Yesterday, the environmental movement won a huge victory. The controversial Keystone XL Pipeline — which would carry heavy corrosive crude oil from the Tar Sands of Alberta, Canada to Texas and would cross over communities throughout the Midwest and over the Ogallala Aquifer, which supplies water to 30 percent of U.S. agriculture — received a delay from the Obama Administration that is likely to permanently keep the dirty oil in the ground. The delay, analysts say, is one that the pipeline’s investors cannot financially handle. Moreover, when a full environmental review is carried out — one where the corporation building the pipeline doesn’t write the environmental review and where Hillary Clinton’s deputy campaign director isn’t that corporation’s head lobbyist — there’s no way the Keystone XL will be approved.
While the delay isn’t an all out rejection, and represents yet another White House cop out on critical environmental regulation, the victory is still a huge one. Just three months ago, no one but a coterie of Tar Sands lobbyists and a few committed activists were aware of the pipeline. Yesterday, it was on the front page of The New York Times. What has become one of the strongest movements in the country has forced Obama to take ownership of the decision and forced him to indefinitely block its construction. What’s even more impressive is that the photo in the New York Times was of young people marching in front of the White House — an image that tells the story of the explosion of youth activism from the largest generation in our country’s history.
Posted on September 1, 2011 by Reed Steberger, State Focal Point, NY Green Umbrella
Moved by the Tar Sands Action & the sentencing of Tim Dechristopher, a number of leaders and I drafted the letter below to show our resolve and call for others to take this momentum and action back home this fall. Read the letter, leave a comment, and join us in commiting to bold action this fall. We'll be back!
Today we sit to demand justice. Tomorrow, we’re getting back up to organize in our communities to ensure justice. And we’re calling on you to join us.
A growing movement of young people has been organizing to build a more clean and just economy that works for all of us, addresses the climate crisis and creates jobs for those who need them. Together, we will build an economy steered by communities, not corporations.
We’ve been successful in leading change in our communities; more than 700 college campuses have made commitments to adopt renewable energy and become carbon neutral. And we’re following up on these commitments by forcing campuses to move beyond coal and other forms of dirty energy.
But it’s not an easy road, and we have major challenges ahead. Big corporations are using their financial influence to corrupt our democracy and deepen their pockets at the expense of Americans. And it’s not just related to energy and the environment; they are threatening the very foundations of our democracy, working to disenfranchise voters, attack workers’ rights and the middle class.
In an act of civil disobedience, we stand together today and risk arrest in front of the White House to demand that President Obama stand up to these big corporate interests, reject the Keystone XL Pipeline permit, and put an end to this corporate-dominated madness. The Keystone XL tar sands pipeline would further open up disastrous mining on indigenous lands in Alberta, Canada. The pipeline would then take this toxic and corrosive crude across the country down to the Gulf Coast, threatening communities with spills and health impacts all along the way. It would release enormous amounts of global warming pollution, further fueling the climate crisis. Bottom-line: it threatens our future and we can’t let it happen.
We’re crossing the line to demonstrate the severity of the issue, and our commitment to take bold action to ensure that President Obama does the right thing.