New York Times urges Obama to say no to Keystone XL

In an editorial in the New York Times today, U.S. President Barack Obama is urged not to approve the Keystone XL pipeline:

“A president who has repeatedly identified climate change as one of humanity’s most pressing dangers cannot in good conscience approve a project that — even by the State Department’s most cautious calculations — can only add to the problem.”

The paper advises the president to focus on the long-term consequences of the pipeline:

“Mainstream scientists are virtually unanimous in stating that the one sure way to avert the worst consequences of climate change is to decarbonize the world economy by finding cleaner sources of energy while leaving more fossil fuels in the ground. Given its carbon content, tar sands oil should be among the first fossil fuels we decide to leave alone.”

The Times editorial suggests saying no to Keystone would force Canada to a larger role in deciding whether or not it is wise to expand the tar sands:

 “Saying no to the pipeline will not stop Canada from developing the tar sands, but it will force the construction of new pipelines through Canada itself. And that will require Canadians to play a larger role in deciding whether a massive expansion of tar sands development is prudent.”

Find the editorial and related comments here.