Trump To Clear Way For Oil Pipelines

By Nick Cunningham, a Vermont-based writer on energy and environmental issues. You can follow him on twitter at @nickcunningham1. Originally published at OilPrice

Donald Trump’s victory could ultimately lead to a lot more oil pipelines moving forward, one sector of the fossil fuel industry specifically targeted by environmentalists.

The most controversial project right now, the Dakota Access Pipeline, received a jolt from Tuesday’s result. The more than 1,100-mile pipeline, valued at $3.7 billion, would carry oil from North Dakota to refineries in Illinois. The Obama administration has requested a temporary halt to construction, although the company behind the project, Energy Transfer Partners, has pressed forward, ignoring the Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps reiterated a request for a stoppage this week, but the outcome is up in the air.

The Dakota Access Pipeline has been reeling from protests, work stoppages, bad press and a federal government willing to listen to the grievances from the Native American community affected. Trump has shown little inclination of being as accommodating, so the Dakota Access Pipeline has gone from being a project on the ropes to one with a great deal of momentum. Unless the Corps rescinds a permit in the next few months, the project will move forward. Even if it is blocked, however, it would likely be revived under a Trump administration. Energy Transfer Partners’ stock price surged as much as 9 percent on Wednesday and was up more than 3 percent on Thursday. The company hopes to complete construction by the first quarter of 2017.

And Dakota Access’ predecessor, at least in terms of a national flashpoint, could also be coming back from the dead. TransCanada issued a statement on Wednesday, telegraphing the company’s interest in reviving the defunct Keystone XL Pipeline, which would take Alberta tar sands to U.S. Gulf Coast refineries. “TransCanada remains fully committed to building Keystone XL,” spokesman Mark Cooper said in the post-election statement. “We are evaluating ways to engage the new administration on the benefits, the jobs and the tax revenues this project brings to the table.” TransCanada’s stock price jumped more than 2 percent on Wednesday.

During the campaign Trump said that he supported the pipeline, but wanted the U.S. to get a “better deal.” His words are often conflicting and contradictory – he has also said that he is for an “America First” energy plan that would remove “all barriers to responsible energy production.” So there is no reason to think that he wouldn’t simply revive the project as is, especially given that he is surrounding himself with advisors from the oil and gas industry.

Beyond these two projects, the oil industry is hoping for broader easing of permitting and regulations on pipeline construction. The Army Corps under Trump could clear the way for energy infrastructure, downgrading its scrutiny of the effects on rivers and lakes from oil pipelines. “We’re hopeful the pipeline approval process will now be allowed to work without political interference,” John Stoody, vice president of the Association of Oil Pipe Lines, told E&E News. And with plans to dismantle much of the EPA, the ability to break ground and lay down pipeline could get a whole lot easier.

While Trump supports the Keystone XL Pipeline, his presidency complicates things for Canada a bit. For one, he wants to renegotiate NAFTA. But leaving that aside, the resuscitation of Keystone XL could create problems for Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who was thought to be nearing an approval for the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion, which would take Alberta oil to the Pacific Coast. It is not obvious that both the Keystone XL Pipeline and Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline both need to be built.

Related: Money Managers Slash Long Positions On Crude Amid OPEC Disputes

Alberta’s Premier is not ready to put all her eggs in one basket by trusting that the pathway to Canada’s south for oil will be cleared up. “We must continue to work to diversity Canada’s energy markets, and to build trading relationships with more than one buyer,” Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said in a statement following Trump’s victory. “For that reason, a Canadian pipeline to tidewater remains an important priority for Alberta.”

Finally, the environmental movement has been left shocked and terrified over what a Trump administration would mean for the environment, but they have vowed not to give an inch. “I think they will greenlight lots of fossil fuel projects,” Jane Kleeb, a key activist fighting the Keystone XL Pipeline in Nebraska, told E&E News. “And we’ll fight all of them.”

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    1. Jamie Dimon

      Yup. I am in shock this week in general but especially at the formerly level-headed commenters on NC who went from a knowledgeable deep criticism of the deep state, financial markets, etc to a nonstop encouragement of Trump. People who’d treat every single thing Clinton said as posturing/lying (most of it was, sure) but T was somehow gonna, lol, stay to his word – a predatory failed businessman.

      1. Ché Pasa

        I’ll be interested to see what it will take for NC to stop defending Trump. So far, there’s no sign of it. If anything, they’re redoubling their defenses of him, on the basis of….? What?

        Beats me.

        1. JTMcPhee

          You two see what you want to see. I saw plenty of clarity on Trump, but maybe people here are more pissed by the hypocrisy and fifth-columnism of the Dems — the ghost of which party used to make some stabs at keeping the plutokleptocracy in a little bit of check, before joining the looting.

          Now we all can get down to the serious business of depressing and frustrating ourselves by deep, careful analysis of all the ways the Vampire Squids and looters are going to continue and accelerate the Fokking and Fuggering, focusing on the Trumpery and reminding ourselves that the Loyal Opposition (Reid and Wasserman Sh!tz and Pelosi and those folks) is part of the seerial Fokkers and Fuggers unit… One might hope, that as with the US EPA when the Reaganauts took over, there would be a residue of bureaucrats still imbued with some sense of decency and purpose that would develop an internal resistance to the Change From Above, in favor of the most of us. Vain hope, after decades of proof that “personnel is policy” stuffing of the agencies with Kleptoloyalists, up and down the chain, with indoctrination and fear of job loss driving the behaviors of those who could matter (whistleblowers?) …

          1. Steve C

            Choosing between Paul Ryan and Pelosi is like choosing whether to swallow a pound of plutonium or a pound of mercury. Both deadly toxic, one also extremely radioactive.

            1. Synoia

              Actually we do not know if Plutonium is poisonous.

              Both kill, through different means.

              But your metaphor is good, and applies to both Trump and Clinton.

        2. JCC

          Point out some of these “redoubling of efforts”.

          It’s not a binary world. Non-support of HRC does not automatically mean support of Trump despite your attempts at trying to twist it that way.

          You two almost sound like some of the main street pundits that feel those that did not vote for HRC should not have the right to express an opinion or the right to vote.

          Sorry if I sound a little over the top on this issue, but I’ve been hearing exactly among friends, and it’s crazy talk.

          1. hemeantwell

            You two almost sound like some of the main street pundits that feel those that did not vote for HRC should not have the right to express an opinion or the right to vote.

            Right. I haven’t seen any of the regulars affirming Trump other than as a wrecking ball of both parties and as offering the possibility of a wind-down of tensions with Russia.

            In everyday life I was inclined to question the idealization of Clinton that came so easily to her supporters who would point her the halo of her human rights and tolerance rhetoric. Perhaps some of what you’re seeing is a spillover from that. This is an alternative news site, and part of the commentary here was a reaction to the tidal wave of manipulative “coverage” (suddenly the other connotation of the term becomes clear!) by the MSM.

            1. Ché Pasa

              I could list daily defenses of Trump on this site, from regulars and proprietors alike, defenses based mostly on fantasies, “hope,” and sheer hatred for Democrats and the Clintons.

              This is not about Clinton — for whom I have no regard at all — it’s about Trump and the growing sense that something truly awful has taken place in elevating him to the Presidency in collaboration with Radical Republican House and Senate.

              I just got an email from a cousin who voted for Trump. She just can’t imagine why people — her own friends for godsake — are so upset and are refusing to accept the results. Why are there “riots” in so many places? She doesn’t understand. She lives in a tight-white little gated community in the Sierra foothills of California. She and her family are very well off and are “safe” she says, and they can’t imagine why anyone would have any sense of dread at what this man and his band of bandits would do.

              I understand it fully. He and the congressional majority have announced their agendas, and who they are considering to implement it, and it is terrifying to those who aren’t in my cousin’s position of safety, comfort and security.

              So what will it take to stop defending him?

              What does he have to do before the recognition of disaster dawns?

              1. tony

                Something. Right now most of his critics are just projecting their fears on him and repeating lies.

                In this case look at Obama policy wrt pipelines. Plenty of pipelines approved and state thugs abusing protesters. Where were the democrats when Obama did this? It just seems like a dishonest attack.

                1. Ché Pasa

                  It’s not about Obama or Clinton, or anyone but Trump and those he wants to govern this country. The outrage, fear and terror is not projection, is real, and it’s based in statements and threats Trump and his cohort have made, and it’s based in a long history of horrors from both sides of the aisle that Trump has made clear he will make worse.

                  The protests are growing, and all the calls from media and the White House and Trump to stop are falling on deaf ears. There’s a reason for it.

                  Now is the time to fight since most of those in the streets had no voice in who would be elected.

                  1. RepubAnon

                    I’m don’t know any avid Hillary supporters – I do know lots of people frightened of an unbridled Republican Party with Donald Trump in the White House. Too late to argue about it now – the experiment is running. My hypothesis is that we’ll see the end of environmental regulations, the end of free speech*, national-level voter suppression, the complete repeal of Obamacare with no “replacement”, the privatization (and ultimate destruction) of Social Security and Medicare… things which can’t be easily reversed.

