Last night, Congress came within a single senator's vote of passing legislation to authorize a major crude oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico that would pump more than 830,000 barrels of high-polluting tar sands oil a day and carry and emit 51 coal plants worth of CO2 (pdf)—despite the fact that U.S. oil demand is falling and, you know, the planet is burning up—in exchange for 35 whole permanent jobs. I'm sorry, I buried the lede: what I meant to say is that the runoff Senate race in Louisiana hasn't happened yet.
Joe Nocera thinks that everyone protesting the Keystone pipeline is pretty silly. He makes a series of weak arguments, and I'll direct you to others to explain why the pipeline isn't about a U.S. geopolitical advantage, why the environmental cost of tar sands oil extraction isn't small just because Nocera says so, why activism is more important than wonky incrementalism, and why a carbon tax wouldn't make tar sands extraction more viable. I'm more interested in Nocera's overall point: that we need to reduce demand for fossil fuels, not supply.
Four Tar Sands Blockade young people showed up at church one Sunday. They were hungry for fellowship and encouragement—and just hungry.