Keystone XL: It’s not over
"But I thought it was a done deal." So wrote a member in response to our amazingly successful campaign to collect public comments against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
I wrote back to encourage her, and it got me thinking of how any time corporate power wants somethiing, companies declare that it has already happened and is inevitable. If something like Keystone XL is a "done deal," then why it isn't it done yet?
If not for our loud protests, Keystone XL would have been a done deal years ago. Our petitions, rallies, letters to the editor and calls to elected officials have made Keystone XL a household name. Answer honestly — how many pipelines do you know the name of? Had you ever heard of TransCanada, the company trying to build the pipeline, before all this? I certainly hadn't. We would have never even known how destructive this was to our climate if the movement hadn't educated us. The CO2 would have already been choking us by the time we knew it was there. Instead, we have gotten a million public comments against Keystone, with almost every major environmental group joining together to raise their members' voices.
All this is to say, every day that the pipeline isn't built is a victory over the forces of Dirty Oil. Every leader that speaks out against it, like Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, is another win for the movement. Every obstacle raised in Keystone XL's path, like the Environmental Protection Agency report saying the study of Keystone XL's environmental impacts was "insufficient," is a stand on the side of the planet. And though oil spills cause graphic destruction of communities and land, they're visible evidence of the climate destruction that is happening all the time.
Now don't get me wrong. I don't want to just run out the clock on this while we wait for one person to decide if this pipeline will be built. I want a decisive win. But at this point that is in the hands of President Obama. I don't know if he will do the right thing, but I know our movement will. And I know that a critical role going forward is reminding insulated decision makers about just what dirty oil looks like. To that end, Environmental Action has partnered with SumofUs.org and Oil Change International to bring ads like the one pictured above, to DC, right where the State Department employees can see them. The struggle to undo this deal, to stop this pipeline, continues. Will you join our new joint campaign to keep the pressure on President Obama to say "No to Keystone XL?"