Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

"Outstanding…Moore Triumphs! Publishers Weekly

Mike & Friends Blog

Robert Greenwald

Robert Greenwald is a producer, director, political activist, and Brave New Films founder and president.

May 23rd, 2011 11:50 AM

Sec. Clinton Has A Choice: Protect Americans or Profit The Kochs

There is a raging battle going on in this country over whether we use our resources to benefit the haves or to protect those who don't have as much as the most wealthy among us.

We see this where tax cuts for the millionaires are required in order to continue giving unemployment benefits to the out of work. It took place around the attempt to reform Wall Street. We see it in cuts to education, and attempts to bust unions.

The latest battle over whom our country chooses to protect goes straight to the heartland, in the form of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, currently under review by Secretary of State Clinton. See our video and petition to Clinton.

Tell Secretary of State Clinton to say No to the Keystone XL pipeline!

Benefiting The Koch Brothers And Friends

Whenever such a harmful project is en route to approval, it needs to be asked who stands to benefit from it. Unsurprisingly, two of the key people positioned to benefit from this pipeline are the notorious Koch brothers.

As ClimateProgress writes about a recent SolveClimate reports:

The two brothers together own virtually all of Koch Industries Inc. - a giant oil conglomerate headquartered in Wichita, Kan., with annual revenues estimated to be $100 billion.

 

A SolveClimate News analysis, based on publicly available records, shows that Koch Industries is already responsible for close to 25 percent of the oil sands crude that is imported into the United States, and is well-positioned to benefit from increasing Canadian oil imports.

A Koch Industries operation in Calgary, Alberta, called Flint Hills Resources Canada LP, supplies about 250,000 barrels of tar sands oil a day to a heavy oil refinery in Minnesota, also owned by the Koch brothers.

Flint Hills Resources Canada also operates a crude oil terminal in Hardisty, Alberta, the starting point of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

The company's website says it is “among Canada's largest crude oil purchasers, shippers and exporters.” Koch Industries also owns Koch Exploration Canada, L.P., an oil sands-focused exploration company also based in Calgary that acquires, develops and trades petroleum properties.

We're not the only ones asking how much the Koch brothers stand to gain. On Monday the House Energy and Commerce Committee GOP is holding a hearing on the pipeline, in an attempt to push through approval even quicker than the present process allows. This act of political theater is another attempt by conservative elites to push through the pipeline's approval, against the wishes of American homeowners, farmers and ranchers.

On Friday, House Democrats wrote a letter sent to committee Republicans stating. “We are writing to request that in preparation for the hearing on and markup of this draft legislation, the Committee request documents from Koch Industries relating to the company's interests in Canadian tar sands and the extent to which it will benefit if the Keystone XL pipeline is constructed.”

Keystone XL is only the latest political fight where the Koch brothers hope to keep secret their involvement and financial interest. The Kochs have been exposed as being willing to cause any degree of harm to our country that would increase their profits. And now they're going after Midwest land, the property passed down through generations of family, and the safety of our drinking water and air.

Keystone XL and “Dirty Oil”

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline deals with what is called “dirty oil” tar sands. Tar sands production carbon dioxide emissions are three times higher that those of conventional oil. The amount of oil Keystone XL would carry is equal to the pollution level of adding six million new cars to our roads.

Tar Sands mining operations involve a vast drilling infrastructure, open pit mines, and toxic wasteland ponds up to three miles wide. The extraction process involves strip mining and drilling that injects steam into the ground to melt the tar-like crude oil from the sand and requires a massive amount of energy and water. See more info at Dirty Oil Sands.

In addition to pollution and harm to the environment, Keystone XL directly puts at risk the land of families across a full stretch of our country. The pipeline would cross through six states and several major rivers, in addition to the Ogallala Aquifer, which supplies clean water to two million Americans. The present Keystone pipeline has already experienced 7 leaks, making the question when, not if, Keystone XL will also have a disastrous spill. Read more here.

As if all of that wasn't reason enough to call this a bad idea, Keystone XL would actually raise the prices of oil in the Midwest, and not bring it down in the rest of the country.

Secretary of State Clinton's Decision, And The Pipeline's Lobbyist – Questions Unanswered

What happens next rests with Secretary of State Clinton. And that's where the power of wealth and connections continue to serve the rich. Just last week, environmental and ethics groups sued the State Department to gain access to possible communications between a lobbyist for Keystone XL and the State Department.

The TransCanada lobbyist in question is Paul Elliott. Elliott formerly worked as the national deputy director for Secretary Clinton's presidential campaign. Friends of the Earth, Corporate Ethics International and the Center for International Environmental Law filed a Freedom of Information Act request last year, seeking to uncover any possible communications between Elliott and the State Department, to review whether Elliott's former position is resulting in bias in the granting of the permit for Keystone XL to be built. The State Department initially refused to fulfill the request, before reversing that decision, and have delayed on releasing the information since then.

Meanwhile, farmers and ranchers in the pipeline's path have criticized the rushed nature of the State Department's review process for approving the pipeline. Hearings have not been held on the department's latest draft analysis. And questions still have not been answered about why the State Department has refused to release their correspondence with the lobbyist, and what information is held within those records.

Americans Left In Limbo: How To Stop The Pipeline

As political battle among the wealthy continues in DC, landowners throughout our heartland wait to hear their fate.

Secretary of State Clinton has said that a final decision will be made on Keystone XL by the end of 2011.

The cards of power and access may be stacked against those concerned about the health of our country, but it is not too late to fight for the protection of Americans. Brave New Foundation has made the above video to raise attention to this call to action. We are also asking those who oppose Keystone XL to sign our petition to Secretary of State Clinton, expressing why they want her to say no to the Koch brothers and big oil, and to protect Americans who can't afford lobbyists.

