In a recent NPR piece, UC Davis “Director of Energy Sustainability,” Amy Jaffe, was quoted saying, “Once we reduce our [oil] consumption, we can have the luxury of rejecting Canada’s oil.” As a UC Davis alumnus, I am appalled that this message, apparently supporting the ultra-dirty Keystone XL pipeline, came from my campus.
Yes, it’s true that we need to reduce our energy consumption and our carbon footprint through smart government policies that change our collective behavior. But, if President Obama stands up to big oil and rejects Keystone XL, it would be just that — a smart government policy that would keep a huge amount of carbon pollution underground, where it belongs.
Because Canada’s tar sands are so thick and take so much energy to process, gallon-for-gallon they dump about twice as much carbon pollution into the atmosphere as normal gas. Constraining access to the dirtiest and most polluting oil would result in more sustainable collective behavior.
UC Davis class of 2008
Environmental Biology and Management