Footdragging on Keystone

The Times reports:

The State Department will delay its decision on construction of the Keystone XL pipeline until it has a clearer idea of how legal challenges to the pipeline’s route through Nebraska will be settled, State Department officials said Friday.

Bulk email from McKibben (he either knew or politely pretended to have some idea who I am when I introduced myself last week, but I’m not in his cricle by any means) says this is more good news than bad:

Three things strike me:

  1. In pipeline terms it’s a win. Every day we delay a decision is a day when 830,000 barrels of oil stays safely in the ground. Together we’ve kept them at bay for three years now, and will continue to until perhaps the beginning of next year it seems.
  2. In climate terms, it’s a disappointment. Since the State Department can’t delay floods and droughts and El Ninos, we actually need President Obama providing climate leadership. If he’d just follow the science and reject the stupid pipeline he’d finally send a much-needed signal to the rest of the planet that he’s getting serious.
  3. In movement terms, it’s a sweet reminder that when we stand up we win.Three years ago this pipeline was a done deal, and thanks to you it’s come steadily undone. We can’t match Exxon or the Koch Bros with money; we can and have matched them with passion, spirit, creativity, and sacrifice.

This totally fits in with my expectations. As I see it, the Obama administration understands the seriousness of the climate problem but does not have the political capital to address it head on. Dragging their feet is the best they can manage. All things considered it is commendable. The fault that they do not do more is ours, not theirs. We have so far failed, even in the winter of the ridiculous resilient ridge (can we just call it R3 for short) to convey the urgency of the problem to the public.

Meanwhile, consider signing on to the Cowboy Indian Alliance.


  1. Pingback: Another Week of Climate Disruption News, April 20, 2014 – A Few Things Ill Considered

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.