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President Obama continues to make fighting Climate Change a priority, in recent speeches.

Kudos for that.  Taking action, speaking up for the energy change that is urgently needed -- is better than not.

Obama's climate standard could mean Keystone XL pipeline rejection -- Jul 24 2013

Following US president Barack Obama's pledge to further the fight against climate change, analysts have determined that the Keystone XL pipeline will have too big an environmental impact and so should not be constructed. The president recently announced plans to reduce carbon emissions throughout the US, which included blocking construction of the pipeline if it failed to meet new emissions targets.

The Keystone XL pipeline was designed to transport tar sands oil from Canada to the US. The use of tar sands oil has been greatly debated as the extraction and refining processes use large amounts of energy and release vast amounts of air pollution. A new analysis from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) argues that continuing with plans for the pipeline could create between 935 million and 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases over the course of the 50-year project.

Many state officials are applauding the president's new promise to reduce emissions in an effort to stall climate change and agree that the Keystone XL pipeline construction is not the best interests of the US or the world as a whole. Congressman Henry Waxman said that he believes the climate standard set by Mr Obama is right and if the Keystone XL pipeline cannot meet it, it should be rejected.

He added: "I am opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline.  In the face of climate change, the last thing we should be doing is giving a green light to tripling production of tar sands, which are substantially more carbon polluting than conventional oil. I believe a rigorous analysis will show that the Keystone XL pipeline fails the test the president has set forth and must be denied."

So Congressman Henry Waxman is hopeful the Keystone XL pipeline will be cancelled based on its out-sized climate impacts. How about any other would-be Climate protectors, out there?

Flat-Earthers, need not apply ...

What's this?  A convening of Environmental and Energy experts -- What a concept!

Forum: How Daring is Obama's New Climate Plan? -- 22 Jul 2013

President Obama has unveiled a proposal to combat global warming that would, for the first time, regulate carbon dioxide emissions from all U.S. coal-fired power plants. Yale Environment 360 asked a group of experts to assess the president’s climate strategy.


Michael Mann, climate scientist and director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center.

Ultimately, we need a comprehensive energy and climate policy that prices carbon pollution and levels the playing field for renewable sources of energy that are not degrading our climate and planet. But given that we have an intransigent Congress (the current House Science Committee leadership continues to deny even the existence of human-caused climate change), the president has been forced to turn to executive actions. His call for carbon emission limits on all coal-fired power plants, not just newly built plants, is a bold step forward. It will go some way to stemming our growing carbon emissions and the impact they are having on our climate. The president's comments about the Keystone XL pipeline are also encouraging. He indicated that he will block the pipeline if it is going to lead to increased carbon emissions. Since all objective analyses indicated that the construction of the pipeline will lead to increased carbon emissions (because it will lead to far greater extraction of Canadian tar sands oil), this should translate to a decision not to move forward on that project.

Finally, the president spelled out promising ways forward to (a) introduce greater incentives for renewable, non-carbon based energy, (b) reduce energy usage/improve energy efficiency, and (c) adapt to those climate change impacts which are already locked in and unavoidable. All in all, it is the most aggressive and promising climate plan to come out of the executive branch in years.


Bill McKibben, author, Scholar in Residence at Middlebury College, and founder of

I think the biggest effect of his plan is to get us off the dime. Given the science, we need much steeper reductions than what the current plan entails. But most of all we need a start that breaks the logjam. That's why the remarks on Keystone and divestment were as important as the remarks on coal -- if he blocks Keystone, for instance, then he'll be the first world leader to stop a project based on its effects on the climate. That's both a legacy and an opening bid in renewed climate negotiations. It will demonstrate credibility.

If only we could charge carbon (and methane) producers an "environmental surcharge" -- for hidden damage they are doing to the planet -- maybe they wouldn't be so keen to extract every last drop of fossil fuels, then?  If they had to pay for the full environmental cost of their extractions, will ultimately cause.

Well the decision on Keystone XL pipeline should be a pivotal 'seriousness' indicator:

Are going to continue to make the extractors rich?

Or are we going to 'make them pay'?  We shall see.

The real-world planetary clock is still rapidly ticking ...

Originally posted to Digging up those Facts ... for over 8 years. on Thu Jul 25, 2013 at 06:12 AM PDT.

Also republished by Gulf Watchers Group and Climate Hawks.

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