Ronald Reagan spoke truth in his first inaugural address, “In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem.” Sir Isaac Newton summarized a key universal law, “for every action (force) in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

Thomas Jefferson said, “Experience hath shown, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time ... perverted it into tyranny.” Government interference creates huge inefficiency. Reagan used the removal of this inefficiency as his primary weapon, bringing us unprecedented growth and choice.

In recent few weeks, ill-advised Washington administrators made multiple disruptive decisions concerning U.S. energy production. These decisions will have a significant negative impact on Texans. With petroleum inventory dissipating from an abnormal virus-created glut, President Joe Biden decided to close federal lands from further drilling and production and to shut down the Keystone XL pipeline which immediately eliminated tens of thousands of high-paying jobs. This Biden/Harris move will most likely see Canadian oil going to our adversary China, America’s greatest foreign danger.

Recent data reveals China’s oil inventories dropped 15 percent in the past five months. One can expect China to quickly negotiate with Canada for this valuable resource. America’s loss will become China’s gain. The only other alternative is to send Canadian oil to the refineries in Texas by truck or rail. This significantly increases the emission of pollutants that doesn’t exist with pipelines.

In 2020, the Houston area ports exported more goods than they imported. Much of this was from petroleum-related exports. For the first time, America was energy independent and this meant foreign powers couldn’t economically pressure our nation to follow a course of their liking. With the stroke of a pen, Biden has taken actions that have already started a chain of events that will directly impact the energy-producing states of Texas, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

So, who’s going to be hurt by these executive actions? You and I will, as we see the price of gasoline rise at the pump. Over 20,000 XL Pipeline workers will be out of high-paying jobs. That, in turn, will mean many may not be able to pay their mortgages, to buy groceries or to frequent the small businesses that rely upon them to stay afloat. For many years the United States has taken big strides in reducing pollutants where other nations haven’t. Why mess up a good thing?

There are two world views at work here. One believes in having power reside in the hands of a small number of elites who think they know what’s best for the rest of us. The other worldview believes that individuals freely making decisions for themselves will reach the desired result of a better environment with a vibrant economy; and do so for less. It’s a choice between power for a few or freedom for many. Reagan and Trump had it right. Give Americans the freedom to make choices; don’t saddle them with burdensome regulations.

Mark Mansius lives in Saint George, Utah, and Bill Sargent lives in Galveston.

Recommended for you

(57) comments

Mary Gillespie

[thumbup]

Jim Forsythe

THE XL PIPELINE SETBACKS REVEAL THE PERILS OF RUSHED AGENCY APPROVALS. WHEN THE APPROVEALS WERE NOT IN PLACE, CONSTRUCTION OF THE XL PIPELINE WAS STOPED APRIL, 2020.

IF THE FULL ENDANGERED SPECIES REVIEW HAD BEEN COMPLETED,THE XL PIPELINE COULD HAVE RESTARTED BUILDING. BUT THEY DID NOT GET THE REVIEW COMPLETED,SO THE PROJECT WAS SHUT DOWN APRIL 2020 UNDER TRUMP.

2020: IN MARCH, A FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT RULED THAT THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION HAD NOT ADEQUATELY ASSESSED THE RISKS OF THE PROJECT AS REQUIRED BY NEPA, SUCH AS THREATS IT POSED TO LAKE OAHE, WHICH THE PIPELINE RUNS DIRECTLY UNDER.

JULY 08, 2020:On Monday, federal courts dealt major setbacks to the controversial Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines.

The Trump Administration is seeking to scale back the NEPA environmental review process altogether, through new regulations. But these regulations don’t alter the existing NEPA statute, so the Administration’s effort may ultimately backfire. Under the Trump Administration, certain agencies have started to forgo a full assessment of environmental effects—especially climate change effects—but the old rules haven’t been overturned yet. This can have high costs. For instance, federal courts recently found the Department of the Interior’s analysis of climate change and groundwater effects from federal oil and gas lease sales deficient, leading to lease sale delays and cancellations. Other projects that use the new regulations as an excuse to ignore NEPA requirements could face a similar fate.

