Debating Keystone XL in the NYT

Today’s online “Room for Debate” at NYTimes.com is on Keystone XL and is it “worth the fight?” Both sides are represented, but I though enviro Bill McKibben articulates President Obama’s dilemma rather well. In summary, because Keystone XL has become a lightning rod, the entire green movement is looking to the president — and the president alone — to act:

As it turns out, Keystone XL is the issue that has brought more activists into the street than any environmental question in a generation. That’s because they understand that if we’re ever going to tackle global warming we actually have to leave some carbon in the ground. And they understood that this was one place where President Obama, acting by himself, could make an enormous difference. Should he do the right thing, it would be the first time a world leader has said: Here’s a project we won’t build because of its effect on the climate. That might help reopen the international negotiations that the State Department wrecked at Copenhagen in 2009, in the greatest foreign policy fiasco of the first Obama term.

Even if President Obama stops Keystone XL, Canada is still going to tap into its “carbon in the ground.” Why is McKibben and his ilk focusing so much on our end and not on Canada? Go north green man!

And McKibben can hope all he wants that Obama doing “the right thing” will somehow jumpstart international negotiations. Hope is all the alarmists have left.

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