Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Keystone XL Delay—A Skirmish Won, More Battles Ahead

Continued delay in building the Keystone XL pipeline, that would carry synthetic crude oil from the Alberta tar sands to refineries near Gulf of Mexico ports, is welcome news worth celebrating. Not only is localized environmental damage from its construction and operation inevitable; expansion of the dirtiest oil production in the world would take us closer to catastrophic climate change.

Some are praising President Obama for a "brave" decision in putting the pipeline in to regulatory purgatory. There is no doubt in my mind that if it had not been for the mass demonstrations and civil disobedience mounted against it XL would have been a done deal months ago. We have won an important skirmish but decisive battles lay ahead.

The "courageous" President initially chose to defer action until after the election when he hoped to deal with it as a lame duck. The Republicans in Congress were not about to give him such a free pass and demanded a fast track response. We can expect the GOP, probably with support from many Democrats, will now work to attach the pipeline to an essential piece of legislation.

We need to continue to mobilize in the streets against any efforts to resurrect this environmental disaster, carrying out the fight to the finish.

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