Victory! State Department set to reject Keystone XL pipeline today
After a year-long fight, climate activists appear to have pulled off a major coup: The State Department is set to announce today that they’re rejecting the tar sands Keystone XL pipeline.
The Obama Administration had put off a decision on the pipeline until 2013 in order to conduct a full environmental review. But in yet another example of GOP overreach, Congressional Republicans had forced a rider into the Payroll Tax Cut Bill, basically saying they wouldn’t let the middle class have a tax cut unless Obama acted on the pipeline within 60 days. Even though the State Department said that timetable would force them to reject it.
Well, now they have. So what was the GOP thinking? The only thing I can imagine is that they expected the administration to reject the pipeline next year anyway, and wanted to force the President’s hand so they can run ads this fall blasting him for killing 20,000 (fictional) jobs (the actual number of long-term jobs created in the US would be in the hundreds, not thousands, and the pipeline could actually kill more jobs than it creates).
Climate activist Bill McKibben, who the Boston Globe describes as “The man who crushed the Keystone XL pipeline”, for the pivotal role he and his 350.org group has taken in rallying resistance to this horrible, climate-killing boondoggle, was exultant.
“Assuming that what we’re hearing is true, this isn’t just the right call, it’s the brave call. The knock on Barack Obama from many quarters has been that he’s too conciliatory. But here, in the face of a naked political threat from Big Oil to exact ‘huge political consequences,’ he’s stood up strong. This is a victory for Americans who testified in record numbers, and who demanded that science get the hearing usually reserved for big money.
“We’re well aware that the fossil fuel lobby won’t give up easily. They have control of Congress. But as the year goes on, we’ll try to break some of that hammerlock, both so that environmental review can go forward, and so that we can stop wasting taxpayer money on subsidies and handouts to the industry. The action starts mid-day Tuesday on Capitol Hill, when 500 referees will blow the whistle on Big Oil’s attempts to corrupt the Congress.”
What you can do
Send a message to President Obama that you support him on the environment – either a basic message on the White House website, or by sending a donation via the ActGreen PAC page on ActBlue.org. Today of all days, show you support the greenest President we’ve seen in a generation – and by donating via ActGreen, you’re reinforcing the message that it’s not just big oil that supports candidates with their donations… it’s also people who care about the environment!