Broten NDP and Keystone XL "clarification"

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cooperativist
Broten NDP and Keystone XL "clarification"

Hey all,

I don't know about anyone else here, but I am completely effing stunned by the "clarification" from the Sask NDP that our side supports Keystone XL. I haven't lived in Saskatchewan for too long, so perhaps I am not understanding the internal or external pressures upon the NDP here to support it. I am from Alberta, where there's even less room to oppose tarsands projects of any kind, and even there, the Alberta NDP point-blank opposes the construction of Keystone XL.

I'm no energy economist, but the main thing with the clarification is that it ignores and even undermines the primary insight that environmentalists and progressive economists have been conveying to the public for years, which is that we will get the energy that we subsidize to make economically possible. So the transition to renewables will never come, it seems to me, precisely because with Keystone and similar projects we subsidize and consolidate the cheapness of dirty oil.

There is also an abundance of evidence out there to push back against the claims of jobs, jobs, jobs which to me should be able to be easily articulated from the comparably massive media platform that the NDP has, a platform that is denied to grassroots environmental and social justice activists.

On top of everything else, the clarification fails to be framed as anything other than a massive cave-in to Brad Wall and the Saskatchewan Party— as agreement rather than concurrence with qualifications. The email that I got today just seemed surprised that it was a big deal at all.

Yeah. So I don't get it. Any insight on why the NDP here would apparently fold its hand when they could've been really strong on this and clobbered the Sask Party with Keystone would be super appreciated.

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Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

cooperativist wrote:

Hey all,

I don't know about anyone else here, but I am completely effing stunned by the "clarification" from the Sask NDP that our side supports Keystone XL.

It would be useful to all of us if you could provide an online link to the "clarification" that you bring up - I know nothing about it.

felixr

Broten is Link 2.0

knownothing knownothing's picture

I think there are two schools of thought in the Saskatchewan NDP today. Those who think that the NDP need to go right to gain power and those who think they need to move left to gain power. Broten et al are in the former group. They threw Mulcair under the bus. I would love to be a fly on the wall in their next conversation.

 

Aristotleded24

How does the rank-and-file in Saskatchewan feel about this? I recall that Mason was somewhat offside with Mulcair's Dutch Disease remarks.

Unionist

Boom Boom wrote:

cooperativist wrote:

Hey all,

I don't know about anyone else here, but I am completely effing stunned by the "clarification" from the Sask NDP that our side supports Keystone XL.

It would be useful to all of us if you could provide an online link to the "clarification" that you bring up - I know nothing about it.

I mentioned it [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/manitoba-and-saskatchewan/saskatchewan-ndp-leade..., Boom Boom:

Cam Broten wrote:

"To clear the record ... I support the Keystone XL pipeline because of a triple bottom line assessment looking at environmental, economic and social reasons," Broten told reporters Wednesday at the legislature. [...]

"Mr. Mulcair will make his comments. My job first and foremost is to stand up for Saskatchewan's interests, to develop our resources in a sustainable and responsible manner, and that's the approach that I'll be taking and our caucus and party will be taking with me as leader."

The source was [url=http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/03/14/now-sask-ndp-leader-rejects-mulc....

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Thanks, U. It's getting bloody hard to follow everything - especially on dialup.

NorthReport

The SK NDP just can't seem to get its act together. Not a very good start for the new leader.

6079_Smith_W

Speaking of being not ready to lead (I'm refering to a comment about Ryan Meili in another thread), it's a wonder Broten wasn't prepared for that trap. It's not as if the Sask Party hasn't been campaigning steady even before the convention,  using Mulcair as a foil to skewer the Sask NDP.

Not only was he offside, he was clearly caught not knowing what he was talking about.

And it's interesting that even regarding an article that has nothing to do with Quebec, the National Post peanut gallery inevitably turns to sovereignty.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Broten's views on pipelines reminds me of Roy's views on uranium.  The Saskatchewan NDP  has been choosing economics over the environment for a long time.

knownothing knownothing's picture
cooperativist

Sorry, gang, I was assuming that some of you might be on the email list for the Sask NDP. Broten did sent out that clarification, but Cathy Sproule, House Leader and Nutana MLA, sent this out, writing as if she's confused that members of the party would be surprised:

 

We’ve also had a bit of attention this week for our long-standing position on the Keystone XL pipeline. I’m emailing to provide information in case you have questions about our position.

