From former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich (via Facebook)
Conservatives never let a foreign-policy crisis go to waste. Consider today’s right-wing talking points linking the crisis in Ukraine to approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. Paul Ryan says approval of the pipeline would “signal America is open for energy business and America will be helping our allies with energy resources so that they can be less dependent on Russian energy resources.” Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly says “the Keystone pipeline must be approved. Why? Because Russia is blackmailing Europe over energy … the more oil and natural gas the USA and Canada can produce and distribute, the weaker Russia becomes on the world stage.”
This is pure baloney for at least three reasons: (1) Even if approved, construction of the pipeline would take at least a year — hardly a timely response to the crisis in Ukraine, (2) even at full capacity, oil from Canada’s tar sands would deliver 830,000 barrels per day, barely a trickle in a global oil market that consumes 92 million barrels a day — and therefore would have almost no impact on Russia’s oil sales, and (3) Russia’s real bargaining strength comes in its supplies of natural gas to Europe, but natural gas is difficult and costly to transfer and store in cargo ships bound to Europe from American ports.