Ever hear of Marion King Hubbert? No, he’s not the narrator of Lolita. He was a geologist for Gulf Oil who created a method for gauging how rapidly oil supplies would be consumed and when their depletion would eventuate in exhaustion. He expertly evolved a quantitative technique (the Logistical Growth Curve, more commonly called the Hubbert Curve) by which he scientifically predicted at what juncture the world’s oil reserves would run dry. Problem being, Hubbert presented this theory first at the 1956 meeting of the American Petroleum Institute in San Antonio, Texas, and predicted that the availability of oil in the United States would peak in the early ‘70s and diminish rapidly thereafter, hitting the dry dregs by around 1980. His estimates, though intellectually impressive and honorably motivated, were wrong, but they inspired the legions of doomsayers who followed, many of whom did not scruple at insisting that planet earth would be drained of fossil fuels within “the next ten years,” counting from whenever they happened to be issuing their dire warnings.
Casting our gaze rearwards long enough to embarrass all of the geologists, environmentalists,politicians and pop-cultural speechifiers who took it upon themselves to write petroleum’s death warrant over the bygone decades would be amusing, to be sure, but unnecessarily time consuming. Suffice it that only one expert got things exactly right, and he was a guy who infamously appeared in movies with a chimpanzee—yes, he was Ronald Reagan who took the contrary position, rasping unconcernedly that we were floating on a sea of oil—an observation that earned him so much scholarly pique and popular derision that he might as well have said we were well supplied with marshmallow bushes and lemon drop trees. Still, we are not, even today, confronted with a crisis of depleted oil supplies; only the problem of liberal interference with their extraction and transport, which seems eternal.
WOOF knows “fossil fuels” (if that’s even what petroleum is) will still be derivable from mother earth long after its inventive denizens (assuming they have not inventively blown themselves up) evolve more efficient and less labor-intensive methods of propelling themselves hither and thither—yes, WOOF predicts that better sources of energy will be discovered and profitably developed for general use by the free market, just as they have always been—like, has anybody made a speech about “King Steam” lately? So don’t give up on your flying car—it’s not too wild a dream. But while we await coming breakthroughs, we still need to drive cars and heat our homes; and many of us are not fortunate enough to live near nuclear power plants. Thus, we require fossil-based energy to stay warm, commute, and listen to our old Jackson Browne LPs. For this reason, a source of readily available oil is imperative. And just as obviously, this is not obtainable through an obsequious reliance on oil production in Arab countries whose leadership and populations hate our guts.
North to Alaska!
One of the facts that eluded poor Hubbert back in the day was the coming inclusion of the magnificent state of Alaska in the American union, and the construction of the Alaskan Pipeline. If you are young, it might astonish you to discover that during the early ‘70s Atlantic Richfield, a hated and despised private oil company, suggested building a pipeline running 800 miles from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, Alaska, thereby conveying a veritable ocean of crude oil from the frozen wastes to energy-dependent American motorists and homeowners, with enough left over to sell internationally.
Naturally, then as now, this idea struck American liberals as horrendous. Alaskan Natives (that’s how we say “Eskimos” nowadays) were understandably concerned that the proposed construction would traverse land traditionally claimed by a variety of native tribes without any economic benefits accruing to the indigenous peoples. Conservationists (which is how the media prefer to say “environuts”) were angry about everything—as always—insisting that the proposed project would squish arctic trees, pollute the tundra, and devastate the native herds of caribou, whose migratory and grazing habits would, they argued, be irretrievably hobbled, probably resulting in almost instantaneous extinction.
Liberal American citizens worried that the vast acreage of Alaska and the majestically bounding caribou that they so adored watching on PBS specials would vanish from the screens of their color TV sets, swept away by an all-consuming tsunami of yucky pollution directly related to the heartless connivances of “Big Oil.” These and other arguments were just as ridiculous then as President Obama’s “concerns” about the building of the Keystone Pipeline are today. But that didn’t keep environmentalists from hogging airtime and press coverage together with their Democrat mouthpieces in congress. In fact, a ready supply of crude from the hyperborean vistas of the Land of the Midnight Sun (to quote Johnny Horton) might have proved a pipe dream and nothing more, were it not for the swift and timely intervention of a large consortium of Arab sheikhs.
