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Obama's Rejection of Keystone XL Is Victory, But That's Not the Whole Story


Obama's Rejection of Keystone XL Is Victory, But That's Not the Whole Story

Common Dreams staff

President Obama's official rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline on Friday was met with grand applause from those who opposed the project and organizers who worked tirelessly, despite long odds, to force the adminstration's hand.


If TPP (which Obama supports) was in effect at this time, could TransCanada sue the US under the provisions of the TPP to force the US to accept the Keystone XL pipeline (which Obama just rejected 4 days after TransCanada suspended its permit request) and allow/force its construction on the lands of private citizens in the US?

Serious question in a very confusing world.


You can't "quietly [approve]"

Unless there's no screaming about it.

The myopic focus on XL by the large enviros will make the struggle against the other heads of the hydra that much harder.

Kissing Dear Misleader's member for engaging in political expediency, instead of excoriating him for his true "climate legacy", will make the climb that much steeper, as well.


Yes. Obama can pretend to support progressive progress, even to actually passing something, knowing it can all be undone with the TPP:

March 2015
Obama Seeks Fast Track for TPP, Trade Deal that Could Thwart "Almost Any Progressive Policy or Goal"
LORI WALLACH: Well, I want to—actually, I want to take one step back before guessing why, because it’s hard to imagine. If you go to our website, TradeWatch.org, we’ve literally done a side-by-side of Obama’s policy goals as a president and everything fast-tracking the TPP would do to basically undermine everything that he has fought for, from lower medicine prices to re-regulating Wall Street, to more energy-efficient climate crisis-combating policies, to allegedly this middle-class economics agenda. The TPP and fast track are the antithesis.


I wonder how many pipelines have "quietly" been approved and constructed while KXL was being debated & marched against? Many, I believe.


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It is hard to imagine how President Obama continues to have any support from anyone on the left side of the political spectrum. 2008 was such an amazing election. The hope & change message was very exciting. That was the first time I ever got involved in politics. I was so excited about Barack the candidate & so very ready for big time change after the unbelievably miserable previous 8 years suffering under the Bush.

This is just one more disappointment. If Obama wanted to make a real rejection of KXL he should have done it YEARS AGO. Like when it really mattered. Not when it was politically easy to do so b/c TransCanada had just suspended its permit request. Now, it is freaking meaningless to anyone that has been paying attention. One more distraction from the rape & pillage that continues apace. More destruction of the planet & he gets kudos for doing absolutely nothing. Great.

While I still believe that Bush Jr. is the worst president this country has ever had, I would also say that Barack Obama is the most disappointing. I also think he has done irreparable harm to the Democratic party. I did not vote for him in '12, and likely will stay away from the Dems in the future. Given the stunning, mind boggling continuation of Bush's policies it is hard for me to discern any significant difference between the 2 parties. A vote for either one is a vote for the status quo, and, therefore, a wasted vote.


Has the other shoe dropped yet?


Go Progressive Democrats!


Congrats to Bold Nebraska and to Cowboys and Native Americans, everywhere. Enjoy the victory. Rest up and remember, " the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die. " Sen. Ted Kennedy Remember, too, Sen. Sanders is the logical heir to this vow to continue fighting for FDR's policies and goals. And, not the false prophets of The New Democratic Party. Again, congrats.


A pipeline to no where. It is looking more like it was a straight up scam, a pointless infrastructure project, in a fossil fuel world increasingly desperate to dump as much fossil fuels on the market as possible before the end of that era and the eventual banning of fossils fuel. A quick dirty grab for cash, pump up the tar sands before selling out to pension funds, pay for the profits of building a pipeline to no where and not caring what happens after.
The know the end is approaching for fossil fuels and they are actively seeking ways to dump those rapidly devaluing capital assets on the 99% any way they can (trouble is they have already stolen so much from the 99% there is not enough left to feed the greed of the 1% in the dumping of fossil fuel assets).


Now let's hope grassroot efforts defeat TPP! TPP is bad for climate change and the people of America and the world.


JUST GREAT. Now common Dreams need to work on Inequality BIG Time...Thank you.


