Keystone XL Pipeline Decision on Fast Track
Congress’ pre-Christmas approval of a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut came with a lump of coal for President Obama: a provision that forces him to make a decision on whether to allow construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. The pipeline, which would carry millions of barrels of toxic tar sands from Canada across 1,600 miles to Texas, has been fiercely opposed by the faith and environmental community. A petition by Faithful America opposing the pipeline already has over 5,000 signatures and Interfaith Power & Light, which works with over 14,000 congregations nationwide, has mobilized its network in opposition to the proposed project.
Of course, that hasn’t stopped proponents of the pipeline from making inflated claims about its ability to create jobs and using the issue as a political hostage. Moreover, the entire debate has brought into sharp focus the influence that the oil and gas lobby has over our political process. Until our leaders decide to seriously invest in a national clean energy strategy, Big Oil’s lobbyists will continue to have a stranglehold on our environmental and energy policy.
The good news is that President Obama still has the ability to delay or stop this dangerous project. But even that is unlikely to be enough to permanently stop the pipeline. If the oil companies make a renewed push, expect the faith community to raise their voices even louder in opposition to this assault on God’s creation.
Photo credit: tarsandsaction, Flickr