Trump signs executive order to unblock construction of two major pipelines

 

Trump signs good executive action = GOOD TRUMP
Trump signs good executive action = GOOD TRUMP

I can’t believe that I am blogging on “Good Trump” three days in a row. Rest assured, when there is “Bad Trump”, I will cover that as well.

The Daily Signal reports:

President Donald Trump signed a pair of executive orders to move forward with two major pipelines blocked by the Obama administration, but with the caveat the U.S. would “renegotiate” the terms of building the projects.

“It’s subject to a renegotiation of terms by us,” Trump said before signing an executive order on the Keystone XL oil pipeline. “We’re going to renegotiate some of the terms, and, if they’d like, we’ll see if we can get that pipeline built.”

The Dakota Access oil pipeline’s construction was also “subject to terms and conditions to be negotiated by us,” Trump said before signing his second executive order on pipelines Tuesday.

One of those conditions is pipelines must be built with U.S.-produced steel, Trump said. Union leaders met with Trump Tuesday morning.

Trump also signed executive orders to expedite environmental reviews of infrastructure projects to get them built more quickly.

The Obama administration blocked Keystone XL and Dakota Access, drawing cheers from environmental activists opposed to using fossil fuels. Former President Barack Obama argued Keystone XL’s approval would tarnish America’s image as a champion against global warming.

The former administration blocked the Dakota Access oil pipeline in November 2016, after environmentalists and American Indians protested for months to block the pipeline. Activists argued the pipeline would impact Standing Rock Sioux sacred tribal sites—though they produced little evidence of this.

Environmentalists were furious with Trump’s pipeline executive orders, but supporters argue it will be better for jobs and the environment to build more pipelines.

Trump shouldn’t care about the global warming fascists, as I can guarantee you that none of them voted for him, and none of them ever will.

However, I am worried about what I am hearing about Trump on free trade. Every conservative believes in free trade, because conservatives understand basic economics, and basic economics teaches that free trade is always better for both parties of the trade.

If Trump puts tariffs (taxes on trades) on foreign goods coming into the United States, (e.g. – smartphones, computers, electronics and cars), then American consumers will pay MORE for those items.

Look what the American Enterprise Institute says:

America’s low-income households benefit the most from free trade and having access to cheap imports because they spend a greater share of their budgets on traded goods like clothing, footwear, household items, school supplies, appliances, toys, and furniture (think Walmart shoppers)…

[…]America’s low-income households have the most to lose from greater restrictions on free trade with import quotas, protective trade tariffs, border taxes, and other trade barriers. If Trump starts a trade war with tariffs and border taxes, it will be a “war on the poorest Americans…

That’s why I am skeptical about Trump’s protectionist tendencies. Some of the people who got him elected are uneducated when it comes to basic economics, and they are pressuring him to do stupid things that will hurt all the consumers in a misguided effort to save the jobs of a few workers. Workers who would be better off getting re-trained and re-hired in a more challenging job. I’d much rather use government money for re-training someone who loses their job than slam all the poorest consumers with a tax on their consumer goods from foreign countries. No unemployment, but tuition for a trade school or university, and cut employer payroll taxes on them for 5 years after they graduate. It would be like increasing their value, then putting them on sale. That’s way better than tariffs.

12 thoughts on “Trump signs executive order to unblock construction of two major pipelines”

  1. From a NeverHillary to a NeverTrump, I want to thank you for the intellectual honesty you have shown in covering Trump’s strong conservative Christian start, which included more pro-life conservative Christians on his Cabinet and in his administration than surely any other president in the last 60 years. You are right to be VERY concerned about protectionism – the devil is in the details.

    When Roe is overturned either on his watch or because of his next two picks, I want to see Unborn Scheming Baby (USB) calling out the (remarkably small number of) pious who both refused to stand in the gap against Hillary and who missed out on being able to say they protected USB with their vote – all because Trump was not Jesus.

    Not spiking the football yet by any means – just saying this thrice married VERY flawed man has done more for pro-life conservative Christianity than the last handful of GOP “christian” presidents combined, while the last “christian” president spent 8 years nearly destroying the nation. The Bible is filled with similar examples. Praying his first SCOTUS pick is not merely pro-life, but anti-abortion and anti-Roe.

  2. Oh, there was Bad Trump since Friday at least once. I did not mind the tone of the Sean Spicer press briefing on Friday and he thumped them hard and righteously on the MLK bust stupidity, but then it became an ego thing with the inaugural crowd size. Unlike the press, I am not going to say they lied about the size because there is no way to prove or disprove them or the press, but it was a stupid spat to get into.

    On the other hand, I am starting to wonder if that is ego or a strategy. Trump acts egotistical and gets headlines on goofy things like hands and crowd size and name calling, but gets stuff done while the press is falling over themselves on trivial arguments. (It could be both in that he really does have a fragile ego, but has learned that while people are focused on that he is able to flank them.)

    It is going to be an interesting 4 years for sure.

    1. I’m not sure either what it is, so I’m not sure whether to say that it is Bad Trump. Frankly, as long as we get a wall and a good SCOTUS pick, it’s probably going to be a success. I have low expectations.

    2. I saw a piece that echoed your speculation. In it, it said that his claim that he would have won the popular vote were it not for 3 million illegals was a cagey ploy to provoke demand that he launch an investigation into vote fraud…and investigation for which he would have taken heat were he to have launched it without the press and others demanding proof to support his claim. That’s a far more comforting thought than to worry that he’ll be spending the next four years saying every goofy thing that comes to mind.

  3. Great post and glad to see the objective view of the presidency.

    That being said, your statements on trade are a little myopic. Most economists understand that free trade works in a single market, but the world is not a single market. The issue is that you must have a free labor market in any form of true free market. Since the market is not free if the labor is not free, then you can’t have free trade unless the labor is also free to move. Anyone calling for protectionism on immigration can’t possibly espouse free trade in the same context.

    So for the US to trade freely with others we would have to open our borders, make sure that the trade partner also allows the free movement of labor, and have equivalent labor restrictions and then hopet that their standard of living rises to our level before ours crashes.

    I’m not saying there is anything wrong with free trade, just saying there is a right and a wrong way to go about it.

  4. I agree with you. I still can’t stand Trump’s petty narcissism but I like his cabinet picks and executive orders so far. His ignorance on free trade though is alarming.

  5. Let’s assume that the pipeline poses zero environmental risk and we know with absolute certainty that it poses zero environmental risk. I don’t understand how a Christian (or any other person with decent, moral values) could approve a plan which breaks a treaty with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

    A General Officer of the United States Army negotiated a treaty which was ratified by the tribe and by the United States Senate. As a nation, we gave our word we would do certain things, including respecting their land rights. If integrity matters, then how I don’t understand how you can morally justify our country breaking its word. So… how can you?

    Why not just reroute the pipeline around the tribe’s lands? I truly don’t understand why such a heavy-handed approach is necessary.

    1. I had to think a few days about this strong objection to know what to say.

      First of all, you are approaching a radical American free enterprise Constitutionalist with the sovereignty of private property, which if you know the Founding, is one of the original triad of American traits (Jefferson had it originally as life, liberty and property, e.g. “private property”, and not life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness). So I just have to remark on how strong this argument is from you. There is no defeating this for someone who believes in America and American ideals straight down the line.

      The only answer I could come up with, after thinking about your objection, is that we treat this like an eminent domain situation, as with railroads and highways, and pay the affected parties for the use of their land, including all costs necessary to make the situation right. As long as we are getting economic benefit (energy independence, cheaper oilm, less reliance of Arabic oil, less enriching of Wahabi radicals) and jobs from this situation of buying Canadian oil, then we should pay them what they want. If there is a dispute, then it goes to negotiation and arbitrarion until both sides are satisfied. That’s the free trade system.

      It’s such a strong objection that caused me to think and think and think for some time each day.

      Having said that, you’re right to assume that there is no environmental impact:

      Keystone XL:
      http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/31/22524683-report-keystone-pipeline-would-have-minimal-environmental-impact?lite

      The Dakota pipeline environmental impact study is just now starting, but since it is a domestic pipeline, the requirements are lower.

  6. 1. From a legal perspective, I don’t understand how eminent domain is applicable. We are not talking about the federal, state, county, or city government taking away land that is privately owned by a U.S. citizen and not the sovereign territory of another nation. We are talking about land owned by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. They are a sovereign nation. That is why we have a treaty with them.

    Just as we cannot use eminent domain, say, to annex Baja California from Mexico, we also cannot use eminent domain to legally and unilaterally take land away from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

    2. From a moral perspective, I don’t understand how eminent domain makes this morally justifiable. Your approach of offering them financial compensation is not a bad idea, but given how poorly our country has treated this and other tribes, any sort of heavy-handed approach, even eminent domain with financial compensation, seems like a very cruel thing to do to them. Offer the financial compensation — heck, even offer them a share of the profits from the oil flowing through the pipeline — but if they reject the offer, then leave them be. It’s not like the pipeline has to follow the planned route. Why not just reroute the thing and leave the tribe alone?

    1. For another perspective on this: http://dailycaller.com/2016/11/06/the-protests-over-the-dakota-access-pipeline-explained/

      According to this source, the pipeline crosses private land, not reservation land, and it avoids artifact areas. The treaty is apparently in dispute because it was made with a different tribe? Efforts have apparently been made to minimize environmental impact.

      Your concerns are valid if the premises are true. One of the unfortunate consequences of 8 years of identity politics and faux protests is that Americans stop paying attention to chicken little cries even when they turn out to be legitimate. This is one more reason that Christians should NEVER vote Democrat – fake victimhood has a very serious price, and that price turns out to be real victims. (The other reason Christians should never vote Democrat is hundreds of years of human rights abuses, including Native American genocide, by that party.)

      It would be very interesting to follow the money behind this situation – it originated under Obama, so it is unclear whether or not this is a Soros-funded situation like so many others the past 8 years. The Fake News phenomenon has NOT helped this situation, and that is another product of the Left.

      As Christians, we need to be concerned with any potential life, liberty, and property rights abuses of all Americans. Our country’s history has not been good in this area. It may very well be unfortunate for this tribe that the Left overplayed the race, gender, and other identity cards the past 8 years.

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