Obama’s Keystone Ecocops Routine


Obama’s big Green donors have been pressuring him to crush the Keystone pipeline for a while. When there was no mention of Keystone in his Big Green Speech, they went wild. And then there was a mention.

According to the LA Times, “Obama set a high bar for approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, declaring for the first time that he would let the project go forward only if it does not “significantly increase” emissions of greenhouse gases.”

Forbes on the other hand treats it as an approval. “So presuming that the president of the United States is being straight with us, that means that the pipeline will soon be approved.”

That last line is so easy, I won’t even touch it with a 1,000 mile pipeline. Forbes is sure that the science will win out. The LA Times is sure that ecological pieties will carry the day. Obama’s donors want Keystone dead.

Obama is certainly no friend of Keystone and has tried to shut it down, without appearing to do so. The game has always been ambiguity and always depended on getting someone else to take a position and do the dirty work. The latest Keystone shoutout is more of the same.

“As the executive order on Keystone contemplates, the environmental impacts will be important criteria used in the determination of whether the Keystone pipeline application will ultimately be approved at the completion of the State Department decision process,” said the senior administration official. “In today’s speech, the president will make clear that the State Department should approve the pipeline only if it will not lead to a net increase in overall greenhouse gas emissions.”

A net increase and a significant increase are not the same thing. But Obama tends to say a more popular, but false, thing while his minions interpret it to mean the way that they want to.

Obama wants Keystone down. But he would rather delay it to oblivion and let the bureaucracy henpeck it off the map.

  • Raymond_in_DC

    Only if there’s “no increase”? Whether he’s talking significant or net, the question is, compared to what? Compared to not building any pipeline to transport oil from Canada’s tar sands, building anything will result in an increase.

    But Canada *is* going to build a pipeline, whether to the Gulf or to Canada’s western coast. If Canada is left with only the latter option, one must consider the additional carbon footprint from shipping the oil to China. Compared to that, Keystone is the better option to all but the ideologues in Obama’s circle.

    • JDinSTL

      But building the pipeline in the US helps US business interests and employment. The real green agenda is anti-business, so the smart money is wagering on shipping the oil to China.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        “But building the pipeline in the US helps US business interests and employment. The real green agenda is anti-business, so the smart money is wagering on shipping the
        oil to China.”


  • spyeatte

    The oil from Canada will come south either by pipeline or rail. Given those facts, clearly the pipeline would result in less emissions than rail so the obvious solution would be to allow the pipeline to be built, otherwise there will be more emissions with rail.
    The current Keystone pipeline pumps about 600,000bpd south. The Keystone will pump even more.

  • Jsjk

    Obama has also repeatedly expressed (in his speeches) his deep admiration and appreciation for Communist China. I’m sure he prefers to have China reap the benefits of Canada’s oil sands, not the United States.