The caucus has had a consistent, public position on the XL pipeline ever since it received approval by the National Energy Board. Cam Broten has not changed this position.

As the former energy and resources critic, I issued a news release on this issue last spring (http://ndpcaucus.sk.ca/news?id=924) and I did many interviews in which I stated that the caucus supports the XL pipeline – you can listen to one of those interviews here: http://www.swiftcurrentonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view....

Here’s why: we have tens of thousands of kilometres of pipelines in our province, pumping oil and gas every day, some of which ends up at the local Co-op service station where I fill up the tank in my car. The proposed XL pipeline would add an additional 300 kilometres of pipeline in our province. If built, it will ease up the bottleneck our province is dealing with right now, which is driving down the value of the oil we are producing.

Whether more western Canadian oil is sent south, via the proposed XL pipeline, or east – as is advocated by our federal counterparts – the reality is this: as an energy producing province, we have an interest in ensuring that we maximize the return on our resources in order to benefit Saskatchewan people. But we also have an obligation to the next generations to secure a greener future. Cam Broten and all of the NDP MLAs are fully committed to that.

Our society is heavily reliant on fossil fuels. As New Democrats, we know that’s not sustainable and we are committed to bringing forward workable solutions to reduce this reliance.

Broadly, the position taken by our caucus is this:

  • The NDP have long supported pipelines because they are safer and more environmentally friendly than trains or trucks when it comes to transporting oil;
  • We want to ensure a stringent triple bottom-line (economic, social and environmental) assessment of all such projects – the best process to do that right now is that of the National Energy Board and we trust their work;
  • We want First Nations and Métis communities to be meaningfully consulted and listened to;
  • We think better regulation of the oil and gas industry is important in order to better protect the environment;
  • We think value-added opportunities and more high-quality jobs, including through more refining here in Canada, should be pursued; and
  • We need to do so much more to address greenhouse gas emissions and climate change by working to transition away from our dependence on fossil fuels.
  • When our new Leader appointed me as the environment critic, he asked me to work with experts and party members to find ways for Saskatchewan to be a leader in addressing the global climate change crisis. I am excited about that work and I hope you will play a part in it.

This is the classic sort of explanation in which the individual positions are rational when taken in isolation and if you are missing the substance of the criticism, but can't be strung together like a coherent argument.

Here are some counterpoints:

http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2007/09/26/the-neb-keystone-pipeline...

http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/politics/economic-case-ag...

http://www.retrofitamillion.org/blog/5-arguments-against-keystone-xl-pip...

Anyway, I am wondering, where does the pressure come from internally to support Keystone? A more conservative membership? Unions representing workers in extraction industries? Broten and Sproule are both urban MLAs and environmentalism should play well here... maybe I need to take a look at a map to understand how ridings are divided up.

cooperativist

Sorry, gang, I was assuming that some of you might be on the email list for the Sask NDP. Broten did send out that clarification, but Cathy Sproule, House Leader and Nutana MLA, sent this out, writing as if she's confused that members of the party would be surprised:

 

We’ve also had a bit of attention this week for our long-standing position on the Keystone XL pipeline. I’m emailing to provide information in case you have questions about our position.

The caucus has had a consistent, public position on the XL pipeline ever since it received approval by the National Energy Board. Cam Broten has not changed this position.

As the former energy and resources critic, I issued a news release on this issue last spring (http://ndpcaucus.sk.ca/news?id=924) and I did many interviews in which I stated that the caucus supports the XL pipeline – you can listen to one of those interviews here: http://www.swiftcurrentonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view....

Here’s why: we have tens of thousands of kilometres of pipelines in our province, pumping oil and gas every day, some of which ends up at the local Co-op service station where I fill up the tank in my car. The proposed XL pipeline would add an additional 300 kilometres of pipeline in our province. If built, it will ease up the bottleneck our province is dealing with right now, which is driving down the value of the oil we are producing.

Whether more western Canadian oil is sent south, via the proposed XL pipeline, or east – as is advocated by our federal counterparts – the reality is this: as an energy producing province, we have an interest in ensuring that we maximize the return on our resources in order to benefit Saskatchewan people. But we also have an obligation to the next generations to secure a greener future. Cam Broten and all of the NDP MLAs are fully committed to that.

