Video: We should embrace the Keystone pipeline, says ... Bill Clinton

Via the Daily Caller. Alternate headline: “Bill Clinton helpfully offers talking point to Democrats for eventual cave on Keystone.”

“One of the most amazing things to me about this Keystone pipeline deal is that they ever filed that route in the first place since they could’ve gone around the Nebraska Sandhills and avoided most of the dangers, no matter how imagined, to the Ogallala [aquifer] with a different route, which I presume we’ll get now, because the extra cost of running is infinitesimal compared to the revenue that will be generated over a long period of time,” he said.

“So, I think we should embrace it and develop a stakeholder-driven system of high standards for doing the work,” Clinton added.

Yeah, that’s why Obama and Mrs. Clinton rejected Keystone initially. Just a little quibble over the proposed route. Easily fixable; nothing to do with the environmentalist lobby and the upcoming campaign. Over to you, Joe Nocera:

As it turns out, the environmental movement doesn’t just want to shut down Keystone. Its real goal, as I discovered when I spoke recently to Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club, is much bigger. “The effort to stop Keystone is part of a broader effort to stop the expansion of the tar sands,” Brune said. “It is based on choking off the ability to find markets for tar sands oil.”

This is a ludicrous goal. If it were to succeed, it would be deeply damaging to the national interest of both Canada and the United States.

The route is a secondary concern to hardcore greens. In fact, TransCanada already proposed changing it to avoid the Nebraska Sandhills back when the Keystone issue first blew up. So why is Clinton suddenly pushing this phony argument? Because, silly, he’s read the polls. Heavy majorities support building Keystone, and they’re only going to get heavier as gas prices rise. And it’s not just Republicans: Support among independents is net +39 and even among Democrats it’s net +5. Clinton knows that unless gas prices ease, this issue will become increasingly potent for the GOP, so here he is shoving Obama towards a reversal.

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