Political agendas prompt Kerry confirmation concerns

Feb 15, 2013

New U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is taking the $7 billion Keystone pipeline controversy head-on, leaving supporters and opponents debating its fate.

Kerry promised a “fair and transparent” review of the Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline would transport oil from western Canada to refineries in Texas, and made headlines throughout 2012, in part because of the lack of action and indecisiveness from the current State Department. Kerry said he hopes to make a decision on the heated pipeline debate in the “near term.” The State Department has jurisdiction because the pipeline crosses an international border.

Kerry met with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird in Washington Feb. 8. Canada is committed to the pipeline and continues to try to work through all of the roadblocks in its way, and considers it a “huge priority,” according to Baird.

The majority of the support for the pipeline comes from congressional Republicans, who believe it will improve America’s energy independence and boost the economy. The company projects it would bring $20 billion in private-sector investments to the American economy, create 20,000 direct jobs and 118,000 spinoff jobs, and pay out some $5 billion in taxes to local counties over the project’s duration.

“Our economy can no longer be put on hold while the bureaucratic process you set in motion jeopardizes this critical project,” Republican members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said in an open letter to U.S. President Barack Obama ahead of Kerry’s meeting.

Environmental groups, along with many congressional Democrats, believe the project is a threat to natural resources.

The extension to the already existing Oklahoma line would pass through North Dakota and South Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois and Texas.

The expansion has been in the works since 2011, but was stopped in January 2012 after Obama, pressured by environmentalists, ordered more reviews.

While the Canadian company has agreed to comply with over 57 additional special conditions and the Environmental Protection Agency has found the pipeline poses no significant impacts, the debate is far from over. In a Feb. 6 letter to Kerry, over 60 environmental groups wrote, “This pipeline is not in our national interest—the evidence shows it would unlock vast amounts of additional carbon that we cannot afford to burn, extend our dangerous addiction to fossil fuels, endanger health and safety, and put critical water resources at risk.”

In addition to the pipeline debate, Kerry is facing some controversy on his potential education agenda.

The American Agri-Women (AAW) announced serious concerns relating to Kerry’s confirmation based on Kerry’s leadership role in founding, building and shaping the agenda of Second Nature, the leading organization in the Education for Sustainability movement.

According to AAW, new information indicates Second Nature and the Education for Sustainability movement are in the process of hijacking public education to politically indoctrinate America’s children.

The following quotation, from the book ‘Training for Treason, The Harmful Agenda Behind Education for Sustainability,’ was made by Anthony Cortese, a co-founder of Second Nature. Cortese was the CEO of Second Nature when he said:

“And humans are guided by a whole set of beliefs and values, and those come from culture, from religion, from social, economic, and political structure. We need to change all of those.”

AAW believes this statement indicates the aim of Kerry’s organization is to use public education to change the personal beliefs of our children in each of these areas, which is indoctrination. The American Agri-Women’s policy statement on education follows.

“AAW opposes using public education as a tool to indoctrinate America’s children (pre-school through university) to support any political agenda.” — Traci Eatherton, WLJ Editor