Al Gore did it again, saying (during a Google+ Conversation) that President Obama should “block Keystone,” the TransCanada pipeline that will carry the very “dirty” tar sands crude from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast refineries. As Politico headlined the story, by Alex Guillen and Darren Goode, “Al Gore: Obama needs to get ‘serious’ on climate.”
In the interview Gore said he wished that President Barack Obama would cancel the controversial Keystone XL pipeline.
Yesterday’s Google+ Conversation, Politico provides multiple quotes from Gore, who was a part of a conversation involving several people familiar with climate change issues. Here’s the video of the entire conversation.
Back to the Politico article, where Guillen and Goode write about the Google+ Conversation, which Gore used (emphasis added throughout)
… to tell supporters that Obama needs to go beyond his ‘great words’ on the topic, and to lament that the president has yet to assemble a team to spearhead his second-term climate agenda. …
‘You know, really, if he’s serious about it he needs to get a team in place and he needs to present a plan, he needs to use the bully pulpit, he needs to be a vigorous advocate,’ Gore said.
Gore said Obama should start by blocking Keystone, which would carry crude oil from Alberta’s oil sands to Texas.
‘Well, the hell with that,’ Gore said of the oil sands petroleum. ‘It’s the dirtiest form of fuel on the planet — except for its byproduct, petroleum coke, or petcoke, that’s piling up on the Detroit River right now, part of it. … This is an atrocity, these tar sands.’
Earlier in the day, Gore had spoken at Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s “environmental event. There, Politico reports, Gore
… made nary a mention of Obama while praising (Sheldon) … as ‘the leading United States Senate advocate for solving the climate crisis.’
Whitehouse has been giving weekly speeches on the Senate floor on climate change, which he has dubbed his ‘Time to Wake Up’ speeches.
Gore emphasized that while he sees progress, and said that “the tide is turning” regarding efforts to address climate change,
‘The one crucial element that we need to really focus on is leadership.’
That’s direct enough. Sen. Whitehouse seems a bit more optimistic, pointing to a recent meeting with White House chief of staff Denis McDonough “to talk about the administration’s environmental strategy.”
I think that means something beyond ordering more studies, like one on the northern section of Keystone XL, especially when done by petroleum industry insiders, while KLX south gets a “hurry up and get it done” presidential go-ahead. And hurry they did. It’s almost done, though not without delays by such groups as the Tar Sands Blockade.
And like coalitions of environmental organizations, such as the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth. Via EcoWatch
Environmental leaders hosted a press call (yesterday) … to call for a State Department Investigator General investigation of the State Department’s flawed Keystone XL review process and to call on Secretary Kerry to halt the (KXL north section construction) review process until that investigation is complete.
The Sierra Club also announced that it had filed a lawsuit in federal court (Monday) … under the Freedom of Information Act asserting that the State Department is withholding key documents related to the latest Keystone XL Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and potential conflicts of interest with Environmental Resources Management.
Should Sec. Kerry halt construction, pending investigation, that would be a positive, from the environmental perspective. Referring more to Al Gore’s calls on Obama to show leadership, Sen. Whitehouse, via the Politico article, gives a “no surprise” indication of what to expect:
Whitehouse said no serious actions will emerge until after the Senate confirms Gina McCarthy’s nomination as EPA administrator, which is being held up by Republican objections.
Which gets me back to one of Gore’s statements: “The one crucial element that we need to really focus on is leadership.”