When you have a job, its hard to remember what life is like without one. The promise of a job is so politically powerful, and it’s even more apparent when the promise of job creation is used as a cynical trick for the conservative right to get what they want.
Environmental activists have been working to block the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, by way of the Midwest.
The debate has been won on scientific grounds: 20 of the nation’s most eminent researchers have explained why it would be a monumental folly to speed the process of tapping a giant carbon pool.
The risk is high as demonstrated in a series of disastrous leaks in similar pipelines. Running this pipeline across the Ogallala Aquifer, a vast underground water table that underlies parts of eight states, is very dangerous.
One of the world’s foremost climatologists, NASA Scientist James Hensen, has stated outright that “burning the tar sands would mean it’s essentially game over for the climate.”
We can stop this.
Unlike many other problems facing our country, this one has a single decision maker. President Barack Obama can block the Keystone XL pipeline. No bargains required.
He doesn’t have to haggle with the hopelessly divided and bought-off Congress. He himself can sign or refuse to sign a letter certifying the proposed pipeline. It’s that simple.
Before being sentenced to two years in jail for his act of civil disobedience, environmental activist Tim DeChristopher told the court, “I am here today because I have chosen to protect the people locked out of the system over the profits of the corporations running the system. I say this not because I want your mercy, but because I want you to join me.”
It is in that spirit that we must stand up, and take bold action for our future. This is a fight we can and must win.