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NEWS: Kerry’s first major speech raises hope Obama will reject KXL pipeline

The Canadian Press reports, “In yet another potentially ominous sign for TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline, John Kerry used his first major address as secretary of state on Wednesday to make an urgent call for comprehensive action on climate change.”

Kerry said, “We as a nation must have the foresight and courage to make the investments necessary to safeguard the most sacred trust we keep for our children and grandchildren: an environment not ravaged by rising seas, deadly superstorms, devastating droughts and the other hallmarks of a dramatically changing climate. …If we waste this opportunity, it may be the only thing our generation — generations — are remembered for. We need to find the courage to leave a far different legacy.”

The article adds, “While Kerry made no mention of Keystone XL specifically, (his remarks came) less than two weeks after his meeting at the State Department with (Foreign Affairs minister John) Baird. He was non-committal about Keystone in his joint news conference with Baird, and was rumoured to have been tepid about the pipeline during their private meeting.”

Earlier this week, Alex Pourbaix, TransCanada’s president for energy and oil pipelines, argued that the pipeline – which would deliver 850,000 barrels of bitumen a day to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast – would have no measurable effect on global warming. Last week, the Globe and Mail reported, “RBC Dominion Securities Inc. warned that as much as a third of oil sands growth – 450,000 barrels a day – could be put on hold between 2015 and 2017 if the TransCanada Corp. Keystone XL pipeline is not approved…”

On February 17, the Council of Canadians joined with an estimated 50,000 people to march on the White House with the demand to the Obama administration that it reject the Keystone XL pipeline. A decision previously expected in March-April is now expected sometime between June and September. The Globe and Mail reported last weekend that, “Prime Minister Stephen Harper once called Keystone a ‘no-brainer’, but handicappers would now give it no better than 50-per-cent chance of approval.”