The XL pipeline project is most likely dead, as the Gulf Coast refineries have reconfigured to process mostly the lighter crudes and not the product from the Tar Sand's of Canada.

Jim Forsythe

What has changed with the XL pipeline is it is not needed as it once was.

The project would require fewer than 2,000 construction jobs over two years. And once built, the pipeline would employ about 35. If someone is a pipe welder, many jobs are available.

This is just one, and it is for 2 Year duration.. Welder - Borger Refinery Phillips 66 - Borger, TX 3.8 Technical certification for Welder (or higher) OR code certified with a minimum of 2 years of experience…$41 an hour . The ad did not say, but most likely they are paying Per Diem, which in Texas is between $98 to $189 a day, tax free.

The need for Canadian tar sands oil is not at the same as just a few years ago. Now with Light Sweet Crude Oil at the $56.76 range, more refineries are moving away from being able to process Canadian tar sands oil (Dilbit). It cost more to process.

Energy economists say that producing petroleum from Canadian tar sands could not turn a profit until the global oil price passes $65 a barrel.

This price requirement could cause the pipeline to be shutdown for periods of time which can cause other problems, such as with the integrity of the pipe.

If you are interested in the environmental reason, many are opposed because the product is Dilbit, which is much heavier than conventional crude, quickly sinks and is far harder to clean up. Five years after the spill of more than a million gallons in the Kalamazoo River from a pipeline rupture, thick deposits of dilbit still lie at the bottom, impossible to remove. The cleanup has already cost more than $1 billion.

Craig Mason

To expand on what Jim said and clarify some facts about the energy industry.

1. The Canadian crude is crap and most refineries in the southern United States do not run it. BP in whiting runs some and Husky in Toledo and only a few others.

2. 20,000 jobs is huge exaggeration. More like 2000 and only on the United States to Canada piece. There is still plenty of pipeline jobs in the US.

3. There are plenty of oil wells and leases without expanding drilling on federal lands.

4. The stop on the Keystone construction ( because it is not an in service pipeline) only makes what we have in Texas and Oklahoma more valuable as well as the ports on the Texas coast. The Cushing to gulf coast pipeline is now very valuable.

5. Two dollar a gallon gas is not a good thing. It is a symptom of destroyed demand, mainly in the jet fuel market. Three refineries have closed permanently and will never come back, Marathon Martinez, Marathon in New Mexico and a Shell refinery in Louisiana. This is due to the pandemic and market forces not anything to do with executive actions.

Carlos Ponce

Looks like our Liberal forum posters don't care if thousands are out of a job.

Craig Mason

Just facts Carlos, from someone who knows.

Carlos Ponce

I'm not disputing what you wrote, Craig, just that you don't care when thousands lose their jobs through an Executive Order

Brad Dillon

Craig, It's strange to me that you're saying it's ok for our Union brothers to be fired regardless of how many, "it's ok find another job". I "thought " you were a better representative for the Union, apparently I was wrong. Lost RESPECT.

Bill Broussard

Brad. I’ve known many union leaders in my day both US and Canadian and while each were very unique individuals they all seemed to share a couple of traits 1) they were very knowledgeable about their industry and 2) they were dirt-s$@“ practical.

In many cases, they had a better grasp of the facts than their management counterparts.

Craig fits that pattern pretty well.

Jim Forsythe

Craig, how many years did you work in the oil industry? I worked over 35 years.

Carlos, how many years did you work in the oil industry?

If the answer is none, than you need to defer to people that have first hand knowledge of what is going on with regards to workings of the oil industry.

Maybe tomorrow Gary will post with more insight as to what is happening in regards to the XL pipeline.

Craig Mason

32 years and counting Jim.

Bailey Jones

"32 years and counting" - what, does Carlos owe you money, too?

Carlos Ponce

Still looks like our Liberal forum posters don't care if thousands are out of a job.

Bill Broussard

I only care that you’re not teaching any longer so our children are a bit safer 😊

Carlos Ponce

Istll guide the minds of the youth, Bill! Teaching is not stopped by retirement.

