On Friday the Obama Administration announced it would once again delay the decision on whether to approve the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. This is a clear sign that Obama is feeling the heat of popular opposition to the project.
That opposition continues to grow. Nearly 100,000 people have signed an online “Pledge of Resistance“ to engage in non-violent civil disobedience if needed to stop the pipeline, and over 100 actions are ready to deploy on short notice across the country. Last month nearly 400 students from around the nation were arrested at the White House, where many of them zip tied themselves to the fence. This coming weekend the Cowboy Indian Alliance will be setting up camp in Washington DC to protest the pipeline.
Prominent individuals are also speaking out against the project. Recently ten Nobel laureates called on Obama to deny the permit for the Keystone XL. Not long ago over 200 business owners, venture capitalists, and other prominent leaders in the business community did the same.
In the words of Bill McKibben, “Three years ago this pipeline was a done deal, and thanks to you it’s come steadily undone.” This is something that all those fighting the pipeline can be proud of.
The Keystone XL would transport tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, crossing America’s heartland and much of the country’s fresh water supply. In addition to posing a threat to communities and ecosystems along its route, the pipeline would allow the extraction of vast quantities of the Alberta tar sands, some of the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel on the planet. In the words of top climatologist James Hansen, burning those reserves would mean “game over” for the climate.
While this delay is a victory for opponents of the Keystone XL, they haven’t won yet. After perhaps a brief pause to enjoy the Easter weekend with their family and friends, there is no doubt that they’ll keep fighting the good fight to protect our planet, our children and our future.