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Editorial: On Keystone pipeline, Shaheen had it right

News flash. “Radical Environmental Group Launches Ad Campaign to Prop Up Shaheen’s Flailing Re-election Bid.”

And that radical group, in state Republican Party Chairwoman Jennifer Horn’s opinion, would be? No, not Earth First, the Monkey Wrench Gang or Greenpeace, and not even the Sierra Club or the Wilderness Society. It is, in Horn’s words, “an extremist organization dedicated to opposing commonsense energy solutions like the Keystone Pipeline” – those firebrands called the League of Conservation Voters.

Comic-book hyperbole from Horn is nothing new, but the League of Conservation Voters? Please. They are about as “extreme” as U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen herself, whose most radical act has been to wag her finger in admonishment.

The league does plan to run a $220,000 ad campaign to highlight what it says is recent New Hampshire resident and former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown’s ties to the energy industry. Our guess is that, at least in part, the ads are an attempt to counter any damage done by a $2.5 million ad war waged against Shaheen and two other Democratic senators, all female by the way, paid for by Americans for Prosperity, a right-wing group backed by the billionaire Koch brothers.

All the exaggerated claims masquerading as facts make it hard for the public to know what to believe. The savvy take nothing at face value. That includes the latest State Department report on the environmental impact of the Keystone XL pipeline which would carry crude oil from Canada’s tar sands across America to refineries on the Gulf Coast. Shaheen twice voted against bills calling for the approval of the pipeline, which, since it would cross an international border, must ultimately be approved by President Obama.

On Friday, the department issued the report, which was the work of a consulting firm with strong ties to the oil and natural gas industries. Horn cited the report as proof that the pipeline would not hasten climate change and chided Shaheen who “blindly followed orders from the radical environmental groups that have funded her political campaigns and opposed this worthy project.”

We urge Shaheen, who believes that this generation has a moral obligation to address climate change, to continue her opposition to the Keystone pipeline. The report, by Environmental Resources Management, came to its surprising conclusion about the pipeline’s minimal contribution to global warming only by acting on the questionable assumption that Canada’s tar sand oil fields, whose exploitation releases far more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than traditional oil fields, would be developed with or without the pipeline. That, to say the least, is debatable. Canadian officials and oil industry executives have acknowledged that the tar sands cannot be developed rapidly or completely unless the pipeline is built.

The pipeline’s contribution to pollution would, according to a draft environmental impact statement done for the State Department, be equal to that of 50 coal-fired power plants, a contribution to climate change that could not realistically be offset. The damage done would multiply in ways that would doom international efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions in time to prevent what could be a catastrophically rapid warming of the planet. A yes to the pipeline would tell developing nations, including above all India and China, that harming the environment is an inevitable and justifiable consequence of economic progress. The result would be more rapid sea level rise; longer, deeper droughts; more violent storms; warmer winters; the northward advance of tropical pests and diseases and a host of other ills. Tar sands development may not mean that “it’s game over” for climate change, as the nation’s former chief climate scientist James Hansen said. But then again, Hansen might be right.

Legacy Comments4

Shaheen has NOTHING right and she supported Obamacare, voters need to remember that.

Keystone Pipeline and Northern Pass are both extremely critical to the future of American and are supreme economic national security infrastructure issues. HEADLINE: State Dept.: Not Building Keystone Pipeline Could Increase Greenhouse Gas Emissions ( -- Not building the 875-mile Keystone XL Pipeline could result in the release of up to 42 percent more greenhouse gases than would be released by building it, according to the State Department. Not building the pipeline “is unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the [Canadian] oil sands or the continued demand for heavy crude oil at refineries in the United States,” the department noted in a long-awaited environmental report released January 31st. But the “No Build” option is likely to result in an increased number of oil spills, six more deaths annually, and up to 42 percent higher greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the State Department concluded. The project will create an estimated 42,100 jobs and add $3.4 billion to the U.S. economy. OR...... you could believe the spin from this crack editorial board.

What a difference a day makes! The other day, the Monitor editorial read : "Editorial: Wanted: new natural gas pipelines" Our region faces the highest energy costs in the country. Granted, Keystone won't do much for us about that, but we need to use every possible means to move and maximize all energy resources on this continent. The lack of pipelines is causing petroleum products to be moved by rail, and just ask the people in Quebec how that worked out. Without Keystone, the Canadians will go west with their own pipeline and the oil will go to China. None of this will happen any time soon, because the nimby-ists and green weenies will fight it every inch of the way, just like Northern Pass, Seabrook, wind turbines and anything else you can think of. Shaheen is dead wrong on this. I would hope Shaheen represents everyone in NH, not just the liberal elite coupon clippers. We need jobs and we need spendable income, or the economy will remain poor. I sent $1900 to the oil and propane company in January. Am I mad? You bet I am, and Shaheen and Obummer are to blame for holding up projects like Keystone.

The Canadians need the pipeline to get the shale oil to the Golf ports for export not for our domestic use. The Canadians already have a western pipeline to the pacific. From I copied this tidbit. "Valero, the top beneficiary of the Keystone XL pipeline, has recently explicitly detailed an export strategy to its investors. The nation’s top refiner has locked in at least 20 per cent of the pipeline’s capacity, and, because its refinery in Port Arthur is within a Foreign Trade Zone, the company will accomplish its export strategy tax free" So think again about benefiting our dependance on foreign oil. Get you information straight.

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