Our society is heavily reliant on fossil fuels. As New Democrats, we know that’s not sustainable and we are committed to bringing forward workable solutions to reduce this reliance.

Broadly, the position taken by our caucus is this:

  • The NDP have long supported pipelines because they are safer and more environmentally friendly than trains or trucks when it comes to transporting oil;
  • We want to ensure a stringent triple bottom-line (economic, social and environmental) assessment of all such projects – the best process to do that right now is that of the National Energy Board and we trust their work;
  • We want First Nations and Métis communities to be meaningfully consulted and listened to;
  • We think better regulation of the oil and gas industry is important in order to better protect the environment;
  • We think value-added opportunities and more high-quality jobs, including through more refining here in Canada, should be pursued; and
  • We need to do so much more to address greenhouse gas emissions and climate change by working to transition away from our dependence on fossil fuels.
  • When our new Leader appointed me as the environment critic, he asked me to work with experts and party members to find ways for Saskatchewan to be a leader in addressing the global climate change crisis. I am excited about that work and I hope you will play a part in it.

This is the classic sort of explanation in which the individual positions are rational when taken in isolation and if you are missing the substance of the criticism, but can't be strung together like a coherent argument.

Here are some counterpoints:

http://www.progressive-economics.ca/2007/09/26/the-neb-keystone-pipeline...

http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/politics/economic-case-ag...

http://www.retrofitamillion.org/blog/5-arguments-against-keystone-xl-pip...

Anyway, I am wondering, where does the pressure come from internally to support Keystone? A more conservative membership? Unions representing workers in extraction industries? Broten and Sproule are both urban MLAs and environmentalism should play well here... maybe I need to take a look at a map to understand how ridings are divided up.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Quote:

We want to ensure a stringent triple bottom-line (economic, social and environmental) assessment of all such projects – the best process to do that right now is that of the National Energy Board and we trust their work;

In BC we don't believe that for a minute.

knownothing knownothing's picture

How is shipping away raw bitumen ensuring a social bottom line?

And I am pissed about Broten supporting the pipeline but not as pissed as the way he threw Mulcair under the bus.

The Tories and the press have been using it against him ever since Broten came out with this statement.

KenS

cooperativist wrote:

Anyway, I am wondering, where does the pressure come from internally to support Keystone? A more conservative membership? Unions representing workers in extraction industries? Broten and Sproule are both urban MLAs and environmentalism should play well here... maybe I need to take a look at a map to understand how ridings are divided up.

Sadly, its not specific to the Sask NDP, or really about the oil and gas industry per se.

Someone said the ANDP has taken a somewhat critical stance on Keystone. I'm skeptical. I'd like to see that spelled out.

Sections are always unlikely to stand in the way of local industries- often not even wanting to cross ones that only MIGHT get established.

KenS

And provincial NDPs that are governments or governments in waiting have always thrown the federal party and leader under the bus if there is a conflict.

knownothing knownothing's picture

Well they should stop doing it. It is nice to see Mason and the ANDP standing behind the federal leader in the most hostile political environment in Canada. I think they deserve praise.

KenS

So the ANDP has been equally crtical of Keystone as Mulcair has been?

I mean something beyond equivocal 'we support what the federal leader has been doing'.

knownothing knownothing's picture
cooperativist

Well, I pretty much explained all of the above in a letter to MLAs Sproule, Wotherspoon and Broten today. Some of your responses helped me compose my reply to their clarification, so thanks. I'll let you know about the reply that I get.

6079_Smith_W

knownothing wrote:

Well they should stop doing it.

I think in this case what Broten did was both wrong and stupid, but I am sure there are situations in which any provincial party is going to disagree with the federal party. I'd hate so see a situation where they simply took their marching orders from Ottawa.

knownothing knownothing's picture

True, but the federal party has much more credibility than the SNDP at this time.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

In BC it is the other way around with Dix having far more credibility than Mulcair.

6079_Smith_W

knownothing wrote:

True, but the federal party has much more credibility than the SNDP at this time.

Doesn't matter. They still don't speak for me on provincial matters. And I wouldn't want them to, for instance, just decide that signing an HST deal was a good thing. And again, I think Broten made an ass of himself in this instance.

 

knownothing knownothing's picture

Mulcair has made it clear that he isn't going to interfere in provincial jurisdiction.

6079_Smith_W

knownothing wrote:

Mulcair has made it clear that he isn't going to interfere in provincial jurisdiction.

