Year 2, Month 11, Day 7: We Break It, We Buy It

The Washington Post notes that President Obama is going to “take ownership” of the decision on the Keystone XL project:

President Obama said Tuesday that he will decide whether to approve or deny a permit for a controversial 1,700-mile Canadian oil pipeline, rather than delegating the decision to the State Department.

The proposal by the firm TransCanada to ship crude extracted from a region in Alberta called the “oil sands” to Gulf Coast refineries has become a charged political issue for the White House. Labor unions and business groups argue that it would create thousands of jobs in the midst of an economic downturn. Environmentalists — who plan to ring the White House in a protest on Sunday — say the extraction of the oil will accelerate global warming and the pipeline itself could spill, polluting waterways and causing severe environmental harm.

Anything is better than our hopelessly corrupt State Department. And anything is better than writing another damn letter about Richard Muller. Sent November 3:

In his November 2008 election-night speech in Chicago, Barack Obama offered a vision of the country that extended a century into the future, contrasting the life of a centenarian voter with the lives his two young daughters could expect to lead.

It is depressingly rare to find national leaders in our country who are capable of thinking beyond the next election cycle; America’s great historical figures, by contrast, are the ones who have risen above political exigency to address the needs of our longer-term future. That night in Grant Park, our president-elect showed himself capable of thinking in centuries.

We must remind Barack Obama to start thinking long-term once again when it comes to the oil of the Canadian tar sands. If he addresses the needs of the coming centuries rather than those of the fossil-fuel industry, he’ll recognize that the Keystone XL pipeline is a multi-generational disaster in the making.

Warren Senders

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