Good News?

It appears that time is on the side of environmentalist groups opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline.

What is happening is that penalty clauses in TransCanada contracts are kicking in and refineries and other groups are withdrawing to seek other suppliers.

TransCanada predicts losses of up to $1 Million a day, however the Obama administration has already signaled that any final decision will be put off to next year at the earliest.

On Tuesday, TransCanada Chief Executive Russ Girling said another extended delay in the regulatory process would lead oil shippers and refiners to abandon support for the project, rendering it uneconomic to build.

We can certainly hope so.

dday at Firedog Lake has some more positive coverage from this morning-

The other day, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney tried to offload the decision on whether to go forward with the Keystone XL pipeline on the State Department. But President Obama himself was asked about the pipeline in a local news interview last night, and he took full responsibility for making the decision. In doing so, he related a full understanding of the public health risks, though he limited that to the immediate risks of a pipeline spill, rather than the extraction and burning of tar sands oil in general.

This is definitely encouraging, though as I said, it looks at the problem from a NIMBY standpoint rather than the main idea that burning tar sands oil is, as Bill McKibben put it over the weekend, the fuse to the biggest carbon bomb on the planet. Climate scientist James Hansen has said that if the pipeline goes through, the climate will basically never be stabilized. That’s the larger problem, though obviously the risk to the Ogalalla aquifer is a factor as well. Keep in mind that Obama actually won the single electoral vote in the Omaha area in Nebraska, and probably wants to win it again.

Bill McKibben’s White House protest of Keystone XL is scheduled for Sunday, November 6th.


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