Jonathan Chait: Keystone Fight a Huge Environmentalist Mistake:
What do we want? An extremely tiny reduction in Canadian fossil fuel emissions! When do we want it? Eventually!... Keystone is at best marginally relevant to the cause of stopping global warming. The whole crusade increasingly looks like a bizarre misallocation of political attention. My view, which I laid out in a long feature story last spring, is that the central environmental issue of Obama’s presidency is not Keystone at all but using the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate existing power plants. That’s a tool Obama has that can bring American greenhouse gas emissions in line with international standards, and thus open the door to lead an international climate treaty in 2015. The amount of carbon emissions at stake in the EPA fight dwarf the stakes of the Keystone decision.