While the Obama administration moves closer to approving the expansion of the Keystone XL pipeline, Vice President Joe Biden is Las Vegas claiming now is the time to transition away from fossil fuels. "Innovation and energy will go on whether or not we join and no nation which expects to be a leader of other nations can fall behind,” Biden said during his keynote speech at the fourth-annual National Clean Energy Summit.

Biden claimed that the U.S. is already following behind other nations including China when it comes to innovation in the renewable industry. Yet, at the same time the United States State Department has already given an initial go-ahead to build the Keystone XL pipeline, when last week it declared that the pipeline poses no significant environmental risk to the states it will pass through. The energy that the Keystone produces is technically neither domestic nor renewable, so the juxtaposition between the vice president’s comments and the rest of the administration’s actions seems worthy to point out.

But the contradiction didn’t hold Biden back. In the same speech he declared, “If we shrink from deciding whether we are going to lead in the area of alternative energy, renewable energy, then we will be making the biggest mistake that this nation has made in its history." That rhetoric is actually quite in line with what is being said in the picket lines in front of the White House this week.

Biden calls for clean energy while protesters picket White House
The vice president has strong words about energy policy, but it's the administration's actions that have most in the environmental world concerned.