I'll tell you, I sure didn't see this one coming.
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.As I said, I sure didn't see this one coming (assuming the report is correct), in what had been generally expected to be a "no drama" speech on climate policy this afternoon, but to put it mildly I'm very pleased to read this! Recall that the State Department's environmental impact statement on Keystone glaringly omitted increased greenhouse gas emissions from its analysis. Now, President Obama seems to be both aware of that huge oversight, and quite possibly poised to rectify it. Let's hope that's the case, because building the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, and more to the point digging up all those filthy tar sands, could very well be "game over" for the planet. And obviously, we don't have another planet if we trash this one.
The policy pronouncement will come during the president's highly publicized speech on climate change at Georgetown University on Tuesday. It will add another chapter to what has been the most politically difficult energy-related issue confronting this White House.