Zone. By the way, the Koch Bros. own the whole operation.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/10/idUS292515702420110210

There was a 4.2 magnitude in the Keystone XL region in 2002. That ought to break some pipe.
http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2010/07/07/StelmachsClumsyRomance/
 
 
+4 # bingers 2014-03-02 13:51
Oil is so corrosive that those hugely expensive tankers don't last two years carrying light sweet crude. Tar sands oil is many times more corrosive and the pipeline passes through the Ogalalla aquifer. All tar sands pipelines have big problems with leaking and utter falling apart. If that oil gets into the aquifer millions of people lose their drinking water for decades. The only good thing about the pipeline is tha may turn those red states blue. And the proponents talk about the 10s of thousands of jobs it would create. The actual number, after the pipeline is finished would be 24 jobs, not 2400 or 24 thousand, two dozen jobs, and the oil goes to China. If TransCanada wants their oil refined, build a refinery at the site of the fracking.
 
 
+8 # Mrcead 2014-02-28 19:00
The people who always bend over are soon expected to do it without being asked.
 
 
+11 # curmudgeon 2014-02-28 23:04
It's time for the torches and pitchforks, folks.

Time to rid ourselves of the .1% flesheating zombies who are feeding on the rest of us toenrich themselves..
The XL is just one more example,
 
 
+10 # myungbluth 2014-03-01 10:57
Time for some "traffic problems" in Alberta!
 
 
+14 # Edwina 2014-03-01 11:04
Yes, we certainly need to ask the question, "Who benefits?" But we should note that China is only acting as any good capitalist would: buy low; add value; sell high. Or: exploit; manufacture; market. The U.S. and Western Europe have been the masters of this system for the last 500 years. Now the "developing countries" have joined the game, and the West has moved on to "services". Unfortunately, a large portion of these services involve financial "products" which do not create wealth (or anything else) -- except for their designers. Rather, they have bankrupted countries, corporations, and individuals. It's a new, globalized form of exploitation that includes us among the exploited.
 
 
+10 # ReconFire 2014-03-01 20:30
Dear Mr. Grayson,

Thank you for getting back in the political game, we missed you while you were gone. It's you're articles like this and others that make me ask....Would you please consider running for president, we need you, this country desperately needs you and you're no B.S. attitude. Think about it.
 
 
+5 # Elroys 2014-03-02 12:27
What would be even more interesting than highlighting China's benefits from the keystone pipeline would be to see the list of investors in the pipeline - Susan Rice and her husband, the Clintons - who else - and publish this list of investors far and wide.
 
 
+5 # bingers 2014-03-02 13:37
One of the big beneficiaries of Keystone XL is Eric Cantor.
 
 
+3 # video4315 2014-03-03 09:05
It seems to me that the XL Pipeline would be a terrorist group's dream: sabotage it for a major spill to contaminate the aquifer. Major payoff for a minor investment, easily-pulled-o ff and crippling to the US. So, why is it that the Republicans keep pushing for it to be completed? Even more baffling is why it hasn't been shelved permanently by Obama. This project is not something about which we want to ever have to say, "We told you so."
 

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