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OBAMA REJECTS KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE
The Obama administration announced that it is rejecting the permit application for the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline. As I reported back in August, the 1,700-mile Keystone XL Pipeline would have been built by the Canadian firm TransCanada to transport oil from Canadian tar sands in Alberta to the Texas refineries.
"As the State Department made clear last month," President Obama said in a statement, "the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment. As a result, the Secretary of State has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree."
The proposed pipeline has been quite a controversial topic on the web. If you're a twitter enthusiast, you might recall observing hashtags trending in your feed such as #nokxl, #stopthepipeline and #KeystoneXL.
But others took their grievances against the pipeline to the streets. Well, not just any street: Pennsylvania Avenue. Thousands of civilians opposed to the pipeline demonstrated peacefully in front of the White House to get the President's attention.
I'd imagine it would be sort of difficult to ignore thousands raising signs outside your home as you look out your window over your morning coffee.
Among the protesters outside of the White House was NASA climate scientist James Hansen, who has said that if the pipeline is completed, it's "game over" for any hopes of stabilizing the climate. More than 1,200 civilians were arrested for the sit-in, including our friend Bill McKibben, who has played a crucial role in the campaign against the pipeline.
In a tweet on the day of Obama's announcement, McKibben conveyed his satisfaction with the President's decision: "If what we hear is true, it's a great day for science and for people -- and a rare bummer of a day for big oil. #nokxl"
The oil lobby and U.S. Chamber of Commerce, together with Republican lawmakers, favor the pipeline, arguing it would create thousands of jobs.
It's worth noting that a report by the Cornell Global Labor Institute said it would kill more jobs than it creates. There was also a myth that the Keystone Project had passed every environmental test, which was a flat-out lie.
But this is all neither here nor there.
As rumors swirl as to what TransCanada's next move will be, and how the Obama Administration will respond, some things are for certain: President Obama put America's best interest above those of the oil industry by rejecting the pipeline, and it's a step in a cleaner and better direction.
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