The Obama administration’s otherwise inexplicably drawn-out dithering over the approval (or disapproval, as the case may be) of the Keystone XL pipeline actually makes a lot sense when put into the larger context of the pipeline’s significance to the self-anointed environmentalist community that also happens to have to a lot of green lining their pockets. Although stopping the Keystone pipeline wouldn’t actually do anything to prevent Canada from developing their oil sands and shipping them via rail, road, and sea — and never mind that there are already almost 500,000 miles of (heavily regulated) interstate pipeline infrastructure already crisscrossing the continental United States which need updates and still more additions to cope with our rising production capacity of oil and natural gas — the eco-lobby has worked long and hard to to turn the otherwise commonplace pipeline into a completely symbolic battle royal for what they claim is the fate of planet earth.
Ergo, the years of environmental impact reviews to which the pipeline proposal has already been subjected are all for naught as long as there is still campaign cash to be wrung from highly vocal, wealthy, and Democrat-donating true believers to which things like the Keystone pipeline and not — oh, I don’t know, the economy — are of the utmost importance. One theory is that the administration has been holding off on the pipeline until they can first come up with a different but major climate victory with which to quell the inevitable outrageous outrage of the eco-crowd when they finally do approve the pipeline, and it sounds like that’s what the president has been promising during his string of high-dollar fundraisers over the past few weeks, via Bloomberg:
With his administration under pressure from environmentalists to reject the Keystone XL pipeline project, President Barack Obama plans to unveil a package of separate actions next month focused on curbing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
At closed-door fundraisers held over the past few weeks, the president has been telling Democratic party donors that he will unveil new climate proposals in July, according to people who have attended the events or been briefed.
Obama’s promise frequently comes in response to pleas from donors to reject TransCanada Corp’s proposed Keystone XL project, a $5.3 billion pipeline that would carry tar-sands oil from Canada to U.S. refineries. Opponents of the pipeline say it would increase greenhouse-gas emissions by encouraging use of the tar sands.
While Obama has not detailed the specifics of his plan to the donors, pipeline opponents anticipate the package will include a plan from the Environmental Protection Agency to issue final rules to limit greenhouse-gas emissions from new power plants.
Earlier this week, Al Gore and Robert Redford aptly demonstrated the type celebrity-level pressure the green lobby is laying on thick; since the current Congress isn’t likely to agree to any of the rules and regulations they would like to see happen, they want the president to assert more of his executive authority on the matter, no matter how unpopular further regulations might be with the general public — which is precisely why the Obama administration feels the need do things like sneaking pretty darn important carbon-pricing rules into under-the-radar measures about microwave ovens. It ain’t easy being green, you know?