The Newsmaker Memo: An Interview With Pioneering Climate Scientist James Hansen


April 22nd, 2013 12:00 am

Joe Conason



“He stands with the environmentalists in strong opposition to the Keystone XL project, however. ‘If you make that pipeline, that sort of guarantees that over time, you’re eventually going to exploit a lot of that [tar sands] resource. And it doesn’t make any sense economically if you look at it – the only reason they go ahead with it is that it’s partly subsidized and it’s not made to pay for its cost to society. If we could stop it and get any sort of a price on carbon that even partially reflects the cost of CO2 to society, then tar sands would simply not be exploited.’”


To get right down to the simple and easily understood point:  It takes more energy to produce oil from shale and fracking than it is worth.  It is feasible only because the public bears so much of the cost of production through subsidies.