Duncan Meisel, 350.org
January 31, 2014 | Today the State Department released its Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) on Keystone XL, starting the official countdown to a final decision by President Obama on the pipeline.
Big oil hand-picked the reviewers of the pipeline, which means the report avoids taking a stand on the pipeline’s climate impacts -- leaving the ball entirely in President Obama’s court. As always, he has all the evidence he needs to reject the pipeline.
The last time State released an FEIS about Keystone XL in 2011, 59 people were arrested that same day just outside the White House in what was just day 6 of a two week sit-in to stop the pipeline. Those sit-ins grew to actions across the country, which grew to a historic rally that surrounded the White House and forced President Obama to delay the pipeline, keeping millions of barrels of oil in the ground and millions of dollars out of the hands of big oil.
In other words, today is just the starting point for the next crucial phase of this fight. Together, I believe we can once more stop the pipeline.
We won’t do it by relying on the State Department, whose process has been riddled with conflicts of interest and big oil’s money. Nor by relying on the President’s good intentions — his lofty rhetoric about climate change has been betrayed too many times by weak action and backtracking.
As we showed in 2011, the only time you can count on the President is when you have him completely surrounded. And so it’s up to us to mobilize again, and put the pressure on from all sides.
Step one is to show our resolve and disappointment in this broken process. On Monday night, all across the country, people will be gathering to mark this moment together at protest vigils, where we will light the night with our resolve to keep fighting. We need to show the media, big oil and the President that this movement is mobilized and unafraid. Can you be there?
Click here to look for an event near you, and sign up to host if there isn't one near you.
Step two is to set some firm plans. Next Tuesday, Feb 4th the night after the protest vigils, 350 will host an online video chat to lay out some ideas for what we can do to put the pressure on President Obama over the coming months. Click here to RSVP, and we’ll send you a reminder when it happens.
Keystone XL is a critical piece in big oil’s plan to dig up and burn all of the tar sands. We’ll continue to face them down on other fronts too -- East, West, South; by rail or pipe -- to keep this oil in the ground.
Big oil wants you to believe that today’s report means this fight is over. And that’s the difference between us and them.
- Where they see a finish line, we see the starting blocks.
- Where they see a pipeline route, we see homes, and farmland.
- Where they see an export facility, we see a community struggling to breathe.
- Where they see an oil patch, we see a boreal forest and the violation of treaties.
- Where they see a bottom line, we see our future on the line.
And that’s why this is just another beginning. Let’s roll!
Duncan Meisel is a Brooklyn based climate justice activist, Digital Campaigner for 350.org, and a cyclist.
Troubling New Scandal Emerges in Keystone XL Saga, Beth Buczynski, care2.com
- Another scandal has emerged in a Keystone XL saga that drips with corruption and collusion. Politico reports that, in addition to being on TransCanada’s payroll, “A contractor that worked on the State Department’s environmental review of the Keystone XL pipeline is a member of several energy industry groups that have urged the government to support the project.”
- Keystone Pipeline: 125 Dents & other damage already!
BP Deepwater Supervisors Must Face Manslaughter Rap, Pakalolo, Daily Kos
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- 3 Years Of Gulf Oil Spill Photos Show Ongoing Impact