‘Late last Friday, the State Department released a positive environmental review of the Keystone XL pipeline. President Obama has been delaying this pipeline—which would carry oil from Canada to refineries in Texas—for more than three years.’
There could be more stalling to come, even with growing bi-partisan support for the pipeline and the State Department’s report, as the President and needs to work to keep his political coalition together (the unions want jobs, the greens want ecotopia).
The NY Times puts it another way:
“…a choice between alienating environmental advocates who overwhelmingly supported his candidacy or causing a deep and perhaps lasting rift with Canada.”
Is this really where we are as a nation? Alienating Canada?
The line of reasoning I heard on the radio from the Sierra Club spokesman today was: Even though Canada is shipping ever more tar sands oil down by rail to the Gulf anyways, we can wait out current Prime Minister Stephen Harper until the next election (he’s from Alberta and swimming, no doubt, in the pockets of big, dirty oil). Using executive orders is how we got here in the first place, and the Sierra Club wants still more.
If you’re still on the fence on the matter, and see some good in this movement (who cleans up after a spill?…shouldn’t we conserve the natural environment?…don’t big business and big gov’t already get together on such matters anyways?), I’d argue that you should also weigh the true costs of environmental activism: Much bigger and expanding bureaucracy, political coalitions like Obama’s (unions, greens, activists etc) tied more closely with the money supply. There tends to be slower economic growth and costs shifted to consumers, businesses, and private property owners.
Everybody tends to pay more for everything (especially gas) and there are fewer jobs, which doesn’t always lead to better conservation of the environment, but does tend to nudge society toward more collectivist principles of organization, rewarding some and punishing others along the way. This is one of the big drivers of California’s current economic troubles.
Related On This Site: The best arguments for industrial regulation I’ve heard come from Mill’s harm principle: From George Monbiot: ‘How Freedom Became Tyranny’…
Walter Russell Mead At The American Interest: ‘The Failure of Al Gore Part Three: Singing the Climate Blues’
Ronald Bailey At Reason: ‘Delusional in Durban’…A Few Links On Environmentalism And Liberty
From The American Spectator: ‘Environmentalism and the Leisure Class’…From The Literary Review–Weather Channel Green Ideology: Founder John Coleman Upset….The Weather Channel’s Green Blog: A Little Too Green…From The Washington Post: The Weather Channel’s Forecast Earth Team Fired