Here's the inconvenient truth about the Keystone XL: TransCanada does not need the pipeline's northern leg to begin pumping hundreds of thousands of barrels of toxic tar sands daily through America's breadbasket for export overseas.
Mexico has its playas, the Caribbean its beat, but Americans are prone to overlook the charms of the neighbor to the north. Calgary and Vancouver both enjoy natural beauty and proximity to water, assets that have been incorporated into the life of the city.
Like today's KXL proposal -- which would only create 35 full-time jobs -- the false promise of thousands of jobs also served as the dominant discourse for BTC Pipeline proponents. The reality, like KXL, was more dim.
Why aren't all Keystone XL opponents loudly demanding that President Obama stop construction of the pipeline's 485-mile southern leg that is destroying the lives of our fellow Americans in Texas and Oklahoma?
President Obama underscored his commitment to fighting climate change in both his Inaugural Address and his State of the Union Address. Now he has two critical opportunities to turn those words into deeds.
On top of its looming decision on the Keystone XL, it's likely that the Obama administration will make a final decision on whether or not to greenlight shale gas exports sometime in 2013. The policy agenda is about to heat up in the energy and environment policy arenas inside the Beltway.
Conflict-of-interest concerns have plagued the Keystone project from the beginning. Now it turns out that HDR, the engineering and consulting firm hired by Nebraska to conduct an environmental impact assessment of the project, has a cozy relationship with the company it was supposed to evaluate.
I figured I'd play the good, if aloof, son lingering in Draft Horse Town, chatting up the chuckwagon drivers, hobnobbing with the blacksmiths. But I had no idea how the Stampede changes even the most stubborn gait.
So tar sands are not only a source of enough carbon to increase global climate by a huge amount -- they are also the key to keeping diesel prices low enough to enable the world to fry itself by shipping long distance coal where it can be burned profitably, if lethally -- for the climate.