It’s been a few months since I’ve been on the air. There is absolutely no better news I could come off my sabbatical with than that the Keystone XL pipeline project is dead. President Obama this morning announced the US rejection of the application. There is enormous significance in this on several levels: Continue reading
I am sorry to say I’ve been off the air for too many weeks. It’s been a busy Spring, culminating in a week-long trip to Berlin with my graduate students to take a live and in-color look at German clean tech. I will be following up here with some reporting on that. Great stuff! Stay tuned. Plus there’s other news on which I will add my two cents, including the recent G7 talks and the upcoming encyclical from Pope Francis. Continue reading
I wrote here recently about Tom Steyer and his mission to stop the pipeline. He, along with Bill McKibben, 350.org, the Sierra Club, and a growing universe of activists are building what we all hope is an inarguable case against the pipeline and the tar sands. We are trying to make the movement against KXL inexorable.
Don’t believe Tom Steyer? How about 21 Nobel peace and science laureates? They’re against the tar sands too and want the EU to immediately implement its Fuel Quality Directive. This would ban tar sands oil from Europe.
Last Saturday’s “Draw the Line” events around the country have further galvanized the movement against the Keystone XL project and the Alberta tar sands development. We had a great turnout in New York City. I had the privilege of speaking at the rally in Battery Park before it headed uptown for some demos along the march route then another rally at the South Street Seaport.
Here’s a video of me at the rally. There’s still a little fire left, it appears, in this old activist.
I’ve written here a number of times about the Alberta tar sands and the Keystone XL, and going back a few years as well at my old Foreign Policy Association blog. Ryan Lizza, a great political analyst and writer, wrote a fascinating update recently at The New Yorker: The President and the Pipeline. Not only does Lizza bring us up to date on the politics of the pipeline, but he profiles one of the key players in the mix today: Tom Steyer. Steyer is an activist with a difference – he’s got financial resources and many like-minded friends with similar resources. He’s got the ear of President Obama. He’s an increasingly influential force in Democratic party politics. He also founded the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford Law School, along with his equally high-powered wife, Kat Taylor. (I interviewed the executive director there, Dan Reicher, for my book, when Dan was still at Google.) Steyer is, in short, somebody I’m glad to have in my foxhole with me. Continue reading
As promised, the President gave a major speech today on how to fight the climate crisis and move us forward to a much more sustainable energy economy. The three main components of the plan are to mitigate the production of greenhouse gas gases, to help the country’s cities and states, citizens and businesses adapt to the impacts of climate change, and to lead on international efforts to confront the climate crisis. The White House has provided an excellent infographic detailing the plan, with the full report here as well. Continue reading
There has certainly been a tremendous amount of activity surrounding the Keystone XL pipeline project – as there should be: It’s a big test for the environmental movement and, frankly, for the Obama Administration. If approved and built, the KXL will give a tremendous boost to the economic prospects for Canadian tar sands. If denied, the permit will, at the same time, be a serious body blow to the further development of the tar sands and, perhaps more importantly, provide a hugely important signal from Barack Obama that he is deadly serious about solving the climate crisis. Beating back KXL will also be a historic victory for us treehuggers. Continue reading
I have written a few times here and a good number of times at my old blog for the Foreign Policy Association about the many and diverse reasons why the Alberta tar sands are a pox. You may agree. If so, you should be on your horse to get your comments into the US Department of State to tell them that the Keystone XL pipeline project, which will substantially enable further development of this planetary insult, should not be approved. Please go right away to the link here from 350.org and register your comments. The comment period ends soon! Continue reading
There was a gathering of the tribes in Washington yesterday to give support – also known as political cover – to President Obama so that he can just say “No!” to the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and, by extension, Canadian tar sands development. Why should he say no? The pipeline would enable the expansion of one of the world’s most environmentally destructive projects and that expansion makes no sense if we are to reduce our carbon footprint and, as President Obama has vowed, turn the tide on the climate crisis. The President said, in his State of the Union address last week: “…for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change.” Continue reading
The Keystone XL pipeline is a travesty. Indeed the whole idea of the Alberta tar sands should be, at this late date, anathema. However, never let it be said that the oil companies and their henchpersons, in Canada and the U.S., are able to actually even consider the health of the planet and the natural environment of the regions in which they operate. Continue reading