Bailey Jones

Aren't you the same two guys who believe in the Great Election Fraud Hoax? I think we can safely ignore your opinion.

Carlos Ponce

The Great Election Fraud Hoax was perpetuated in 2016 and in some circles still persist that Donald Trump was not legitimately elected despite years of investigations. The rest of us call it THE COLLUSION DELUSION.

Bailey Jones

HEY - Carlols, you finally get it!

Allegations of fraud -> investigation of fraud -> no fraud found -> not accepting that result is delusion.

Well done. We're all so proud of you. [lol]

Carlos Ponce

Addendum: There was fraud in the results phase of the 2020 election. More to come- SOON!

Carlos Ponce

Bailey, do you admit in the light of evidence there was NO collusion between Russia and the Trump Campaign?

Mike Zeller

Pay Up! Welcher

Bailey Jones

Carlols, having read the Senate findings, and the Mueller Report, I accept their analysis - that there was considerable interference in the 2016 election on social media, by the Russians, directed by the Kremlin, and that the purposes of the interference were 1) to elect Trump, and 2) to erode Americans' confidence in our electoral system, and 3) to foment conflict between political parties and between races. I accept the conclusion that the interference was not determinative of the outcome of the election, but did succeed in eroding American's confidence in our electoral system - as we see now with 70% of Republicans questioning the 2020 election, and also succeeded in aggravating conflict between political parties and between races - as is obvious from reading the comments section of any political post.

I accept the findings that while there was considerable contact between the Trump campaign and the Russians, there was no overt coordination between Russian actions and the Trump campaign, so there was no "collusion".

I accept the findings that the Russians also attempted multiple intrusions into America's voting infrastructure, and I accept the conclusion that no votes were changed as a result of those intrusions.

I accept the findings that Trump engaged in no fewer than 14 acts of attempted obstruction of justice, and that "The President’s efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests."

Carlos Ponce

Don't worry, Mike. Bailey will pay up as soon as the REAL election results are announced and the pupils of Hitchcock ISD will be grateful. So please don't call Bailey Jones a "Welcher".

Gary Scoggin

So Carlos, when will we hear the "REAL election results"? And from whom? Are you suggesting that the only President ever impeached twice may yet be put back in power? And how does that work, constitutionally? Or was your statement just more of your keyboard flapping.

Carlos Ponce

The REAL numbers will not be announced for a several months but in the meantime......

Carlos Ponce

I know a lot more, Gary Scoggin but why should I set myself up for ridicule from pagans? I'd be like scattering pearls before swine. Just let God do His work. [innocent]

Gary Scoggin

Are you calling me a pagan? I've been called a lot of things but that's a new one, I'll admit.

If you want people to take you seriously, you have to provide evidence to back up your extraordinary predictions. But since you never offer any, I have no choice but to not take you seriously.

Carlos Ponce

"For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible." - Stuart Chase

Bailey Jones

Watching the Trump cultists is like watching an unmoored ship slowly drift out to sea. No longer tethered to reality they're lost in the fog, half-mad, and half-blind, imagining they see islands in the distance.

Carlos Ponce

Watching the baby killing cultists is like watching an unmoored ship slowly drift out to sea with a senile old man at the helm. No longer tethered to reality they're lost in the fog, half-mad, and half-blind, imagining they are really doing something good. How sad!

George Laiacona

Biased comments are plentiful. Regan did absolutely nothing for American labor. We suffered the worst loss of income for his last seven years. He started with the Air traffic controllers and it all went downhill from there for lower classes of Americans. Trump the TV celebrity that today’s Republicans are infatuated with followed in Regans footsteps by doing all he could for the very rich and absolutely nothing for lower classes of American Labor. In the next four years American labor may have a chance to make up for their losses that the Republicans insist on forcing on them.

Charles Douglas

Mr. Jones, in the mist of all you posted ...did I see where you are admitting that the SWAMP set Trump up? If not, do you believe he was set up, or do you believe he was an agent of Russia, like most of your associates professes he was?