When they formed the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) in 1985 the Clintons and others did "irreparable harm to the Democratic Party" by refocusing its mission to GETTING MORE CORPORATE MONEY THAN THE GOP and turning the Democratic Party into a billion dollar organization that gets 95% of its revenue from Wall Street and its corporate cronies..

1986 bipartisan tax reform kicked off three decades of Democrats outdoing the GOP in expanding corporate welfare at the expense of the 99%, and dismantling the New Deal. Obama continues to fullfill the 1985 Party mission with his TPP taking regressive politics to another level whereby judicial authority is transferred from local, state and federal governments and into the hands of global corporations.


I think the sceptics here have pretty much called it - I think the one we can thank for this is OPEC - by refusing to cut its oil production in response to the amount the US was dumping on the market with its shale oil boom, it caused the oil price to bottom out to the point where the pursuit of these considerably more expensive oil sources proved uneconomical .... Methinks if the price shoots up again, they'll be back, and any D/R admin will be as friendly to them as they have been in the past ... Meanwhile, the Dems can say to their "base", "See, we listened to you! You can influence us! No need to go elsewhere! Stick with us!"

Don't worry, the fossil fuel industry won't abandon the Dems over this - this pipeline wasn't nixed until it was clear they didn't really need it ....


Agree. US military & its industrial complex are world climate offenders. Urgent to understand HAARP, GeoEngeneering our atmosphere around the world, creating weather as weapons of war.


Hold the applause for a hollow victory.
Fact 1) If there is demand at B and supply at A, then oil will move from A to B, either by pipe or rail. Period!
Fact 2) Pipelines are a whole lot safer than rail lines.
Fact 3) Carbohydrates pollute the planet in the short run and will harm the planet in the long run. Irreparably? We do not know. Nuclear energy will pollute this planet for centuries if not millennials to come.

The latter alternative is, some pundits think, what Obama is shooting for.

Cancellation of the pipeline is meaningless, unless it is accompanied by a plan for renewable, clean energy and so far I do not see one emerging from the Obama administration.

In Germany they opted for eliminating nuclear energy ahead of carbon. You may argue, which is the greater evil, but they also have a plan for renewable energy in place, which targets 78% of energy to be derived from renewables by 2020. That target was already achieved for one day last September, when the weather conditions were favorable.


"That's Not the Whole Story" -- No kidding. I urge CD readers to compare this story with the November 3 article, "Smelling a 'Rat,' Groups Tell Obama: Foil TransCanada and Ban KXL Outright" to get some sense of how truly minuscule was the cost Obama incurred in rejecting the Keystone pipeline. Though I would like to believe that popular opposition was triumphant in this case, self-congratulatory chest-thumping is as unseemly as presidential preening. Passage of TPP will render the KXL rejection moot.


This is an important victory. The cynics will claim it is only one pipeline. They
will point out that there is already a conduit from Canada to the Gulf, etc.
And there is a hell of a lot more that could be said to justify their

But their cynicism would be empty and misplaced. The KXL DC protests initially took
place without the direct participation of major environmental groups. Yet the
scope of the initial arrests, the dignified manner it was conducted and the
caliber of people that participated sent a clear message to the President,
Congress and the World. Since then, Occupy and an energized environmental
movement, while falling far short as a systemic critique of a global
militaristic, self destructive system- has raised the visibility of climate
change and added political weight to the real pro-life side.

While the public consciousness on these issues at times swings between indifference
and passing concern- 350.org and allied groups have kept the pressure
on and have shifted the debate to not only morality, but fairness and even the
soundness of investment. Yet none of these changes will mean much, unless
accompanied by changes in governmental and corporate policy.

And this last point is what makes Obama"s KXL decision soo pivotal. Besides
stopping a dangerous project, it sends a signal to the jaded US populace and
world community- no longer can climate change be relegated to the talk show
banter of confused minds and pundits. Rather, it is a reality that
must be confronted if the human race is to survive. If Obama brings this
message to Paris- then something good will be accomplished. At this point any
momentum shift is significant. Each year of neglect is the loss of 100,000,000
lives in the future.


Agree 100%. Nothing like getting rid of the one name everyone recognizes and relates to due to the publicity around this single pipeline. Leaves them free to come up with no-name alternatives.