President Obama Rejects Keystone XL. We Win.
Above Photo: AP Photo/Charles Krupa.
Note: 350.org led the organizing on stopping the KXL Pipeline below is their initial commentary on President Obama finally deciding to reject the KXL. It is a notable victory for which they and the tens of thousands of people who joined the campaign deserve credit.
Our hope is that this builds an even more aggressive, grassroots movement to keep carbon energy — oil and gas — in the ground, demand a clean energy economy that is carbon-free and nuclear-free. That needs to be our goal if we want to confront climate change and move toward climate justice.
Unfortunately, 350.org has been silent on gas — despite the fact there is no question that methane gas adds significantly to the climate crisis and creates a wide range of other environmental problems. We call fracking a policy of communicide because it destroys communities.
And, on nuclear energy they have also been silent even though it is a non-solution to the climate crisis — it is just too expensive and too slow to come online. We need to put our resources into energy efficiency, re-making buildings, moving to mass transit, new land use planning and so many other steps all the time while building a clean energy economy. Nuclear makes no sense when that is the goal and it creates serious, long-term environmental problems.
So, congratulations on the victory, thank you for recognizing the power of people, we have a lot of work ahead, may you and the movement build on this victory, make even stronger demands, force more rapid change and may we all go from strength-to-strength. KZ
We just made history together. 4 years to the day after we surrounded the White House, President Obama has rejected the Presidential Permit for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline!
This is huge.
A head of state has never rejected a major fossil fuel project because of its climate impacts before. The President’s decision sets the standard for what climate action looks like: standing up to the fossil fuel industry, and keeping fossil fuels in the ground.
Make no mistake: this victory belongs to us, the movement. President Obama’s courage today is a reflection of the courage shown by thousands of people who have sat in, marched, organized, (and opened a lot of emails) across North America against this pipeline.
This fight started with First Nations in Canada where the tar sands are extracted, and spread to farmers, ranchers and tribal nations along the pipeline route. Since then people from all walks of life have joined hands against Keystone, and the 830,000 barrels per day of destructive tar sands oil it would have carried through the country to be burned.
Together, we have shown what it takes to win: a determined, principled, unrelenting grassroots movement that takes to the streets whenever necessary, and isn’t afraid to put our bodies on the line.
Politicians in Washington DC didn’t make this happen. Our movement did. We want to thank everyone who has been a part of this campaign — from calling Congress to getting arrested on the White House fence.
You can join us in appreciating everyone who made this day possible by co-signing our thank you card to the movement — we’ll deliver personalized versions of the card with your messages to everyone who has led or attended an action against Keystone XL since 2011. Click here to sign the thank you card to the #NoKXL Movement.
Powered by our organizing, the tide is turning against the fossil fuel industry — every major new project they propose is being met by organized opposition on the ground, and politicians are lining up to stand behind our movement and say that we must keep the vast majority of fossil fuels underground.
Resistance is growing because the fossil fuel industry is more reckless than ever: from Texas where the Southern leg of Keystone XL pumps toxic tar sands, to Alberta where Big Oil foolishly plans to expand its mines, to California where they want to frack during a historic drought, to the enormous coal pits of Appalachia and Australia.
We have more tools than ever to work with. A strong fossil fuel resistance is already taking shape across the globe. Since we began fighting Keystone XL, the movement for divestment from fossil fuels has grown into a global powerhouse able to move tens of billions of dollars and undercut the social license of the fossil fuel industry. Fracking bans have stopped drilling in towns, counties and now whole states across the country. Communities are seizing their energy futures by demanding 100% renewable power in record numbers.
And when world leaders meet in Paris later this year, they’ll do so knowing what our movement can do, and what climate action really looks like: keeping fossil fuels in the ground.
Today we can approach all of our work with new eyes. We know that we can fight, and we can win.
This isn’t just a victory for the climate movement — it’s a victory for everyone who believes in the power of organized people, from the streets of Missouri, to the border crossings of Arizona, to the hills of South Dakota and Nebraska.
Together, we’re on the path to real, substantive change.
With joy, and immense gratitude,
The 350.org Keystone XL pipeline fighting team:
Bill, Cam, Clayton, David, Deirdre, Duncan, Jamie, Jason, Joshua, Linda, Matt, May, Phil, Rae and Sara