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.
Big Oil wants to build a pipeline to send the dirtiest crude oil on the planet from the Boreal forests of Canada right through the heart of America, crossing the Yellowstone, the Missouri, the Platte and other treasured rivers on its way to Texas refineries.