KEYSTONE PIPELINE SAFE FROM CLIMATE CHANGE, STATE DEPARTMENT
By William Boardman
Secretary of State John Kerry promised a "transparent" assessment of the Keystone XL pipeline, and now the State Department has delivered on that promise -- with a transparently fraudulent "environmental impact statement" which, according one critic, "makes no mention of the [pipeline's] impact on the world's climate."
After meeting with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird on February 8, 2013, Kerry made his first public comments as Secretary of State about the pipeline then under review by his department. He said, in response to a question about the review: "I can guarantee you that it will be fair and transparent, accountable, and we hope that we will be able to be in a position to make an announcement in the near term."
Environmentalist opponents of Keystone XL warned for years, as anyone attentive to the issue would know, that the development of tar sands oil in Canada will increase greenhouse gas emissions beyond the point where there is any hope of mitigating climate change. Stopping the Keystone XL pipeline would not, in itself, control tar sands development. But permitting it would mean losing control.
In evaluating the Keystone project, one of the challenges the State Department faced was credibly assessing what effect the pipeline's operation -- or more precisely the effect of burning billions of gallons of the world's dirtiest oil over a period of 30 years or more would have on the global climate.
The first signal that the State Department report would be bad news for the climate was that it was released on March 1, on a Friday afternoon, a time when news media are often at their least attentive.