Forgetting the Keystone

On Monday President Obama is expected to announce at the White House the EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas regulations that will be based on a very expansive rendering of the Clean Air Act.  It is highly unusual for a president to make the announcement of new regulations like this, but then Obama owes his green base a lot after mostly ignoring them for his first term.  (Environmentalists, the cheap dates of the Democratic Party, change the subject when you point out that Obama did not lift a finger to help the Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill when it bogged down in the Senate in 2010.)  Some general details of the EPA’s plan have leaked out, and we’ll be all over the proposal after it becomes available on Monday.

There had been some speculation a while ago that Obama might pair his announcement of the EPA climate regulations with approval for the Keystone pipeline, especially given the State Department’s finding that the pipeline will have no climate impact.  This way the outrage of the greens would have been mitigated by their happiness over the aggressive EPA rules,and Obama could also please his labor union and pro-pipeline Democrats locked in tough re-election campaigns.  But the additional delay in the Keystone pipeline decision the White House announced last month means that such a compromise won’t happen.  Tom Steyer is getting his money’s worth.

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