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THE CONVERSATION: Keystone XL and the War on Drugs

This piece was first published on The Hill; see the original here.

No, the proposed Keystone XL pipeline will NOT carry black tar heroin. But whether you think that diluted bitumen from the Canadian oil sands is better or worse than heroin, there may be a lesson from the “war on drugs.” No, I haven’t been smoking anything, although this morning my hybrid did inhale gasoline and exhale CO2, some of whose carbon probably came from Alberta.

As President Bush declared in his 2006 State of the Union address, “America is addicted to oil.” Since then U.S. oil consumption has decreased by about 10 percent; the portion of U.S. demand met by imports has been nearly halved from its high of 60 percent; and the Obama administration has made climate protection a priority alongside the quest for energy independence that has shaped policy since the Nixon administration. President Obama has declared that he would approve Keystone XL “only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”

Read the rest at The Conversation