Obama's Keystone Shot Isn't Fatal: Hot off the Griddle

By Tom Randall

Good afternoon, and welcome back to the Griddle, a menu of fortified items forthe busy person's media diet. The Keystone XL pipeline is a no-go, at least for now. That's what President Obama yesterday told Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who hoped to build the artery connecting Canadian oil sands crude to U.S. refineries. How much does the decision matter? Probably not much. While it sets up a political battle for U.S. 2012 elections, the $7 billion pipeline will likely proceed with an alternate route, and TransCanada is likely get approval by early 2013, safely after the U.S. election. From a sustainability perspective, nothing has changed. The world needs oil, and demand is strong enough to drive oil sands extraction, the energy-intensive, carbon- emitting process for mining crude from sand. Until fuel prices reflect the social and environmental costs of carbon, politically timed decisions about pipeline routes are mostly just political.

And now the news:

Obama’s Keystone Denial Prompts Canada to Look to China Sales (Bloomberg)
Kodak 'Stuck in Time' Files for Bankruptcy (Bloomberg)
In Bat Deaths, a Catastrophe in the Making? (NY Times)
Apple Shines the Light on Its Supply Chain, Warts and All (GreenBiz)
As Roads Spread in Rainforests, The Environmental Toll Grows (Yale e360)
Disasters cost Record $366B in 2011: UN (AFP)
Amazon Rainforest Changing Before our Eyes from Climate Change (Scientific American) 
Dueling Studies Measure Climate Impact of Fracking Versus Coal (AP) 
Fossil Fuels are Sub-Prime Assets, Bank of England Governor Warned (Guardian) 
China No Match for Dutch Plants as Philips Shavers Come Home (Bloomberg)
Solutions for Economy and Climate (Korea Herald)
Sustainable Consumption Gets Business Buy-In (GreenBiz)

-0- Jan/19/2012 18:50 GMT
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