Obama’s Keystone XL realpolitik moment comes a step closer

Keystone XL Pipeline supporters liked the State Department’s ruling on the environmental impacts of the pipeline’s revised route. The pipeline’s opponents were dispirited.

The ruling did not contain a recommendation on whether the pipeline should be built. However both sides feel that state’s determination that other options to transport the tar sands oil would have a greater impact on global warming than the pipeline makes Keystone’s approval likely.

State’s opinion that moving the oil by rail would have a greater impact on the climate than the pipeline is  significant. Trans Canada will move the oil regardless of what determination Obama makes.

If rail is no cleaner than Keystone, why nix the pipeline? State provided the president with a rationale for approving the project on the grounds that it is more sustainable than the alternatives.

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1 comment
  1. I read that Canadian railroads are already way ahead of estimates. If they can get the tank cars, Canadian railroads would nearly triple oil deliveries from 70,000 barrels a day to 200,000 barrels a day, which would be more than a quarter of the capacity of the Keystone XL. And, transporting by railroad doesn’t require the same permits. We will be taking an environmental hit no matter what option brings the oil south.

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