Green Weenie of the Week: The NRDC

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is out today with a breathless press release warning that transporting Canadian oil by means of ships or barges threatens oil spills into our rivers and estuaries:

NRDC Report: Tar Sands Tankers in U.S. Waters Could Skyrocket 12-Fold Under Canadian Producers’ Plans

A flood of dirty oil and possible damaging spills in the Atlantic, Pacific and Mississippi River threatens iconic species, tourism and communities; also would increase climate pollution double Keystone XL’s   

WASHINGTON (December 7, 2016) – Canadian oil producers have roared back from President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline with a scheme to send hundreds of tar sands-laden oil tankers and barges down the East and West coasts and the Mississippi River, the Natural Resources Defense Council warned in a report released today.

Under their plans, tar sands tankers and barges traveling U.S. waterways could skyrocket from fewer than 80 to more than 1,000 a year—dramatically increasing the chance of devastating spills.

That, according to the report, would put the Pacific and Atlantic coastlines, including the Salish Sea, San Francisco Bay, the Gulf of Maine, the Hudson and Columbia rivers, the Chesapeake Bay and the Florida Keys, at risk for costly spills for which there is no known effective cleanup technology. In addition, as many as 130 tar sands barges per year could travel on the Mississippi River, which today sees almost no such traffic.

The potential for destructive tar sands spills endangers hundreds of inland and coastal communities. And it puts at risk multibillion tourism and fishing industries, along with protected ocean preserves and abundant marine life; including whales, dolphins and unique deep-sea creatures.

That shipping oil by tanker, rail, or barge leads to more oil spills than pipelines suggests the obvious remedy: BUILD THE KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE YOU MORONS! Did the NRDC really think Canada would leave the oil in the ground just because our ninny president blocked a pipeline?

What—did they just want to get one of our coveted Green Weenie Awards? Was this a stunt like Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show lobbying for the cover of the Rolling Stone? (Though why anyone would want to be on the cover of the fake news Rolling Stone is beyond me right now.) If so it worked.

Chaser: John Kraushaar in the National Journal today:

Let me of­fer a piece of un­so­li­cited ad­vice, one that Demo­crat­ic strategists have dis­cussed privately but are reti­cent to pro­mote pub­licly for fear of ali­en­at­ing green act­iv­ists. Tak­ing a more mod­er­ate stand on en­ergy policy—wheth­er it’s sup­port­ing the Key­stone XL pipeline, cham­pi­on­ing the frack­ing boom that’s trans­form­ing re­gion­al eco­nom­ies, or simply sound­ing a more skep­tic­al note on the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s lit­any of en­vir­on­ment­al reg­u­la­tions—would do won­ders for the Demo­crat­ic Party’s abil­ity to com­pete for the work­ing-class voters who have drif­ted away from the party.

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