Does Keystone Matter? You Bet It Does

BY ON February 5, 2014

Moms Clean Air Force Keystone Protest

Stopping one pipeline won’t stop the growth of the fossil fuel industry. But the Keystone pipeline encourages the development for many decades of Alberta’s tar sands, some of the dirtiest fuel on the planet.

Last year, in one of many steps that must be taken in the process, the State Department released an analysis claiming the Canada – U.S. pipeline will have a minimal impact on carbon emissions—because those tar sands will be developed anyway. The analysis is answering the narrowest question, to misleading effect. The pipeline isn’t the polluter; the development of the tar sands is. But the pipeline is part of developing the market for tar sands.

What’s missing? The moral compass. The United States cannot control Canadian industry. But we can, and must, refuse to be complicit — refuse to be a partner — in harvesting this filthy fuel.

Keystone is not only a pipeline to worsening climate change. It is also a symbol. Symbols are powerful. They ignite public awareness. They inspire engagement.

The fight against the Keystone pipeline is about our fight against the greenhouse gas pollution that is disrupting our climate, and causing extreme weather, droughts, floods, and sea level rise all over the world.

The State Department report will trigger a Presidential review. Obama will decide if Keystone XL is in our national interest. It is not.

Keystone is about yesterday’s power. We must focus—as engineers, economists, and parents and consumers — on tomorrow’s power. Our goal is to power our country with energy that is clean, affordable, and sustainable.

We must defeat the Keystone pipeline. Meanwhile, Moms Clean Air Force will continue to defend EPA’s regulation of carbon pollution: right now that’s the most ambitious plan to cut carbon pollution and slow down climate disruption.

Photo: Ted Fink Photography

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TOPICS: Activism, Climate Change