A Watershed Moment Against Keystone XL?

The Keystone XL fight is now, officially, on our terms.

In a surprise announcement, in his first major address on climate change in four-and-a-half years as President, Barack Obama said that he would not approve Keystone XL if it significantly increased carbon emissions.1

This is huge. It is a huge sign that the pressure we have put on the administration is working.  More than 62,000 people have pledged to engage in civil disobedience if necessary to stop Keystone XL, precisely because it will lead to “game over for the climate” by lighting the fuse to detonate the carbon bomb of the Alberta tar sands into our atmosphere.

It is also a huge sign that we must keep our pressure on. After all, the State Department’s first sham environmental evaluation found that Keystone XL would not substantially increase climate emissions – flying in the face of the EPA,2 climate scientists,3 and the economists and oil industry executives who know that Keystone XL will speed development of the tar sands.

Deciding Keystone XL based on its climate impacts is a fight we can win – but only if we keep fighting.

Also in today’s speech was the President’s announcement that his administration was moving forward on a rule to limit carbon pollution from existing power plants. This too is huge news, and something that CREDO and our activists have been pushing the President to do since before the failure of the climate bill in 2009.

Taken together, setting the terms for rejecting Keystone XL and moving forward on limiting carbon pollution from existing power plants, were the two most important things President Obama could have done today. More than anything else, we are grateful for this leadership.

We know the President will be facing ferocious opposition and attacks from the fossil fuel industry, and the science-denying Republican obstructionists who serve them. So while we have a lot of work to do, today is an important day to thank the President for his leadership.

Of course, the speech wasn’t perfect – far from it. In addition to disappointing calls to expand natural gas development, the steps laid out today simply weren’t enough to solve our climate change problem on their own.

But this is a significant step forward from an administration that for years was afraid to even say the word “climate,” and today gave a full-throated endorsement of the need for our action, and for global leadership to fulfill our moral obligation to protect people all around the world from the damage that has already begun.

This is a testament to your pressure and your activism. And it only affirms our commitment to redoubling all of our efforts, including the Pledge of Resistance, to oppose Keystone XL and fight climate change.

There’s a lot more to do, but mostly today, we are shocked by this surprise announcement, and grateful that the president is finally leading in the fight against climate change. Click the button below to sign the petition thanking President Obama.

Thanks for standing with us.

Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

sign-the-petition

 

 

Learn more about this campaign

1. “In climate speech, Obama sets carbon limits on Keystone project,” The Hill, 6/25/13
2. “How much does EPA’s objection to Keystone XL matter? A lot.” Washington Post, 4/25/13
3. “Scientists: Key Parts of State Dept Keystone Review Are ‘Without Merit’,” Inside Climate, 6/4/12

Advertisements

Benghazi Review Board Chair Says Notion Of Cover Up Is ‘Pulitzer Prize Fiction’

— by Ben Armbruster

Amb Thomas Pickering.fw

The co-chair of the State Department’s Accountability Review Board on the Benghazi terror attacks last year said on Wednesday criticized those claiming the Obama administration’s response to the attacks has the elements of some kind of Watergate-style cover-up.“I think the notion of a quote, cover up, has all the elements of Pulitzer Prize fiction attached to it,” former Ambassador Thomas Pickering said on MSNBC. He also rebutted claims that the review board tried to protect former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from scrutiny:

PICKERING: I saw no evidence of it. She did publicly take responsibility for what happened below her and indeed one of the things the Congress did in preparing the legislation that established the Accountability Review Board was to say we don’t want a situation where heads of agencies take responsibility and then nobody who made the decision in the chain has to suffer any consequences for failure for performance. I believe in fact the Accountability Review Board did it’s work well. I think the notion of a quote, cover up, has all the elements of Pulitzer Prize fiction attached to it.

Pickering wanted to testify at today’s House Oversight Committee hearings on the Benghazi attacks, which was billed as letting State Department officials expose an Obama administration cover-up of wrong-doing in handing the aftermath of the attacks. “I am willing to testify,” Pickering said. “I made that clear yesterday and the White House I understand made that clear to [Committee chair Rep. Darrell] Issa [R-CA]. He declined. I don’t know the reasons for that.” Pickering also countered claims that the military could have done more to respond to the attacks:

PICKERING: The aircraft at Aviano were 2 to 3 hours away but there were no refueling aircraft available. I think that speaks for itself. It has all along. I don’t see any contradiction. … There should be no controversy over that. Aircraft were there but they were not available in a time span that could have made any serious difference in connection with the issue.

Earlier on Wednesday, Republican Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) shot down his colleagues’ conspiracy theory laden claims about the Obama administration and Benghazi. “We need to know were these people culpable or not. If they were, why are they still on the payroll? Other than that, I’ve been able to read all the cables. I’ve seen the films,” Corker said. “I feel like I know what happened in Benghazi. I’m fairly satisfied.”


This material [the article above] was created by the Center for American Progress Action Fund. It was created for the Progress Report, the daily e-mail publication of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Click here to subscribe.