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Before the President's big speech on climate change last month, environmentalists were (rightfully) pessimistic that the President would reject the Keystone pipeline, particularly after a dubious State department report that dubiously suggested the Keystone pipeline would have a negligible impact on carbon pollution, despite the fact that the tar sands it would carry are among the dirtiest fossil fuels on the planet.  After the speech, however, they were effusive with praise and appropriately optimistic that Keystone would be rejected after Obama declared, "Our national interest will be served only if this project doesn’t significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution". Both environmental advocates and pundits from across the entire ideological spectrum warned that Keystone was in trouble

In an interview published recently in the New York Times, the President not only doubled down on carbon as the litmus test to which Keystone will be subjected to, but took a hammer to the two talking points most pushed by Keystone advocates. Regarding the claim that Keystone would create tens of thousands of jobs, Obama said, "There is no evidence that that’s true. The most realistic estimates are this might create maybe 2,000 jobs during the construction of the pipeline, which might take a year or two, and then after that we’re talking about somewhere between 50 and 100 jobs in an economy of 150 million working people." He went on to correctly describe these jobs as a "blip in the relative need." Secondly, he dismantles the baseless claim that Keystone would lower gas prices in the United States.

All in all, though the President didn't outright declare Keystone dead, this certainly doesn't sound like a man favorably inclined towards Keystone. Given that he finds the two most crucial pillars to the case for Keystone laughably unfounded, I don't see how, or even why he would approve the pipeline.

What do you think?

1:46 PM PT: Update: Title edited to correct grammar mistake.

Originally posted to Scott Welch on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 09:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by Gulf Watchers Group.

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