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.
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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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