Charles Douglas

The reason I asked was, because you said in your post that you were convinced there was "no collusion." So,..then I am wondering why was Trump put on trial for collusion with Russia, and why was the fake dossier introduced as evidence? Why was documents forged and changed by the FBI? Why did the Secret FISA Court give an FBI Agent probation for admitting to comitting federal crimes associated with setting Trump up? I don't hear any feedback concerning all this! What's up with that? What are we dealing with here sir?

Craig Mason

When was Trump put on trial for collusion? Did I miss that?

Carlos Ponce

They undermined his First term with that nonsense, Craig, one investigation after another. Has Craig already forgotten?

Bailey Jones

Yes, Craig, you missed it, as did I. It happened in the alternate universe of Cult45. It was a big deal, apparently.

Carlos Ponce

So Bailey missed

The House Intelligence Committee Hearing

The Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing

The Mueller Report?

Now the FBI refused to release their investigation until a FOIA request forced them to.

Gary Scoggin

Which one of those is a trial?

Carlos Ponce

Each subpoena sworn in witnesses, record testimony, etc. Trial, hearing.... the only difference is nomenclature.

Paula Flinn

There was plenty of criminal collusion. Don Jr. admitted that Trump secured loans for money from Russia, so of course there was criminal collusion. That’s why we cannot see Trump’s taxes. If he filed an honest tax return, it would not be audited every year, and we would find out his secret benefactors.

Also if he laundered money through his hotels and his failed casinos.

Carlos Ponce

When did the secured loans occur, Paula? That information appears in a NYT op-ed column back in 2008.

https://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-jr-said-money-pouring-in-from-russia-2018-2?op=1

What elected office did any Trump hold at the time? Answer: NONE! They were private businessmen. No law against it. They're PRIVATE CITIZENS.

On the other hand......business transactions with China while dad was vice-president smells like fish kill.

And think, Paula! Do you REALLY think Donald John Trump prepares his own taxes? That's how silly all this is. There are tax preparers millionaires use who know every deduction, every government regulation concerning taxes. And that would include some things you would call "loop holes". Trump is not the only millionaire whose income taxes are audited. Government IRS agents go through them line by line.

" If you make $1 million a year, the IRS is keeping a special eye on you.

A new report from the tax collection agency shows that nearly 1 in 10, or 9.55 percent, of returns filed with a reported income of $1 million or more were audited or examined in 2015."

https://www.cnbc.com/2016/02/22/millionaires-face-1-in-10-chance-of-being-audited.html

"Wealthy Americans are more likely to be audited by the IRS"

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/04/18/wealthy-americans-are-more-likely-to-have-their-taxes-audited-by-the-irs.html

Now if Paula Flinn has never been audited there's only one reason.... you don't make enough. You're small potatoes.

Bailey Jones

Charles, I don't know anyone who thinks that Trump is or was an agent of Russia. I know a lot of people - myself included - who believe that he was and is a tool of Putin - a "useful idiot" to use the old Soviet term. Someone who is too stupid to know that he is being played. Weak minded narcissists with "daddy issues" are notoriously easy to manipulate, and Putin is a professional manipulator.

As far as being set up - no. He was never impeached for "collusion" so I don't see how that argument could be made. He first impeachment was for abuse of power in attempting to coerce the president of Ukraine into a sham investigation of the Bidens. And for obstruction of congress in his refusal to honor subpoenas from congress - his co-equal branch of government.

There was plenty of evidence in the behavior of the Trump campaign, and Trump's own behavior, to warrant an investigation into whether there was a conspiracy (collusion) between the Trumps and the Russians. And the investigation found that the contact between the two didn't rise to the level of collusion.

Similarly, there was plenty of evidence to warrant an investigation into voter fraud in the 2020 election. And the investigations found that there was none - at least none that would rise to the level of affecting the outcome of the election.

I accept the findings of both investigations. How about you?