                    I could be wrong, perhaps Donald Trump and Raul Ryan will start arguing with each other and the legislation will stall, or perhaps Mitch McConnell will keep the filibuster. If you buy that, go buy beachfront property in Florida, secure in the knowledge that sea levels won’t rise because the Donald won’t let them.

                    * Look up how “fighting words” and “incitement” were used in the 1950s, and remember that Republicans want to take us back to those days. The Warren Court gave us the freedom to protest we have today – and the Roberts Court could easily take it away, probably in a series of small decisions.

              2. a different chris

                >I could list daily defenses of Trump

                BS. Trump and Clinton had a lot of positions, well, Trump pretty much had *all* positions. But if he was right and she was wrong that particular – again, he was likely to change – position would and should have been defended.

                If you want to make that a defense of Trump well you can do whatever you want inside you head, doesn’t make it reality. And blasting the people on your side friends works well if you don’t want any people on your side.

                1. Ché Pasa

                  No. Trump has a whole staff of flacks to defend him.

                  They’re doing fine.

                  He’s consummate conman whose utterances are essentially meaningless when they’re not completely false. And yet, because he says a thing he’s defended here and elsewhere because Clinton is just so much worse.

                  As his real agenda in collaboration with the Radical Republican congress is becoming clearer, more and more Americans are refusing to accept the outcome and are calling for an intervention. Their rebellion is growing.

                  What will it take for you to stop defending Trump?

                  It’s not position statement by position statement. It’s the whole package.

        3. Steve C

          I live in DC. Clinton didn’t need my vote. I voted for Stein. We all know the Republicans are horrible. Tell me something I don’t know.

          The untold story is that the Democrats are, to be charitable, lame asses who deserved to lose.

          1. PH

            God knows the Dem establishment is smug at best, and often venal. But what next?

            I do not think we should debate the election. That cake is baked.

            If some good comes out of Trump, great. And kudos to those who spotted the silver lining in advance.

            But there are many dangers in front of us, and we need to organize.

        4. Steve C

          If you’re going to rely on the Democrats to champion your cause, you’re in for bitter disappointment. It’s a cardinal rule that Democrats never deliver.

          1. cwaltz

            They’re going to change any day now though- the progressives are going to hold their feet to the fire!

            (tongue firmly in cheek)

            If insanity is defined by doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results then I think we should consider the position that the progressive cabal is certifiable.

            1. Andy

              If nothing else it blew up the Dem party hierarchy.
              I just hope we don’t see Marshall law enacted as a Trump first step, which will make the whole march towards total surveillance state complete.
              High Chancellor Sutler indeed.

        5. Praedor

          I think you must mean, “What will it take for some commenters at NC to stop defending Trump?”

          I daresay you may be falling into the false dichotomy of “if you oppose Hillary you MUST be for Trump!” (or a Russian).

          Try again. I NEVER supported Trump. I’ve ALWAYS opposed Hillary. I am GLAD she lost and that, as a result, the Clinton’s stranglehold on the destroyed Democrat Party is now gone. It can be rebuilt with actual Democrats again rather than slightly more socially liberal Republicans.

          I despair for the environment (and humanity) now that Trump and his climate change denialist loons have taken over the Presidency. I CHEER now that anti-TPP, anti-TTIP, anti-TISA, and anti-NAFTA Trump has taken over. I despair that his reasons for opposing them likely has nothing to do with substance or ISDS (which I suspect he likes) but still, thge enemy of my enemy is my friend at the moment.

          I CHEER that a Goldman-Sachs alum will NOT be running Treasury AGAIN. Trump is set to break that nefarious and corrupt practice by BOTH Dems and Republicans alike. I CHEER his words that promise to “borrow” (a necessary good for government, though meaningless when you are “borrowing” fiat money you yourself create) to build up our infrastructure.

          I CHEER that Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell did NOT ingratiate themselves to Trump during the campaign and Trump, having a grudge-holding memory, is unlikely to simply go along with their shit. I hope.

          I CHEER that we will NOT be going to war with Assad OR Russia (in particular) since Hillary and her Grimma Wormtongue bestie Nuland will NOT be running the show. I CHEER Trumps WORDS that indicate a cut back to NATO and other foreign bullshit. I bemoan his call to “strengthen our military” as if it isn’t so over-bloated as it is.

          Finally, I CHEER the death of the DNC. All who were running that shit show should now be hung from lampposts Mussolini style. Let the purge of the Democrat Party begin. Let the rebuild by Warren and Sanders begin!

          1. Mike G

            I CHEER that a Goldman-Sachs alum will NOT be running Treasury AGAIN. Trump is set to break that nefarious and corrupt practice by BOTH Dems and Republicans alike.

            Uh, no. The latest whisper for Treasury is Jamie Dimon.
            Is that really an improvement over a Vampire Squid?
            Trump has delegated it to Republican crony-capitalist hacks, if he can be bothered paying attention at all, and they’re going to pick another corporatist tool.

          2. geoff

            Given that Trump campaign finance director Steven Mnuchin is both a Goldman alum and being considered for Treasury, you may be wrong on your GS point. We’ll see, but I’m thinking Pete Townshend had it right in 1971.

          3. jrs

            It really did seem at times an impossible box. Trump and a Republican congress there goes all hope of a livable planet. That’s really where we are now. Rebel.

            But trade agreements that make it impossible to pass laws addressing environmental problems, could also lead to the exact same thing, there goes all hope of a livable planet. How can we hope to address environmental crisis if corporations actually start overthrowing laws because of lost (blood-soaked-planet-killing) profit? *Obama’s* trade agreements … that the lame duck is still going to try to push through in his last few months …

          4. cwaltz

            There are plenty here that are positively gleeful that Trump won.

            For some reason they seem to be under the delusion that Trump is an outsider, despite the fact that he, in his own words, purchased politicians regularly.

            Energy Independence transition team member Michael Catanzaro is a lobbyist for oil and gas firms Hess, Noble and Devon Energy.

            Mike McKenna, who is overseeing the Department of Energy and Nuclear Regulatory Commission, lobbies on behalf of Southern, Dow Chemical, and Koch Industries—a firm owned by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, who have long funded groups skeptical of climate change.

            Michael Torrey, who lobbies on behalf of food and agriculture companies, will oversee the agriculture team.

            Martin Whitmer, who lobbies on behalf of transportation companies including the Association of American Railroads and the National Asphalt Pavement Association, is heading the “transportation and infrastructure” team.

            He reached out to Dimon for Treasury Secretary. Fortunately, Dimon isn’t interested in taking a pay cut.

            Make America Great Again is the Republican version of Hope and Change. I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again I’ll give it less than a year before the rubes realize they were conned. Don’t worry though the DNC will be there to be Plan B as always. Let the vicious cycle continue forevermore because third parties are too hard.

          5. Ché Pasa

            Dear me.

            This is really an example of the sort of fantasy and “hope” that has given rise to so many defenses of Trump from commenters and proprietors alike every day during the campaign — but thankfully not quite as much today as grim reality starts to settle in.

            It’s not about Clinton, it’s about Trump, and you present a whole raft of imaginary Goodness that will come with Trump, such as the notion that Goldman’s grip on Treasury over. You may want to re-think that when the dust settles.

            Trump shows every sign of essentially perfect alignment with his nemesis-es in the House and Senate and they fully intend to cause as much harm to as many people as they can as fast as they can, whether or not their victims voted for Hillary. It’s in their DNA. They can’t help themselves, and now that they have gained essentially unlimited power, they fully intend to use it.

            Nuland won’t be running the show, OK. Let’s hope, anyway. On the other hand, Bolton, Flynn, Giuliani, and so many others equally bloodthirsty if not more so than Nuland and Hillary are lining up for top spots in a Trump regime. Old line neo-cons are popping out of the woodwork to go to work for the New Boss, wreaking havoc the while. Nothing has improved on that front. And it could get very, very much worse very quickly.

            Trump will say anything to clinch the deal and en then he will renegotiate once the contract is signed. That’s how he does his business, and there’s no reason to think he’d run the country differently. There is no way to know whether he will or will not engage in the same sort of warmongering that Hillary or any of the Ruling Class seem to enjoy so immensely. Believing what he says about it is pure “hope” without a foundation.

            I wish sincerely that the Democratic High and Mighty at least retired to nunneries and monasteries. (I’m not in favor or hanging or other forms of torture or execution.) But I’m realist enough to know that they’re not going away, any more than the R Pooh Bahs are. They’re showing every sign of pledging fealty to Trump and his regime instead. It is their way. Their function is like that of the Bourbons, to rule over us (benignly, of course) no matter what.

            1. Aumua

              I think the sea change is upon NC, maybe starting with this very story.. the first post I have seen on here in I don’t know how long that has had anything negative to say about Trump. And I get it: we’ve had the main stream media to tell us how awful Trump is for months and months, nonstop, and they’re still doing it. Of course they aren’t focusing on most of the real issues, as always, including this one about oil, pipelines, and humanity’s future survival.

              Nope, this entire campaign ceased to be about real issues (expect for a narrow subset) the moment Bernie left. But now Hillary and Bill are out of the picture, it’s coming time to take an honest look at where we are. A whole lot of folks are still trying to justify their decision to vote for Trump to themselves, and others, in my opinion. But that will fade, I’m confident.

              It’s been interesting to watch the general narrative here evolve (devolve?) from 6 months ago it was: “let’s get liquored up, plug our noses, and pull the lever for Trump, God help us..” to lot more of “Oh, Trump is ok, maybe even better than ok, and you must be Hillbot if you think otherwise.”

              It’s alright, you did what you felt was necessary. I forgive you. You can now let go of teh crazy, and admit that no matter who won this thing, we all lose.

              1. Milton

                No, the sea change is that the commentariate is starting to take on the tenor as what would be found on sites such as daily kos or truthdig.

              2. jrs

                I think there may have been a prisoners dilemma thing to it, a lot of people may have voted for Trump thinking “no way he can win, I’m just going to send a middle finger to the establishment, and he’ll lose, and we’ll wake up to Hillary and another 8 years of neo-liberalism, it’s inevitable really” and so did others who voted for Trump and … Trump won the electoral college.

                Now in very solid red or blue states it actually OBJECTIVELY made no difference how one voted, Trump or not, because it is a reality some states votes will likely never count and so I don’t know if voters in those states even take them all that seriously anymore when the most rational thing to do in such a situation is vote Jill Stein and try to get her to 5%.

            2. pretzelattack

              yeah, again, trump says all kinds of shit. we don’t know what he believes, but he will be a bad president. clinton in the judgement of many would have been worse, but trump is still very bad. this is not a defense of trump. will he be worse than bush 2? not sure. less likely to get us in a war with russia, big plus. nobody is more bloodthirsty than nuland, and i have to believe the neocons knew what they were doing when they started supporting clinton. it would otherwise have been quite easy for them to remain in the republican fold.

              we got rid of the clintons and their foundation, at least for the moment, now is the time to focus on stopping trump from carrying out his agenda in issues like climate change.

              1. Ché Pasa

                Bolton is far more bloodthirsty than just about anyone in the neocon stable. Itching to kill that one is, and even Bush had trouble curbing his bloodlust.

                Will Trump even try? We don’t know, do we?

          6. Susan C

            I cheer all your excellent points. I agree completely.

            I think the people who voted for Hillary just refuse to really understand who she really is and what she is really all about. They are seeing something that is not there. All she does is blame everyone else for her lack of success – the Republicans, the Russians, the FBI. Now the Electoral College. Will she just go away? She plays the victim card all the time. Who wants that in the White House? It is the fault of the Dem Party she got as far as she did. We need change –

        6. Brad

          Wait until all the POTUS transition chips are raked in. Then dump the whole boatload and let NC do the fancy dancing.

          Politico indicates that the signs are dire, but I don’t necessarily trust media outlets with a vested self-interest in promoting RINOs. Indications of a swarm of Bush people heading Trump’s way are not necessarily an indication of “Bush influence” as it may be rats swimming from a sunken ship to the one now afloat. If that is the case it is a net brain-drain minus for the Bushes.

          Key question is who will be Trump’s inner circle + middle ring Office of White House. Cabinet is outer ring for political payoffs to allies.

          So far it looks like Trump will withdraw from TPP, but only “renegotiate” NAFTA.

        7. Plenue

          Strawman often? The commentariat doesn’t like Trump, and has never believed him. But he was an unknown evil, as opposed to Clinton, where it could be comfortably predicted what she would do. Things are already winding down with Syria because of Trumps win. WW3 has been averted, at least for a while.

        8. bigfatcat

          And what exactly has Obama done that is any different from what Trump will do? Law enforcement has been cracking down hard on the DAPL protesters, and not a peep from your saint.

      2. JCC

        Trump is bad news (as if HRC wouldn’t have been) and most here said exactly that. In fact that was the biggest complaint among NakedCap commenters and our hosts – both candidates were lousy candidates and that was all our two party system could offer.

        But there is one very bright side, all the news is pointing towards the fact that the TPP is dead in the water.

        Let’s just hope it stays that way.

      3. armchair

        Maybe circling back to Clinton is helping commentators cope with the reality of how awful Trump will be. Clinton is irrelevant now, unless you’re studying how not to build a constituency and how to fail to win an election, which are arcane topics, even for this forum. Okay, not so arcane, but in the weeks and months ahead, it is Trump time.

        My take is that at least some who supported Trump, in this forum, were making a kind of Hegelian gamble. The dialectic needed a jolt in one direction, if we were to ever get the real change that is needed. The hope is that somehow Trump will unify people who see the impending global warming disaster, growing inequality, a deeply flawed legal system and pointless wars into a coalition that can finally come together in 2020 for substantial change. If true, this is one hell of a gamble. No matter what, we’re in it now. Clinton is officially an artifact. The disasters to come will have the Trump stamp on them.

        1. pretzelattack

          we were gambling either way, clinton offered the same plus an increased risk of war with russia. trump was a crap shoot that may bring down both parties, though the elites will fight that tooth and nail because both parties have been so useful to them. now, we have to fight to make that happen, still fighting the same people.

          1. Phil

            I respectfully disagree; we will be fighting a lot *more* of the *same kind of people* with less tools to fight them with as they enact laws and reinforce SCOTUS with their ideas of “screw the little guy” for the next generation or two – and by then it may be too late.

            I know a thing or two about automation in the workplace; jobs are *not* coming back. IN fact, jobs are disappearing all over the earth. Combine that phenomenon with steadily increasing populations and the *absolute certainty* of the displacement of hundred of millions to low billions of human beings due to uncontrolled climate change.

            These variables are *already* in play. At some point, a tipping point will be reached, where those who have used power to create enough distance between themselcves and the “have nots” will be able to insure their advantage by buying access to the latest human improvement technologies (genomics/proteomics) and buying off power structure that will insure through massive, universal surveillance that they maintain their hegemony.

            Once that tipping point is reached, there is no going back.

            Electing someone like Trump will hasten the arrival of the aforementioned tipping point and give us less time to adapt in ways that insure universal human peace and “enough” to survival, instead of fighting each other for crumbs.

            I am sick to death that this sociopath has been elected and how his ignorance will give free reign to *more* sociopaths who are among the most cynical bunch of evil charlatans that I have seen in my seven decades of life.

            How *anyone* can see an equivalence in pure evil and incompetence between Clinton and Trump is beyond my comprehension.

            1. pretzelattack

              the sociopath was clinton. how you can ignore that is beyond my comprehension. cackling while watching quaddafi get sodomized. you’re equating words from trump with actions from clinton. electing clinton, as the elite republicans wanted initially, would have locked in elite control more than electing trump. he’s an easier target. and less likely to start a civilization threatening war with russia.

            2. Massinissa

              Trumps just a crook, Clinton was a sociopath. Clinton has a history of advocating for destroying countries like Libya. Trump may want to destroy countries to, but at least he had no prior history of doing so.

              Trump has at least said hes willing to work with Putin while Clinton demonized him constantly.

            3. jrs

              the trade agreements, the trade agreements, the trade agreements. But maybe the trade agreements weren’t really that bad and aren’t a threat to governance? Care to argue that?

          2. cwaltz

            You had other choices besides Clinton and Trump. If you chose not to avail yourself of them because Hillary Clinton then you get to be just as responsible for Trump’s Presidency as the true believers that voted for him. That’s what happens when you vote against something instead of FOR something.

        2. nowhere

          2018 could swing the Congress to a truly united progressive front…maybe. Then there would be limited damage he could do (if that progressive front can present their obstruction as a net benefit to the country). I just don’t see enough united people that would provide the impetus for this, but Trump and a couple more years of climate problems might just do it.

          1. cwaltz

            2018 will not be much better. I see absolutely nothing to suggest the DNC is interested in changing. Brazile is upset that she got caught and Reid is running around screaming Trump is a sexual predator that lost the popular vote. None of them seem to be cognizant they lost because they chose a deeply flawed candidate and they fought a crappy and corrupt primary to choose her.

            To compound that in 2018 the DNC will be defending 26 Senate seats(and Sanders seat) out of the 34 seats up for re election. That means the RNC only has to defend 7 seats.

            So yeah, I wouldn’t bank on a progressive victory anytime soon.

        3. Plenue

          Who the hell is ‘circling back to Clinton’ here? I’ve seen nothing but celebration that the witch is dead.

              1. cwaltz

                Well then perhaps YOU should be the one to kindly piss off since the comment were directed towards people who voted for Team A and Team B expecting that they were getting anything other than same ol, same ol from Brand A or Brand B.

      4. Phil

        I’m with you; I don’t get it. I supported Sanders and then moved to Clinton for mainly one reason – to stop Trump.

        That said, another thing I don’t get (here, and from following this election elsewhere) is how everyone was so quick to point out Clinton’s faults, claiming that she was a died-in-the-wool noeliberal who would always favor banks, and a liar, and so on. Yet, in the same breath be will to overlook the appalling creepiness and serious mental deficiencies of Trump – I make this latter claim based on three clinical psychiatrists that I know; the testimony of his biographers, and his clearly unhinged actions on the campaign trail.

        Whether one likes Obama or not, he was correct when he said “there is no equivalency here”.

