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Green Fail: Anti-Keystone Pipeline Idiocy Poses Environmental Threat


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green-fail-anti-keystone-pipeline-idiocy-poses-environmental-threatVia Meadia:



A catastrophic oil spill in Arkansas last month has breathed new life into the movement to block the Keystone Pipeline. In the wake of the destruction, environmentalist groups are arguing that the pipeline should be put on hold pending more environmental reviews, or nixed entirely. To many, the Arkansas disaster is proof that pipelines are not safe under any circumstances, and that Keystone will be a disaster for the environment.


There’s one small problem with this argument, notes Charles Ebinger of the Brookings Institution: if pipelines aren’t built, oil companies will instead rely on trains to transport their product. Indeed, with the Keystone project still on hold, they’ve already begun doing so. But trains are even more likely than pipelines to cause spills, increasing the net hazard to the environment. Bloomberg reports:




Chalk up another green policy fail. Blocking the pipeline won’t stop the oil from coming out of the ground, and it won’t make it impossible to transport it across American soil. What it will do, however, is make it more costly to accomplish these things, as well as causing greater environmental harm in the process. It’s painfully clear no one really thought through this crusade before committing to it. The only bright spot here is that the greens may lack the political power and influence to accomplish their goals.



Dear Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and 350.org



I would like to take this opportunity to thank you. Once again you have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that a person can be simultaneously smart & dumber than dirt. So keep up the good work and hug a polar bear...they've got to eat too.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Latest Keystone Caper

Steven Hayward



In my Weekly Standard article out a few days ago (“The Climate Circus Leaves Town”), I predicted:


What [Obama] may do is tentatively approve Keystone along with a major policy shift that will please environmentalists and subject Keystone to further and perhaps fatal delays. There is talk that the administration may expand the scope of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to require that proposed projects like Keystone document their impact on global warming in the permit approval process.


Well, that talk became reality yesterday (Earth Day, by coincidence), when the EPA, citing NEPA, released a letter to the State Department attacking State’s positive environmental review of Keystone. You can download the whole letter from this LA Times (soon to be a Koch Industries publication?) story. It’s six pages long; hardly a serious “study” of Keystone. Also as I predicted in my article (“It would be a bonanza for environmental lawyers, who would have new grounds for filing lawsuits to challenge the adequacy of environmental impact statements”), the EPA letter says State’s environmental impact statement didn’t adequately consider all alternative routes, didn’t adequately consult local activist groups (i.e., relentless obstructionists) and didn’t consider “environmental justice” (i.e., they haven’t asked Jesse Jackson’s permission). Overall, EPA says, there is “insufficient information” to make a final environmental impact assessment.


Pretty clear what is going to happen next. Citing this letter, Obama is going to order the EPA to do its own full review of Keystone, which will likely take a couple of years or more. No doubt he hopes TransCanada will run out of patience and abandon the whole idea, and build pipelines to ship the oil overseas to other customers (or to the U.S. by train and ocean-going tanker). It’s another way for Obama to vote “present.”



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