Recent remarks by Environmental Protection Agency chief Gina McCarthy suggest that even the administration’s most strident environmentalists know that Canadian crude will be extracted and burned regardless of the president’s decision on Keystone.
“If there’s oil there, someone will find it and use it,” McCarthy told the Boston Globe on Monday. She “didn’t buy the argument that blocking the Keystone pipeline would prevent the extraction of tar sands oil,” the Globe’s David Abel noted.
While blocking the pipeline would not likely affect global emissions, Obama’s benchmark for Keystone approval focused solely on emissions associated with American energy use.
Environmentalists were naturally outraged by the EPA Administrator providing her understanding of the facts. The EPA was quick to cover their tracks:
The McCarthy quotes tweeted by the Globe‘s David Abel at 1 p.m. — she “didn’t buy the argument that blocking the Keystone pipeline would prevent the extraction of tar sands oil,” he wrote — caused a conflagration big enough that EPA spokeswoman Alisha Johnson threw cold water on their KXL impact before the dinner hour.
“The quotes posted were taken out of context and do not reflect any change in the administration’s position,” Johnson said via email.
Abel’s interview may not yield a published story beyond his 10 tweets yesterday, he said. But his report that McCarthy declared there was “nothing inherently dangerous in fracking” beyond the reach of “sound engineering practices” was enough to draw quick resistance from the green groups that count themselves an integral part of President Obama’s base and have staked their political clout on resisting KXL’s 700,000-plus daily barrels of emissions-heavy oil sands crude from Canada.
[sarcasm] Nothing to see here folks, move along.