        Another thing: the meme of “Trump is dangerous” is too often dismissed as the ranting of a partisan. I’m telling you that this man is, by every definition I know, a clinically dysfunctional narcissist with some level of high-to-medium-high sociopathic co-morbidity.

        Trump is where he is because he began with inherited wealth; that’s what has buffered the negative self-imposed personal impacts his pathology ever since he was a kid. He had a ready-made business to walk into under the careful tutelage of his father. Then, he was off to the races.

        Remember, pure clinical narcissists, especially narcissists who have sociopathic tendencies are often uncannily astute at ferreting out the *tiniest* vulnerabilities in their victims. I have witnessed this kind of thing first hand – as many readers in this forum have – e.g even when you *know* that a certain kind of person is out to con you, there is still a compelling “something” that you find hard to resist about being drawn into that person – THAT is the power of someone like Trump; it’s like a kind of hypnosis – like the sense that one must look – even fearing the consequences – into Medusa’s eyes, or turn around and look – as Lot’s wife did, at Sodom, even though she was warned not to.

        Trump is a major con; he has been a con his entire life; he is – as President-elect – *still* a con. He *primary* goal will be – as it has since his early childhood – to seek approval (in his case, narcissistic supply) and juggle as many balls as possible to maintain that supply. Please be aware that this is the *primary* driver of Trump’s behavior. He may have altruistic moments, but those moments will *always* be in service of drawing more people in.

        Another thing to be aware of is that someone like Trump, once they realize that they have been “found out”, or that they can get what they need from someone else, will move in that direction without a second thought.

        Also understand that a very astute person who associates with a pure narcissist, can *pretend* to supply what his narcissist associate needs. If one is clever enough, one can manipulate a narcissist.

        All that said, I saw Clinton evolving; I think she really *does* care about the disenfranchised people she claimed to support, but one of her failings was her inability to connect at a gut level with those who she really, sincerely, did want to help *even if* some of her past positions had hurt those people. Clinton is a human being; she’s not a narcissist. Human beings are capable of change and growth. Unfortunately, we will not have an opportunity to find out what Clinton might have done. It seems that nobody wanted to give her a second chance; that the feckless press and media was more interested in driving eyeballs and mind space to it’s paying advertisers by stimulating their viewers with Trump outrageous violation of civilized mores.

        I saw what the insurance industry’s $300Million take down of Clinton did to her image in the early 90’s; it was an unconscionable attack that was orchestrated by an industry that is responsible for the deals of 100’s of thousands of U.S citizens, by depriving them of the ability to heal, or outright refusing them an opportunity to do so even if they were willing to pay more for the privilege (as in the case of people who were rejected for prior medical conditions). This was not only immoral, it was criminal.

        Yet, Clinton was called a failure; a witch; and instigator of death panels – with the pathetically ignorant short attention spans of Americans buying into those lies. A lot of that mis-characterization of Hillary stuck, and a “bash Hillary” industry was started. Yet she persevered and kept on.

        Now, we have Trump. I’m sick about this. I grew up in the Rust belt; I know those people and I feel their pain; I have close family that live there; most of them voted for Trump. They were conned; they are going to suffer even more; they are going to be raging come 2018 or 2020. What then?

        All the anti-Hillary policy wonks who took such pleasure in slamming her (and she *did* make serious mistakes) as someone who was perennially corrupt – as someone who was irredeemable, have somehow given a pure con the keys to the White House. Sure, Clinton was aloof; I never felt a resonance with her as a person, but how could one deny that she meant what she wrote in “It Takes a Village”? Had she ever actively, consciously worked *against* the principles that she laid out in that book?

        Compare that to Trump, who has and will continue to say and do whatever is necessary to maintain his sense of self worth. He’s probably the most flawed person for a position of power in a democracy that I can imagine – someone whose own self-worth is far more important than anyone else’s – and he *doesn’t even know that about himself*. Americans are going to reap the Trump whirlwind in ways that that haven’t even begun to imagine. I hope we can survive as an intact nation.

        1. Brad

          Well, but if NC’s worst fears come true, and Trump is “rolled by the RINOs” into just another Repugly Admin., he’ll be quite predictable then. End of that particular fear.

        2. Ché Pasa

          I don’t defend Clinton. I wouldn’t want her in the White House again. But your points about Trump are spot on. All this was no secret about him; he’s been in the public eye for a long, long time and his behavior and character should be very well known by now.

          Criticism of Hillary and the Democrats is fine — and mostly well deserved in my book. Defense of Trump is not OK, especially as his layers of masks come off.

        3. cnchal

          Everything you write about Trump and his narcissism is true and he will treat the presidency as an object to be used and abused according to his whim, and the psychopaths that end up surrounding him are skilled manipulators that will influence Trump.

          This is a problem with politicians, the vast majority of whom are self selecting narcissists that use political power to gain narcissistic supply. They are attracted to the jawb like flies to shit.

          There has been a long line of narcissists in the White House going back to the day it was built, and it was instructive to watch the body language of 0bama and Trump at their meeting. I thought of it as ‘when narcissists collide’.

          There are other factors to narcissism that we ignore from time to time and those are that the vast majority are men, and those men typically wreck ‘their wimin’ by destroying them from the inside out.

          Which leads to Hillary.

          All that said, I saw Clinton evolving; I think she really *does* care about the disenfranchised people she claimed to support, but one of her failings was her inability to connect at a gut level with those who she really, sincerely, did want to help *even if* some of her past positions had hurt those people. Clinton is a human being; she’s not a narcissist. . .

          I agree, she is not a narcissist.

          All the anti-Hillary policy wonks who took such pleasure in slamming her (and she *did* make serious mistakes) as someone who was perennially corrupt – as someone who was irredeemable, have somehow given a pure con the keys to the White House. Sure, Clinton was aloof; I never felt a resonance with her as a person, but how could one deny that she meant what she wrote in “It Takes a Village”? Had she ever actively, consciously worked *against* the principles that she laid out in that book?

          When I read your words, the personality disorder that best describes Hillary is psychopath. Infinitely more dangerous than narcissism because there wouldn’t be any brake on the insanity emanating from the leadership.

          The lesser of two evils. What a horrible choice there was. I was a BernieBro, but he got rubbed out. Just goes to show what the rare normal person in politics has to put up with.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      I think it’s a little more complex that. A lot of people made the calculation that Clinton would be worse based on what she’d already done. As SecState she encouraged fracking all over the world and only reluctantly came out against Keystone. Does anyone think she wouldn’t have changed her mind? And the protests against Keystone were a bit of a smokescreen – it’s not like that was the only pipeline deal going on but no attention was focused on the others as all the effort went into Keystone. And then how much area did Obama allow to be opened up for drilling under his administration with his all of the above energy policy?

      We were all pretty much damned if you do damned if you don’t no matter who you voted for,

      But yes, Trump is cruder than Barry of Killary when he speaks. Whoop de doo.

    3. Kevin Hall

      I’ll treat Trump as the enemy he has always been – despite the talk, he has never represented me. I don’t expect that to change now. But he was a way to keep the greater threat out of the office. The battle was won, but the war has just started.

      For me, Republicans are the enemy, but Democrats are traitors.

      1. Steve C

        If the Democrats are the smartest guys in the room, why are they always the ones standing there with egg all over their faces?

      2. cojo

        The Democrats and Republicans are two shades of the same neo-liberal political spectrum. They are present to quell dissent from the left and the right economically. The Democrats kept their part of the bargain but Republicans failed on their part. This is because most people who voted for the Democratic candidate fell for the identity politics shtick. The irony is that identity politics is created to divide people not by economic struggles, but by racist and sexist struggles.

      3. Praedor

        Consider this: We can thank the Senate Democrats for the coming change to the Supreme Court. See, the Republicans ALWAYS put the brakes on nominees they don’t like. They fight them with every tool in the shed. The Dems, on the other hand, fall over and NEVER fight. They approve ANY candidate the GOP presents. Every time. The last time they actually fought a candidate was Bork and that was back when the Demcrats were actually Democrats. Since then, they fall all over themselves to give the nod to ALL candidates the GOP presents…hence Thomas, Alito, Roberts…and whatever creature Trump offers up. No matter who or what the selectee is, rest assured the Democrats WILL let them pass.

        Same with all legislation. The GOP can be counted upon to oppose ALL Democrat legislation. The Dems can be counted upon to SAY they oppose GOP legislation but, in the end, they let it slide. The common denominator here is the Dems don’t want to be “obstructionist”. It’s “unseemly” and not what the voters put them in office to do. BULLSHIT!!! Obstruction is NECESSARY when the other side offers up ANYTHING that is poison. That means you obstruct judges (be they SCOTUS or any other federal bench position). That means you obstruct laws/legislation continuously if need be. Gridlock is better than headlock.

        But the Democrats are pussies. Or plain liar sellouts. They SAY they oppose this or that but, in reality, the do not because they wouldn’t let it slide like they ALWAYS DO otherwise.

