‘Tis the season for party bosses to put their foots in mouths, it seems. Last week NDGOP Chairman Bob Harms made some comments slowing down oil development in North Dakota that upset members of his party. What’s funny is that, in response to Harms’ comments, Democrat Party Chairman Bob Valeu made some comments about the Keystone pipeline that certainly aren’t in keeping with the position his political party likes to portray.
Valeu, who is a Facebook friend of mine, was responding to a SAB link I posted and during the discussion suggested that the Keystone XL pipeline wouldn’t be of benefit to North Dakota.
“Keystone will deliver 1.1 million barrels of Canadian Tar sands to our refineries so Canada can ship refined products over seas,” Valeu wrote (“tar sands” is a term used by environmental activists opposing the project). “Bakken does not benefit other than moving 100,000 barrels which is needed by the Canadians to more economically move their tar sand oil south. In fact with the glut coming when and if Keystone is built ND Bakken will be pushed out of the refineries to the south. They want the oil they are geared to process and it isn’t Bakken sweet.”
Those comments are at odds with the public position of North Dakota’s top elected Democrat, Senator Heidi Heitkamp. “As Senator, Heitkamp will fight alongside anyone who agrees that it’s time to move the Keystone pipeline forward – even if it means upsetting members of her own party,” reads the Senator’s still-active campaign website. “It’s time to put aside political games and partisan squabbles in Washington and do what’s right for North Dakotans, and what’s right for the country.”
Heitkamp campaigned hard on the Keystone pipeline, but she’s also got big money ties to Obama moneyman Warren Buffett (who is widely seen as profiting from stymied pipelines through his rail holdings) and has been far less outspoken about the project since getting elected.
Most North Dakotans see the value of pipeline infrastructure in decreasing truck and rail traffic, particularly after the Casselton derailment. But while North Dakota Democrats pay lip service to the importance of pipelines, Valeu’s comments prove how superficial that support is.
Here’s the full exchange: