Obama: Won't Approve Pipeline If It 'Significantly' Adds Greenhouse Gases

As always, the devil is in the details.

The good news is, Obama announced new controls on greenhouse gases in his climate speech at Georgetown University today:

So today, for the sake of our children, and the health and safety of all Americans, I’m directing the Environmental Protection Agency to put an end to the limitless dumping of carbon pollution from our power plants, and complete new pollution standards for both new and existing power plants.

I’m also directing the EPA to develop these standards in an open and transparent way, to provide flexibility to different states with different needs, and build on the leadership that many states, and cities, and companies have already shown. In fact, many power companies have already begun modernizing their plants, and creating new jobs in the process. Others have shifted to burning cleaner natural gas instead of dirtier fuel sources.

He threw in some praise for "clean" natural gas (which is really not clean at all) and then segued into the Keystone XL pipeline:

“I do want to be clear. Allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built requires a finding that doing so will be in our nation’s interest. And our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution. The net effects of the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward.”

Ah, but the devil is in those details. (Remember, this is the man who promised to protect Social Security from those who would "slash" it.)

Some bloggers think Obama will use this new climate change initiative to "balance" his approval of the Keystone pipeline. And I don't know that it bodes well that he said this:

I am open to all sorts of new ideas, maybe better ideas, to make sure that we deal with climate change in a way that promotes jobs and growth.

Well, I can hope. Because at this point, hope is all we have. I think the president really wants to find a way to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, and it's up to the rest of us to raise enough hell that he doesn't. Stay tuned.


Via Think Progress.

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