The difference between the environmental policies of Barack Obama and George W. Bush? You expected it to be bad with Bush Jr. Today, the White House is surrounded with people protesting the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline. Here’s how Rep. Henry Waxman described it: “This pipeline is a multi-billion dollar investment to expand our reliance on the dirtiest source of transportation fuel currently available.” He was one of 50 in Congress to officially protest to Hillary Clinton, who as secretary of state has jurisdiction over this dirty nightmare being extended from Canada’s filthy earth-raping tar sands extraction pits to the American Midwest. Says the Politico just now: “The Obama administration is working overtime to fight the perception that it’s dissing green groups and rubber-stamping a controversial 1,700-mile oil pipeline.” Well that sounds about right for Obama, working at the last minute on the perception of something rather than its reality.
Burning fossil fuel is the dirtiest form of energy, and mining Tar Sands for oil is the dirtiest, most expensive and most environmentally devastating form of fossil fuel extraction. When you’re strip mining and digging up thousands of square miles of prairie and then using immense amounts of fossil fuel energy to process and chemically treat the bitumen that’s just a small part of the overall soil and mineral and organic material (life) you’re destroying to convert this “tar” into liquid petroleum, you’re also using a tremendous amount of fresh water and pumping insane amounts of greenhouse gases into the Earth’s atmosphere before the petroleum is ever burned. By the time “tar sands” make it to your gas tank and fart out the tailpipe into the sky, forever, this form of oil has produced 45% more greenhouse gases than the conventional stuff.
It’s as if the BP Gulf of Mexico disaster wasn’t an accident, but an integral part of the plan.
Also, surprise, the promised thousands of construction jobs are actually just a handful of jobs, and as usual all the immense profit from extracting this fossil fuel from public land (using government subsidies, of course, and Middle Eastern imported oil paid for in the lives of American soldiers) goes to a giant energy corporation. Anyway, Go Obama! [Treehugger/Politico/Tar Sands Action]