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 went to a cool little rally last evening here in New York City. We were standing across from the David H. Koch theater at Lincoln Center to say “No!” to the KXL. We were there, of course, because the Koch Brothers have been the principal funders in recent years of any number of reactionary organizations, including Americans for Prosperity and ALEC, not to mention the Tea Party itself. Of course, they have a serious vested interest in the Canadian tar sands. By the time I left, we had a good 200 or so people out on a cold night. The excellent folks at 350NYC organized the rally and we knew that there were scores more across the country at the same time. Continue reading
The Cowboy Indian Alliance is riding into Washington on April 22nd and setting up camp to make a statement: Reject the Keystone XL Pipeline and Protect the Earth. They will be joined on April 26 by thousands of people who share that message. It’s a critical message, and I personally think that John Kerry understands it. I think that Barack Obama understands it. It’s our job to give them the political cover to do the right thing. It’s as simple as that. It’s our job to refute the lies from the special interests and to overwhelm the forces of reaction with reason, our voices, our votes and our support for organizations and candidates that know the hour is late. 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
Last week, there was a rally and March in New York City to send yet-another message to President Obama that the Keystone XL pipeline is a bad idea for the U.S. and for the planet. This picture juxtaposes two things of which we need more: loud and focused activism on climate change and superb green buildings like the Bank of America Tower. I’ve written here a few times about the KXL project. I’ve also had the privilege of interviewing one of the architects of the BofA Tower, Bob Fox, for my book. This building is also known as One Bryant Park and is one of the most advanced green buildings of its size in the world.
The salience of the opposition to the Keystone XL project is growing. One more indication is Elizabeth Kolbert’s eloquent essay in this week’s New Yorker: Lines in the Sand.
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