Focus Misplaced on Keystone Pipeline
Posted at 10:38 a.m. on Dec. 30, 2013
Ben German argues that the intense battle over the Keystone pipeline approval risks undermining more critical targets of the climate change movement:
“Critics who say climate change is a big problem but that Keystone is the wrong battle are ready to pounce. Some take issue with environmentalists who say Keystone XL would be a major contributor to greenhouse-gas emissions to begin with.”
Some contend that “coal-fired power [is] a much bigger enemy than Keystone.”
“Jonathan Chait, in late October, agreed with the argument that stopping Keystone would do very little to slow greenhouse-gas emissions, calling EPA plans to regulate existing coal-fired plants as a far more important fight. ‘The whole crusade increasingly looks like a bizarre misallocation of political attention,’ he wrote.”
But Keystone critics say the fight is both consequential for the climate and a movement-builder. It has included civil disobedience and mass rallies that saw young activists pour into Washington.