This spring President Obama must make a decision to either pass or deny the enactment of the Keystone XL pipeline. Keystone XL will carry 700,000 barrels of tar sands crude from Canada to refineries on our soil every day– a 7 billion dollar initiative projected to create several thousand construction jobs, but also, according to government scientists, to release 3 to 4 times the carbon inputs to produce than conventional crude oil does (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/environment/jan-june13/keystone_02-18.html).
Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, explains that the pipeline will essentially worsen our dependence on oil, and undermine the nation’s transition to cleaner energy sources. Yet, Canada is depending on the pipeline for economic purposes and Stephen Harper, current Canadian prime minister, has already made it clear that environmental concern is not at the top of his agenda: he formally withdrew the nation from the Kyoto Protocol last year, making it the first nation to do so.
Considering his pledge during the inauguration and his State of the Union Address, Obama intends to make effective climate change control a national priority. The XL Keystone pipeline will be the first step in tackling this difficult issue, and I wonder what sort of action will follow his words.
Some people suggest passing the initiative and diverting some of the profits towards green energy plants and research. I, however, feel as though it does not make sense to worsen the problem and then attempt to eradicate the aftermath of our decision. If climate change, which affects the world over, is something we wish to battle, we must place it at the core of our intentions.
This weekend I joined 35,000 people from across 30 states at the White House to demonstrate our support for the President’s words and showcase the overwhelming importance of denying the Keystone XL pipeline.
Check out my photos from the “biggest climate rally in history”!