On November 6, 2015, President Obama announced that he is killing the Keystone XL pipeline. In explaining his decision he cited minimal economic benefits due to low oil prices and climate impacts. For seven years environmentalists and those concerned about climate change have been actively opposing the carbon bomb known as the Keystone XL pipeline.
Although the President cited low oil prices, the most powerful reason why the KXL had to be killed was its carbon load. Tar sands oil is expensive to exploit and it is also among the dirtiest and most energy-intensive hydrocarbons on earth.
A diverse coalition came together to combat the KXL, this includes scientists, politicians, and grassroots activists.
In his rejection speech, President Obama said that he’s dedicated to making the United States a “a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change,” and that approving the Keystone XL pipeline would drastically “undercut that leadership.”
A last-ditch appeal by TransCanada, the builder of the KXL, failed to pause the process. They were hoping that if the process could be suspended until the US federal election in 2016, a Republican might win the white house and pass the pipeline project.
While the GOP lamented the decision and touted the economic and employment opportunities associated with the project, President Obama, and a number of others, have refuted their rosy assessments. According to the White House, only 35 permanent jobs would have been created by the project. Here are some of the angry tweets from Republican presidential contenders as reported by Grist:
Marco Rubio said: “When I’m president, Keystone will be approved, and President Obama’s backward energy policies will come to an end.”
Rand Paul said: “Keystone XL pipeline should be approved! @POTUS is once again stopping progress and blocking job creation.”
Jeb Bush said: The Obama Admin’s politically motivated rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline is a self-inflicted attack on the U.S. economy and jobs.”
Ted Cruz said: “As President, I’d authorize #KeystoneXL, and we’d get Americans to work!”
The new speaker of the House Paul Ryan wrote, “the rejection isn’t surprising but it’s sickening: By rejecting this pipeline, the president is rejecting tens of thousands of good-paying jobs.”
The truth is that there are only 35 permanent jobs associated with the KXL and it is fossil fuels that are sickening people and destroying the planet’s ecosystems.
President Obama deserves our thanks for finally putting a stop to the KXL. Here is the NRDC video thanking the President:
Now the KXL is dead and the Energy East may be canceled as well, attentions need to turn to a number of other fossil fuel pipelines that threaten North America and the global climate. Some fossil fuel pipelines are being expanded, others are in the process of being built and still others are awaiting approval. Here is a list of some of those pipelines: Energy East, Line 9 Reversal And Expansion, Alberta Clipper Expansion, White Cliffs Twin Pipeline, Northern Gateway, Trans Mountain Expansion Project (Kinder Morgan), Eastern Gulf Crude Access Pipeline, Sandpiper Pipeline, and Flanagan South.