The latest on Keystone XL: EPA criticizes State, while activists rally opposition

David Gordon, the director of policy planning under former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, says the chances are "about four-to-one” that President Obama will approve the Keystone XL pipeline from the Canadian tar sands to oil refineries in Texas.

“He’s creating the political environment that minimizes the cost to him politically of signing on to this,” he said.

Nor does it hurt that “at least half the Democrats in Congress are very sympathetic to allowing this to go through,” Mr. Gordon reported.

John Broder at The New York Times reports on the EPA's sharp criticism of the State Department's environmental impact report:

Cynthia Giles, the E.P.A. assistant administrator for enforcement and compliance, said that the State Department had failed to adequately support its two fundamental conclusions supporting the project — that the climate change effects of building the pipeline would be negligible, and that Canada would develop the oil sands regardless of whether the $7 billion pipeline is built.

Jim Snyder at Bloomberg reports Keystone XL critics amassed more than a million comments to the State Department in opposition to the pipeline, while Paul Bledsoe, a former White House aide to President Bill Clinton, says the decision ultimately rests with President Obama:

“While various departments and agencies have technical authority over different regulatory matters, the political reality is on major issues the White House has the final say,” Bledsoe, who is now a senior fellow on energy at the German Marshall Fund, said in an e-mail. “In the White House-centric modern executive branch, everyone knows where the buck stops.”

Noting Secretary of State John Kerry's Earth Day comments regarding climate change and the potential hypocrisy of his approving the pipeline, Joe Romm at Think Progress puts the project in context:

The bottom line is that Keystone is a gateway to a huge pool of carbon-intensive fuel most of which must be left in the ground — along with most of the world’s coal and unconventional oil and gas – if humanity is to avoid multiple devastating impacts that may be beyond adaptation.

Is Kerry going to accelerate the ruination of the whole world’s climate in return for not bloody much.

In the video above photographer Garth Lenz shares shocking photos to explain the scale of destruction caused by tar sands oil extraction.

Tags: Canada | Carbon Emissions | Global Climate Change | Global Warming Causes | Tar Sands