November 7, 2011
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“About 10,000 opponents of a proposed oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast surrounded the White House on Sunday – exactly a year before the 2012 election – seeking to pressure President Obama to reject the project.
If approved, the 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline to be built by Calgary-based TransCanada Corp. would carry crude from the tar sands region in Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries in Texas, passing through six states.
Supporters such as oil-industry groups and some labor unions say the pipeline would reduce U.S. reliance on oil from the volatile Mideast and create 20,000 jobs in a U.S. economy that desperately needs the boost.
Environmental groups despise the project and call it a needlessly risky method of producing dirty energy. They say the pipeline could leak, endangering drinking water. They say extracting the thick crude from tar sands is itself a greenhouse-gas producing, wasteful process. And they say the promise of jobs is a false one; it would produce only about 6,000 temporary jobs.
On Sunday, the protesters heard speeches from faith leaders, environmental activists and a labor union representative before forming a circle around the White House that organizers estimated was three rows deep.”
November 6, 2011
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“Rick Perry today in Des Moines defended his acceptance of almost $1.3 million in private jet flights from corporate executives and wealthy private donors, including a trip to campaign against ethanol.
“We report all of our campaign contributions. They’re there all online,” Perry said to The Des Moines Register while leaving Zanzibar’s Coffee Adventure in Des Moines this morning. “They’re all quite in line with the Texas requirements.”
Perry accepted the flights during the past 11 years, according to a New York Times article published Thursday. The expenses included a trip in 2008 to encourage the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to waive a renewable fuels mandate as a way to lower the cost of corn for the livestock industry, the newspaper reported.
Ethanol – a driver to Iowa’s farm economy – has been a sacred cow of sorts in previous election cycles. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman decided not to campaign in Iowa this year, noting his opposition to ethanol subsidies. But as the industry has matured and as worry has increased about the national debt, industry leaders say support for subsidies is no longer synonymous with support for ethanol.”