      4. goingnowhereslowly

        Exactly. I have worked at EPA for almost 30 years. Obama wanted his legacy to be major progress on climate change, but his senior White House advisors, particularly Carol Browner–a deeply mediocre political hack who had been Bill C’s EPA Administrator–were too incompetent to get legislation through Congress when they had a real chance. I do give O credit for supporting some important vehicle standards, but it is too little, too late.

        Under Obama, we abandoned environmental enforcement, and had a deliberate strategy of meaningless happy-talk and greenwashing on fracking and anything else related to (non-coal) energy development. Rather than go into detail here, I urge anyone interested to read a Pro-Publica story from 2013 that perfectly encapsulates the corruption and fecklessness of the Democratic establishment on these issues.

        While the environmental community continued to sue EPA and got us to do some good work–including forcing very old, very dirty coal plants to clean up or shut down under the regional haze program–they also always gave the Democrats undeserved political cover on environmental protection generally. They are much more aggressive in blowing the whistle on Republican administrations. I remember being told by a colleague early in the O Administration that our strategy on one particular regulation had failed during the W Administration because of environmentalist opposition. If memory serves, it sailed through.

        Donald Trump will not be an environmental President. Hillary Clinton wouldn’t have been either. She would have continued the recent tradition of metaphorically hugging bunnies while undercutting meaningful enforcement of environmental protections for ordinary people in Flyover Land.

        I am extremely pessimistic about the future of environmental protection. But the first step toward solving a problem is admitting you have one. A necessary, but by no means sufficient condition for environmental progress to resume is that the national Democratic machine must die.

        1. PH

          We need to build support for environmental law in rural areas.

          It should not be impossible.

          But rural areas have not been a priority for progressive thinking. Indeed, there seems to be a large cultural divide that inhibits even the beginnings of conversation.

          Never mind all the corrupt bozos. What is our positive message to rural America? How can we explain it in a language that will resonate in rural communities?

          1. RMO

            The article about the sociologist who spent time with people in rural Louisiana was interesting. Among the right wing leaning pro-Trump people she found a lot of concern about their local environment. Increasing support for environmental protection in rural areas should be something that is both achievable and desirable. Not vilifying rural people as inbred, racist, ignorant hicks would be helpful.

            To all of you who faced the terrible responsibility of voting in this election thank you – it can’t have been easy. If I was a U.S. citizen I probably would have voted HRC to my eternal shame, and vomited right there in the voting booth. The booths should have dispensed vomit bags and tranquilizers as the votes were cast.

            “Election 2016 – America faces Sophie’s Choice”

        2. Strategist

          Hi, thanks for posting and it’s good to hear from the inside of the EPA.
          I don’t want to provoke suicidal depression, but any chance of an informed reaction to what I understand to be the news that Trump is putting Myron Ebell in charge of the EPA? Is it true he’s the worst shyster in the whole Washington swamp?

    4. rd

      Trans-Canada accomplished the impossible several years ago when they convinced Nebraska ranchers to work with Greenpeace. If the locals had wanted the pipeline, it would have gone through. So it will be interesting to see how Trump manages this without ticking off a group that probably backed him close to 100%.

      Trump will have succeeded in making many jobs in Alberta, Canada if he gets Keystone XL moving again.

      1. Synoia

        Unlikely. The Saudis have put the sword to Alberta. Tar Sands oil is not profitable at current prices.

        1. pretzelattack

          transcanada is still pushing for it to be built. I’m sure they are somehow planning to make money, or maybe just not lose as much money, no idea why though.

        2. cojo

          Further development in tar sands oil is not profitable at these prices. What has been developed will flow and will flow either by rail or pipeline.

        3. nowhere

          If you think prices will recover sometime in the next several years (how long is Saudi Arabia willing to deplete its sovereign wealth fund?), you’d want the infrastructure in place to turn the spigot to full blast to capture as much profit for whatever limited time it’s available.

    5. Tobin Paz

      Right, because the Democrats are the champions of climate change. Under Obama, oil production has increased to record levels. He granted over 1500 fracking permits in the Gulf of Mexico starting right after the Deep Water horizon disaster. He gave Shell approval to drill in the Arctic and proposed offshore drilling in the Atlantic. He also ended the 40 year US crude oil export limits.

      Clinton has taken millions of dollars for the oil industry. She hired a former Keystone Pipeline lobbyist as a campaign consultant. She is not only for fracking domestically, but also pushed fracking around the world as Secretary of State. And what about the Democratic Party’s Platform Committee that voted down a ban on fracking?

      You can easily make the case that the Democrats are worse for global warming than the Republicans due to their push of the TPP. I wrote a post on DailyKos making this case that immediately got me banned:


      If you think that Democrats are better, you haven’t been paying attention.

      1. jrs

        The defeat of the Dem party is entirely engraved in their platform fight, those were the fateful days. Ok I’m not sure anti-fracking is a huge issue in getting votes, but in their refusal to oppose the TPP, in their rejection of single payer. These are the issues Trump won on!!! Ok Trump does not support single payer, however peoples anger at ACA increases had nowhere else to go by that point but on to the Trump train to hell, maybe if the Dems had at least held out the carrot of something better than the ACA.

    6. Avalon Sparks

      If we were doomed to have a Republican in office either way (and I fully believe that), I’d prefer the one with the official R by their name. The damage wrought by the decisions and legislation that passes should be accurately attributed to the political party that is responsible. This transparency will result in less confusion on where to assign the blame.

    7. Vatch

      In many ways, Trump is worse that Clinton. However, there’s a very crucial way in which Clinton is far worse than Trump: many people are mysteriously prone to view Clinton as a progressive, just as they bizarrely think that Obama is progressive. Very few people see Trump as a progressive.

      Clinton and Obama are definitely not progressives, except on a few social issues. It has been difficult to rally the left to oppose Obama’s oligarch friendly policies, and it would be equally difficult to get them to oppose Clinton’s policies as well. It will be much easier to encourage the left to oppose Trump when he is wrong (which will probably be much of the time).

      I hope that the NC readers who supported Trump before the election will be able to shift gears and oppose him now. The lists of likely cabinet appointments tell me that he could be a very, very bad President.

      1. Vatch

        “worse than”, not “worse that”. Sigh. Betrayed by my fingers, yet again. And maybe I should have said “as bad as” instead of “worse than”.

      2. PH

        I agree with you.

        I just wish I had a more specific idea about the practical means for moving forward.

        Blogs are interesting. Addictive for me.

        But I think organization is needed, and I do not see any that inspire confidence.

      3. jrs

        Yea the Dem party is Soma, it’s lotus land, putting everyone to sleep, unable to fight. So sleepy, so sleepy, Obama is a black man and dresses so well and has such a nice family, and Hillary is a woman, so sleepy, need to rest now …

        But the Trumpublicans is waking up with a massive jolt of adrenaline, in utter horror, taking up arms (uh I better say metaphorically), perhaps only to meet full scale butchery in the streets. We’ve already got a f-ist state, but we haven’t yet seen a full blown authoritarian run it. I can no more say for sure what will happen than anyone else, but we have a man who wants protesters at his mere campaign rallies beaten. We haven’t yet seen the f-ist apparatus, that has been built up so carefully by both parties, in the hands of a real potential strongman. So that the rising will to resist is met with the escalating dangers of resisting (which carries some risk now depending on how far you take it).

    8. Waldenpond

      I thought they were two horrid NY billionaire candidates who were only ever going to govern on behalf of the 1%. The pretend angst of the elite was because there was going to be a bit of shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic. The only points I considered in Trump’s direction is that I thought he might slaughter less people based on Clinton’s unhinged statements on foreign policy. I am angry that my choice was down to counting bodies.

      Many people didn’t have a choice and what’s with the ‘we warned you’? That’s condescending (I would go as far to call it smug liberalism) and blaming the victim when the vast majority of the nation (world) was going to get screwed by either of these candidates.

      1. cwaltz

        Once again, there were more than two candidates on the ballot. The vast majority of the nation chose to ignore that. So yes they DID have choices and yes they do deserve blame if their candidate of choice screws up the country.

    9. different clue

      Ché Pasa,

      I voted Trump for three basic reasons.

      To lower the chances of a thermonuclear World War Clinton between America and Russia.
      To lower the chances that a military relative of mine would have to fight in a Clintonite war of Clintonite aggression in Syria or elsewhere.
      To keep the Clintons from bringing their River of Sewage back into the White House for a return engagement.
      ( And stopping the Clintonite-Obamacrat Trade Treason Agreements would be pure gravy).

      And I accepted the risks of bad Trumpian policy in order to stop the Clintons before they kill again.
      And if we are all still alive and un-nuked in four years from now, and Clinton’s beloved Saudi-backed CLEJ ( that’s Cannibal Liver Eating Jihadis) are exterminated from existence in Syria, and if the Clinton Sewage Dynasty is exterminated from the political map of America . . . then it will all have been worth it.

      So now that we have stopped the Clintons before they kill again, we can try undermining the coal, gas and oil economy wherever feasible and possible. Because we will be alive to do so. Unless Trump
      brings us the same H-bomb war with Russia that the Clintonites would have brought us. In which case, any hope of hope has been a sick joke from the start.

