Will Obama approve Keystone XL after all?

“We believe the White House will reverse course and approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which would ship crude from Canada’s western oil sands to the Gulf Coast,” ratings agency Moody’s predicted Monday. Jack Gerard, president of the American Petroleum Institute, told the Financial Times that the pipeline “will be a threshold test as to how serious the president is about producing America’s oil and natural gas.” But environmentalists want President Obama to make permanent his delay of the permit for the northern section of the pipeline, as a way to show he intends to tackle climate change. Noting that Obama’s victory speech mentioned an “America not threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet,” Bill McKibben wrote in the Washington Post that “if he really gets that this is the legacy issue of all legacy issues, one that stretches out into geologic time, then he’ll listen to the scientists and not the lobbyists. Keystone is his first best chance to help keep serious quantities of carbon out of the atmosphere.” Moody’s report on Obama’s second term also cautioned that regulatory scrutiny may increase for hydraulic fracturing and remain strict over deepwater exploration.