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  • futureripplemovers futureripplemovers Jan 4, 2014 8:57 AM Flag

    John Kerry Throws More Cold Water On Keystone XL Pipeline

     

    John Kerry Throws More Cold Water On Keystone XL Pipeline

    The tubes have been buzzing over a new New York Times report on Secretary of State John Kerry’s aggressive pursuit of a new global climate agreement, which has some clear implications for approval of the controversial Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline. In a nutshell, things ain’t looking so good, and that has us wondering if the US coal industry is also going to face some serious problems down the road.

    The Keystone XL pipeline requires White House approval because it crosses a US border. For those of you new to the topic, the Canada-based project will convey diluted bitumen (yes, that dilbit) down from Canadian tar sands oil fields in (yes, that tar sands) through the US midsection to Gulf Coast refineries, destined for overseas markets.

    However, tar sands oil is not the only fossil at stake here. As a fossil fuel export-enabling project, Keystone is a big, fat, square peg aimed at the round holes of Kerry’s global climate policymaking efforts. Now, think about that for a minute, and then take a look at what the New York Times article implies about that other square peg, coal exports from the US.

    Kerry throws cold water on Keystone XL pipeline
    Water by michitux.

    Coal Is The Canary In The Coal Mine

    The Times notes that in the absence of Congressional action on climate management, President Obama has focused on executive action. That includes, notably, a new EPA regulation that will eventually shut down the worst-polluting coal fired power plants in the US while preventing the construction of new ones.

    That’s all well and good but we’ve frequently noted that as US coal consumption declines, US coal exports have gone up, so as a matter of global emissions the EPA action simply shifts the problem overseas.

    This is where Kerry comes in. According to the Times, Kerry is looking ahead to the negotiation of a major climate pact in 2015, which means that coal-hungry China will be front and center.

    Now let

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