  1. Science Officer Smirnoff

    Watch for efforts to sell off federal land or shift it to state ownership. Either way, protected federal land will be sold at fire sale prices for private mining, oil/gas development and real estate development. Trump’s cronies and his cronies’ cronies will enrich themselves while Trump boasts of taking land back from federal bureaucrats. This can not be undone.—Dr. Hilarius on Crooked Timber

    Just add this to control of the High Court (etc.) for another generation (or two).

    Somebody in the comments on NC (OK, it was me) wrote when Republicans control everything they won’t need government shutdowns because they will have entered a candy store.

    1. Cojo

      Ironic isn’t it. Dems always play fair and don’t resort to nuclear options (aka pushovers) when in the minority. I’m starting to think this is by design. Didn’t you hear, they have two agendas, one public, and one private.

      1. Steve C

        When Republicans are in charge, everyone, including Democrats, assume the have carte blanche to do whatever the want. When Democrats are in charge, everyone, including Democrats, assume they are significantly constrained by the Republicans.

        Democrats whined they couldn’t do anything without 60 votes in the Senate. They always need some excuse. Watch the Republicans run the table with 52.

        1. oho

          “When Democrats are in charge, everyone, including Democrats, assume they are significantly constrained by the Republicans. ”

          it’s a feature, not a bug.

          Feinstein, Pelosi, Boxer elected by the ‘liberal’ California are hardly champions of the Left—maybe once when they all were 25 y.o. and before they became part of the top 0.5%.

          Sorry to be direct but California voters aren’t blameless.

          1. mch

            I would offer a different argument: Perhaps California is not as liberal as people in the rest of the country believe, and those three politicians are a good reflection of the ideologies of the majority of Californians? It is definitely true for Pelosi — San Francisco is one of the least progressive places I have ever seen.

            1. jrs

              There are definitions of liberals. There is culturally liberal which in some ways the whole country is becoming more but in some ways even a so called blue state like California really isn’t in the slightest (we have just upped the death penalty ok – horrible).

              And there is economically wanting a bit more of a social democracy which actually seems WIDELY popular across the country. Referendum for more spending pass (not all of which I may favor but it does not indicate a country unwilling to spend for what they think is the public good – ie social democracy). Though it is not a ballot issue in California minimum wage hikes across the country have passed etc.. These country does have strong social democratic thrusts, just not leftist ideology.

              And then there is leftism which doesn’t have that much currency anywhere (I’m not saying it shouldn’t just doesn’t is all).

              And then sometimes there is a big money influence on propositions etc. which so drowns out all else that …

              San Francisco being one of the least liberal places is hogwash, utter nonsense. Of course it is one of the least affordable places with serious income inequality. Coastal cities have a lot of inequality compared to say much of the midwest anyway.

          2. John Wright

            Part of the problem in CA is the republicans usually run lame candidates against these people. So the voters are presented with Hillary Clinton vs Trump-like decisions.

            Boxer voted against the Bush Jr. Iraq war resolution (AUMF), while Feinstein seems to blindly support every military effort/buildup in the Mideast/Ukraine.

            Feinstein was also an avid supporter of massive government surveillance, which was tempered, somewhat, when the CIA spied on her staffers..

            Feinstein does support gun control, except when it comes to controlling US military guns overseas.

            Of note, Feinstein voted for the AUMF in Iraq but also voted for the Levin amendment, to pursue diplomacy first before going to war.

            Hawk Hillary did not vote for the Levin amendment, she WANTED to go to war in Iraq, post haste.

            I view the Democrats having a collective behavior similar to Pelosi. Rumor had it she tried to quietly line up enough legislative support for the TPP so she could vote against it (to please her constituents) while moving it forward.

            TINA is always on the ballot in CA, thanks to the Republican party never running quality candidates.

            1. RMO

              Barbara Boxer sure as hell isn’t a left wing insurrectionist in the Democrat party but she does have a lot to her credit in her record. Being one of the only representatives to speak out against and vote against war for example (and the fact that she was almost alone in that makes me weep). Gee… if the DNC really thought that having a woman as president was supremely important maybe they should have gone with one who has shown some ability to occasionally be right about something. Almost as if it wasn’t about finally having a female president at all but about having a particular person who happened to be female win the White House!

    2. cwaltz

      I’m starting to wonder how long before we have our own “civil war” here. We’ve exported and supported them elsewhere. How long before what we’ve been doing to other nations that are divided right along the middle gets done here? Ukraine, Syria…..places that were fundamentally split down the middle and ripe for the picking…..You have to wonder how long before another nation takes a leaf from our playbook.

  2. PlutoniumKun

    Well, I can see Trump having conflicting thoughts (not that he thinks much) over this.

    On the one hand, he is very much a drill and pump guy, and he will see the value in a continued oil surplus to keep the economy going and the pressure on the Saudi’s and Russians, and of course, in maintaining domestic energy independence.

    On the other hand, the likes of Buffet and the Koch brothers are heavily involved in oil transport and products so he might just enjoy giving them a very bad headache as payback for their support of Bush and Clinton.

    I really think its too early to say, although the fact that Trump is a disaster for the environment should be obvious, just not necessarily on this subject.

    1. a different chris

      >he will see the value in a continued oil surplus

      What value? Nobody can eat oil. The oil in question is either

      a) is more expensive to turn into something useful than anybody else’s – that nasty crude from Canada
      b) more expensive to extract than the “majors” (SA, Venezuala, etc), courtesy of our continuously bankrupting fracker’s

      So we can’t effectively export it – I have no idea what these DAPL building people think they are doing except when I look up the definition of insanity.

      We also wind up behind the same 8 ball if we try to export manufactured goods made from it. Trump’s tariffs don’t even have to be reciprocated, except for maybe Europe, when the input cost itself is much higher.

      Further, the continued povertization of the 80% kills the internal market for said goods, tariffs or no — in fact tariffs will make it more obvious that the 80% only had “money” because the Chinese gave it to them.

      It’s not going to keep the economy going, that ship sailed 10 years ago.

      1. PlutoniumKun

        An oil surplus has value for Trump because:

        1. It hurts Wall Street
        2. It hurts many of the Dem and Republican establishment types who opposed him
        3. It hurts the Saudi’s.
        4. It hurts the Iranians
        5. It benefits domestic manufacturers
        6. It provides breathing space for inflationary policies.

        1. a different chris

          >An oil surplus has value for Trump because

          We have a major oil surplus right this very moment. And a fading economy that won’t be able to use it. Adding more (crappy, in the case of DAPL) oil isn’t going to make a difference.

          >Oil is embedded in every calorie that we eat.

          Yeah and we have an obese nation so not much growth there. Big Ag is fearfully pushing for massive export increases – of course not “hey can we feed the worlds hungry with good food” but instead “let’s overrun those countries with crappy food by breaking down any barriers to it”.

    2. Rajesh

      Hmm a lot of stuff transported is fracking sand which pipelines can’t transport anyway. Also if trump gives coal a boost it would also help offset pipeline losses to BNSF. Furthermore Lubrizol also owned by BH makes a lubricant that is used to grease pipelines to make flow more efficient. BH has ammassed a massive pile of cash as well. the guy will find a way to make a buck one way or the other!

  3. Dugless

    There is pretty much no doubt that Trump will be a disaster for the environment, especially on the issue of climate change. However, as someone who has long been active on environmental issues, people concerned with the environment are another group that the establishment Dems have taken for granted (where else are you going to go) but have not done nearly enough to address many environmental issues. Obama has generally been fairly weak as an environmentalist although has gotten somewhat better recently. I think this is related to him trying to burnish his image. Hillary is pro-fracking and generally seems to support moneyed interests over protecting the environment. They really don’t give most on the left a real reason to get out and vote for them.

    1. hreik

      yes, this. We are all toast if the environmental issues are not addressed. i agree that it was weakness of the democratic leaders on climate change and related issues.

      as for Obama, it is difficult for me to tell. he fetishized being liked/ loved. otoh the republicans thwarted him at every step.

      Trump is a disaster on climate, the environment, the most challenging and wide ranging issue of our time. he’s a disaster on other issues too, but this one effects everyone on earth.

      1. hemeantwell

        Go to the end to see how the angry staffer concludes his blasting of Brazile: “You and your friends will die of old age and I’m going to die from climate change. You and your friends let this happen, which is going to cut 40 years off my life expectancy.”

        I’m in the usual muddle about fully supporting a third party effort or trying to build on the Sanders campaign to rework the Dems. But instead of grousing among ourselves about whether or not we helped Trump in some remote way, we should do what we can to help this kind of challenge to the Dem apparatchiks grow.

        1. pretzelattack

          exactly. i don’t know of one poster who claimed trump wouldn’t be bad for the environment. so would clinton. as someone said, that battle is over (for some of us) now the war to make trump a one term president begins.

      2. Ian

        A shame (far to gentle a word) the Democrat establishment couldn’t bring themselves to support the only candidate within the Democratic primaries calling for a WWII level mobilization on climate change. The only appropriate and sane response too the reality with face.

        1. Ian

          My apologies for grousing. As someone from outside the US who has watched this travesty of an election, I can only hope that sanity will prevail.

