Keystone XL protestors at the end of August, photo: Tar Sands Action/CC BY
It's not just thousands of protestors (a small fraction of whom are pictured above), prominent scientists, nobel laureates, and the Dalai Lama who are urging President Obama to not approve the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Seven members of the Democratic National Committee have signed a resolution asking the President to reject Keystone XL. The resolution echoes they rationale the wide swath of opponents of the pipeline have repeatedly stated:
"The president alone has the authority to reject this pipeline," the summary states, echoing many of the anti-XL arguments made by green groups during a years-long clash over its still-pending permit bid with the State Department. The new pipeline, [Heather] Mizeur's supporters add, "would increase carbon emissions, place one of America's largest aquifers in the line of danger, and do little to improve America's energy security." (New York Times)
The State Department, as well as the Secretary of Energy, all have given explicit or implicit support for the 1,660 mile pipeline.
Given the major environmental, jobs and energy security questions that have been raised about Keystone XL, and the fact that President Obama can take a stand for the environment on this issue without the usual (and fully tedious) Congressional debate, if he does in fact approve it, it certainly calls into question his entire environmental platform--if how he handled the climate change debate in 2009 didn't already.
More on the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline
Dalai Lama & Nobel Laureates Oppose Keystone XL Pipeline
US Plans to Export Oil from Keystone XL Tar Sands; It Won't Improve Energy Security