In President Obama's climate change speech set for later today, he'll reportedly say that the Keystone pipeline shouldn't be built if it hurts the environment.
The Huffington Post reports, "President Barack Obama will ask the State Department not to approve the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline unless it can first determine that it will not lead to a net increase in greenhouse gas emissions, a senior administration official told The Huffington Post."
The liberal website adds:
The president has avoided weighing in on the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline for several years now, citing an executive order asking the State Department to make a determination on the project's viability first. Environmentalists have called on him to spike the project entirely because of risks that it will contribute irrevocably to global warming and potentially contaminate drinking water if it leaks. Conservatives and even some labor groups have encouraged Obama to approve of the project because of its potential to create jobs.
The new Obama policy somewhat splits the difference -- not killing the project outright, but ensuring that it meets a basic environmental standard.
Some estimate the project would result in 20,000 new jobs.
And an anonymous administration official tells the Huffington Post, "As the executive order on Keystone contemplates, the environmental impacts will be important criteria used in the determination of whether the Keystone pipeline application will ultimately be approved at the completion of the State Department decision process. .. In today’s speech, the president will make clear that the State Department should approve the pipeline only if it will not lead to a net increase in overall greenhouse gas emissions."