          1. Rick Cass

            Sanity will not prevail. The rebups, educated or not, have convinced themselves that climate change is a hoax, that the earth is too big for puny humans to effect, and that the market is God almighty. I hear these themes daily among otherwise intelligent people.

            1. PH

              I agree. Sanity has no political pull on this issue. It has become “our team” v. “Their team.” No one is listening.

              I think we have to break from focus on overall and attack constituent elements of the problem. Mining. Local transportation systems. Building codes. Utility regulations.

              Make the issues local, and appeal to local self-interest.

      3. oh

        Obama just talked a good show but his actions were just as bad as what Trump’s may be on the environment. Some examples:
        1. Allowed off shore drilling that resulted in the largest spill in the Gulf coast. Then he covered up the disaster by allowing the use of a chemical agent to allow the oil to sink and thus make it appear that the ocean was clean.
        2. Allowed the construction of pipelines and when people protested he quietly looked away (e.g at Standing Rock) or quietly kicked the can down the road for the next administration.
        3. Signed a non binding climate treaty in Paris that has soft, worthless targets (inadequate lowering of CO2 emissions and a lenient schedule).
        4. Allowed all kinds of leasing of Federal Lands for exploration of natural gas and oil.
        5. Did not actively promote the use of renewable energy.
        6. Actively promoted the use of coal (clean coal, ha ha), natural gas and nuclear).

        If we want to curb pipelines and environmental degradation, we need to organize and force govt. policy in the right direction. Except for a couple of environmental groups, the heads of environmental organizations sold out long ago. We can’t rely on support from the D’s or the R’s. Voting every 2 years is a joke.

        1. nowhere

          Let’s not forget Obama Administration Approves Pipeline Expansion Set to Feed First Ever Fracked Gas LNG Export Terminal

          Sabine Pass LNG Terminal owner Cheniere Energy, the first company in the fracking era to receive an export permit from the Obama Administration back in 2012, also has a politically connected Board of Directors. Among its members is Obama’s former climate czar, Heather Zichal.

          For example, while most of Cheniere’s in-house lobbying corps has remained intact, it has added the daughter of former Bush Administration Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham, Julie Abraham. Her name is included on the list of lobbyists on Cheniere’s quarter three 2015 federal lobbying disclosure form.

          Ankit Desai, a campaign finance bundler for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 run for president and former top-level aide to Vice President and then-U.S. Senator Joe Biden, is also on Cheniere’s lobbying payroll. Desai also formerly served as a top-level staffer for current U.S. Secretary of State and then-U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA).

          Lobbying firm Williams and Jensen also deployed a nine-strong member advocacy squad on behalf of Cheniere during quarter three. One of the lobbyists, Melinda Maxfield, formerly served as Deputy Finance Director for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee head up by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY).

          Let’s not pretend that the Ds gave very, very little to actually changing tangible policies to address climate change.

    2. cocomaan

      Obama’s record on the environment was indeed pretty poor and HRC would have continued down the road. Deepwater Horizon was one of the biggest environmental catastrophes in our history and Obama completely capitulated to a foreign company.

    3. different clue

      Most of Trump’s properties are by one seacoast or another. So the Trump family assets will also go “underwater” ( har dee har har) as the oceans rise.

  4. Scott

    While I think that some of Trump’s damage to the environment is overstated (he’s not bringing back coal and drilling on much of the federal lands are likely uneconomical at current prices), the expansion of infrastructure is likely where he has the greatest potential. Trump will very likely try to push these projects through – he campaigned strongly for infrastructure, including these pipelines. But even here, his options are slightly limited, in New England both electric transmission projects and new natural gas pipelines have been stopped largely by local government involvement. If Trump truly wants to improve the infrastructure, he may need new regulations limiting the amount of state and local governments can do to stop the projects.

    1. Parker1280

      “While I think that some of Trump’s damage to the environment is overstated”

      In fact they are understated. Go speak to some climate scientists.

    2. a different chris

      >limiting the amount of state and local governments can do to stop the projects.

      Yes… sadly, the Rethugs are really, really good at that.

    3. cojo

      I think the Republicans will have a hard time pushing a federal regulation on state and local rights in this situation as part of their ethos is states rights. Will be interesting to see if and how they would pull that off.

      1. PH

        Might slow them. But very hypocritical in the past.

        Nearly the sole purpose of the recent toxic chemical law was to preempt California law. The remaining purpose was to have a platform to attack REACH (euro law) when TPP goes through.

    4. different clue

      Fixing the roads and bridges and culverts we have now is also “infrastructure spending”. Upgrading passenger rail and trolley and streetcar would also be “infrastructure spending”. If Blue Zone governments and jurisdictions get prospective projects ready to pitch and get funded, and GET them funded; then Blue Zonians may well get enough social survival infrastructure built so as to actually LOWER energy consumption in the pursuit of stable and sustainable “just good enough” lifestyles.

    1. B1whois

      Sorry, I meant to post this in the links thread. And it’s a petition. For some reason I’m unable to edit or delete this comment. So again I apologize

    2. oho

      ” I can’t imagine the unrest that would occur if the Electoral College overturned the election”

      someone tell are the protesters that the warehouses that feed Portland are in the exurbs, likely staffed by Trump fans with food grown by likely Trump fans, trucked by likely Trump fans.

      One person’s free speech and civil disobedience over the electoral college is anothers overindulgence over spilled milk.

  5. Norb

    Those without political power can take up civil disobedience. If Trump goes down the path of crony capitalism, I doubt people will sit idly by watching the dismantling of the nations public resources. I can’t see business interests employing the disaffected militant right in any way that meshes with the corporate propaganda used to market products to consumers. You can get away with slow motion disaster, or clever tricks to confuse the citizenry, but sooner or later citizens needs must be met.

    The idea that corporate power will just roll over the weak is misguided at best and very dangerous. It wasn’t very long ago that owners used overt violence to secure their will. The sides of the conflict were very clear and easy to understand. As the misuse of power becomes more obvious, and as blatant forms of exploitation are reasserted, only civil unrest follows. The contradictions of our economic system become visible again.

    Harnessing that unrest will determine which outcome we will have. This election has been very clarifying in that by offering two deplorable candidates, the system has been laid bare. Now both Democrats and Republicans have used popular unrest to gain control of political office. Another round of failure for the working class in this country will definitely bring about change that is unpredictable. Now is the time for reaching out to form coalitions and discussing class struggles in a productive manner before it is too late.

    1. Paul

      Three fantastic paragraphs of clear thinking and crisp prose. Please don’t scroll by them; they warrant two or three reads. Thank you.

    2. PH

      Maybe. But history has plenty of examples of where the bad guys won, and stayed in power for decades or generations.

      Even if you are right, it will not happen automatically. There needs to be organization.

      Protests alone are not likely to work.

      Worse, I worry that the protests will provide an excuse for violence. And following violence, repression. Given the surveillance state, and an ever more rightwing judiciary as the appointments get rolling, repression could win for a long time.

      1. Ché Pasa

        The police are already firing on the protesters — supposedly “rubber projectiles” as they’ve been using against the Water Protectors in North Dakota.

        It’s seen as a form of provocation.

        Our Rulers are intent on putting down rebellion by the weak, but they cave to the strong.

    3. pricklyone

      Trump’s whole career is a study in crony capitalism. There is no doubt he will continue. If you don’t see this, you are probably guilty of treating his PR as fact.
      His use of Fred’s Democratic Club cronies, and his constant reliance on Roy Cohn as a fixer are legendary.
      Without the crony network in place, you would never have heard of Donald Trump.
      If you live in NYC (or NY state) he probably added a couple points to your tax bill, with his “entrepreneurial”

      1. cwaltz

        This +1.

        I find it interesting that the working class believes a billionaire who shipped his own companies products oversea so he could heavily profit off of cheap labor is going to be their knight in shining armor.

        If he were interested in saving jobs here then he probably could have started with Trump Enterprises but then he might have only been a mere multimillionaire instead of billionaire.

  6. Gaia Peacelove Starshine

    Aptly-nymed bullshit artist Jamie Dimon wants to make you feel bad because you didn’t vote for his kleptocrat. This is how stupid he thinks you are. He thinks you never saw Wikileaks email 20150909 Transcript | Building Trades Union, recording her promising lots of “repairing and building the pipelines we need to fuel our economy,” spewing contempt at environmental ‘extremists’ as “the Democrats’ version of the Tea Party,” and whining about people screaming at her.

    Alright, no screaming. Until you get it through your thick skull what we want we’re gonna let you lose.

  7. Peter Pan

    I’m of the opinion that if Clinton had won we’d see a headline that reads “Clinton to Clear Way for Oil Pipelines”.

  8. Deloss Brown

    I see that there are still squawks of “But Hillary would have been worse,” “Obama was no better,” and “I’m glad the neo-(whichever) / Democratic party / elites took it in the eye.” I give you guys about one month to come to a horrid realization. You can start the process by reading the very prominent description of (white) students yelling “Build the wall!”

    Martin Niemöller’s horrid little poem is going to become relevant again. It begins, “When they came for the Socialists . . . ”

    I will continue, out of habit, to read NC, at least for a while. But, Ms. Smith, you must already know by know that everything you’ve tried to do has, for the short term, say 30 years or so, become irrelevant.

