Podesta Appointment Could Signal Trouble for Keystone Pipeline

The Obama administration’s announcement that John Podesta will return to the White House as counselor to the president, “could dim prospects for the Keystone XL pipeline’s approval,” reports Reuters.

Podesta, the chair of the Center for American Progress and a former chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, will advise on energy and climate issues.

In the past he has “aligned himself with environmentalist foes of TransCanada Corp’s 1,200-mile pipeline that would carry 830,000 barrels a day of oil sands crude from western Canada to the Gulf Coast.”

“On Wednesday, the White House said Podesta would not get involved in the question of whether to allow Keystone XL because of his well-known opposition to the project.”

But the White House clarified that he was not recusing himself from involvement in the issue: “The word recuse here is not the right word.”

“Last year, he penned an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal with Tom Steyer, a billionaire activist and Keystone foe, saying cleaner-burning domestic energy sources should take priority over oil sands.”

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