Gore: Keystone Pipeline an ‘Atrocity’

Former US Vice President Al Gore speaks during the Center for American Progress 10th Anniversary Conference in Washington, DC, October 24, 2013.
National Journal
Alex Brown
Oct. 24, 2013, 12:13 p.m.

More than once Thursday, Al Gore com­pared cli­mate den­iers to sub­stance ab­users dur­ing an im­pas­sioned speech at a Cen­ter for Amer­ic­an Pro­gress policy sum­mit. The vice pres­id­ent-turned-cli­mate-act­iv­ist also went out of his way to put Pres­id­ent Obama on no­tice re­gard­ing his pending de­cision on the Key­stone XL pipeline.

“How ri­dicu­lous is that? It’s an at­ro­city,” Gore said of the pipeline that would carry heavy crude from Canada to U.S. re­finer­ies. “I’m a big fan of Pres­id­ent Obama; I’ve ap­pre­ci­ated his speeches on cli­mate … [but] this should be ve­toed. It is an at­ro­city, it is a threat to our fu­ture.” Amer­ica’s pet­ro­leum de­pend­ency, he said, re­sembles that of junkies who find veins in their toes when they run out of places to shoot up in their arms and legs.

Gore blamed spe­cial in­terests for mak­ing it dif­fi­cult for politi­cians to ad­dress cli­mate change, com­par­ing Wash­ing­ton to a “fam­ily where an al­co­hol­ic fath­er flies in­to a rage every time al­co­hol is men­tioned” and con­cerned-but-scared ob­serv­ers choose not to ad­dress the volat­ile prob­lem.

He cited re­cent weath­er events as evid­ence of the need for a rap­id change in en­ergy policy. Flood­ing, wild­fires, and hur­ricanes, he said, are all oc­cur­ring more fre­quently and with more fe­ro­city. “We are see­ing these once-in-1,000-year events on a reg­u­lar basis,” he said.

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