Quantcast

Michael Brune: The End Game Begins

Energy

Surprising nobody, President Obama has quietly followed through on his promise to veto the bill from Congress that would have authorized construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. It's only the third veto of his presidency, and it means the way is now clear for the president to make a final decision about whether Keystone XL, and the toxic tar-sands oil it would pump across America's heartland, are in the national interest.

Why did Congress force the president to waste perfectly good ink reasserting his authority to make this decision? Certainly not because they were looking out for the best interests of the American people, who would be accepting all of the many risks associated with Keystone without seeing any appreciable benefits. The more people learn about the project, the more they think it's a bad idea. A poll just released by the League of Conservation Voters found that after hearing arguments both for and against the pipeline, a majority of voters believe President Obama should reject it.

What's more, nearly two-in-three voters (63 percent) say that if President Obama decides the Keystone XL pipeline is not in the nation's best interests, then Congress should accept the decision and move on to other issues facing the country, rather than trying to force the administration to issue a permit.

Seems like good advice. Yet tar-sands supporters in Congress will find it hard to tune out the fossil fuel interests that want to see Canada's oil sands mined to the utmost. After all, the biggest foreign lease holder in Canada's oil sands is none other than the Koch brothers. And they didn't become among the wealthiest people on the planet by taking "no" for an answer graciously.

But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. For now, it's up to President Obama to do the right thing—for America, for Americans and for our planet.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

President Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill

Teens Sue Government for Failing to Address Climate Change for Future Generations

Climate Denier’s Funding from Fossil Fuel Industry Exposed at a Staggering $1.25 Million

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Record flood water levels in Venice hit again on Sunday making this the worst week of flooding in the city in over 50 years.

Read More Show Less

By Brian Barth

Late fall, after the last crops have been harvested, is a time to rest and reflect on the successes and challenges of the gardening year. But for those whose need to putter around in the garden doesn't end when cold weather comes, there's surely a few lingering chores. Get them done now and you'll be ahead of the game in spring.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
(L) Selma Three Stone Engagement Ring. (R) The Greener Diamond Farm Project. MiaDonna

By Bailey Hopp

If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.

Read More Show Less
(L) 3D graphical representation of a spherical-shaped, measles virus particle that is studded with glycoprotein tubercles.
(R) The measles virus pictured under a microscope. PHIL / CDC

The Pacific Island nation of Samoa declared a state of emergency this week, closed all of its schools and limited the number of public gatherings allowed after a measles outbreak has swept across the country of just 200,000 people, according to Reuters.

Read More Show Less
Austin Nuñez is Chairman of the Tohono O'odham Nation, which joined with the Hopi and Pascua Yaqui Tribes to fight a proposed open-pit copper mine on sacred sites in Arizona. Mamta Popat

By Alison Cagle

Rising above the Arizona desert, the Santa Rita Mountains cradle 10,000 years of Indigenous history. The Tohono O'odham Nation, Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and Hopi Tribe, among numerous other tribes, have worshipped, foraged, hunted and laid their ancestors to rest in the mountains for generations.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
The Navajo Nation has suffered from limited freshwater resources as a result of climate, insufficient infrastructure, and contamination. They collaborated with NASA to develop the Drought Severity Evaluation Tool. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Native Americans are disproportionately without access to clean water, according to a new report, "Closing the Water Access Gap in the United States: A National Action Plan," to be released this afternoon, which shows that more than two million Americans do not have access to access to running water, indoor plumbing or wastewater services.

Read More Show Less
Wild Exmoor ponies graze on a meadow in the Czech Republic. rapier / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Nanticha Ocharoenchai

In the Czech Republic, horses have become the knights in shining armor. A study published in the Journal for Nature Conservation suggests that returning feral horses to grasslands in Podyjí National Park could help boost the numbers of several threatened butterfly species.

Read More Show Less

Despite huge strides in improving the lives of children since 1989, many of the world's poorest are being left behind, the United Nations children's fund UNICEF warned Monday.

Read More Show Less