Friday, February 14, 2014

Pipe Down!

(Cartoon by Ingrid Rice and found at  Click on image to enlarge.)

Doyle McManus's latest column nicely summarizes the arguments for and against the building of the Keystone Pipeline.  President Obama isn't going to have an easy time making this decision.

The State Department's 11-volume environmental impact statement released last month attempted to balance the factors dispassionately. Yes, the report said, the oil from Alberta's tar sands is 17% dirtier than most of the oil extracted in the U.S., and its transport and refining could add 27 million tons of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere each year.

But the report also concluded that a U.S. decision to block the pipeline wouldn't significantly reduce that problem, because Canada intends to move the oil whether Keystone is built or not. Indeed, if Canada ships most of the oil by rail, the environmental consequences could be even worse, and the United States would lose out on the pipeline's economic rewards.

That's why some administration officials I've talked with — and even, privately, some environmentalists — are betting that Obama will eventually approve the Keystone project.

How that sits with voters, especially environmentalists, may depend on what conditions the president imposes on the project and what else he does to address climate change.

If he signs off on the project, liberals and environmentalists (the people who worked so hard to get him elected) will scream long and hard.  If he doesn't sign off, several Democratic senators whose states will be affected may lose their seats in the upcoming election, and the Dems will lose their Senate majority (not that the Senate Dems have used that majority very well).

If he signs off, he will be admitting this country isn't serious about fighting climate change.  If he doesn't, the power companies and our Canadian neighbors will ship the dirty oil by rail, which is even more dangerous.

He's damned if he does; damned if he doesn't.

 Sorry, Barack:   addressing tough issues is part of your job.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home