- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Environmental activists have put President Obama on notice: Thanks for the call for $1 billion for a climate change resiliency fund. But if you backtrack on Keystone, we’ll still unleash a political fury.

“There is not a blanket of regulations big enough to cover the pipeline elephant in the room,” said Jamie Henn, with the green group 350.org, in The Hill. “There is nothing the administration could do to negate the impact the pipeline would have on the climate.”

If Keystone is approved, environmental groups will rally for “vehement reaction,” said David Goldston, the director of governmental affairs at the Natural Resources Defense Council, in The Hill.

“People have speculated that a push in climate policies could be some kind of trade-off, but for the environmental community there is no such trade-off on Keystone XL,” Mr. Goldston said, in the Hill. “I don’t think there’s a strategy that would work in terms of the environmental movement either substantively or politically.”

Mr. Obama has waffled on the issue of Keystone pipeline building for years, as environmentalists have mounted increasing pressure for the White House to shut the door on the project.

Dan Weiss, the director of Climate Strategy at the Center for American Progress, meanwhile, said it’s not likely Mr. Obama will announce a decision any time soon.

“Any decision is a long way off,” he said, in The Hill. “Those who think they know what the president is going to do — it’s wishful thinking. I don’t believe even the president knows what he’s going to do on this subject.”

In the meantime, Mr. Obama has called on Congress to free $1 billion for a special climate resiliency fund — which Sen. John Hoeven, North Dakota Republican, said in The Hill is “not going to happen.”