Nearly eight-and-a-half years after its initial application, the Keystone XL pipeline project has been given the green light (“subject to a renegotiation of terms by us”) by an executive order signed by President Trump today. Finally.
Whether the impetus and economics is still there to build it (with oil prices in the mid-$50 barrel range) remains to be seen. But I’d imagine so, if nothing more than as an infrastructural investment in the future.
But from the federal government standpoint, this shouldn’t matter. If private monies want to take the risk, the federal government should not stand in the way. After all, the Keystone XL pipeline passed each and every environmental impact/safety assessment along the way. Even the climate impact, much touted and hyped by the previous Administration and its supporters, was shown, dispassionately, to be inconsequential—a mere 1/100th of a degree of warming by century’s end (and that’s being generous).
President Obama rejected the pipeline for no other reason than for appearances—to make it seem to the rest of the world that the U.S. was serious about climate change. Apparently, he didn’t see the irony.
His successor is resurrecting the pipeline for the same reason—appearances. In this case, the appearance of creating jobs. But as I exasperatingly explained in these
Sierra Club: ‘To fight climate change effectively, we will need to make thousands of changes across our economy’
World leaders have been working for years to hash out what they hope will be the most sweeping and powerful pact ever reached on global warming. Although the initial deal will include pledges by countries that extend through 2030, negotiators are wrangling over mechanisms to ensure countries revisit and ramp up their commitments for the rest of the century.…
The Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) is one of the few labor unions that broke with the majority of Democrats and supported the project, which Obama rejected Friday after a seven-year review.
“We are dismayed and disgusted that the President has once again thrown the members of LIUNA, and other hard-working, blue-collar workers under the bus of his vaunted ‘legacy,’ while doing little or nothing to make a real difference in global climate change,” Terry O’Sullivan, the union’s general president, said in a statement. “His actions are shameful.”
The group’s statement cited a State Department report that Keystone could reduce greenhouse gas emissions when compared with oil transportation by rail.
“But facts apparently mean as little to the president as the construction jobs he repeatedly derided as insignificant because they are ‘temporary,’ ” O’Sullivan said. “Ironically, the very temporary nature of the president’s own job seems to be fueling a legacy of doing permanent harm to middle- and working class families.”…
Obama to Reject Keystone XL Pipeline, Citing Climate Concerns
Even the New York Times (using Obama admin data) pointed out this was a bogus rationale. Read the WSJ article. Here‘s the NYTimes using Obama admin data to debunk Obama’s rationale.
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