February 20 2014

Greens Say “Hell No” To Keystone

Abby Schachter

A judge in Nebraska putting the brakes on the proposed route for the Keystone XL pipeline is only today’s reason for why we are still waiting for the 6-year-old project to be approved. But it is good news for the White House, since the Obama administration would like nothing more than to have someone else to blame for the delay.

You see, Keystone has become the issue for greens and toddler environmentalists whose only vocabulary word is no. A brief survey of the biggest and boldest names in the anti-growth, anti-fracking, anti-development movement shows that, when it comes to Keystone and the possibility that President Obama might approve it, the answer is “hell, no!”

“There is not a blanket of regulations big enough to cover the pipeline elephant in the room,” said Jamie Henn of the green group 350.org. “There is nothing the administration could do to negate the impact the pipeline would have on the climate.” Hear that, Mr. President, don’t even think about okaying Keystone.

David Goldston, director of governmental affairs at the Natural Resources Defense Council, was as blunt. “People have speculated that a push in climate policies could be some kind of trade-off but for the environmental community there is no such trade-off on Keystone XL,” Goldston said. “I don’t think that’s a strategy that would work in terms of the environmental movement either substantively or politically.” If President Obama was thinking of giving Democrats in reddish states facing tough reelection campaigns come the fall some help by approving the Keystone XL pipeline, these guys are saying don’t even think it. You know you heard this warning even louder than Obama? Sen. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, that’s who.

Landrieu, though, was already reeling from the promise by billionaire Democrat Tom Steyer to give Dems $100 million for the 2014 elections so long as Keystone stays unapproved. And it’s clear he’ll marshall his forces, especially his environmental advocacy group called Next Gen Climate to go after vulnerable and more pro-energy Democrats like Landrieu.

As I wrote previously, the administration has all but admitted it has no intention of approving Keystone, but apparently the president’s allies didn’t get that memo. And anyway, they’re not taking any chances of being misunderstood. So the White House will be happy to announce it can’t possible approve Keystone since a judge – a district judge! – has put the kibosh on the route. Better to use that as the excuse than to show how scared they are of their own supporters.

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