By The Hill Staff - 08/07/13 09:00 AM EDT
Kerry is the diplomatic hand guiding President Obama’s climate change efforts abroad.
He’ll be locked in on China and India; experts say that global warming will not decelerate fast enough if the U.S. acts alone.
Kerry already has helped to secure agreements on a series of climate issues with China, and he’s spoken about the matter in a trip to India. But many of the concessions won so far have been relatively low-hanging fruit.
Green groups say Kerry’s negotiations with China and India would be for naught if his State Department recommends approval of the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline. The controversial Canada-to-Texas project is currently under review at Foggy Bottom for a federal permit to complete the northern portion, which stretches into Alberta.
The project’s opponents are leaning on Kerry, a vocal advocate on climate issues, to nix Keystone, which they say would devastate the climate. But Keystone proponents reject the gloom-and-doom projections and cite a draft environmental review by the State Department to prove it.
Obama said he would oppose Keystone if it “significantly exacerbates” carbon emissions. The draft review by the department has already said it wouldn’t — but that could change.
Because of that, all eyes are on Kerry.