Attached to the Senate's just passed short-term extension of the payroll tax cut is a provision that requires President Obama to make a decision on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline within 60 days.
No need to rehash why the project is hugely bad for the environment, or how both the claimed jobs benefits and energy security benefits are grossly (and I mean grossly) overstated, and how Big Oil's back room deals with the GOP brought this situation to pass. We've covered the issue extensively, so check out the related links to the left to get up to speed.
The bright light in this, via Politico:
A senior Obama official noted Friday after the Senate deal was announced that the Keystone pipeline permit likely won't be approved because it forces the State Department to conduct its review at a faster pace than is possible. The official added, the Senate deal does not mandate construction of the pipeline.
Susan Casey-Lefkowitz of the NRDC comments:
The Republican stampede to build the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is going to backfire. In forcing President Obama to reach a hasty decision, which he said he would not do, the President will have no choice but to reject the pipeline as not in the national interest.
Let's hope that's the case.
If you want to make sure Obama knows where you stand on Keystone XL, both Tar Sands Action and 350.org have all the relevant details on how you can contact the White House and what you need to tell them, if you're not so good at crafting pithy responses to these sorts of things yourself.
If you want to just call up, the White House number is 202 456 1111.