Green Community Cheers Keystone XL Rejection

Tar Sands Action/CC BY 2.0

By now you've probably heard that the Obama administration has said it cannot go forward with the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline approval within the 60 day timeline set out by Congress, which all pretty much puts the project on indefinite hold—although it does allow TransCanada to come back with a revised plan.

As you can imagine, the green community, both inside the beltway groups and activists alike, are jumping for joy.

Here's a survey of the comments coming streaming in to TreeHugger.

NRDC president Frances Beinecke says:

The pipeline was rejected for all the right reasons. President Obama put the health and safety of the American people and our air, lands and water -- our national interest -- above the interests of the oil industry.

His decision represents a triumph of truth over Big Oil's bullying tactics and its disinformation campaign with wildly exaggerated jobs claims.

A decision on the pipeline proposal requires nothing less than a thorough and fair-minded analysis of its full effects on our environment and climate. But the schedule forced upon the Obama administration – a 60-day rush to judgment -- left insufficient time to conduct that assessment. Pipeline proponents preordained this outcome.

Green For All's Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins said, hitting again on the jobs angle:

Our country needs a real jobs plan –Keystone is not it. Helping a foreign company ship oil overseas to make billions of dollars, while polluting our communities is not a jobs plan. We need our leaders to support America’s fastest growing industry – the clean energy sector.

We can create millions of good, clean jobs for American workers that make our country more competitive without polluting our communities. We need to invest our resources in improving our infrastructure, making our homes and businesses more energy efficient and promoting clean energy solutions. We need our leaders to stand up to Big Oil. We need a real jobs plan that puts American workers and its fastest growing industry first not a jobs plan financed by Big Oil.

Public Citizen said:

President Obama’s decision to send this proposal back to the drawing board acknowledges the unacceptable risks posed to citizens living near the pipeline’s path. ...the president has taken a stand against the oil industry and its paid campaign of lies about jobs and energy security. This is the president’s opportunity to start to end the tyranny of oil and start moving toward a new energy economy that protects the climate, creates jobs and respects the health of our families.

Executive Director of the Sierra Club Michael Brune:

President Obama’s announcement is an outright rejection of Speaker Boehner’s cynical attempt to play political football with Americans’ health.  Unfortunately, we know that Big Oil and their cronies in Congress will not give up their endless pursuit of profits at the cost of Americans’ health and prosperity.

Friends of the Earth's climate and energy director Damon Moglen said, based on initial reports that the pipeline would be rejected, that it would be "an iconic victory that demonstrates the growing strength of the climate movement." And added:

The Keystone XL fight was David versus Goliath -- no one thought we could win. A victory would show that sustained grassroots pressure aimed at holding the president accountable to the public interest proved more powerful than all the lobbyists the oil industry could muster.

350.org's Bill McKibben, also commenting before the announcement officially happened:

The knock on Barack Obama from many quarters has been that he's too conciliatory. But here, in the face of a naked political threat from Big Oil to exact 'huge political consequences,' he's stood up strong. This is a victory for Americans who testified in record numbers, and who demanded that science get the hearing usually reserved for big money.

We're well aware that the fossil fuel lobby won't give up easily. They have control of Congress. But as the year goes on, we'll try to break some of that hammerlock, both so that environmental review can go forward, and so that we can stop wasting taxpayer money on subsidies and handouts to the industry.

Tags: Barack Obama | Tar Sands | Tar Sands Action