Fortunately, Americans were neither quite so stupefied by the media nor quite so propagandized by the environmental Left in the ‘70s, besides which the oil-producing nations of the Middle East rode to the rescue of the pipeline, however unwittingly. In 1973, when the “Yom Kippur War” (one of the serial endeavors to eliminate Israel launched by its genocidally-inclined Arab neighbors) ended badly for the invaders, OPEC (your friendly neighborhood Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries) endeavored to punish American support for the embattled Jewish state by imposing an oil embargo against the United States.
The embargo proved successful at first (until greed peeled the signatory members away one by one) causing the price of oil and gasoline to skyrocket in the U.S. This entirely fortuitous occurrence led to President Nixon making passage of pipeline legislation a White House priority. Even extremely liberal Senate and House members came under tremendous pressure from their constituents and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act passed both houses allowing the hated oil companies to ink a deal on January 23, 1974, permitting work to start. Happily (even in the strict adverbial sense) the native peoples whose lands were thus traversed, recouped a bundle in the process. And, of course, despite a 1,300 page document submitted by the environmental lobby detailing each of the plagues that pipeline construction was bound to unleash upon Alaska and the environment in general, the trees are doing fine, the rivers are flowing cleanly, and the caribou are frolicking blithely—but even in that slightly-less-irrational day, the battle to win an uninterrupted flow of petroleum for the American public was, to borrow the Duke of Wellington’s phrase, “a damn close run thing!”
Obama’s green dreams….
You would have to be a determinedly uninformed voter (and yes, they are legion, we know) to avoid grasping President Obama’s adamant opposition to any form of utile, cheap energy (except the kinds that don’t work), and in particular his opposition to the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada. When he isn’t conniving to drive coal down the chute, (sorry), or to eliminate nuclear power as a viable option (by closing down the Yucca Mountain nuclear-storage site at the same time that he laughably asserted his desire for “a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country”), he is hard at work attacking our sources of oil. Beyond his proscription of drilling in the Gulf, and his nonchalant dismissal of a federal judge’s order to suspend the proscription, he famously bollixed construction of the Keystone Pipeline, making its rejection a veritable centerpiece of his energy policy, as well as a rallying point during many of his aggravatingly sing-song public addresses.
In January of 2012, insisting that “safety is key,” President Obama flatly rejected TransCanada’s bid to build a $7 billion oil pipeline stretching from the tar sands of Alberta for 1,700 miles across seven states to American refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. Not only is the idea anathema to Our Beloved Leader owing to the lower energy rates it would engender, it also threatens to create approximately one-hundred thousand new jobs, which must viscerally revulse the First Marxist, and thus he declared in January of 2012 that, “the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment. As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree.”
So take that, Canada!
The threat of a pipeline project resurfaced in 2013, causing an especially histrionic Al Gore to denounce the idea as “an atrothity” and raising the dander of the Natural Resources Defense Council (to nobody’s surprise) which exclaimed that tar-sands oil is “dirtier and more corrosive” than conventional oil (which, in any case, the NRDC also abhors), and is certain to cause high levels of greenhouse gas pollution, speeding our deaths by global warming, and, of course, killing many of us while we await death by global warming through dread spills that will leave us wallowing in “immense lakes of toxic waste.” That this has not occurred in Alaska is of no matter—nor is it worth considering that pipe-building technology may have advanced over the intervening 40 years even beyond what worked in Alaska. No, if we let Keystone go through, we’ll be swimming in guck and baking beneath a relentless sun within the decade! And Our Beloved Leader is keenly aware of these concerns, besides which he’s had one or two revelations of his own. In 2013 he let a reporter know that, “The most realistic estimates are this might create maybe 2,000 jobs during the construction of the pipeline – which might take a year or two – and then after that we’re talking about somewhere between 50 and 100 jobs in a economy of 150 million working people.” As if that weren’t sufficiently ridiculous to rock the press back on its heels, (had they so much as the collective analytic prowess of a bed of freshwater bivalves) he added that the pipeline would not lower gas prices, and might, in fact, drive them upwards. The assembled press members dutifully wrote this down as Rappin’ Preezy took full voice, appending his view that, “I’m going to evaluate this based on whether or not this is going to significantly contribute to carbon in our atmosphere–and there is no doubt that Canada at the source in those tar sands could potentially be doing more to mitigate carbon release.” So take that, Canada, you polluting barbarians! And enter the reliably-unctuous Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, to assure an increasingly desperate citizenry that “The Obama Administration remains committed to the production of clean, renewable energy from homegrown sources, and to the businesses that are hard at work to create the next generation of biofuels.” (Yawn.)
