If President Barack Obama is true to his former statements on the criteria he will use to allow the Keystone Pipeline to go through, the latest Environmental Impact Statement gives him no choice but to approve.
But this, of course, is the president who has never before been bound by his past words or promises. So, we’ll just have to wait and see.
The president said his primary concern with the pipeline is that it “not significantly exacerbate the problem of climate pollution.”
Now comes a new EIS, confirming an earlier EIS, and says clearly that the pipeline is “unlikely to significantly impact the rate of extraction in the oil sands.”
There exist some narrow “what ifs” that the president could hang his hat on to kill the pipeline, but if he was being fundamentally honest in his previous statements, he has no choice but to approve.
You can read about that conclusion and the nuances involved in this piece by Michael Levi.