Former Vice President Al Gore is publicly urging President Obama to deny a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, arguing that the increased greenhouse gas production from the use of tar sands oil will only make the planet’s climate problems worse.
On his blog, Gore says:
The leaders of the top environmental groups in the country, the Republican Governor of Nebraska, and millions of people around the country—including hundreds of people who have bravely participated in civil disobedience at the White House—all agree on one thing: President Obama should block a planned pipeline from the tar sands of Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico.
The tar sands are the dirtiest source of fuel on the planet. As I wrote in Our Choice two years ago, gasoline made from the tar sands gives a Toyota Prius the same impact on climate as a Hummer using gasoline made from oil. This pipeline would be an enormous mistake. The answer to our climate, energy and economic challenges does not lie in burning more dirty fossil fuels —instead, we must continue to press for much more rapid development of renewable energy and energy efficient technologies and cuts in the pollution that causes global warming.
Realistically, it’s unlikely that Obama will reject the pipeline’s expansion. The more pragmatic question may be what conditions will be put on the approval that could protect against the kind of spill that continues to cause problems along the Kalamazoo River.