Despite passing every scientific review, the Keystone XL project, which would bring lots of new  jobs and lower energy costs for Americans, became a lightning rod for American activists when it looked like President Obama might side with unions over greens and approve it.

What was never a consideration was the scientists who have to be baffled that the president stood up in his State of the Union address and invoked science and reason numerous times, but has been engaged in efforts to undercut it every time it deviates from his world view.

But he is practical so the thinking is that he will placate environmentalists with a new carbon tax and then finally approve Keystone XL. Who won't benefit? American consumers. Approving one thing with the promise of cheaper oil not imported from terrorists and then taxing a lot of other things isn't going to save anyone any money.

Nature magazine did this dance in their commentary on Keystone XL - saying the president should face down anti-science crackpots in his own party while they advocated new regulations on the coal industry and a carbon tax.

Being president is about compromise. It is good he is starting to learn that word - he did finally approve the Aquadvantage salmon I criticized him for in Science Left Behind, and that defied his own party members who insisted it was Frankenfish.  But pretending to compromise just to tax more is not helping anyone at all.

The price of Keystone may be a carbon tax by Terence Corcoran, Financial Post