And that brings us to now, as in the present, where it begins to get really interesting. The State Department ruled last March, curiously enough, that the pipeline would not increase greenhouse gas emissions –but the Environmental Protection Agency, in a strongly worded letter, called for a more detailed study one month later. (If this seems odd, turn immediately to our ingenious explanation of cabinet-level Three-card Monte published last month.) And while you’re checking that out, ask yourself this puzzler: What’s going on with State and its developing war of words with the EPA? Are these two branches of the Obaman power elite actually at odds with each other? Why would a reliable liberal hack like John Kerry (who served in Vietnam before he was against it) enter into an unnecessary tussle with so refined an exemplar of sinistral flimflammery as EPA archduchess Gina McCarthy, (about whom WOOF can think of nothing good to report apart from her having a cool last name)? So striking were the State Department’s assurances that the pipeline would not poison Americans to death that Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell roused himself from his chronic torpor long enough to declare, “”This report from the Obama administration once again confirms that there is no reason for the White House to continue stalling construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, so, Mr. President, no more stalling — no more excuses.” Say, that’s some dazzling rhetoric all right, Mitch, thanks! But WOOF will not be in the least shocked should the EPA, or possibly the Department of the Interior (find the little lady and win the dough), respond with further forecasts of death, doom, and disaster, lobbing the ball back toward State’s court, as it were.
Is this internecine warfare? Nonsense! Bureaucracies are bovine entities of course, especially governmental ones, and momentary displays of cross-purposed verbiage are only to be expected. But now, State has come back with an iterance of its view that Keystone raises “no major environmental concerns,” and you can imagine the chaos this report is causing among those shrill defenders of the permafrost whom Edith Efron used to amusingly dismiss as “those save-the-fishies people.” Strange days indeed!
Okay, here’s your explanation for this apparent dichotomy, and it’s at once simple and entertaining, or we wouldn’t bother with it! The fact is, Barack Hussein Obama wants to okay the Keystone Pipeline about as badly as he wants to start a chapter of the John Birch Society. He has frantically sought options to doing the obvious—even to the extent of clearing the way for the opening of a (comparatively insignificant) Oklahoma-to-Texas line created to alleviate an oil bottleneck at a Cushing, Oklahoma storage hub. Oil began flowing unrestricted down the lesser pipeline last week, but it would have done so with or without Rappin’ Preezy’s okay because its 485-mile length crosses no U.S. borders despite the fact that TransCanada operates it. This is a classic Obaman beau geste…graciously granting his approval of that which is in any case inevitable, and as a sop to American voters and the Canadian oil industry it probably barely registered. Meanwhile, the sound of impatient American feet tapping has waxed thunderous, and the Canadians are showing signs of annoyance too. Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver read over the most recent reports and huffed, “The benefits to the U.S. and Canada are clear. We await a timely decision on this project.” Timely? Leviathan will not be rushed.
Now, the afore-mentioned Barack Hussein Obama would typically scoff at these demands for oil, timeliness, practicality, jobs—and all that other stuff he finds so irritating; and the disdain this will earn him from Canadians bothers him not a wit more than the fact that most of Europe, Great Britain and the Middle East consider him an irretrievable boob. He has bigger fish to fry, dear readers, and believe us when we tell you: we are those fish! So in any other circumstances the president would stick to his guns (not that he owns any, but figuratively speaking), and let Mao take the hindmost. But not this time out, because there is more at stake here than previously. The quick-witted among our readers (and we confidently assume this is everyone) will say in chorus with us: Ahhh, yes, the Senate!
Politico freaks out
According to a story in the reliably liberal Politico last week, Democrat financiers are pulling their millions out of looming races for the House of Representatives infrank acknowledgment that recapturing that body in 2016, barring some unforeseeable game changer, is a lost cause. So powerfully have the American people reacted to their sadly-belated discovery that Obama’s promises about his healthcare program were a raft of dejecta, that many long time Democrat socialists in the House are simply dropping out of the game, the most recent example of which is the unbearable Henry Arnold Waxman, U.S. Representative for California’s 33rd congressional district, serving in Congress since 1975. Long heralded by the obedient press establishment as one of the most influential members of congress, Waxman was a leading loon in the fight to ram socialized medicine down the throats of Americans, but he suddenly lost his feistiness last week, declaring himself out of the running in 2016, because, gosh darn it, “It’s been frustrating because of the extremism of tea-party Republicans” (which phrase, translated into real-speak, means “I’ve seen my current polling data and there’s no way I’m getting re-elected after what I pulled with Obamacare!”). Thus, the House is losing not only a liberal kingpin, but also the least attractive member of that body since Dan Flood (D-PA) decided to grow a mustache out of his nose. (Ugh, why did we remind ourselves of that?)
