Rolling Stone is reporting that President Obama will likely reject the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline that has become a symbol of the bitter partisan divide in Washington and the battle between environmental activists and the fossil fuel industry. The news could signal a major victory for groups like 350.org and the Sierra Club who have been relentless in their activism to stop the tar sands pipeline – most noticeably in February 2013 when the biggest climate rally in U.S. history took place in the nation’s capital to pressure the president to do more to fight global warming and become the first world leader to reject a project because of its impact on the climate.
“Although no final decision has been made, two high-level sources in the Obama administration told me recently that the president has all but decided to deny the permit for the pipeline – a dramatic move that would light up Democratic voters and donors while further provoking the wrath of Big Oil,” writes Jeff Goodell in his Rolling Stone article entitled “Obama’s Last Shot” that focuses on how the administration is making fighting global warming a top priority in the president’s second term.
While the president is currently in Asia, this week a group of ranchers, farmers and indigenous communities living along the potential pipeline route in Nebraska have descended upon The National Mall in Washington for an event called Reject & Protect. The event is being organized by the Cowboy and Indian Alliance and they have constructed temporary tipis on the Washington Monument grounds as a powerful display of unity against the pipeline. On Saturday, thousands of anti-KXL activists will gather to present a hand-painted tipi to President Obama that will become part of the historical record at the American Indian Museum.
Last Friday, the State Department announced that a final decision on the pipeline would be delayed because of an ongoing legal challenge in Nebraska to the pipeline’s route. Towards the end of the story, Goodell quotes an Obama insider as saying that “if the president is really serious about his legacy on climate change, he can’t have that and approve Keystone. The only question now is the timing of the announcement.”
Via Rolling Stone
Image via Mark Hefflinger/Bold Nebraska
Lead photo via Shutterstock