'Yeeeeehaw!' Obama Administration Rejects Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline
Long-awaited decision comes after years of people-powered organizing
This story will be updated.
The Obama administration has rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, saying that to approve the project would have "undercut" U.S. climate goals and leadership.
"America is now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action on climate change," Obama said in remarks at the White House. "Frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership."
He also said the pipeline would not have made "a meaningful, long-term contribution to our economy," nor would it have lowered gas prices. And "shipping dirtier crude oil into our country would not increase America's energy security," he added.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, news outlets reported Friday.
"The move means almost certain death for the project," CNN stated.
President Barack Obama is expected to speak on the subject at the White House at 11:45 AM EST.
'Yeeeeeehaw!," was the immediate and emotional reaction from 350.org co-founder and strategy director Jamie Henn as he offered just a taste of how many climate activists are expected to respond to the news.
In a rapid-response statement just ahead of Obama's expected remarks, 350.org said the president's decision marks the first time in history a world leader has turned down a major infrastructure project based on its proven role in driving global warming.
"President Obama is the first world leader to reject a project because of it's effect on the climate," said Bill McKibben. "That gives him new stature as an environmental leader, and it eloquently confirms the five years and millions of hours of work that people of every kind put into this fight. We're still awfully sad about Keystone south and are well aware that the next president could undo all this, but this is a day of celebration."
The group's executive director May Boeve added:
"This is a big win. President Obama’s decision to reject Keystone XL because of its impact on the climate is nothing short of historic -- and sets an important precedent that should send shockwaves through the fossil fuel industry.
"Just a few years ago, insiders and experts wrote us off and assured the world Keystone XL would be built by the end of 2011. Together, ranchers, tribal nations, and everyday people beat this project back, reminding the world that Big Oil isn’t invincible--and that organized people can win over organized money.
"But the win against Keystone XL is just the beginning, because this fight has helped inspire resistance to a thousand other projects. Everywhere you look, people are shutting down fracking wells, stopping coal export facilities, and challenging new pipelines. If Big Oil thinks that after Keystone XL the protesters are going home, they’re going to be sorely surprised. Today in Canada, dozens of people are risking arrest at Prime Minister Trudeau’s residence as part of the ‘Climate Welcome’ action to urge him to put an immediate freeze to tar sand expansion.
"More than anything, though, today’s decision affirms the power of social movements to enact political change, and a clear sign that our movement is stronger than ever. We’re looking to build on this victory, and show that if it’s wrong to build Keystone XL because of its impact on our climate, it’s wrong to build any new fossil fuel infrastructure, period. With the same broad coalition that stood up against this pipeline and took to the streets during the People’s Climate March, we’re better positioned than ever before to make real climate policy a top priority for the U.S. government and achieve meaningful progress in this year’s climate talks. Our movement simply will not rest until our economy shifts away from the dirty fossil fuels of yesterday to the clean renewables of tomorrow."