Just a few short weeks ago, President Obama announced that he would delay any decision on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline until 2013. It was heralded as a victory for both environmentalists and artful protest. But that victory may be short-lived. Insiders report that the president may be on the verge of caving in to Republican demands--again.
This time, the president might allow the GOP to strong-arm him into accepting a provision that would force him to make his decision on the pipeline in the next 60 days; a measure tacked onto the unrelated payroll tax cut bill as a 'rider'. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate have already passed the bill that includes the pipeline provision.
We reported earlier this week that Republicans, led by John Boehner, had crafted the Keystone provision and then rammed it through the House of Reps. I noted that this move was the result of a decidedly undemocratic collaboration between Big Oil and its favorite donees in the GOP. Well, all that oily campaign cash has paid off, it looks like--we stand on the verge of seeing the Keystone XL approved right under our noses, even after a long, passionate summer of protest from ordinary Americans. As I wrote earlier, this is not what democracy looks like.
Remember, the nation's top climate scientist, NASA's James Hansen, has said that if this pipeline is approved, it's "game over for the climate".
Tar Sands Action has issued a call to arms on its Facebook page:
This is a red alert.
President Obama might be caving on Keystone XL. We likely have a few short hours to convince him to hold strong. Thousands of people are pouring in calls to the White House right now, and we're dusting off plans to visit Obama 2012 offices as well. Can you put in a call to the White House to tell them you expect the President to veto any bill that forces construction of Keystone XL?
Here's their number: 202-456-1111
350.org has more info on how you can help, and a script on hand if you'd like to call the president's office to express your concerns.