News & Politics

In the Age of Performance Art as Governance, Why Should Biden Care if Unions Oppose Canceling the Keystone XL?

In the Age of Performance Art as Governance, Why Should Biden Care if Unions Oppose Canceling the Keystone XL?
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Joe Biden is still reportedly set on canceling the Keystone XL pipeline. It’s a dumb, unscientific move. Pipelines are safe and they keep thousands of transport trucks off the roads every day. Those trucks spew emissions and are far more liable to accidents than pipelines.

But Democrats have a thing for killing pipelines now. Up in Michigan, which gets cold in the wintertime, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her team are trying to kill off Line 5, which supplies energy across the Straits of Mackinac to folks in the Upper Peninsula. Their stated reason is to prevent some potential harm that might happen if the underwater pipeline should be ruptured by a ship. The owner, Enbridge, has offered to build a bunker to protect the line which has been in operation since 1953, but the Democrats aren’t listening and don’t care. They’re engaged in performance art, pitching a dumb policy to fire up social media and raise money to stay in office to do yet more damage through performance art.

Yes, it’s also an attack on fossil fuels. That, too, is part of the performance art as governance issue. Even supposing we’re transitioning to some other power sources, fossil fuels are still the main power source. They also fund education and numerous other things we need. U.S. emissions actually decreased over the past few years, even pre-pandemic, despite all the shrill cries that “We only have X years before planetary doomsday!!!!!”

Many of the victims of shuttering Line 5 would be senior citizens, who have no other energy source. (It stays cold for a long time in Michigan. There’s still relatively little solar capacity there. That’s down in warmer climes such as Texas, where there’s more space for the solar farms and more sun year-round.) Whitmer has proven over the course of the pandemic that caring about the impacts of her policies on real people is about as far from her thoughts as Pluto is from the Sun. Likewise, Bill de Blasio, Steve Adler, Lori Lightfoot, Andrew Cuomo, Gavin Newsom, Nancy Pelosi, and so forth, right up to Joe Biden. They do believe things. They also perform for the party’s activist base as represented on social media, which skews hard left compared to the rest of the country, and tends to cancel anyone who gets in the way.

Hardly anyone supported defunding police. The performance art activist base gets its way anyway. Hardly anyone supports killing off the Keystone XL pipeline. If policy regarding that pipeline was to be based on the science, supporting its completion is a slam dunk. It moves energy from where it comes out of the ground to where it can be refined, sold, and used to power our lives in the most efficient and clean way yet devised. The unions do not support Lunchpail Joe on this. Most Americans don’t support him on this either, according to a new poll.

You can’t power your smartphone or your TV or your electric car on unicorn contrails and happy thoughts. Work in an office, work from home, work from the beach in Cabo — you still need electricity and a connected, powered grid. It takes oil and natural gas for that, and you also need petroleum to make those plastic products in the first place. Solar and wind aren’t as renewable as advertised, are not reliable or economical yet, and will always require massive mining operations to even function.

How much does any of that matter, though?

What was all that business about mandating pronoun usage in the House, which Pelosi violated at the first opportunity? It was performance art. What were the dual impeachments? Why do we even know what AOC thinks? How did she even get elected? Yes, a major part of Trump’s appeal was performance art too. But it turned out that he had some sound policies that helped the whole country and even brought a measure of peace to the Middle East.

How long before Biden disrupts that peace and gets us entangled in a stupid war? Making the U.S. more dependent on foreign oil increases the likelihood of that happening. But the media won’t blame him and his base won’t hold him accountable for it.

We’ve lived in the age of performance art as governance for at least 10 years now. We can blame the rise of social media and its reward system, which purposefully makes trained seals and exhibitionists out of all of us for the likes and the retweets and the shares. It’s still on us for seeking that and turning those platforms into gigantic data mines in which we’re the product, and massive guns aimed squarely at the First Amendment. And at our ability to simply get sound, majority policy enacted and defended for the good of the country.

So unions oppose canceling the Keystone XL? So what? Even if Biden kills it they will still support him and the Democrats anyway. He’ll pay them off by damaging the right to work in other areas, and by ramping up the already overwhelming power of the unions in Democrat states they already own forever, such as California.

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