The Keystone XL project seemed to move forward quickly last week, as a key court decision in Nebraska failed to stop the pipeline, and a new Republican-led congress took it up as a first order of business in 2015. Environmentalists nationwide are not giving up without making their voices heard loud and clear by President Obama, who has the ability to veto the proposed bill, and to stop the project once and for all. The Sierra Club is circulating this online campaign to send a message to the President, and local vigils are being planned for tomorrow evening. Join 350 Bay Area at a vigil near you, check locations here.
It’s been a long battle over this pipeline, and while the events of the past week are undoubtedly a bloody nose, there are a few important aspects to still keep in sight. Here’s some links to bring the big picture home:
- In Senate committee hearings last week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren articulated why this bill was a priority of the new Congress, and framed it as politicians going to work for lobbyists and foreign companies over the interests of American people. She handily rejects the arguments being made in favor of the pipeline, and her remarks are worth a watch here. Next time you hear Keystone will create jobs, follow Sen. Warren’s lead.
- President Obama has said Keystone XL should be approved only if it does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution. The State department’s past analysis indicated that the tar sands oil would be extracted with or without the pipeline. With oil prices at an all time low, however, the profitability of tapping the tar sands oil without the cheap transport offered by the pipeline is growing slimmer. Check out this article from Politico for more.
- Unifying to fight Keystone XL has been good for the environmental movement. New allies have been created from those living near the pipeline path, usually places that are thought of as unlikely to be home to environmentalists. There’s been important leaders and allies among tribes and indigenous groups. We shared an article last summer about a group in South Dakota, as one example of how this fight has brought all hands on deck.
[Photo by tarsandsaction on Flickr]