May 8 11:59 AM

Keystone XL history and legacy, now in handy book form

U.S. President Barack Obama spoke at the southern site of the Keystone XL pipeline on March 22, 2012 in Cushing, Oklahoma.
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

InsideClimate News, the folks that won a 2013 Pulitzer for their coverage of the Dilbit Disaster, the million-gallon spill of Canadian tar sands oil into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River in 2010, have a new book out today on the history of the battle over the Keystone XL pipeline.

The pipeline (also known as KXL, and covered extensively in these pages) is a focal point in a battle between big energy interests and their supporters in Congress and those concerned with the pollution and climate implications of opening a fat spigot for Canadian reserves of this thick, carbon-rich oil — with the Obama White House trying to find a politically palatable middle.

The ICN book, Keystone and Beyond: Tar Sands and the National Interest in the Era of Climate Change, which is available for a brief time as a free download, is an origins story, of sorts, tracing the KXL controversy to the earliest days of the Bush-Cheney administration. But given, after all, that this is InsideClimate News, it promises to finish with a close look at the oil pipe’s place in the current president’s increasingly visible push to define his climate policy legacy.

Needless — or perhaps needed — to say, helping anyone unearth the carbon found in Canadian tar sands is believed by most climate scientists to prove a very ominous mark on that legacy.

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Any views expressed on The Scrutineer are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera America's editorial policy.


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