Charles Douglas

Well maybe I mistated, and they were investigating him for colluding or working with the Russians, so where was the evidence? Was it the dossier "CROOKED" paid for? I mean we tend to overlook everything the LEFT does! No I don't accept anything the LEFT throws out, because they have proven many times over they are not to be trusted. They have taken to forging and changing goverment documents with no penalty for doing so! Thank you for your response.

Bailey Jones

Well, Charles, that's why we have investigations and courts. If you're running for president, and a former high-ranking member of MI6 has a dossier that alleges crimes against you, that's something that reasonably deserves to be investigated. There's nothing wrong with that. If you're the son of a presidential candidate and someone shows up at the FBI with what they allege to be your laptop full of shenanigans, that's something that reasonably deserves to be investigated. There's nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is attaching guilt to evidence that has not been investigated or adjudicated. What is also wrong is not accepting the results of the investigation and adjudication. Innocent until proven guilty, and innocent if guilt cannot be proved - that's the American way.

Paula Flinn

Your idol, Trump, has feet of clay. Idolatry is a sin.

Carlos Ponce

"idolatry is a sin" - Gee, Paula, you're the only one picturing Trump as an idol with clay feet. No one else does.

Gary Scoggin

To export Canadian Heavy Crude to China will take a new pipeline cutting through a national park in British Columbia. The opposition to that is heavier than the opposition to KXL. Then you have to build a new deep water port at Kitamat or Prince Rupert. Then the Chinese have to reconfigure their refineries. All of this, as Jim mentioned, takes north of $70/bbl to be economically feasible. Oil is forecasted to average $55/bbl as far as the eye can see. Bottom line: It ain’t going to China.

Gary Scoggin

I’ve said this here before and I’ll say it again. I disagree with Biden’s decision on KXL because it is bad policy making. It is a continuation of the Obama Administration’s bad habit of ad hoc authorization (or not) of projects based on political winds. Permitting for projects should be based on a clear but strict set of environmental criteria. You meet them or you don’t and once a permit is issued, a deal is a deal. But the practice of going back and forth on authorizations creates such a huge risk for long wavelength projects that it makes companies afraid to invest in US energy projects.

Charles Douglas

I'm hearing that tomorrow's fake trial of the "JUNTA" who is running our country now, and who works for Red China will put on, will have an old feeble minded Senator who is a Trump Hater as the JUDGE of the Sham Event! It seems that Supreme Court Chief Judge Roberts refused to be part of the SHAM EVENT because it is unconstitutional! These people never cease to amaze me.

Just when I think they have sunk as low as they can get, they prove me wrong! The "JUNTA" in charge now is also allowing thousands and thousands of illegals in this country without sending any back! Instead they are giving the "Catch & Released" individuals a ticket to anywhere they wanna go to here, with the understanding they will show up 100 years from now for a court date, can you believe that?

To solve that problem we need the same amount of AFRICANS refugees out of Nigeria, Sudan, or Kenya, to seek asylum here a year,....in the same numbers as they are killing African-Americans babies by ABORTION, and watch how fast they close that stuff down! It is all a play to destroy this country! The "JUNTA is not loyal to Americans! The "JUNTA" is working for CHINA, just as Beijing JOE is!

Jim Forsythe

Canada has a glut of bitumen ,with no one wanting to buy it.

For the one's that want to build the XL Pipeline, what are we, the USA, going to do with the bitumen .

If the bitumen were to reach the Gulf Cost, what Refineries would want it? With fracking ,we not longer have a shortage of oil. Unless the price of the bitumen was sold at a huge discount , no refinery would even think of buying it. Plus the fact that most refineries can not run it because they are not configured to do so.

If the XL pipeline is ever placed into service and then shutdown because not enough demand for bitumen , the pipeline stands a chance of being attacked by bacteria at a accelerated rate. Sulphate-reducing bacteria can colonize sludge that collects at the bottom of a pipe, eventually corroding the metal. This can cause a pipe to have to be replaced in a very short time.

The following is also true in Texas.

“We do not need 800,000 barrels a day of anybody’s crude oil to come to Cushing, Oklahoma and sit there,” said Mickey Thompson, former head of the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association.

