Thursday, March 01, 2012

I am glad that Dr. Jones is leading the Keystone XL analysis

Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney on Thursday touted the Keystone XL pipeline as a "no-brainer."
I will not vote for someone who thinks the Keystone XL pipeline is a "no brainer". Fortunately President Obama has put one of the best brains in government on the issue,  Dr. Kerri-Ann Jones, Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.

I have known Kerri-Ann for most of four decades, from the time she was a young scientist making the transition into policy, through her service in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, to her service as head of the International Office of the National Science Foundation. She has a brilliant mind, a firm scientific foundation, and a broad understanding of policy issues. She made the decision to postpone a final decision on the pipeline until a satisfactory environmental impact statement was delivered to the government. I trust her to have made the right decision.

Gas prices have gone up and are very high at the moment. If the decision had been rushed on the pipeline last year, the gas prices would be exactly the same today. Building that pipeline would take years to complete and years to affect gas prices.

The basic point is that it is foolish to make decisions with very long term energy and environmental implications in a rush, without proper analysis, just because the price of gasoline is spiking this year. Doing so is indeed a no-brainer, at least in the sense that only someone with no brain would propose it.

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