We need to keep the pressure on and get the word out. Secretary of State Clinton, the country is watching. And we're not going to stop organizing around this issue until you side with the American people and say no to the Koch brothers.

Creative Commons License This content is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License

You must log in to comment.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Log in | Register

My father, Francis (Frank) Moore, passed away this morning a few months shy if his 93rd birthday. He was a great dad I am blessed to have had him in my life. I...

Apr 20th
2:58 AM
Read More

Time to put the cuffs on Chris Christie -- not for the bridge scandal, but for this: Chris Christie's $300m pension proposal broke state anti-corruption...

Apr 18th
7:31 PM
Read More

George W. Bush Debuts New Paintings Of Dogs, Friends, Ghost Of Iraqi Child That Follows Him... www.theonion.com President Bush has a new hobby -- painting! --...

Apr 17th
7:28 PM
Read More

Big new story from David Sirota and Pando on top Christie adviser and appearance of corruption at New Jersey's pension fund: REVEALED: Gov....

Apr 17th
12:41 PM
Read More

FBI Uncovers Al-Qaeda Plot To Just Sit Back And Enjoy Collapse Of United States www.theonion.com WASHINGTON—The FBI announced today that it has uncovered a...

Apr 15th
3:28 PM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel's top donor bought stock in Marriott just before it was awarded huge contract pando.com As schools are closed and pensions cut,...

Apr 9th
2:00 PM
Read More

I'll be at First Time Fest today in New York City at the screening of my first film, Roger & Me. Loews Village 7 at 12:30 pm. Come see it on the big...

Apr 5th
9:48 AM
Read More

Revealed: Rahm Emanuel cuts public pensions, diverts money to benefit campaign donors pando.com If you've read the financial news out of Chicago the last...

Apr 4th
2:19 PM
Read More

Please take a moment today to think of Casey Austin Sheehan, son of Cindy and Patrick, who was murdered by U.S. foreign policy in Sadr City, Baghdad ten years...

Apr 4th
2:00 PM
Read More

ICYMI - I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence...

Apr 3rd
7:38 PM
Read More

I've joined this "thunderclap" to support the Connecticut legislators who voted yes on last year's Act Concerning Gun Violence Prevention...

Apr 2nd
8:27 PM
Read More

I am opposed to the death penalty, but to every rule there is usually an exception, and in this case I hope the criminals at General Motors will be arrested...

Apr 1st
3:55 PM
Read More

How Long Some in the US Will Survive Under New Health Law ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com Those who must access care to live and can afford it are not...

Mar 31st
10:13 PM
Read More

Last night, The Good Wife on the East Coast started 40 minutes late due to the overrun of the NCAA basketball game. If you had your DVR set for the show, you...

Mar 24th
5:41 PM
Read More

Watching films today, looking for the ones I'm going to pick for my film festival this summer. I (and a whole bunch of others!) have this thing we put on...

Mar 23rd
4:48 PM
Read More

When the U.S. Health Care System Keeps Killing, Who Cares Enough to Fight? ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com We have largely forgotten that people are at...

Mar 21st
5:56 PM
Read More

Tell the White House not to give up on Dr. Vivek Murthy's nomination as Surgeon General despite the ferocious opposition from the NRA: Don't give...

Mar 21st
5:38 PM
Read More

This criminal would never see a jail cell, nor would his cronies. In fact, they'd later be rewarded with re-election: Presidential Address on War with...

Mar 19th
9:40 PM
Read More

The crime of the century -- our invasion & slaughter in Iraq -- started 11 years ago tonite in this 7pm (ET) hour, March 19th, 2003: CNN Coverage of...

Mar 19th
9:08 PM
Read More

Washington’s Back-to-the-Future Military Policies in Africa ...by Nick Turse www.michaelmoore.com Nick Turse is an award-winning journalist, historian,...

Mar 17th
4:59 PM
Read More

"I think democracy is the most revolutionary thing in the world." -- Tony Benn, 1925-2014 Tony Benn in 'Sicko'

Mar 14th
10:07 AM
Read More

RIP Tony Benn, one of the UK's greatest leaders: Tony Benn, veteran Labour politician, dies aged 88 www.theguardian.com Former cabinet minister died at...

Mar 14th
9:53 AM
Read More

Please read this important story from K. Ford K.: Am I the Face of the New American Middle Class? www.huffingtonpost.com I began to feel I had slipped so low...

Mar 13th
2:24 PM
Read More

Yesterday Dianne Feinstein revealed that the CIA has been spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee. This is all about the report the committee has produced...

Mar 12th
6:48 PM
Read More

Health Care for All Colorado has brought Mercy Killers, a show written and performed by Michael Milligan about our murderous for-profit healthcare system, to...

Mar 10th
1:08 PM
Read More

Health Care Dramas that Sting and Why We Have to Watch ...by Donna Smith www.michaelmoore.com The realities Milligan has written into the show cut deep into...

Mar 10th
1:02 PM
Read More

Did you know the Lehrer Newshour on PBS has been produced for 20 years by a company owned by conservative cable billionaire John Malone? Me neither. After...

Mar 7th
8:39 PM
Read More

Mr. Obama, if int’l law is so damn crucial . . . | RootsAction.org act.rootsaction.org The Russian intervention deserves criticism. But let’s be clear. The...

Mar 6th
1:21 PM
Read More

Enron billionaire John Arnold thinks everyone should believe him when he says we've got to cut pensions because he's so incredibly rich: John...

Mar 5th
4:20 PM
Read More

Subscribe to Mike's Blog RSS

Click here to suggest an article

Mike's Blog

See More Blogs

Vew the archives

View older articles