I'm not talking about interfering in jurisdiction (though avoiding that is easier said than done). I'm just saying that  federal interests are not always the same as provincial ones, and there are certain to be disagreements. And that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Though really, you'd think the provincial and federal wings would have had this conversation before now - like last spring when Mulcair made his initial comments on this issue. And that is a mutual responsibility.

 

 

 

 

knownothing knownothing's picture

From what I can tell Mulcair is a decentralized federalist in the mould of PET. This should make it easy and clear for the provincial wings.

 

But like you said, they should get on the same page, this should have been dealt with long ago.

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

knownothing wrote:

I think there are two schools of thought in the Saskatchewan NDP today. Those who think that the NDP need to go right to gain power and those who think they need to move left to gain power. Broten et al are in the former group.

Well, I don't know how far left you have to be to oppose Keystone, before he died, Peter Lougheed himself spoke against the pipeline. His position was remarkably similar to what the ANDP are saying today.

Fidel

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Broten's views on pipelines reminds me of Roy's views on uranium.  The Saskatchewan NDP  has been choosing economics over the environment for a long time.

"The NDP" and every other provincial government in Canada since approxiimately Gerald Bouey and Trudeau through Mulroney and Chretien and ongoing today.

It used to be Yugoslavia. Today it's Serbia vs Croatia vs Bosnia and so on. Multinationals don't like dealing with strong federal governments, and Canada hasn't had one of those in decades.

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

KenS wrote:

Someone said the ANDP has taken a somewhat critical stance on Keystone. I'm skeptical. I'd like to see that spelled out.

Jobs at crux of NDP-Tory blow up

Albertans ‘betrayed’ by premier’s support for pipeline, provincial NDP say

 

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Fidel wrote:

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Broten's views on pipelines reminds me of Roy's views on uranium.  The Saskatchewan NDP  has been choosing economics over the environment for a long time.

"The NDP" and every other provincial government in Canada since approxiimately Gerald Bouey and Trudeau through Mulroney and Chretien and ongoing today.

It used to be Yugoslavia. Today it's Serbia vs Croatia vs Bosnia and so on. Multinationals don't like dealing with strong federal governments, and Canada hasn't had one of those in decades.

What has that got to do with my post?

 

knownothing knownothing's picture

Why would you be defending Broten?

There is no reason

Fidel

Are you implying that federally orchestrated neoliberalism since 1984 has no relevance to the currrent situation across Canada today?

People here, including the author of this thread, are wondering why provincial NDP governments are looking for revenue that they just don't receive from crown corporations and federal government transfers like they used to.

I'm just trying to inject a little truth to the subject matter is all.

Continue on with your "legitimate criticisms" of provincial NDP's with zero historical context while offering us zero alternatives. It's your purpose here, we know.

Fidel

Yes, and why don't they just nationalise everything that was pawned off to the four winds by previous conservative governments? Surely that is what Tommy Douglas would do to solve the situation.

Except that things have changed in Canada at the federal level since Tommy's day in the sun. A lot.

knownothing knownothing's picture

Sure they have. Because people like Broten keep rolling over time and time again.

Fidel

And Mulroney, Chretien, Grant Devine and his jailbird SaskaTories were only performing their patriotic duties when selling Canada and the environment to corporate America.

It's all Broten's fault for not creating socialism in one country province.

If Graham Beverly over at wsws or anyone has an actual blueprint for socialism in one province or even a former Yugoslav territory, Marxists everywhere would like to see it.

Divided we are felled.

knownothing knownothing's picture

If Beverley was going to write about every capitalist pig whole sold out the people it would fill libraries. Of course a socialist website is going to focus on the parties and leaders that are affiliated with Socialist International or have the word socialism in the preamble of their constitution.

Broten is wrong not only for supporting the pipeline but for cutting out Mulcair at the knees at the height of his media exposure to date. He showed a lack of solidarity and political insensitivity. Also, he keeps talking about how the Keystone XL ensures a "triple bottom line - economic, social, and environmental"

But Mulcair was in Washington saying that Keystone wouldn't be a top priority and that we need more projects that satisfy the triple bottom line

So they were completely discordant and now it is giving the Tories the ammo they need to hammer them on it.

I can just feel Mulcair wince whenever they bring it up.

 

Fidel

What other political party is attractive to firstpastthepost voters in Saskatchewan?

