Al Gore has called the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry tar sands from Canada to the United States, “an atrocity”. The former vice president, businessman, and environmental campaigner is calling on President Obama to veto it.
Gore has pointed out that British Columbia has called a halt to a similar pipeline, and rejected the Keystone XL project. He warned that “it’s really a losing proposition” to run a pipeline right over part of the Ogallala aquifer, “the largest and most important source of ground water in the United States”.
Gore added, “This whole [Keystone XL] project is an atrocity but it is even more important for him to regulate carbon dioxide emissions,” Gore has encouraged Obama to use his presidential powers, which would not need Congress to do anything, to cut CO2 emissions from new and existing power plants. These are the largest source of greenhouse gases.
Gore echoes many others who are now calling on Obama to back up his strong words in relation to climate change action immediately following his reelection; “Great words. We need great actions now,” Gore said.
According to Bloomberg, the inside word is that Obama will unveil a package of greenhouse gas-focused actions next month. Obama has apparently been telling Democratic party donors at fundraisers that he will reveal the new proposals in July.
It remains to be seen whether Obama will indeed unveil the much anticipated plan, and what it will consist of. But one thing is certain, after this long wait, it had better be a substantial plan, or the president may find a great deal more pressure coming his way from within his own party, as well as from outside. The fossil fuel lobby is strong, but will it be as strong as a rising tide of public opinion?
Image CC licensed by Center for American Progress: Al Gore