Tuesday, October 4, 2011

McKibben hammers Obama on pipeline

In today's paper.

Of course, Bill doesn't have to win re-election.

What the Obama administration are thinking, and why they are thinking it, is probably less to do with cronies and more to do with the calculation of 2012 votes, and the timing of the decision.

Obama's team probably wishes it could drag out the discussion until after next November.

Think about it:

If the administration nixes the pipeline directly, the climate wins a short-term battle, but then the Koch brothers and less rabid oil interests pour money into the election, and get their pipeline anyway.

If the administration supports the pipeline directly, they lose all negotiating power with moderate oil interests. No point in giving it away.

But if the administration is seen to be thinking of supporting the pipeline, asking, even begging for moderate oil interests to show some support, jeez, buddy, spare a dime for a poor embattled most-powerful-man-in-the-world, then the Obamites get a new angle on the election, something they're going to need if they continue to abandon their base, and a wedge is driven between the radical conservatives such as the Koch brothers, and more moderate oil interests.

The notion that somewhere in Canada there are two trillion barrels is itself enough to take the edge off the bull market in oil which will take the edge off the bear market in general. I'm not a practicing econometrist but I was well trained by some very good ones, and can read the numbers well enough to know that there may be two percentage points of employment numbers for Obama, if the edge can be taken off the oil price.

I'm not saying it's good, or that I like it, or that Bill should back off. As Jim Hansen has intimated, the CO2 from two trillion barrels of Canadian crude is probably enough to send us back to the paleocene.

I'm just saying, it is what it is.

By the way, if the jobs numbers will be the primary determinant of 2012, and if oil interests like the Koch brothers want so badly to see Obama gone, do you think they might find a way to send the NYMEX crude numbers up again at some opportune point?

I would bet on it, myself.

You'd think that those conservative types clever enough to work this kind of stuff out would be clever enough to read a few science papers and realize that, no, scientists actually aren't kidding, nor a liberal conspiracy, and that the possibility of going back to the paleocene is real.

You'd think.

In the same paper, an article about new support for geoengineering, and a good discussion of the risks of the Keystone XL.

No comments: