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"Trump's Keystone XL And Dakota Access Action: Pipelines To Prosperity?"

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  • "Trump's Keystone XL And Dakota Access Action: Pipelines To Prosperity?"

    How can The Donald deliver $1 trillion worth of infrastructure spending without increasing the national debt or raising taxes?

    By expediting private sector infrastructure projects...
    JAN 27, 2017

    Trump's Keystone XL And Dakota Access Action: Pipelines To Prosperity?

    Mark P. Mills , CONTRIBUTOR
    I write about how technology, policy and economic reality intersect

    By now it should go without saying that President Trump’s actions should be viewed in business terms first.


    What could be more Trumpian than doing that using other people’s money, on projects already started (to use an Obama-ism, “shovel ready”), and involving a product or service people clearly want?

    Those pipelines entail billions of dollars, but it’s all private capital and not taxpayer funds appropriated by Congress. And, unlike many “trophy” government projects, the pipelines will be profitable from the get-go. Let’s hope that Trump’s team scans the landscape for yet more such stimulus that merely entails the removal of specious government delay or opposition.

    Add to this the reality that Keystone and the Dakota Access are indisputably “shovel ready.” In fact the previous administration actually took the shovels away after construction had begun. The essence of growth, in any domain, is rooted in business willingness to take risks and commit capital ahead of demand. But the fear that governments will be capricious with ex post facto impediments, even outright permit reversals, suppresses such so-called “animal spirits” for investment. The inverse is also true.

    Of course a businessman, as opposed to a politician, is mainly focused on building something for which where there is clear consumer demand—which is, by definition, the polar opposite of infamous bridge-to-nowhere projects. Apropos these pipelines: Oil is the world’s largest traded commodity. And both the International Energy Agency and our Energy Information Administration forecast more, not less, demand in the decades to come; this despite, it bears noting, literally hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars spent on projects, grants and subsidies to advance non-oil alternatives.


    These two pipeline actions could constitute just a first step if the Trump administration wants to seize the opportunity to stimulate a second shale boom. Much of this can be done just by undoing recent moves to shackle the industry put in place in the waning months of the Obama administration. And Trump’s Executive Order can boost domestic benefits if industry responds to the stipulation that the pipelines “use materials and equipment produced in the United States, to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted by law.”

    The overall economic benefits from a second shale boom are not theoretical. We have very recent track record to look to. The first shale boom’s astonishing rise in oil and gas production delivered, initially unnoticed and certainly unsubsidized: nearly one million jobs, the building of the first new steel mill in decades (outside of Youngstown, Ohio, to supply the thousands of miles of steel pipe used in fracking), hundreds of billions of dollars in new foreign direct investment in American industry, radically lower oil imports for the first time in decades, and a global price route making oil (and natural gas) cheaper for everyone.


    Without the $250 billion a year, or more, pumped into the economy by the shale industry during the first six years of the Obama administration, the nation would have stayed in recession. Imagine what can be accomplished now by combining a shale stimulus along with broader actions to unleash the rest of the industrial economy.


    The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)

    Ten Bears: These things you say we will have, we already have.
    Josey Wales: That's true. I ain't promising you nothing extra.
    Last edited by The Doctor; 30 Jan 17, 11:44.
    Watts Up With That? | The world's most viewed site on global warming and climate change.

  • #2
    Here's a sample of what Obama's stimulus money bought taxpayers in Arizona...

    Hint: It wasn't the road or the bridge...


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