Op-Ed in the NYT — “A Shortsighted Victory in Delaying the Keystone Pipeline” – outlines some of the tough trade-offs that will be forced upon decision-makers thinking about energy. Who decides? Intuitively, one would say “democratically elected government”, but federal, state or local? The Keystone Pipeline and the bubbling conversation around shale gas and hydraulic fracturing (featured in the Times magazine last week) are bringing these debates to a head. Obama may have postponed the debate by delaying the decisions, but, as the Op-Ed makes clear, the decision won’t be delayed forever.
To be certain, energy policy cannot and should not disregard local opinion and opposition. Those who are affected most by energy development deserve a special role in shaping its course. But that should not be taken to an extreme that makes effective national energy policy impossible.
I guess that is unarguable, but trust there will be plenty of opinions on how people define “extreme”.