Home | About | Donate

The People Rejected Keystone XL


The People Rejected Keystone XL

Jamie Henn

Four years ago, on a hot August night in 2011, a few dozen people gathered in a church in Washington, D.C preparing to get arrested.

It was the eve of Tar Sands Action, two weeks of sit-ins that we'd planned to take place at the White House to help elevate a relatively obscure infrastructure project, the Keystone XL pipeline, as an iconic struggle in the fight against climate change.


Thanks for the background story, Jamie, and thank you for not giving up.


The monied interests do not understand that people will pull together for something other than a money interest. To all that marched, made banners, squatted on proposed routes, etc., WELL DONE! PEOPLE POWER!


There are forces of progress and forces that retard progress, and often a battle thought won requires that citizens return to the ring to fight the battle all over again.

Black citizens risked their lives in racist places like Mississippi asserting their right to vote. Then, a couple of racist morons invert those brave efforts by using gerrymandering and I.D. card laws to take that vote away.

Women marched for decades, won battles for reproductive rights, and then a few misogynistic outfits push false stories about Planned Parenthood or charge up spiritually-regressive bases to oppose abortion under ANY condition and the battles thought won (even by Supreme Court decisions like "Roe versus Wade") end up nullified.

The same is apt to apply to the pipeline. While this particular one may not come to fruition, at the same moment when environmentalists are celebrating what SHOULD be an earnest and well-won victory, the elites are using their puppet politicians to sign into law, the worst possible trade agreements. These will essentially nullify any nation's right to oppose what corporations--and that includes Big Oil and Big Fracking--intend to do.

This Investor State Dispute clause that guarantees profits to any corporation that can prove that environmental law blocks its right to that all-important goal essentially grants corporations an unchallenged right to plunder. Like the feudal period's "Divine Right of King," today's crooked lawyers have invented a "Divine Right of Corporation" clause and built the entire bogus TPP and TIPP around it!

In other words, victory may be sweet... but unfortunately, in this era where primacy has been claimed by Mammon (those who love money in vast sums) and Mars (those who use, or identify with militarism) ... justice is not on the menu. The battle to preserve the already strained natural world is not won... it will remain ongoing.


It is a form of self-deception to assume that, just because mass protests preceded a decision, those protests had a strong influence on the decision. Correlation does not mean causation. Keystone XL was abandoned because the banks--which have been calling the shots in the Obama administration from Day 1--decided it was no longer profitable.


Since all polls showed that a large majority of Americans favored Keystone it should be accurate to say that a vocal minority appears to have played an important role in the rejection of Keystone. Often vocal minorities are responsible for changing direction of government and that appears to be the case here.


Wake up people! The Keystone Pipeline is 95% complete. Phase 1, 2 and 3a have been completed. Phase 3b will be completed by the end of the year. Phase 4 is being scrapped but it is an alternative or an addition to phase 1. There is now a pipeline from the Alberta Tar Sands to Crawford, Texas was completed in 2014. Phase 3b is an extension from Crawford to Houston. Go to Wikipedia and search Keystone pipeline.


Whether or not Obama's decision results in even one ton less of dirty carbon emitted, it is a tremendous symbolic victory, and that could have importance in this fight; it is certainly much better than the alternative. However, a step back should give one pause. In a rational world, no one would have even considered mining tar sands oil by the dawn of the 21st century, much less thought it was anything but total insanity to snake it through our precious and dwindling fresh water supplies. The level of effort needed and, more importantly, the time consumed, to stop this, and possibly only temporarily, is beyond discouraging. Apologies for my debbie downer tone. I wish I could be more optimistic, but all the evidence points to disaster.


‘Keystone XL Clone’ to Pump Tar Sands Oil Starting Next Year

This is troubling!
And is this the scam/planned method we didn't know about with the stopping of the Keystone Pipeline?


The best way we can stop Big Oil is to build 100-panel solar homes.
Maine just passed a law requiring Utilities to pay solar homeowners $0.33 kwh for solar. This is creating a movement to build hundreds of 100-panel solar homes. Go Maine.