Video: Dr. James Hansen Explains Why He Opposes Keystone XL

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    Cross posted from Scaling Green

    Here’s video of Dr. James Hansen, climate science expert and former head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, testifying yesterday at a U.S. Senate hearing, and explaining why he opposes the Keystone XL pipeline. I presume that all the Democratic candidates running for Congress in the 8th CD oppose this project, right? 🙂

    It’s a question of how much of that tar sands is going to be taken out of the ground. If we build this expensive pipeline, it will facilitate the extraction of much more than if we don’t build it. As soon as you put a price on carbon that’s significant and rising, one of the first things that falls off the table is tar sands. And Canada knows that, that’s why they’re so desperate to get the United States to approve this. If we don’t approve it, a lot of that tar sands will never be developed. The world is going to realize pretty soon that we’ve got to limit the amount of carbon we put in the atmosphere. And it’s going to have to do that via a price on carbon, and that’s going to cause the most carbon-intensive things to get left in the ground, and that includes tar sands.

    P.S. You can also watch the entire hearing at this link, including Senator Kaine – who has been a leader against this project – talking about his thinking on this subject.

    P.P.S. I just saw the following statement by Patrick Hope:

    I’ve been opposed to the Keystone Pipeline XL since it was first announced. The pipeline is an environmental disaster that will increase gas prices by sending resources from North America to a port to be exported overseas. It has absolutely no benefit to the United States in any way. I even noted my opposition on my grip card because I think this is one of the most important issues in front of Congress right now.

    It’s interesting to me that some candidates are just now announcing their opposition to Keystone. I’m glad facing a primary election in the 8th CD has made some people more aware of this issue, but we need leaders in Congress who don’t need to face an election in order to take the right position on environmental issues.

    Congress needs to reject this pipeline immediately and get to work on dramatically increasing the use of renewable energy. Climate Change is not an issue we can afford to wait on any longer.

    • demomatic

      I think this is a little bit over the top here. Keystone XL is a bad thing, yes, but making an antagonistic press release about it is too much.

      If you wanted to imply that you’re the most educated about environmental issues you can do that without directly claiming that people are anti-Keystone because they’re running for congress.

      That’s breaking one of the rules in making “comparison” statements: Don’t imply that you know other people’s intentions. Hope should have said something like, “I’m surprised to be the first to make a statement, along with Sen. Tim Kaine, opposing Keystone XL. I’ve been following this issue for years, and blah blah blah.”

      I could see this backfiring.