Beginning at noon on Monday February 13, people are rallying in defense of President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline. The goal is to send a half a million emails to the Senate in 24 hours encouraging Democrats to back their President. This effort is designed to counter Congressional Republicans who are working hard to override President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL. In January Republicans forced the President to rule on the fate of the pipeline by holding America hostage over legislation extending the payroll tax holiday.
Although the president and Congress each has power under the Constitution to regulate foreign affairs, Congress has never before interfered when a president has used an executive order to grant a pipeline permit. If Republicans are successful it is likely to trigger a complex and protracted legal battle.
As stated by Bill McKibben, “Barack Obama did the brave thing. He stood up to the American Petroleum Institute (a.k.a. big oil) and their explicit threat to exact ‘huge political consequences’ unless he granted Keystone an immediate permit. And the GOP did the expected thing — all along they’ve voted with near unanimity to speed up the pipeline. That’s par for the course from a party awash in oily money — a party whose leaders vie to denounce global warming as a hoax, and whose current frontrunner believes that thanks to the EPA Americans are living through ‘a reign of environmental terror.”
McKibben reports that some Democrats are also succumbing to oil money. Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, has taken more money from the fossil fuel industry than any other Democrat in the chamber, so it should come as no surprise that he has said he’ll vote for Keystone. Other Democrats are concerned that the oil industry will run ads against them at election time.
“This electronic blitz is an effort to show Congress that there’s support out there for doing the right thing — that the American people know the stakes and that they want to see a little bit of the president’s courage on this issue reflected in the Senate.” McKibben said. “This Congress is clearly not going to solve global warming — no one expects Harry Reid to work miracles, converting implacable Republican opponents. But they can clearly hold the line if they want to. Maybe a letter or two — or half a million all at once — will nerve them up.”
To resist Republican efforts to resurrect the Keystone XL pipeline click here.
© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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