President Obama expected to make a critical decision on Keystone XL in coming months

BWC offers free carbon offsets to KA subscribers carpooling to protests.

President Obama is expected to make a decision on his support or rejection of the pipeline project by the end of the year, and, in recent months, recent rhetoric coming from the White House has shown recognition that the XL Pipeline will not add jobs in the long term and may have a significant impact on continued expansion of global CO2 emissions.  Most important is President Obama’s open recognition that something has to be done about climate change now.

This is a change from the “like-it-or-not” feeling environmental groups have had over the last couple years and has both proponents and opponents of the Keystone XL pipeline planning rallies, tailgate parties, and plenty of protests to pull our pragmatic president to one side of the fence or the other.

In an article in The Hill, Rachel Wolf, a spokeswoman with All Risk, No Reward Coalition said, “For months, and even years, the conventional wisdom was that approval was imminent. Pipeline opponents knew that wasn't the case, and now the conventional wisdom has finally come around.”

As reported by The Hill, the State Department is reviewing 1.2 million comments to a draft environmental report it performed on the project. Once that report is finalized, a 90-day period for the department to determine whether Keystone is in the national interest will be triggered, followed by two weeks for Obama to render his decision.

In the meantime, supporters of the pipeline project, like the American Petroleum Institute (API), are setting up rallies in “key” states and pushing the idea that the pipeline will create jobs (backers say the State environmental report shows no substantial boost in environmental impact, via emissions, and thus passes President Obama’s greenhouse gas test).

Opponents say the report is faulty and are setting up rallies of their own, looking to bring out more voices of reason for our president to hear.  We need for President Obama to see that substantial or “significant exacerbation” (his criteria for pipeline disapproval) of carbon pollution should be 1. A reasonable measurement (given our emissions are already 50ppm over where they should be), and 2. A criterion our scientific community would use (given our emissions are already…you get the point.)

The Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club (whose executive directors were arrested in a protest in February),, and the Other 98% are all planning events this month through November. is planning a nationwide day of action, “Draw the Line”, for September 21 that they hope to encompass thousands of demonstrations.  Any of these organizations would love to have you participate or organize local events with them.

Finally, we ask all groups to keep their eyes on the big issue:  the nature of tar sands oil.  On the one hand, even if the pipeline itself can be defended, not oil is the same and the use of tar sands oil should be avoided as much as possible.  On the other hand, if Canada is just going to ship the oil to Asia, then we’re making ourselves feel better despite the absence of any positive environmental result.  Hear us Canadian enviros?

If you are carpooling to a protest or event, let us know (aka, Contact Us).  We’ll support your participating by purchasing carbon offsets for your transportation emissions.


Kicking Asphalt

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