      1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

        Everyday is a struggle. The work is never done.

        And every issue judged on its own merits. Every decision on its own. If this one is bad, fight it, struggle against it.

        If the decision is good, embrace it.

        That’s the realization now, and the realization in 30 days. Nothing is perfect. With no ideal candidate close to winning the position, the fight is to oppose, to vote against the most immediate bad choice. And continue the struggle the next day.

        Nothing to gloat.

        Everything to remind ourselves to keep working.

    1. a different chris

      >You can start the process by reading the very prominent description of (white) students yelling “Build the wall!”

      Because they would be roasting marshmallows with Mexicans instead if Hillary had won? WTF?

      >But, Ms. Smith, you must already know by know that everything you’ve tried to do has, for the short term, say 30 years or so, become irrelevant.

      Maybe so, maybe not. Can’t speak for our wonderful host, but for me: thanks for your help, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

    2. oh

      You seem to react badly when the readers reveal the flaws of both parties. I don’t see any cheering for Trump here. Hillary and Bill were crooked operators and the Dim party rigged the primaries to give her the nomination. Obama did not allow the investigation of the Clintons to play out.

      NC is one of a handful of sites where you can read non sycophantic views. I’m happy to support this site.

      One day you’ll realize that you have beenthe victim of MSM propaganda.

      1. jrs

        There was some cheerleading in the peanut gallery, but I long stopped reading cheerleaders, they were really not worth the time. People voting 3rd party or taking either side of the horrible contest in anguish I could live with. Unfortunately those taking the Hillary side, no matter how thoughtful and reluctantly, were mostly driven out, and those taking the Trump side given infinite rope.

        1. pretzelattack

          clarky90 (if i’m remembering the handle correctly) wasn’t given infinite rope. he or she was admonished. i’m not sure who was driven out for supporting clinton.

              1. cwaltz

                I think two left voluntarily and I know I almost left after one of the commenters suggested something along the lines of “so what if he DID actually assault women(this was after his 2005 tape was released)……that assaulting several women was not as big a deal as bombing the crap out of the ME.”

                It was extremely offensive.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Trust me, I let only about half of clarky90’s comments through. Ditto with some of the other Trump boosters. They didn’t violate any formal rules but I didn’t like the use of the site for lobbying. And I did chew out jgordon and clarky90 but not often.

    3. Chris

      Deloss Brown your words echo my thoughts for this last many months. The majority NC meme of “Hillary would have been as bad or worse” seems a luxury of those who are not black, brown, Muslim, disabled. We can argue about the possible effects of the Paris Climate agreement, but is a step forward. We know HRC would not have pulled the US out as Trump almost certainly will. Yes: “everything NC has tried to do has, for the short term, become irrelevant” and in 30 years, it is likely the effects of climate change will make our current rage over neoliberalism like so much fuss over deck chairs.


    “The total lack of presence and action by the United States government, at the federal level, is a concern that must be addressed….[therefore]

    “We urge the US Government to take urgent action and protect the traditional lands and sacred sites of the Standing Rock Sioux and uphold their human rights commitments, including under the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”
    Statement on the Dakota Access Pipeline by United Nations Alvaro Pop, Chair of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues; PFII Expert Members Dalee Dorough and Chief Edward John on the Dakota Access Pipeline development/desa/ indigenouspeoples/news/2016/ 11/statement-from-the-chair- and-pfii-members-dalee- dorough-and-chief-edward-john- on-the-dakota-access-pipeline/

    Statement from the Chair and PFII Members Dalee Dorough and Chief Edward John on the Dakota Access Pipeline
    November 4, 2016
    (Partial Excerpt)
    “The rights of the Sioux peoples are recognized and affirmed in their treaties, agreements and other constructive arrangements with the United States, in various court decisions, in the US Constitution and in international human rights instruments. Despite such recognition, their rights are being violated by decisions made with respect to the pipeline project traversing un-ceded Sioux territory.
    Despite the call of the Obama administration to the company to hold the construction of the DAPL, we understand the construction is proceeding on a 24-hour work day basis, seven days a week. The company’s decision to proceed with right of way clearing and construction has put the Standing Rock Sioux in a difficult and untenable situation.
    The total lack of presence and action by the United States government, at the federal level, is a concern that must be addressed. We remind the United States of their ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as the 2010 public pronouncement of support for the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and their 22 September 2014 reiteration of commitment to the UN Declaration at the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples. We call on the United States to take urgent action on the alarming situation in North Dakota, including the criminalization of indigenous peoples in their peaceful attempts to safeguards their human rights and fundamental rights.
    We understand the Standing Rock Sioux have transmitted urgent human rights appeals to four Human Rights Mandate Holders, jointly with the International Indian Treaty Council, on 19 August 2016 and 4 September 2016. We fully support this action and urge the respective Special Rapporteurs to take this matter up immediately and furthermore, to implore the United States to take concrete action on an urgent basis. We further recommend and respectfully request that the UN Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination consider undertaking an Early Warning and Urgent Action procedure on the basis of information reflected in the report and statement of Chief Edward John.”

  10. E40

    Thank you, Bruce E., for the very helpful update. Back when you could make maps with Lexicalist, when you typed in ‘human rights,’ the whole USA was black, meaning no one even said the words – except for two small blue islands, Washington, showing official lip service, and the Dakotas. The Human rights defenders of the Sioux are setting an example for all peoples subject to the US regime.

    The Sioux are countering state overreach in the only effective way, by going over the head of the government to treaty bodies, charter bodies, and special procedures. Indigenous peoples’ civil society understands the civics of the modern world:

    – How to hold the US to the commitments and obligations required of any sovereign state;

    – How to enforce independent international compliance review;

    – How to “strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms” in accordance with federal and state common law, the UDHR.

    Look at this. The Sioux are freeing us all.

  11. Eustache de Saint Pierre

    As an outsider looking in during the Punch & Judy show, I always hoped that Trump would prevail. This came from a purely selfish viewpoint mainly based on the reasoning that he would be more likely to avoid a nuclear confrontation – simply because Trump would consider it very likely to be very bad for business.

    I despise his like, but I have truly lived in fear of the consequences of the idealogues, such as Kagan & wife, who unlike in the last election, could not cover both bases being all to ready to emerge from their rancid Democrat nest, in a last ditch, all or nothing, attempt at achieving American hegemony.

    The increased likelihood that TPP & all the other corporate stitch ups would fail to materialise, was another consideration. I agree with those above that she who would be queen, would have continued in a manner that would have increased the metastasis, which has been eating away at the vitals of the once great hope for mankind: the United States of America.

    Trump might well continue with this, & I imagine could make it worse – I do not know, as I ( unlike it seems many others ) cannot foresee the future, especially in a world which contains many butterflys with wings to flap, within a labyrinthine complex global system. I do know that the cancer of the corrupt Clinton court, needed to be uprooted, it is just a huge shame about the apparent alternative, which amounts to ” Any port in a storm “.

    There is a lot of talk about the lack of voter participation within a country, whose sneezes, tend to spread infection to all corners of the planet. I am one of billions who have no say in issues that effect the whole globe & hopefully there are many like me, who hope that once reaching what appears to be bottom, YOU, with the help of sane & wise places such as this, can somehow get back to that far from perfect time when the people were actually considered to be an asset, rather than a liability or the equivalent of livestock, good only for milking.

    Good Luck – we will continue watching with baited breath.

  12. juliania

    I think there is a difference between protesting policies as they are enacted by the administration and protesting an election, flawed though it may be.

    We have all stated our preferences and we all followed, to the interest of each, the course of and tally of the votes.

    Now, we await, in various states of apprehension, the consequences of that admittedly flawed election. And as some have expressed here, there is a real danger that protesting the results on the streets will be aided and abetted by the same forces that aided and abetted the overthrow of governments around the world – the very forces we have been doing our best to unshackle the world from experiencing as we did or did not vote.

    Everyone who either voted or did not vote had good reasons for the choices they made. Everyone. In this terrible tangle there was no right or wrong way to vote or not to vote. As the Trump administration proceeds, there will be right and wrong ways to assess what it does.

    I did not vote for Mr. Trump, and he is not president yet. I have remarked elsewhere that there have been positive changes at the White House – I don’t know what that really means. At the very least, it is not more of the same to have both Syria and TPP begin to fade as hotbutton issues.

    This is an excellent site for finding out about these things. I am puzzled by your attitude, Che Pasa.

  13. Stray Cat

    Thanks, Yves. The beat goes on. One of the best cards in Trump’s hand for making at least partially good on his promises to his heartland electorate is to ram through environmentally-disastrous investments in fossil fuel infrastructure. Let’s remember how fracking companies were received in PA and other neoliberally-neglected regions of the country. This is yet another way for Trump to focus economic redevelopment in the regions whose votes put him in office, while being perceived as giving the double finger to “decadent” urban communities. With libertarian-contrarian activist Myron Ebell working to line up the battle formations, it’s easy to see where this is going: kick ass and take names all the way to the bank in the name of “the hard choices of human progress.”

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