Obama expedites southern leg of Keystone pipeline and embraces fossil fuels. Does this make him more or less likely to okay the northern leg post-election?
Once upon a time, Obama said future generations would remember his ascendance as “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”
In a Cushing, Oklahoma, speech today, Obama made clear future generations would remember him for something quite different:
I’ve come to Cushing, an oil town — (applause) — because producing more oil and gas here at home has been, and will continue to be, a critical part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy. (Applause.)
Now, under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. (Applause.) That’s important to know. Over the last three years, I’ve directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states. We’re opening up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources offshore. We’ve quadrupled the number of operating rigs to a record high. We’ve added enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the Earth and then some.
So we are drilling all over the place — right now….
Obama will, I’ve said, be remembered for a “failed presidency” simply for failing to seriously fight for a climate bill. And this speech certainly guts any possible claim for a climate legacy.
Ironically, as Brad Johnson notes over at TP Green, Cushing is “ground zero for climate disasters in the United States.” In the last five years, “Cushing alone has been hit by disastrous drought, severe summer storms, ice storms, and wildfire.”
Obama will have precisely one more shot to restore his legacy and, more importantly, to give the nation and the world a fighting chance to beat catastrophic climate change — the debt deal that is cut right after the election (see “Bipartisan Support Grows for Carbon Price as Part of Debt Deal“). In the meantime, all we can do to divine his intentions is to listen to what he tells the American people. It ain’t pretty.
So how do we divine his intentions on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline? Read his lips: