Yesterday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s Now with Alex Wagner featured a discussion about the Keystone XL Pipeline, which is anathema to the environmental left, and which President Obama cynically delayed a decision on until after the 2012 election. With the decision to approve or decline the project still looming for President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry -- who technically is the point person on approving the project -- Melinda Pierce of the Sierra Club was brought on the panel to discuss the pending doom we face with climate change, and disseminate the message that we can’t drill our way to energy independence.
To Wagner’s credit she did cite a piece from, of all things, Joe Nocera of the New York Times to give an alternative view to Pierce’s. Whereas Pierce responded by equating the approval of the pipeline to setting off a “carbon bomb”:
We can’t drill our way out of the problem. America is facing a climate crisis, and nowhere, and never before has that not been more real to the average American with the droughts in the Midwest, the fires in the West, the Derecho in the Southeast, you know Hurricane Sandy – Americans are seeing the effects of the climate on steroids.
Of course, the pipeline is a wholly distinct and separate issue from expanding U.S. domestic drilling. Canadian tar sands oil will be extracted and shipped, it's just a question of which country purchases it. The pipeline has no bearing on oil production, it just ensures that Canadian oil is shipped to U.S. refineries rather than making its way to other countries equally willing to purchase it.
Also left out of the discussion, and maddeningly so given the U.S. economy's sluggish recovery, was a report by the International Energy Agency that argued that, yes, America can become energy independent, a net exporter of energy in the years to come if only government gets out of the way. It was featured in the New York Times in November of 2012 stating:
that increased oil production, combined with new American policies to improve energy efficiency, means that the United States will become “all but self-sufficient” in meeting its energy needs in about two decades — a “dramatic reversal of the trend” in most developed countries, a new report released by the agency says.
So, we can drill our way to energy independence, and Wagner and Pierce both seemed oblivious to this fact. Then again, selective reading is a common characteristic amongst liberals.