Journal urges Keystone XL approval
The scientific journal Nature is urging President Barack Obama to “face down critics” and approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, though it does cite pollution issues in Canada.
In an editorial on energy security and the climate debate this week, Nature said the president should issue powerful rules governing power plants and warn the coal industry to “clean up or fade away.”
Where TransCanada Corp.’s proposed Keystone XL is concerned, approval would “bolster his credibility” in the industry among the nation’s conservatives.
Keystone XL, which would move more than 800,000 barrels a day of bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries, is a flashpoint for environmentalists.
“The administration should face down critics of the project, ensure that environmental standards are met and then approve it,” the journal urged.
“As Nature has suggested before … the pipeline is not going to determine whether the Canadian tar sands are developed or not,” it added.
“Only a broader - and much more important - shift in energy policy will do that. Nor is oil produced from the Canadian tar sands as dirty from a climate perspective as many believe (some of the oil produced in California, without attention from environmentalists, is worse). Tar-sands development raises serious air- and water-quality issues in Canada, but these problems are well outside Obama’s jurisdiction.”
The administration initially rejected the project, forcing TransCanada to reroute the planned pipeline around an environmentally sensitive region in Nebraska.