Waxman’s welcome departure exemplifies a growing panic on the Left, according to the leftists at Politico, that 2016 will be another 2010, resulting in the Senate shifting to Republican control. Threatened in this regard, the multimillionaires of the fashionable Left have begun focusing their contributions on the Senate, in hopes of hanging onto that chamber, or at least keeping the Republican numbers low enough that a Lincoln Chaffey-style defection or two can be engineered as a make-up exercise. Politico states that even some of the leftist elites whose donations were aimed at reuniting Nancy Pelosi with her whack-a-mole speaker’s gavel have lost heart and adjusted their fire to have maximum effect in the upcoming Senate races. The cool slang for this on the Left is “triage,” and WOOF would certainly prefer to see liberalism doing triage than dancing Snoopy dances—but this is not true of our Dear Leader. Okay, we know what you’re thinking: What does this Democratic panic, no matter how appealing, have to do with the disagreement between State and the EPA about the advisability of building the Keystone Pipeline? And here’s the partial answer: POTUS is also terribly afraid that the Senate may go Republican…do you find that implausible? We mean, implausible that he would give a tinker’s damn?
Why would a president whose clinical narcissism drives him again and again to ignore even his most sympathetic critics while tossing even his most devout followers under the proverbial bus whenever circumstances make doing so exigent, give a darn what happens to the Senate? Let them go down in flames, right? They were too small for the Obaman Vision! More Republicans on the Hill just means more candidates for the president’s patented version of the blame game. Why should he give a flying fleep?
Well, he does—give a flying fleep that is–and here’s why: WOOF knows (and we don’t say that unless we do) that Our Beloved Helmsman has been hard at work lately—not protecting the constitution or presiding over the proper functions of the executive branch, but rather holding lengthy meetings with legal experts and a handful of (perhaps ironically sympathetic) constitutional scholars regarding the removal of the biggest obstacle to his future happiness, namely the 22nd Amendment. This bothersome Republican legislation prevents any president from seeking a third term, whether concurrently or following a hiatus from office—it just cannot be done constitutionally. And Rappin’ Preezy is doing his best to seek a means of repeal so that he can oversee the utter and complete ruination of the republic. Really. And you don’t have to be Thomas by-God Sowell to figure out that the Bamster isn’t getting anywhere—anywhere at all, without a left-wing Senate to back his perversities!
Now, you may well say, gentle readers, that no American in his right mind would vote to invite Barry Obama back for a third term, with or without the repeal of the 22ndamendment, but consider two distressing factors. First, Obama cannot bring himself to believe this, and even apart from his unbounded egomania, he has a finely tuned ground game ready to roll whose particular specialties are voter fraud and intimidation. Also consider: No matter what you or we in the WOOF cave may think, there are plenty of Americans still flaunting their “Obama for me!” bumper stickers and aching to vote a third time for the nation’s first communist president. If no American in his right mind would vote for the man, how did he win a second term despite all the disasters, lies, and excuses, compounded with interminable economic recession and skyrocketing unemployment? But we digress…
Good cop, bad cop….
So here is where we find our explanation of the strange disconnect between the State Department and the EPA when it comes to the Keystone Pipeline. Normally, the First Marxist would simply say no to the pipeline—sneering with his customary hauteur that he will eschew all such environmentally destructive, jobs-neutral endeavors aimed at lining the pockets of Big-Oil magnates along with their fellow Republican fat cats—and blah blah blah. But it is beginning to look to the POTUS (and to innumerable analysts and strategists) as though he cannot afford to just say no. It is beginning to look as though politics militate for the pipeline’s construction, lest the democratic brand in the Senate be further tarnished by the obdurate Luddite in the Oval Office. And it is WOOF’s position on this that the obdurate Luddite has not yet resolved himself to build so detestable a thing as an oil pipeline—especially one, the construction of which, comes with the additional nightmares of more jobs and more gasoline for the cars of Americans who should be trained to rely on mass transit. But on the other hand, Mr. Obama is also unable to shake the gnawing conviction that axing the Keystone Pipeline at this juncture might also drop the ax on any hope his party retains of holding the Senate. If he says yes, his fringe environmental wing tears him to shreds, which has a ripple effect among the college-age voting block of professorially-and-parentally brainwashed robo-students who vote for “cool.” But if he says no, the country seethes at this latest manifestation of incompetence and puerile stubbornness. What is a Bamster to do?
