Joe Romm
ThinkProgress / Op-Ed
Published: Sunday 22 January 2012
“Bill McKibben sent this email to 350.org supporters on Friday”

McKibben on Keystone Victory and Tuesday’s ‘Whistleblowing’ Protest in DC

Article image

Dear Friends

We wanted to share with you the news: this afternoon the Obama Administration announced that they are denying the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. You did good work, against some of the longest possible odds.

For years, the knock on the President Obama was that he backed down too easily in the face of opposition. Not here. When Republicans in Congress forced the issue again by passing a 60-day time limit on the President’s final decision, he stood strong and denied the permit. And that was despite the most explicit threats from Big Oil: that they would exact ‘huge political consequences’ if he did the right thing on Keystone. Make no mistake—this is a brave decision.

And make no mistake about this either—Big Oil will do everything it can to overturn that decision, because they are not used to losing. They have one weapon—money. They’ve used it to buy the allegiance of many Representatives and Senators and now they’ll use Congress to try and get their dirty work done. That’s what happened when the President delayed the permit last November, and we should expect them to try again now.

That’s why we’re going to Congress and Big Oil, beginning next Tuesday the 24th. If you can join us, we’re meeting at noon on the West Lawn, and you should wear a referee’s shirt. We’re going to ‘blow the whistle’ on the corruption that passes for business as usual on Capitol Hill, where people take money from companies whose interests they vote on. If this happened at the Super Bowl it would be a national scandal; we’ve got to make sure it’s seen that way in our political life too. We know it’s short notice, but we hope we can get at least 500 people there. Not to get arrested, at least not this time, but to make quite a noise.

If you can make it, click here to join the action in DC.

We’ll be fighting to prevent Keystone, but we’ll also be fighting to shut off the flow of handouts to the oil, gas, and coal industries, and to take away their right to use the atmosphere as an open sewer into which to dump their carbon for free. This industry, simply because it iss rich, has been cosseted too long. Time to fight back.

What you’ve done these past eight months is quite amazing—and against all the odds. We’ve won no permanent victory (environmentalists never do) but we have shown that spirited people can bring science back to the fore. Blocking one pipeline was never going to stop global warming—but it is a real start, one of the first times in the two-decade fight over climate change when the fossil fuel lobby has actually lost.

Rest assured they’ll fight like heck—their world-record profits depend on it. We better fight just as hard, because the world depends on it.

– Bill McKibben

Originally published on ThinkProgress


Author pic
ABOUT Joe Romm

Joe Romm is a Fellow at American Progress and is the editor of Climate Progress, which New York Times columnist Tom Friedman called "the indispensable blog" and Time magazine named one of the 25 “Best Blogs of 2010.″ In 2009, Rolling Stone put Romm #88 on its list of 100 “people who are reinventing America.” Time named him a “Hero of the Environment″ and “The Web’s most influential climate-change blogger.” Romm was acting assistant secretary of energy for energy efficiency and renewable energy in 1997, where he oversaw $1 billion in R&D, demonstration, and deployment of low-carbon technology. He is a Senior Fellow at American Progress and holds a Ph.D. in physics from MIT.

We are all dependent to some

We are all dependent to some degree on fossil fuels and will remain so until we put a price on carbon, unleashing the investment in clean energy that will follow. A carbon-fee-and-dividend is the best approach, with all proceeds rebated to citizens to compensate for increasing energy prices. We need to make this shift eventually, as the amount of fossil fuel on the planet is limited. Sunlight and wind just keep on coming. Let's put a price on carbon, and learn how to harness renewable sources of energy.

Take the Texans out of the

Take the Texans out of the equation, build the refineries in Canada, move the oil to a port in Seattle and ship the oil to China and Japan where it was to go anyway.

We'll see how "brave" Obama

We'll see how "brave" Obama is after he is re-elected. Most industry experts are saying the deal is far from dead. My guess is that once he is assured a second term, he will once again adopt his moderate republican persona and green-light a revised route for Keystone.

I'm all on board, I live a

I'm all on board, I live a simple life but it is not free of dependence on fossil fuel

how can we be honest about our positions vs our reality

I ask this of Bill McKibben as well.

You go, Bill, if only Obama

You go, Bill, if only Obama had balls as big as yours.

Comment with your Facebook account



Comment with your Disqus account

Top Stories