Keystone XL: A study in corruption

When President Obama spoke at Georgetown University recently, he declared that "Allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built requires a finding that ... this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution. The net effects of the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward. It’s relevant." [Emphasis added] The environmental NGO establishment, predictably, applauded.

But, then, reporting on the President's speech, a Wall Street Journal headline described Mr. Obama's statement as giving "conditional approval" to Keystone XL.

Which President have they been listening to?

Read skeptically, Mr. Obama's remarks at Georgetown, in the context of many brave words about climate action, included the Keystone XL example merely to show that climate impact will now be "relevant" to governmental decisions. But he was careful to distance himself from accountability for the Keystone XL decision itself, saying "... the State Department is going through the final stages of evaluating the proposal. That’s how it’s always been done." [Emphasis added]

In a series of reports, Steve Horn tells us what the Wall Street Journal may be banking on: the "fix is in" at the State Department, and the President knows it. ("That's how it's always been done.").

Here's a quick summary of Mr. Horn's reports, published on DeSmogBlog:

When the dust clears, the Obama Administration will have what it needs to meet the "condition" that the Wall Street Journal seems to have correctly anticipated: "No major impact on carbon emissions". And why is that? In a nutshell, Because, even if the United States declined to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, the free market dictates that the tar sands would be developed anyway. So, there are no "net effects" of approving the pipeline! See how easy?! Perfectly legal, perfectly logical, perfectly circular. He told us right up front, "That's how it's always been done."

Keep up with the story at DeSmogBlog