The Keystone pipeline has been under study for five years and will be studied further. It will be built, or scuttled, when the politics are right. For now, the pipeline, as Coral Davenport of the New York Times reports:

… has galvanized environmental activists, who call it a litmus test for President Obama’s commitment to fighting climate change. It is a political weapon against Mr. Obama for Republicans, who call it a symbol of job creation and energy security. It has motivated liberal donors, led by the California billionaire Tom Steyer, who has personally urged Mr. Obama to reject the pipeline.

The argument is mostly style over substance since:

… the carbon emissions produced by oil that would be moved in the Keystone pipeline would amount to less than 1 percent of United States greenhouse gas emissions, and an infinitesimal slice of the global total.

Which one expert quoted by Davenport describes as “a rounding error.”


… when it comes to the pipeline’s true impact on global warming, energy and climate change experts — including former Obama administration officials — say Keystone’s political symbolism vastly outweighs its policy substance.

The facts of which will not be changed by more study. And delay.

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