Supporters of President Obama’s continued obstruction of the Keystone XL pipeline and more government controls to prevent climate change attended a “Forward on Climate” rally on February 17 in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Sierra Club and other environmentalist groups. The pipeline would transport oil from Canada to the gulf coast.
The Center for Industrial Progress (CIP), a pro-energy group, also attended the rally to interview protestors about their views.
“I am absolutely 100 percent pro-blackout, pro-population control,” said one protestor. “The sooner we get rid of the roads, the sooner we get rid of the cars, the better this planet will be.”
The protest, which borrowed the theme from Obama’s “Forward” re-election campaign, took place after four more years without any significant global warming. As Heritage expert David W. Kreutzer noted in Heritage’s State of the Union live blog:
- President Obama’s first four years continued a streak with no significant increase in world temperatures. That streak is now 16 years long.
- Obama’s first term occurred during the longest streak since at least 1900 without a category 3 or higher hurricane making landfall in theU.S. (Hurricane Sandy was probably not even hurricane strength when it made landfall; it certainly wasn’t above a category 1.)
- We have had four more years, to go with the previous hundred, without any trend in hurricane frequency.
- The past four years, like the decades before them, show no correlation between rising temperatures and increased droughts.
- There has been no link between global warming and floods.
- In the past four years, green jobs programs have provided a bigger boost to comedy than to the economy (see here, here, and here).
- We have had four years of costly lessons on the waste and inefficiency of green-energy subsidies.
Despite this lack of evidence for catastrophic climate change and the overwhelming evidence of Keystone XL pipeline’s economic benefits, President Obama has continued to block construction of the full pipeline.
This “shovel-ready” project would generate $1.8 billion for Nebraska’s economy alone and produce thousands of job opportunities for Americans. Keystone XL would actually produce far less greenhouse gas emissions and be far less risky than the alternative of shipping Canada’s oil by tanker, truck, or railroad. Blocking the pipeline will likely only mean Chinese refineries that do not have as stringent environmental standards as the U.S. will refine the oil, causing more emissions than if American oil producers were to refine it instead.
This is why the Keystone XL project meets Heritage’s eight principles of the American Conservation Ethic. Going forward with the pipeline would recognize that people are the most precious resource, and that free markets, rather than government obstruction, provide the most promising new opportunities to improve the environment.