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Bridging climate science, citizens, and policy

Didn’t Environmentalists Cheer the Demise of the Keystone XL Pipeline?

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Yes, yes environmentalists did cheer the demise of the Keystone XL pipeline.  By stopping a Republican amendment earlier this year, the decision on whether to build the pipeline from Canada through the central US was left in President Obama’s hands, which was “rejected“.

It turns out that both the “rejection” wasn’t really a rejection and the cheerleading probably happened too soon.  I say that because today, Obama pushed for the southern branch of the pipeline to be finished faster than originally projected.  Many of the same environmentalists who cheered the original “decision” (read: delay) are the same ones who are now decrying this latest call.

I would put more stock into those complaints if those environmentalists hadn’t spent so much time and energy earlier this year trying to convince me that Obama’s “decision” was really and truly final and Keystone wouldn’t get built.  I argued then, and was proven correct today, that Obama’s “decision” really was a delay – it was enough action to get the topic out of the headlines in an election year when he can’t afford to piss off elements of his base too much.

The pipeline was always going to be and in fact will be built in the US.  The part that people should be paying attention to is this: the fossil fuels the pipeline delivers will not be sold in the US – it will be sold overseas because it can fetch a higher price that way.  In return, the “environmentally conscious” President who “cares about the economy” will gladly oversee an increase in deliverable fossil fuels to a largely unregulated, subsidized marketplace which will result in higher fuel prices for every American.  Those fossil fuels will be burned faster than they otherwise would have been and the resultant global warming forcing will be left to future generations to deal with.

But please vote for President Obama in November because who knows what would have happened to the Keystone pipeline if a Republican was in office – it might have gotten built or something horrible like that!  It will be better to get just a little tiny bit of what you want instead of more of what you want if you stop voting for politicians who take your interests for granted.


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