Speaking in Cushing, OK, President Barack Obama touted his administration’s record of a huge boom in the U.S. oil and gas industry, dismissing concerns about accelerating climate change:
We’re opening up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources offshore. We have quadrupled number of operating rigs to a record high. We have added enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the earth and then some. So we are drilling all over the place, right now. That’s not the challenge. That’s not the problem.
Obama announced that he is expediting the construction of the southern leg of TransCanada’s Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, which will connect tar sands and oil shale production from the north to Gulf Coast refineries for tax-free export to foreign markets.
Obama concluded by saying that the “future I want for our kids” is one in which “we’re going to keep on drilling.”
Climate scientists have warned that the prevention of catastrophic climate change would require that 80 percent of known fossil-fuel reserves will have to remain unburned.