Default position: Bamlet!
He does his Hamlet act, of course–pretending to wrestle in torment over whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outraged environmental lobbiests or take arms against a sea of oil emerging from TransCanada’s accursed pipeline, and by opposing end it? Okay, sorry—but you get the idea—the image that the public and the always gullible news media must now be shown is that of “lonely-at-the-top” Barry, weighing all the issues and finally cowboy-ing up and taking a stand. The dichotomous views of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of State are a chimera specifically engineered not only to reflect this “profound” internal torment, but to afford the president cover no matter which way he decides to decide—this is the only function of the pantomime—to give Obama cover for a decision he is not yet certain how to finesse.
This is, in fact, what we previously referred to as cabinet-level Monte, played to a fare-thee-well. The fact, of course, being that Obama desperately wants to kill the entire capitalistic annoyance, but cannot bring himself to take quite so outrageous a political stand when the result might be the loss of the Senate and his hopes of kinghood along with it. This is why the EPA is playing unabashed “bad cop,” ready to stand by the president if he is forced to turn TransCanada (and the American people) down flat out of his fidelity to left-wing extremism, while the State Department, you will kindly note, stopped short of actually recommending pipeline construction, precisely to play “good cop” while leaving ample room for knifing the project without much suggestion of official discord. In this manner, State’s relatively glowing report will give cover to POTUS if he decides he has no choice but to hold his nose and side with Canada and the United States.
The shape of schemes to come…
What will he ultimately decide? (What will Valerie Jarrett and the Reds offstage ultimately decide?) We probably don’t have long to wait before we find out—but the possibilities here seem to be limited to a yes, a no, or another ploy to extend the time requisite for the government’s already painfully protracted perusal of Keystone’s merits until after November, 2014, which is still uncomfortably distant. To this end, it might be that some other constituent of the Obaman uni-cabinet will be mustered into action, thus the Interior Department may suddenly develop a set of concerns and insist on a new study, or perhaps the Department of Energy. Why not?
Well, In this regard, WOOF has not availed itself of the services of our very own in-house psychic, the illustrious and at-least-mostly clairvoyant Dr. Gootensteiner Johannes Walters, vaunted head of our award winning Occult Divinations Division (ODD), headquartered in beautiful downtown Zug, Switzerland. Unfortunately (as we see it) the Doctor’s fearless prediction of last May to the effect that Obama’s administration would somehow or other fail to outlast the year (which see ) has clearly come a cropper by almost six weeks. WOOF, therefore, is uncertain whether to further enlist the Doctor’s services, and did not, in any case, inquire of him regarding the present matter. He may consider himself on probation.
All of which means, we aren’t entirely certain how the president will resolve his pipeline predicament, and neither is he—but although it seems a decision must not be long in coming, given the pressures both left and right, we must recall that POTUS spent his career in the Illinois state senate voting “present” 129 times and showed little willingness to take a stand on anything controversial beyond the usual liberal agenda items, although as a United States Senator, it must be acknowledged, he took a leading role in safeguarding the right of doctors to crush infantile skulls postnatally. Basically, however, Mr. Obama is not a man who likes to make decisions—and one senses that the major decisions of his presidency continue to be made for him.
With all this in mind, it will be interesting to watch how the rehash of the 2012 decision on Keystone, itself a kind of reprise of the 1973 controversy over the Alaskan pipeline, plays out over coming days and weeks. Only yesterday (as we go to press), Obama confidently assured moderate TV commentator Bill O’Reilly that his decision on Keystone awaits only the go-ahead from the Department of State–which seems odd, since he already has it in the form of State’s report. No, we at WOOF cannot predict this one with certainty (although we sense increasing uneasiness among the environuts)! We can only predict one thing with complete confidence: When Our Beloved Helmsman announces his long-awaited decision…there will be blather!