Progressives that Cannot be Satisfied

I believe it was back in 1973, when my dad was an executive with an oil company, he got hauled in front of Congress to testify on the proposed Alaska pipeline.  Senators on the Left accused the industry of threatening the environment in the name of greed, by trying to bring oil to market that was entirely unnecessary.  A few months later, once the Arab oil embargo had begun, he was back in front of Congress answering questions from the same Senators who opposed the Alaska pipeline about whether the rumors were true that oil companies were holding tankers off-shore, purposely making the shortage worse and driving up prices.  It was an early life-lesson in government for me, watching my dad be publicly accused within months of seeking new oil supplies too aggressively and purposely withholding oil supplies from the market.

I am reminded of all this by the Keystone pipeline brouhaha.  One wonders how many of the people opposing the Keystone pipeline will be the first out on the picket line protesting oil prices the next time there is an oil price spike.


  1. Elam Bend:

    I'm sure someone in Congress is investigating the oil train derailments that caused explosions and fires; I'd like to hear if the have a better way to move the product.

  2. alanstorm:

    Yes there is, it's called a pipeline.

  3. Joshua Vanderberg:

    They want it to stay in the ground, and refuse to acknowledge that this won't happen.

  4. Erik Olsen:

    I remember going with my father (Leif H. Olsen) to hear him testify before congress regarding the Humphrey-Hawkins Act. He quietly but firmly stated that increases in the minimum wage would lead to increased unemployment. I was astonished at the anger and vitriol heaped on him by senators Humphrey and Javits. Didn't they know that my father was a decent honest man? Recent discussions have reminded me too of that event which was my first introduction into the vile world of Washington politics.

  5. Douglas2:

    I've got close friends facebooking their opposition to Keystone, and I just don't get it. Transport by rail is somehow safer? Flaring the volatiles in bakken because they can't currently be transported somehow reduces CO2 from fossil fuels? Sending tar-sands oil to be refined in China is somehow cleaner than doing it in Texas under the watchful eye of the US EPA?

  6. Don L:

    A long time ago (40+ years) I was a young lawyer representing the Sierra Club and other environmental groups against various power projects, like hydro, coal mining and nuclear power. Eventually I could not stand my clients any more, and moved on to other areas of the law. There was a total contradiction between the upscale Western lifestyles of these people, and their opposition to all production of power -- coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear and hydro -- which made their lifestyles possible. And the same blissful ignorance still dominates the environmental movement today. If all we had was so-called "green" energy -- sun, wind and biofuel -- we would have about 2% of our present energy needs, and everyone would have to return to about an 1830-level lifestyle. Which would be impossible, because we no longer have enough trees to cut to provide heat for everybody.

  7. Matthew Slyfield:

    As Joshua said, they don't want the product moved at all.

  8. Matthew Slyfield:

    "One wonders how many of the people opposing the Keystone pipeline will
    be the first out on the picket line protesting oil prices the next time
    there is an oil price spike."

    All of them?

  9. marque2:

    Think of all the oil fish and frogs that would die if we pumped away their natural habitat.

  10. Rick C:

    You should ask them about that. Chances are they haven't thought about it at all, and assume that if KXL isn't built, the oil will be left in the ground. You should particularly point out that the choices are your last quiestion, not "stay in the ground vs be refined."

  11. mahtso:

    Were those "Senators on the Left" members of the Coke party or the Pepsi Party? Much like the mainstream media, it seems to me, that the blogger mentions party affiliation only when he is asserting that there is no difference between the Rs and Ds. There is an election this year and it is possible the Rs can take the Senate, which in my opinion would be a major improvement.

  12. skhpcola:

    Maroons like this, probably:

  13. Matthew Slyfield:

    Didn't you know that buses run on unicorn farts?

  14. skhpcola:

    As do power grids, water systems, and latte machines...the truth would be too painful for leftists to bear, so we mustn't disabuse them of their fictions. ;-)

  15. Elam Bend:

    I have been told this by a supposedly intelligent person (who graduated law school with me). When I asked how we would produce the energy to survive; his response was wind and solar. When I pointed out the problems with that, well the logic really started going now where, but boiled down to "they work, the man keeps them down, and what do you know!"

  16. markm:

    They spend their lives with other politicians, so they know nothing of decent honest men.