07 June 2011

The Talismanic Significance of Keystone XL

Writing in today's NYT, Ian Austin doesn't sugarcoat the realities of Keystone XL and just tells readers how it is:
One way or another — by rail or ship or a network of pipelines — Canada will export oil from its vast northern oil sands projects to the United States and other markets.

So the regulatory battle over the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would link the oil sands to the Gulf Coast of the United States, may be little more than a symbolic clash of ideology, industry experts say. Even if the Obama administration rejects the Keystone plan, the pace of oil sands development in northern Alberta is unlikely to slow.
The article also has a great quote from Michael Levi of the Council on Foreign Relations:
This situation has reached such talismanic significance that whatever the U.S. government does will be read far more deeply than the substance merits.
For earlier discussions of Keystone XL see here and here.