“America’s now a global leader when it comes to taking serious action to fight climate change…And frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership. And that’s the biggest risk we face — not acting,” explained President Barack Obama.
With these words, Obama denied TransCanada a permit for the 1,179-mile pipeline between Hardisty, Alberta, and Steele City, Nebraska, thus ending the seven-year fight.
Keystone KL is not simply a pipeline which would have harmed the environment enormously. It had become became a symbol and the public face of the political battle over climate change. With that in mind, the rejection of the pipeline is a great win for everyone concerned about our environment and the future of clean energy.
The pipeline would have exacerbated climate change by releasing a massive amount of carbon into the atmosphere and would have produced pollution hazards along the pipeline’s route in both Canada and the United States.
“If we’re gonna prevent large parts of this Earth from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable in our lifetimes, we’re gonna have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground rather than burn them and release more dangerous pollution into the sky,” Obama said.
The project seemed to be a sure thing seven years ago. But, due in no small part to the impact of many dedicated aligned environmental institutions, the project morphed into a cause and rallying point for environmentalists and conservationists alike.
However, this is only a drop in the bucket. We must keep up the fight against climate change. And with this large victory in the Keystone XL fight, the environmental movement has shown that we can win and enact change if we stick together and keep our eye on the prize. Savor this victory. On to the next one!
Jan Niklas Koch, Intern