5 Power Brokers Who'll Determine the Fate of the Keystone XL Pipeline and Our Future
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Crippling drought. Devastating wildfires. Superstorm Sandy. Climate has come home – and the American people get it.
The first step to putting our country on the path to addressing the climate crisis is for President Obama to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. His legacy as president will rest squarely on his response, resolve, and leadership in solving the climate crisis.
The event is being organized along with the Sierra Club and the Hip Hop Caucus.
Maura Cowley of Energy Action Coalition wrote:
President Obama concluded his speech last Monday with a call for citizen action, saying “You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time — not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.”
In other words: “Your job is to push me.”
Look out, President Obama.
While the Environmental Protection Agency isn’t the decision-making agency on the pipeline, that belongs to the State Department — the EPA can still weigh in (and has) on the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. The next SEIS is due to be released shortly.
As Lisa Song reported for Inside Climate News:
Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA is required to review and comment publicly on the SEIS, and the agency has not been shy about criticizing earlier drafts.
"The EPA actually could assert a fair amount of power depending on, basically, how much they want to stick their necks out," said Jim Murphy, senior counsel at the National Wildlife Federation, which opposes the pipeline. "The level of scrutiny this is going to get is pretty intense. With each iteration this goes through, the number of eyes increases."
The EPA may be the biggest wild card in all of the decision making because the agency is undergoing a leadership change at the moment with Lisa Jackson stepping down. While a leadership change over at the State Department is under way, it is unclear who will lead the EPA. Indeed, there was speculation when Lisa Jackson gave her notice, that she was leaving because the Obama administration was set to approve the pipeline. It may be a few more months to see if those rumors pan out.