Someone owes Bill McKibben an apology over the Keystone pipeline


“A key piece of support for this argument was a State Department estimate that the pipeline would have a negligible effect on total carbon emissions, because the oil would simply be shipped by rail. This gave credence to the Chait view, since it implied that McKibben hadn’t just picked a less-than-ideal issue as a stand-in for climate change as a whole, but was spending a whole lot of time and energy on an initiative that would literally have almost no impact on climate change.


However, a new study has re-examined the issue and come to a sharply different conclusion. Finding that the State Department analysis didn’t consider the effect the pipeline might have on the world oil market, it quadruples state’s high-end estimate of what effect Keystone XL might have on carbon emissions, from 27 million tons of additional carbon dioxide per year to 110 million tons.”