As The Guardian points out, Tim Kaine (D-Va.) was the first senator to bring up the proposed Keystone XL pipeline—a major climate-related issue that the Obama administration is expected to make a decision on in the coming months.
"It would be very good thing if the president right now rejected the use of tar sands oil in the Keystone pipeline," Kaine said. "Why would we embrace tar sands oil and backslide to a dirtier tomorrow?"
Environmental advocates have been urging the administration to reject the 1,660-mile pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada’s tar sands to refineries in Texas, on the basis that it would increase the country’s contribution to climate change. Oil from the tar sands produces more emissions over its lifecycle than conventional oil.
In his big climate speech last summer, President Obama said that the pipeline should be approved only if it “does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.” The State Department’s final environmental impact analysis did not find that the pipeline would, but another study recently questioned that analysis.
"I don’t want to bury my head in the tar sands," said Kaine.