Editorial: Keystone's easy symbolism

November 13, 2015

The Tampa Tribune

President Obama did little to combat climate change by killing the Keystone XL pipeline the other day.

State Department studies showed the pipeline would reduce CO2 emissions by eliminating the need for truck and rail transport.

An Environmental Protection Agency study later found the oil would increase emissions by opening the Canadian tar sands to development, but earlier studies had rightly acknowledged the tar sands would eventually be tapped, regardless of what happened to the pipeline project.

So Obama’s decision amounts only to paltry symbolism, as he essentially conceded. The president will attend an international climate conference in Paris in two weeks and clearly wants to come with some bragging rights. The president stressed the United States must lead by example.

“If we’re going to prevent large parts of this Earth from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable in our lifetimes, we’re going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground rather than burn them and release more dangerous pollution into the sky,” he said.

But his heated rhetoric doesn’t change the fact that killing the pipeline won’t do a thing to move the CO2 emissions needle.

What it will do is kill some 40,000 construction jobs, alienate the United States’ top trade partner and undermine the nation’s energy security.

Read more at The Tampa Tribune.

 

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