February 15 2013
Conor Kennedy, son of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and ex-beau of Taylor Swift, was arrested in front of the White House, protesting the Keystone Pipeline XL, earlier this week. Sounds like a star-studded protest:
Along with his father and actress Daryl Hannah, Mr. Kennedy was seen marching outside 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to protest the proposed Keystone XL tar sand pipeline. Both father and son were arrested for their part in the demonstration, which claimed that the proposed pipeline would “boost carbon pollution by triggering a boom of growth in the tar sands industry in Canada, and greatly increasing greenhouse gas emissions.”
Isn’t that somehow just perfect?
I’m against class warfare—but just this once: Keystone has the potential to create jobs for Americans, but people such as young Conor Kennedy probably don’t know what it is like to really, really need a job in a bad economy. They belong to the environmentalist leisure class, so brilliantly described by William Tucker.
When the President Obama turned down the Keystone Pipeline, which would run from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, it was to placate these people (and also because the president, though employed, is part of this group). Tucker wrote then:
In turning down Keystone, however, the President has uncovered an ugly little secret that has always lurked beneath the surface of environmentalism. Its basic appeal is to the affluent.
Despite all the professions of being "liberal" and "against big business," environmentalism's main appeal is that it promises to slow the progress of industrial progress.
People who are already comfortable with the present state of affairs -- who are established in the environment, so to speak -- are happy to go along with this.
The president’s decision to halt the Keystone pipeline was so wrong that the Washington Post, a bastion of liberalism, criticized it. Like this essay from The American, the Post made the point that the concerns raised by environmentalists, who have “fought Keystone XL furiously,’ are ill-founded. Another concern is that, if the U.S. is unable to complete the pipeline, the oil will go to China.
Isn’t it just typical of the hubris of young Kennedy and others like him that they want to cut off jobs in the “tar pits of Canada?” Fracking is just so tacky in the view of the environmental leisure class, but it creates jobs.
But jobs are so tacky.