Keystone & Beyond

Keystone and Beyond: Tar Sands and the National Interest in the Era of Climate Change provides the definitive account of the Keystone XL saga.

The book upends the national debate over the controversial pipeline, tracing its origins to energy policy decisions made by President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney in the first months of their administration, and to expectations about energy supply and demand that have turned out to be wrong.

Obama is now the decider on Bush-era energy policy, confronted by both a game-changing U.S. energy boom and accelerating climate impacts his predecessors did not anticipate.

The book also details how in pursuit of energy security, the Bush administration turned its back on campaign promises to address climate change, and instead made growth in Canadian tar sands oil, with its huge carbon footprint, a central pillar of its strategy.

Using thousands of pages of official documents, studies by experts and advocates, and contemporaneous news reports, former New York Times reporter John Cushman Jr. shows how the pipeline that George W. Bush considered a “no brainer” is now seen as a test of President Barack Obama’s commitment to act on climate change.