BREAKING: The final battle against Keystone XL starts now
Today the State Department released its final report on the environmental impact of the Keystone XL pipeline.
The headlines in the mainstream media faithfully repeated the oil industry’s spin. It’s true that the oil industry lobbyists did everything they could to sway this report to their liking – and we’re going to have to fight hard in the coming months to overcome their influence.
But the real news is that this report – despite being written by a deeply compromised contractor that was practically handpicked by TransCanada and the American Petroleum Institute – still couldn’t refute one crucial fact.
The State Department admitted that “the total direct and indirect emissions associated with the proposed Project would contribute to cumulative global GHG emissions.” And this is all the president needs in order to know that Keystone XL fails his climate test.1
Urge President Obama to reject Keystone XL.
Despite this admission, the report is still deeply flawed, and it makes it more obvious than ever just how desperate the oil industry is to force approval of Keystone XL – and how successful it has been so far at corrupting the State Department’s environmental review process.
Unfortunately for TransCanada and the toxic tar sands industry, two things remain true: This pipeline is President Obama’s decision – not theirs. And, Keystone XL fails the president’s climate test. There is simply no question it “significantly exacerbates carbon pollution.”
With the release of the State Department’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (or FEIS) we are finally in a sprint to the finish in our fight to stop Keystone XL. It kicks off the State Department’s 90 day National Interest Determination – a process involving other agencies, that should be more difficult for the oil industry to corrupt, and will allow Secretary Kerry to step in and show climate leadership.
Then, the final decision will be solely in the hands of the President. It is a decision that has wide implications for his presidency, and the progress we can make fighting climate change. He will have to decide which side he is on: Will he do what’s best for big oil or will he do what’s clearly in our national interest and reject this pipeline.
President Obama's decision on Keystone XL will come down to the pressure we put on him in the next three months. Take action now to tell him once and for all to reject the "game over for the climate" pipeline.
It is also simply astonishing that this environmental analysis was released before an upcoming report from the State Department Inspector General to determine if conflict of interest rules were broken. We will be waiting eagerly for this investigation to be made public.
The next few months will offer Secretary of State John Kerry an opportunity to step up and be a leader for the climate during the National Interest Determination process, when he will make an official recommendation to the president.
But in the end, this is all about President Obama. And in the next few months, we'll be ramping up direct citizen pressure on him to ensure he makes the right call.
We're starting next week, organizing KXL protest vigils across the country. These are a crucial opportunity to speak out, and you'll hear more about them in the coming days.
Then, we'll be kicking the Keystone XL Pledge of Resistance into high gear with our partners Rainforest Action Network and the Other 98%. More than 76,000 people have already pledged to risk arrest if necessary to stop approval of Keystone XL. And we'll be preparing for the State Department's coming National Interest Determination, and making sure that President Obama knows a massive wave of civil disobedience from his best supporters will be imminent if his administration signals it is moving toward approval of Keystone XL.
And that's just the beginning. The oil industry may have been able to largely corrupt the State Department’s environmental analysis, but it can’t change the facts and we won’t let them stop our activism. This is an all-in moment to get President Obama to reject Keystone XL.
- Danielle Droitsch, "Final environmental review for Keystone XL tar sands pipeline acknowledges significant climate impact," National Resources Defense Council, January 31, 2014.