GOP Activists: Rick Perry's Bakken Oil Pipeline Ties Could Cost Him Iowa Caucus Support

By David Goodner

Former Texas governor Rick Perry's recent appointment to the board of Energy Transfer Partners, a company attempting to build a Bakken oil pipeline through Iowa, could hurt him in the first-in-the-nation Republican Party caucus if he decides to run for president, according to a conservative Iowa Republican activist and a DeSmog analysis of the political landscape.

Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) appointed Perry to its Board of Directors on February 3. ETP is a Texas-based company whose subsidiary corporation, Dakota Access, LLC, has petitioned the state of Iowa to build a pipeline carrying up to 575,000 barrels per day of oil obtained via North Dakota's Bakken Shale basin hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) fields.  

The news about Perry's board appointment and its tie-in to the Iowa Caucus highlights the complicated terrain the issue will create for some Republicans in Iowa. It is a “political hot potato,” as DeSmog's Steve Horn wrote, and it is possible questions about the pipeline will arise in caucus politics leading up to 2016.  

Permitting plans in Iowa by Energy Transfer Partners and Dakota Access, LLC have sparked resistance from environmental activists and family farmers, the latter of whom often vote Republican, as well as from the libertarian wing of the GOP. Libertarian Republicans are often concerned about property rights and the potential abuse by government of eminent domain laws to confiscate private land for corporate profit.

“If Rick Perry is going to compete in Iowa this year, this could definitely be a big factor that could hurt him,” Jeff Shipley, a young Republican from Fairfield, Iowa, told DeSmogBlog. Shipley is a Republican activist, organizer, and former statehouse candidate for the Iowa GOP who has worked on presidential campaigns and with county and state party leaders for years. His home in Fairfield is located in Jefferson County, one of 18 Iowa counties sitting along the proposed pipeline route.

Jeff Shipley Iowa
Photo Credit: Shipley for Iowa

“This is a for-profit corporation that is going to try and use the force of government to steal farmers property,” Shipley told DeSmogBlog. “That runs contrary to typical conservative values.”

Biofuel and Blather: Apologists Try to Pin Ill-advised Farm Subsidy on Al Gore

Corporate apologists, politicians (and their media stooges) are twisting the language and misrepresenting the truth in an effort to deflect responsibility for a global food crisis that is being exacerbated by biofuel farm subsidies.

The issue dusted up last week when U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the European Union Commissioner for Agriculture Marian Fischer Boel blamed the global food shortage on people in India and China who are shifting their diet toward meat and away from vegetables.

Job Security Unstable? Renewable Energy is Looking for Employees.

Author Jeff Goodell's quote, “[a] full-blown push for clean energy could unleash a jobs bonanza that would make what happened in Silicon Valley in the 1990s look like a bake sale,” rings true when you look at yesterday's job report published by the UN.

The report found that solving global warming has resulted in world wide employment gains.

Tree-Huggers Speak Truth to Bio-Power -- Study

The EU target of ensuring 10% of petrol and diesel comes from renewable sources by 2020 is not an effective way to curb carbon emissions, researchers say.  

Auto Alliance Painting Green Efficiency Numbers

“There are 11 million alternative fuel autos on the road today,” exclaims The Alliance for Automobile Manufacturers (AAM) website.

The AAM has a long history of fighting emission standards, so it's no wonder why a headline like “11 million alternative fuel autos on the road today” would jump out at anyone familiar with the Alliance and their not-so-environmentally friendly activities.

U.S., Brazil looking to expand ethanol-use in Latin America, Caribbean

Agreement is expected this week on a program that could lead to substantial growth in the ethanol industry in Brazil as technology and manufacturing equipment developed there is exported to other countries in the region. The deal has already drawn fire, however, over the threat of expanding Brazilian output at the expense of American corn growers.

Reports of ExMo's Reform Prove Premature

Anyone celebrating ExxonMobil's recent announcement that it acknowledges the truth of climate change can stick the cork back in the bottle. While Exxon's vice president for public affairs, Kenneth Cohen cast climate cange as undeniable, ExMo CEO Rex Tillerson made it clear yesterday that the company is still happily clinging to doubt.

“My understanding is there’s not a clear 100 percent conclusion drawn,” Tillerson told an industry gathering in Houston. “Nobody can conclusively 100 percent know how this is going to play out. I think that’s important.”

Biofuels: corn vs. cane

DeSmoggers are always asking about biofuels, especially corn-based ethanol. Here's a good read on the energy efficiency of corn-based ethanol production versus sugar cane based production.

Consumer Report Mag debunks the "ethanol myth"

We have had some requests recently from DeSmog readers for more information on ethanol fuel and its effect on climate change, energy consumption etc. We stumbled across a great an in-depth analysis of the economic and environmental viability of ethanol fuel, or E85, in this month's edition of Consumer Reports magazine. The article debunks the myth that ethanol fuel will do much of anything to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and goes further to make the argument that E85 may be adding to overall emissions. The arguments they make are interesting and  relevant considering that much of the US government's self-proclaimed “action” on climate change has come in the form of ethanol fuel alternatives.
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