Politicking in the manner and style of the last 100 years will probably continue across Canada until such time as a federal NDP government updates our obsolete electoral system nation-wide.

At that point Canadians will vote with their hearts, and political parties will have little choice but to cater to the whims of a true majority of voters. No more Liberal Parties campaigning on the left and governing on the right. They will either have to join-up with their friends in the conservative party or fade away into the ether, one or the other. And when they do settle in the conservative party where they belong, the conservative party will be politically neutered by a fair voting system. All of Mr Beverly's friends in Canada will vote for Marxist candidates and know that their votes will stand a fair chance of counting for something - as in something more than nothing as the current situation stands.

And what a great day it will be for all democratically minded Canadians.

 

KenS

Is there an icon for a tennis ball going back and forth over the net?

Fidel

And I hope they vote NDP in Saskatchewan to oppose the first next maternalist NDP government in Ottawa!

6079_Smith_W

knownothing wrote:

Broten is wrong not only for supporting the pipeline but for cutting out Mulcair at the knees at the height of his media exposure to date. He showed a lack of solidarity and political insensitivity. Also, he keeps talking about how the Keystone XL ensures a "triple bottom line - economic, social, and environmental"

I agree Broten screwed up on this one (regarding energy board approval)  but this is not all about Mulcair, and Broten did not do anything to him.

That would be Mr. Wall who said those things. This is not about a lack of solidiarity, insensitivity, or throwing anyone under a bus. I may not agree with what Broten did, but I don't think he's duty bound to take the same position as Mulcair.

http://www.leaderpost.com/business/energy/Saskatchewan+leader+Broten+cla...

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

KenS wrote:

Is there an icon for a tennis ball going back and forth over the net?

 

6079_Smith_W

Oh... you need the animated gif for the full effect:

Fidel

Hey,  look at me?? I can post gifs!! WTF?

And then we'll make bugger's eyes water!

Fidel

If I had a nickel for every fallaceous straw argument against the NDP I've ever read on this site, I'd still be a poor socialist after giving most of it away to good causes.

 

Oh. let's not vote NDP because there is a speck in their eye, and Mulcair is not a conquering messianic type revolutionary.

Therefore, let's keep the two old line party toadies and conservative nanny state that we have in hand. It's gotta be worth somethin'?

Ottawa is like a rotten tooth that's spread upward to the lining of the brain, and the owners don't wanna go to the dentist or hospital ... year after year, decade after decade. Well, the overall situation is not going to improve by letting the rot and decay fester and spread further in Ottawa. At some point the patient dies of neglect, and then we'll see them calling for a miracle for Lazarus.

For sure. No job is too big for the NDP or their fictitious alternative party not waiting in the wings.

The people are ready for BLOOD IN THE STREETS the same as 1950's CUBANS fed up with a U.S.-backed mafia government no less.

You'll read every incredulous straw man and irrelevant point of view on babble at some point.

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Here's the image you are looking for to describe this once promising thread:

6079_Smith_W

True that.

Though how many Sask NDP threads do we have? How many pipeline threads? How many Mulcair threads?

 

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

knownothing wrote:

Broten is wrong not only for supporting the pipeline but for cutting out Mulcair at the knees at the height of his media exposure to date. He showed a lack of solidarity and political insensitivity. Also, he keeps talking about how the Keystone XL ensures a "triple bottom line - economic, social, and environmental"

I don't think provincial leaders have an obligation to agree with Mulcair (or other provincial leaders).  I didn't begrude Adrian Dix his stand on the Clarity Act, and the Sask NDP have every right to their position on Keystone.

I just don't happen to agree with it.

But there is enough wrong with Keystone to argue it's lack of merit without having to introduce strawman arguments that we need to oppose it out of some sense of duty to Mulcair.

6079_Smith_W

@ Lou Arab

Agreed.

It is probably also worth noting that Brad Wall has been using Mulcair's words to attack all of the NDP candidates on television and in print. Mulcair has taken a number of stands, rightly or wrongly, which could be taken as a threat to the party's fortunes here. And don't we already have a thread in which Mulcair is being criticized for doing his own thing?

Again, not to say he can't set his own policy, but if there is a difference, it is anyone's fault? Broten isn't being paid to be Mulcair's publicist any more than the other way around.

And it seems to me that buying into this story is promoting the line that Wall and Harper want.

 

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