The Obama administration, in a major concession to climate activists, is putting off the Keystone XL pipeline decision.
“Because this permit decision could affect the health and safety of the American people as well as the environment, and because a number of concerns have been raised through a public process,” President Obama said in a statement Thursday, “we should take the time to ensure that all questions are properly addressed and all the potential impacts are properly understood.”
It's a big win for the indefatiguable climate writer/organizer Bill McKibben, but Brian Beutler for TPM notes that the only reason the pipeline was rejected was because of political pressure. If OBama wins re-election, and the review process isn't a bureaucratic trainwreck, approval could still happen.
Before activists turned Keystone into a national story, the project was mostly considered a done deal. There’s a lot of institutional pressure on the administration to see it through. And base voter clamor won’t have the same impact if and when Obama’s a second term president.
True, but the planet will accept partial victories and disasters avoided.