USA: Obama rejects Keystone XL oil sands pipeline permit citing climate change
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A head of state has never rejected a major fossil fuel project because of its climate impacts before. The President’s decision sets the standard for what climate action looks like: standing up to the fossil fuel industry, and keeping fossil fuels in the ground.Make no mistake: this victory belongs to us, the movement. President Obama’s courage today is a reflection of the courage shown by thousands of people who have sat in, marched, organized, (and opened a lot of emails) across North America against this pipeline.This fight started with First Nations in Canada where the tar sands are extracted, and spread to farmers, ranchers and tribal nations along the pipeline route.
Author: Coral Davenport, New York Times (USA)
President Obama announced on Friday that he had rejected the request from a Canadian company to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline, ending a seven-year review that had become a symbol of the debate over his climate policies. Mr. Obama’s denial of the proposed 1,179-mile pipeline, which would have carried 800,000 barrels a day of carbon-heavy petroleum from the Canadian oil sands to the Gulf Coast, comes as he seeks to build an ambitious legacy on climate change...The once-obscure Keystone project became a political symbol amid broader clashes over energy, climate change and the economy. The rejection of a single oil infrastructure project will have little impact on efforts to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, but the pipeline plan gained an outsize profile after environmental activists spent four years marching and rallying against it in front of the White House and across the country...“President Obama is the first world leader to reject a project because of its effect on the climate,” said Bill McKibben, founder of the activist group 350.org, which led the campaign against the pipeline. “That gives him new stature as an environmental leader, and it eloquently confirms the five years and millions of hours of work that people of every kind put into this fight.”