Al Gore speaks out against Keystone XL pipeline, urges Obama not to approve

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics

Former vice president and 'would have been president if it wasn't for the hanging-chad incident' Al Gore is raising alarm bells about the proposed Keystone pipeline.

In an interview with the UK's Guardian newspaper, Gore urged president Barack Obama to use his re-election as a catapult for action on climate change.

"I think all who look at these circumstances should agree that president Obama does have a mandate, should he choose to use it, to act boldly to solve the climate crisis, to begin solving it," Gore, the now climate activist, said.

"He has the mandate. He has the opportunity, and he has the inherent ability to provide the leadership needed. I really hope that he will, and I will respectfully ask him to do exactly that."

Specifically, Gore says that he wants Obama to introduce a carbon tax and that he agrees with those trying to stop the pipeline which would carry oil from northern Alberta down to the Gulf of Mexico.

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"The tar sands are just the dirtiest source of liquid fuel you can imagine," he told the newspaper.

"At a time when we are desperately trying to bend the emissions curve downwards it is quite literally insane to open up a whole new source that is much more carbon intensive."

This isn't the first time Gore has weighed-in on the oilsands, but his comments come on the heels of Obama's re-election speech where he said that  he wants children in America to grow-up in a country "that isn't threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet."

While most analysts believe Obama will eventually allow Keystone to happen, Gore is hoping that he has public sentiment on his side — especially in the wake of a record hot summer and Hurricane Sandy.

Gore hopes to build public support, this week, with a 24-hour on-line 'environment-athon' dubbed the "Dirty Weather Report."

"This event will put a spotlight on every region of the globe — featuring news, voices, and multimedia content across all 24 time zones," notes the program's website.

"Every hour will be different. You'll hear from experts, musicians, comedians, and everyday people about the impacts of climate change on their lives and homes."

The former vice president's 'musings' and his proven ability to cause alarm should be of great concern to the Harper government.

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According to a recent Global News report, the pipeline would be a tremendous boon to Canada's economy.

"The Alberta oilsands are responsible for over 140,000 Canadian jobs, a number that stands to grow to almost half a million jobs after project completion," notes the article.

Growing anti-pipeline sentiment in the US and another Obama rebuke on Keystone would clearly be bad news for Canada's economy.