A report released on Friday by the U.S. State Department contains potentially good news for the economy and dreadful news for the “party of science.” The report notes that an environmental impact study of the latest proposed route of TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline indicates it will not harm the environment.
In the words of the report:
The analysis has been revised, expanded, and updated to include a comprehensive review of the new route in Nebraska as well as any significant new circumstances or information that is now available on the largely unchanged route through Montana and South Dakota.
House Speaker John Boehner reacted to the report positively, releasing a statement that reads in part, “Today’s report again makes clear there is no reason for this critical pipeline to be blocked one more day. After four years of needless delays, it is time for President Obama to stand up for middle-class jobs and energy security and approve the Keystone pipeline.”
But not everyone took the news equally well. Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said in a statement of his own:
We’re mystified as to how the State Department can acknowledge the negative effects of the Earth’s dirtiest oil on our climate, but at the same time claim that the proposed pipeline will ‘not likely result in significant adverse environmental effects.
Brune goes on to call the report a “failure” that is “nothing short of malpractice,” implying further that the misrepresentation of facts he imputes to the study may have been “willful.” Yep, once again those pesky Republicans who run the State Department are fudging the numbers. Brune concludes by writing:
President Obama said that he’s committed to fighting the climate crisis. If that is true, he should throw the State Department’s report away and reject the dirty and dangerous Keystone XL pipeline.
The decision to pull the plug on the project once and for all — reports be damned — would be a no-brainer for Obama except that he’s feeling pressure from two sides to green light the project. One source of friendly persuasion is Canada, whose leaders have suggested that a U.S. rejection of the project could jeopardize relations between the two countries. Another is Big Labor, which is eager to put its legions of unemployed members to work.
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