Approval for the Keystone Pipeline has been languishing in the administration because the president doesn’t want to offend the greens, but also doesn’t want to abandon the 10,000 jobs or so that experts believe will be created if it is eventually built.

So, typical Obama, he continues to vote “present” and delay making a decision. There is little doubt that the greens will scream bloody murder if the pipeline is approved — as Al Gore made perfectly clear in an interview with the Guardian newspaper:

Al Gore has called on Barack Obama to veto the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, describing it as “an atrocity”.

The former vice-president said in an interview on Friday that he hoped Obama would follow the example of British Columbia, which last week rejected a similar pipeline project, and shut down the Keystone XL.

“I certainly hope that he will veto that now that the Canadians have publicly concluded that it is not safe to take a pipeline across British Columbia to ports on the Pacific,” he told the Guardian. “I really can’t imagine that our country would say: ‘Oh well. Take it right over parts of the Ogallala aquifer’, our largest and most important source of ground water in the US. It’s really a losing proposition.”

Campaigners have cast Keystone XL as the most important decision of Obama’ presidency. The State Department, which has say over the project because it crosses the US-Canadian border, is to announce its decision later this year.

But Gore said an even larger environmental decision loomed for Obama next month. The White House has indicated Obama could offer a long-awaited climate plan, the first concrete proposals since his inauguration in January when the president suggested it was a religious and patriotic duty to deal with the challenge.

“This whole project [Keystone XL] is an atrocity but it is even more important for him to regulate carbon dioxide emissions,” Gore said. He urged Obama to use his powers as president to cut carbon dioxide emissions from new and existing power plants – the biggest since source of global warming pollution.

Why use the word “atrocity” to describe a project that no one can make a good argument against based on anything rational? The greens oppose the pipeline because it means more energy at cheaper prices. This is exactly the opposite of what they are agitating for. They want less energy that’s more expensive. They will tell us that it is for our own good, that paying more for energy while reducing the amount of fossil fuels that are available will save the earth. What they won’t say is that it will also severely damage industrialized civilization and the philosophy that drives it; capitalism.

The Keystone Pipeline is an atrocity because it reinforces the notion that capitalism is successful. In a similar vein, the regulation of carbon — especially on power plants that are currently in operation — will destroy the coal industry as we know it, perhaps double consumer electric bills, and severely limit the operations of many factories in many industries.

The result will be lost jobs, a shrinking economy, and a stifling of entrepreneurial energy. No doubt, this will be a boon to those who view capitalism as an atrocity — as Gore and his climate change warriors believe.