Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Victory Today, Clean Energy Tomorrow

Insights + Opinion

Michael Brune

The earth moved in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 10, and it wasn't another freak East Coast earthquake. The Obama administration announced it would reevaluate the environmental review of the dirty Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. That means that, despite being backed by all the might and money of Big Oil and its minions, the Keystone XL will not be approved by President Obama this year, if ever.

A year ago—even six months ago—even the most wild-eyed optimists among us wondered whether we could stop this pipeline, in spite of the catastrophic consequences that we knew would come from developing Alberta's tar sands. The Keystone XL was flying under the radar toward approval, with most Americans completely unaware it was being foisted upon them.

What changed? Last weekend, as I watched 12,000 people form a circle of protest around the White House, I knew that the Keystone XL and all its flaws had been unmasked before the entire nation. It was a tremendous moment, but it didn't happen spontaneously. It took years of hard work by dozens of organizations to put together a coalition, organize grassroots volunteers, and use the power of the people to counter the formidable lobbying resources of the oil industry. We know that pipeline proponents like TransCanada have millions and millions of dollars to hire lobbyists and PR executives and run ads to promote its pipeline. But we have millions and millions of people who know better, and who are willing to work harder for the clean energy future that we all need. And without such a strong, organized, and righteous movement, we never would have prevailed.   

But we have. Now, having won this part of the battle, let's take a deep breath and remind ourselves that we're really just getting started. Because we haven't yet defeated the pipeline for good. And defeating the pipeline isn't even our highest aspiration. This movement is much bigger than just about the tar sands. It's about getting off oil as quickly as we can and replacing dirty power with clean energy as soon as possible.

We'll only do that by working together. We know that ending our addiction to oil is the only way to be sure an oil company can never again put our drinking water at risk for the sake of a pipeline we don't need. We also know that getting off oil is the only way to make sure we don't destabilize our climate, pillage our forests, prop up dictators, and pollute both our air and our political process.

We stopped the Keystone XL with people power. Now let's use that power to lead our nation toward a clean energy future. All it takes are the tools of a working democracy: talking to your neighbors, making phone calls, sending emails, and visiting with your congressperson.

That is how we will win the fight for clean energy—by working together to create a better future for all Americans.

Can't wait to begin? Why not start by thanking President Obama for listening to the American people and putting the brakes on a dirty, dangerous pipeline proposal.

We won today against the Keystone XL. Let's win tomorrow for clean energy.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

U.S. President Donald Trump listens as Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases speaks in the Rose Garden for the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on March 29 in Washington, DC. Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images

By Jake Johnson

Just over a month after proclaiming that the number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. would soon "be down to close to zero," President Donald Trump said during a press briefing on the White House lawn Sunday that limiting U.S. deaths from the pandemic to between 100,000 and 200,000 people would mean his administration and the country as a whole did "a very good job."

Read More Show Less
Dicamba is having a devastating impact in Arkansas and neighboring states. A farmer in Mississippi County, Arkansas looks at rows of soybean plants affected by dicamba. The Washington Post / Getty Images

Documents unearthed in a lawsuit brought by a Missouri farmer who claimed that Monsanto and German chemical maker BASF's dicamba herbicide ruined his peach orchard revealed that the two companies knew their new agricultural seed and chemical system would likely damage many U.S. farms, according to documents seen by The Guardian.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and other leaders speak to the press on March 28, 2020 in Seattle. Karen Ducey / Getty Images

Washington State has seen a slowdown in the infection rate of the novel coronavirus, for now, suggesting that early containment strategies have been effective, according to the Seattle NBC News affiliate.

Read More Show Less
A bushfire burns outside the Perth Cricket Stadium in Perth, Australia on Dec. 13, 2019. PETER PARKS / AFP via Getty Images

By Albert Van Dijk, Luigi Renzullo, Marta Yebra and Shoshana Rapley

2019 was the year Australians confronted the fact that a healthy environment is more than just a pretty waterfall in a national park; a nice extra we can do without. We do not survive without air to breathe, water to drink, soil to grow food and weather we can cope with.

Read More Show Less

By Fino Menezes

Everyone adores dolphins. Intelligent, inquisitive and playful, these special creatures have captivated humans since the dawn of time. But dolphins didn't get to where they are by accident — they needed to develop some pretty amazing superpowers to cope with their environment.

Read More Show Less