The Keystone XL is indeed an oily, lumbering zombie that keeps on lurching back to life. As anticipated, the 1,700 mile pipeline, which will carry some of the world's dirtiest oil from Alberta, Canada to refineries in Texas, has been resuscitated yet again (remember, it's already been killed twice). But a coalition of pipeline opponents are working to help shoot it down yet again, with an online drive to collect half a million signatures in just 24 hours.
This time, GOP senators are seeking to tack a rider approving the Keystone XL onto a transportation bill that's on the fast-track for approval. Grist.org describes the effort accordingly: "The idea here, plainly, is to try to force President Obama into what his opponents think is going to be an enormously unpopular election-year decision to reject the pipeline yet again."
But why does the pipeline keep getting revitalized, after a popular movement rose up against it, and the president of the United States twice declared it dead? Because the oil companies have the kind of influence over Congress that 12,000 Americans simply don't—through back room dealing and strategizing, they've managed to disingenuously tout the pipeline as a jobs and domestic energy issue. Of course, the pipeline will create scant few jobs, and the oil will head to the international market to be bought by the highest bidder.
To push back against this latest effort—yet another example of the unholy alliance between the fossil fuels industry and D.C. pols—an online drive spearheaded by 350.org is aspiring to collect 500,000 signatures opposing the bill. From 350:
Right now, the Senate is considering legislation to resurrect Keystone XL, overriding President Obama's rejection of the pipeline, and greenlighting construction of this disastrous project.Here's Bill McKibben describing the action at Daily Kos:
We have a matter of hours to put together a massive response to show them that approving Keystone is unacceptable. We're partnering with dozens of other organizations, media figures and celebrities to blitz the Senate with over 500,000 messages in 24 hours to demand they stop the pipeline.
So the entire environmental community is locking arms today. I mean, the whole thing--from the corporate friendly Environmental Defense Fund to the corporate unfriendly Rainforest Action Network. I mean, the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters and the Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Wildlife Federation and Green For All and everyone else who's ever tried to save a whale, clean a lake, build a park, find a solar job. But not just them--the rest of the progressive world is joining in too, from the Labor Network for Sustainability to MoveOn, from Credo to Democracy for America, from Public Citizen to the Change.Org.In addition, 15 of the nation's top climate scientists have joined the effort, sending a strongly-worded letter to the Congressional leadership, urging them to block the pipeline.
The effort, which began at noon today, has already collected over 100,000 signatures.
Head to 350.org for more information on the campaign.