For Keystone XL, the hits just keep on coming. Earlier this week, President Obama took to the Colbert Report and smack talked the pipeline’s inability to create many jobs or lower gas prices, while saying that the project had to be judged on its potential to contribute to “catastrophic” climate change. Boom!

Today, US Secretary of State John “I wrote a book about climate change” Kerry took the stage at the UN Climate Talks in Lima, Peru and dropped some serious rhetoric on the need to move towards a clean energy future.

“Coal and oil may be cheap ways to power an economy today, in the near term, but I urge nations around the world, the vast majority of whom are represented here at this conference, look further down the road,” said Sec. Kerry. “It’s time for countries to do some real cost accounting,” he continued. “Factor in the long term cost of carbon pollution. Factor in the cost of survival itself.”


Whoa. The cost of survival itself? Whoever is writing Kerry’s speeches these days, hats off! (Although, got to admit, your “the solution to climate change is energy policy” line is a bit boring, you all could spice that one up).

Kerry went on to talk about how we should apply the “precautionary principle” when it comes to decisions about climate change. “What happens if the climate skeptics are wrong?” he asked. “Catastrophe.” Under that rule of thumb, you would never approve a project like Keystone XL. Even the slightest bit of precaution would send you running straight for the nearest solar panel.

The point is: without mentioning Keystone XL, Secretary Kerry is making a hell of a strong case against it. Talk about the catastrophic threat of climate change? Check. Mention the need to transition away from fossil fuels and towards a clean energy future? Yup. Lecture developing countries about how they should “look to the future” and use less dirty energy? Paternalistic, but certainly makes it seem like you aren’t looking to build a big dirty pipeline yourself.

For Kerry, Keystone XL was always inconsistent with his position on climate change. Now, an approval for the project would be absolutely hypocritical.

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