National headlines declared environmental victory on Wednesday after President Obama rejected the construction and operation of the XL Pipeline. But this rejection does not prevent the project from going forward at a future date.
However President Obama’s public rejection of the project made it clear that it had nothing to do with the project itself, just the conditions under which he had to make a decision. He said, “This announcement is not a judgment on the merits of the pipeline, but the arbitrary nature of a deadline that prevented the State Department from gathering the information necessary to approve the project and protect the American people.” According to The Washington Post, the administration will allow TransCanada to reapply for a permit if it reroutes the pipeline around Nebraska’s Sandhills (see President’s full statement here).
The struggle against this 1,700-mile long international pipeline has been hard fought with a great deal of heart and bravery. If it were not for those who inundated the President’s office with phone calls, got arrested, and clasped hands around the White House, the pipeline would most certainly be well on its way to construction by now.
Now we must be more vigilant than ever. We must be aware of these words and consider them a call to action. We cannot be duped by a fake victory.
Bill McKibben and 350.org are preparing for an action in front of the American Petroleum Institute – the lobbying headquarters of Big Oil. Join the hundreds that have already signed up to let them know that we refuse to sit down and remain quiet while the President kicks the oil can down the road.