But Thompson says the Pipeline would bring millions of gallons of Canadian oil to Cushing, OK , driving down demand and prices for Oklahoma oil, ultimately hurting oil prices and jobs far more than what would be caused by stopping the Pipeline. “The loss of job argument holds no water in Oklahoma,” said Thompson. The same thing is true in Texas.

Let Canada build the refineries that they need to process their bitumen.. Let Canada take care of their own bitumen problem. If we want to refine bitumen, we have plenty in the USA.

Canada has converted one refinery to process bitumen, but they are not sure that will make a profit. Bitumen is not what refineries are wanting to use, when better crude can be purchased and does not come with the problems that bitumen does.

The North West Redwater Sturgeon Refinery is now refining Alberta bitumen. The refinery switched to bitumen feedstock in April at a final cost of almost $10 billion.

The province will be the main customer, providing the facility with bitumen it receives in lieu of royalties. The government will pay an estimated $26 billion in tolls to the refinery over the next three decades to refine that bitumen into diesel. The hope is the market for that fuel will provide enough profit to cover the cost of construction, and provide a return to the province.

Brian Livingston, an executive fellow with the School of Public Policy in Calgary released a report that questioned the profitability of the refinery, and he says even with it now being operational, there are still risks.

Gary Scoggin

BP's Whiting Refinery and ConocoPhillips Wood River, IL refinery are configured to run large quantities of bitumen. There are other refineries in the northern US that can run it in smaller quantities. If it does make its way to the Gulf Coast there are several refineries that can run it. Currently they run heavy imports - like from Mexico or Venezuela which could be displaced by the Canadian.

Canada also has several plants that take the heavy bitumen and covert it to "Syn-bit" which is essentially a synthetic crude oil which can be run at many refineries. They generally do this by coking or residual oil hydrocracking - basically doing upstream what the reconfigured refineries are doing downstream.

Bill Broussard

Technical question Gary. Does COP still own Wood River or is a part of the Phillips 66 asset base?

For all the reasons you’ve nicely stated, ConocoPhillips got out of their oil sands holdings six years ago. The real surprise is that there was so much energy and capital in the pipeline in the first place

Hey Carlos. “ According to one prevailing theory, shared initially by one of the most prominent QAnon groups on Telegram, Trump is merely allowing the impeachment trial to play out so that when he does return as president next month, it will pave the way for him to launch impeachment trials against other former presidents, including Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. “.

Is this when you won’t have to pay? When he magically come back?

Gary Scoggin

Actually Bill, you are right. It's a Phillips 66 asset now. It looks like they are in a joint venture with Cenovus (formerly part of Encana) which is a big Canadian Oil Sands producer. I imagine that Cenovus bought into the JV so that they would have a guaranteed taker for their crude. BP and Husky have a similar arrangement with the BP/Husky refinery in Toledo, OH.

Bill Broussard

I am listening to the bird shot style arguments of David Schoen representing former President Trump

Mr Schoen made his name “ he represented the Ku Klux Klan in successfully challenging a law that forbade them from marching while wearing hoods and without paying a fee.” I would say that’s appropriate

He was to represent Jeffrey Epstein also and as I listen to him, I clearly see why Epstein killed himself

That being said, is it just me or is there some pattern emerging among his clients?

Charles Douglas

Constitutional rights are for everybody, even the KKK! When somebody start stripping this group, and that group of their rights, this Ole ex Farmer feels like you will eventually get around to taking mine, or ever Trump's. [wink]

Bill Broussard

Na. Not yours Charlie. I love your rights and they are quite a bit like mine so I love them even more although I don’t think I ever heard “hoods” mentioned in the constitution specifically

I think your safe so unlike Carlos, no need to look under your bed before you sleep. I don’t think Carlos has ever found anything under there but he “believes”.

Carlos Ponce

Repent, and follow the Gospel!

Welcome to the discussion.

Real Names required. No pseudonyms or partial names allowed. Stand behind what you post.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.

Thank you for reading!

Please log in, or sign up for a new account and purchase a subscription to read or post comments.