President Barack Obama’s latest critique of the Keystone XL oil pipeline still leaves a path for approving the project — but its supporters may need to make concessions to blunt its impact on the climate, analysts said Monday.
Obama’s remarks to The New York Times echoed some of the most potent criticisms offered by Keystone’s opponents, scoffing at GOP claims about job creation and warning that the pipeline might even raise gasoline prices. He also said Canada “could potentially be doing more” to counteract the greenhouse gas emissions being unleashed from Alberta’s oil sands, the major reason for climate activists’ outrage at the pipeline.
Concessions by Canada could include an effort to capture and store the carbon dioxide generated by drilling in the oil sands, former White House environmental aide Elliot Diringer said Monday.
“That could be a signal that the administration would welcome a concrete plan from the Canadians about how to reduce the carbon intensity of the oil sands crude,” said Diringer, executive vice president of the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. He said Obama’s comments, published Saturday in the Times, “Almost sounded like an invitation to the Canadians to offer concrete commitments to make their oil no more carbon-intensive than conventional crude, like he was asking the Canadians to help him find his way to yes.”
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