Thousands rally in Washington to protest Keystone pipeline

The decision on whether to approve the Keystone XL pipeline will be the first major climate change decision Obama will make during his second term. And given Obama’s strong comments on climate change during both his inaugural address and the State of the Union, Whitehouse said it’ll be hard for him to approve the project.

“It would create a huge credibility gap with the administration if they go that way,” he said.

The southern portion of the pipeline — from Oklahoma to Texas — is already under construction, and the 1,179-mile portion from Alberta to Nebraska is awaiting approval of a presidential permit from Obama. Last month, Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman approved a revised route for the pipeline after the state’s Department of Environmental Quality said the route avoided sensitive areas of the Sandhills region.

The State Department will incorporate the Nebraska evaluation into the supplemental environmental review that will help inform the recommendation Secretary of State John Kerry will make to the president. Kerry thus far hasn’t shown his hand on whether he supports the project or not, but has said that he is committed to studying the pipeline and finishing the process begun by his predecessor, Hillary Clinton.

Kerry’s first foreign guest in his new job was Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird, and the two stressed that the economies of the two countries were inextricably linked and important to the other.

But to California billionaire investor Tom Steyer, the idea that investment in Canada should be the basis for economic growth in America is folly, and he said the investment will keep the U.S. economy dependent on oil for decades.

Read Full Article Here