I’m feeling rather un-inspired to write a fresh post for Earth Day 2014, so I will settle for cross-posting the public comment that I submitted to Regulations.gov regarding the State Department’s consideration of the permit application for the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline project. After the fold:
Sustainability is basic accounting. We cannot take more carbon out of the ground each year than what we put back into the earth. And right now in 2014, our ledger balance is in the red. Atmospheric carbon is at approximately 400ppm which is ahead of the upper safety limit of 350ppm. While the Keystone XL pipeline will serve the near- and intermediate-term goals of affordable energy, the dumping of cheap, unsustainable fossil fuels will only serve to impede the adoption of renewable sources of energy. And these alternative sources of energy are critical for the United States’ long-term goals of a sustainable economy and a habitable ecosystem. My company Gridpar develops financial models for solar power projects, and one lucrative characteristic of renewable power generation for prospective investors is that it serves as a hedge against future energy price inflation. If the United States Congress and the international community are not willing and able to legislate sensible regulations which would reduce the world’s emissions of terrestrial carbon into the atmosphere, then the only remaining phenomenon which can hasten the adoption of renewable energy is to inflate the prices of fossil fuels. It is unequivocally in the United States’ national interest to mitigate human-induced climate change and its attendant ecological and economic consequences (of which I am certain others have submitted comments to elaborate on), and DENYING the Presidential Permit which would authorize the construction of the TransCanada Keystone Pipeline is a feasible and actionable step that the US Executive Branch can take in 2014.