From U.S. News & World Report‘s Mort Zuckerman, an avowed Obama supporter who is no conservative.
“… in Machiavelli’s dictum, the president has been willing to wound but afraid to strike. He has contrived an excuse to delay a decision yet again. An environmental impact statement was issued by the State Department on Aug. 26, 2011, the conclusion of three years of reviews and negotiation…
“…The original Keystone pipeline won approval after two years and is operational. But in 2013, the Keystone XL (extension) will be in its fourth year of review, a Great Dither not justified when the State Department conducted three consecutive environmental reviews to reach its conclusion of minimal environmental impact. In that time, there have been many public hearings to satisfy local communities and private property owners. More than a dozen alternative routes have been surveyed, and TransCanada Corp., the builder, agreed to 57 special conditions beyond current federal pipeline regulations.
“The president wants a relatively short section of the route from Alberta through Nebraska reconsidered. It means the State Department will have to agree to a new understanding with Nebraska and secure the governor’s approval. Given the long history of Keystone XL, that is not a big deal. By all accounts, it could be done within a couple of months. Yet after three years of satisfying intense reviews, the president says that decision will not come until 2013. Hello? That wouldn’t have anything to do, would it, with appeasing a particular left-wing environmental lobby until after the general election?
“It’s a calculation which assumes that the voters concerned about the energy future that Obama paraded will be less active than the more extreme environmental lobbyists—who, in fact, will never be satisfied with anything to do with villainous Big Oil. Throwing a sop to the leftist anti-oil campaigners and “four more years” are apparently more important to the president and his campaign advisers than reducing our dependence on those unstable regions he mentioned and maintaining the momentum of the small improvement in the lamentable unemployment totals.
“Notably, the Great Keystone Dither does not appeal to labor or indeed to all Democrats. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia put it well: “I’d rather buy from our closest ally and create jobs in America than push Canada to build a pipeline out to the West Coast of North America so that it ends up going to China. There is no question, this pipeline is a job creator with support of both labor and business. It needs to be built not for the benefit of one political party or one state, but for the benefit of America.”
“A final go-ahead for the $7 billion shovel-ready project would have supported tens of thousands of jobs now: 20,000 in new, direct well-paid construction and manufacturing jobs, and roughly 100,000 in indirect jobs along the pipeline, according to the developer, TransCanada. But the president’s political concerns seem more important than enraging the Canadians, than giving China more edge in economic competition, than the defense and national security interests of truly independent energy…”
Read the full article here.
Statement of American Tradition Partnership Executive Director Donald Ferguson and Montana Volunteer Coordinator Doug Lair
“Justice Anthony Kennedy’s decision Friday to grant Montanans a stay of Montana’s Supreme Court’s erroneous ruling is a win for everyone’s First Amendment rights.
“The United States Constitution protects Americans’ God-given right to associate and speak freely, even if we choose to do that under the corporate structure. Stripping people of their right to engage in political speech because you do not like the identity of the speaker is an assault on this republic’s founding principles. The law and the Constitution are on our side and we expect to win yet again when this matter is considered by U.S. Supreme Court.
“Montana’s political and media establishment are fighting American Tradition Partnership’s grassroots volunteers because free speech threatens their monopoly on political speech in Montana. As a grassroots-founded, people-powered advocate for rational environmental policies and free speech we will continue to fight the corrupt and lawless political machine in Helena, as well as the anti-jobs radicals at the Sierra Club who want to kill pipelines and progress itself.”
· - Mont. Code Ann. § 13-37-216(1), (3), and (5), which limit contributions individuals and political committees may make to candidates (The $160, $500, and $1000 limits for various levels);
· - Mont. Code Ann. §§ 13-37-216(3) and (5), which limit contributions from political parties to their candidates and imposes an aggregate limit on the contributions more than one political party may make to candidates;
· - Mont. Code Ann. §§ 13-35-227, which bans corporate general-fund contributions to candidates and also bans corporate general-fund contributions to committees making independent expenditures;
· - Mont. Code Ann. §§ 13-35-225(3)(a), which imposes disclaimer requirements on political speech – the “Disclaimer Requirement”; and
· - Mont. Code Ann. §§ 13-37-131, which bans political statements about candidates’ voting records that the State judges to be false
On December 30, 2011, the Montana Supreme Court reversed a trial court decision holding that Montana’s ban on corporate independent expenditures for communications expressly advocating the election or defeat of candidates is unconstitutional.
The trial court simply followed the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC (2010), which had struck down a federal ban on such independent expenditures under the First Amendment. The Montana Supreme Court decided that Montana’s corporate independent-expenditure ban was constitutional despite Citizens United.
ATP and its co-plaintiffs asked the Montana Supreme Court to stay the effect of its decision while they went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which request was denied. We then asked U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy to stay the Montana Supreme Court’s decision while they ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision. That would allow Montana corporations to make independent expenditures while the U.S. Supreme Court considers the case.
In the alternative, ATP and its co-plaintiffs asked Justice Kennedy to refer the case to whole Court to summarily reverse the Montana Supreme Court. Briefing on the application to Justice Kennedy was finished on February 15, and Justice Kennedy is now deciding what to do with the request.
A huge thank you to all the ATP supporters who bombarded Congress with their phone calls and e-mails as part of ATP’s FuelingJobs.com project.
“Rep. Lee Terry’s (R-Neb.) bill — which passed the powerful committee in a 33-20 vote — is likely heading for the House floor next week as part of wider transportation and energy legislation.
“It would instruct the independent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to issue a permit for TransCanada Corp.’s proposed pipeline within 30 days, taking the issue out of the State Department’s hands.”
Senate Republicans have their own bill to overcome Obama’s job-killing radicalism.
Join ATP, Stop Gang Green!
American Tradition Partnership (ATP) is a no-compromise grassroots organization dedicated to fighting the radical environmentalist agenda. We support responsible development of natural resources and rational land use and management policies. Only together can we protect access, private property rights, and affordable energy for all Americans!