The “99%” beats international oil lobby for the time being!

The #Occupy movement — Americans figuring out they they are being pushed, stolen from, and disrespected by the top 1% is beginning to score victories, and today a big one came, although it is not yet permanent. It could evaporate after the 2012 election, but if they keep the pressure up it might well stand.

Today the State Department announced it will seek a new route for the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline out of Canada. President Obama said this afternoon “Because this permit decision could affect the health and safety of the American people as well as the environment and because a number of concerns have been raised through a public process, we should take the time to ensure that all questions are properly addressed and all the potential impacts are properly understood.”  His decision puts the whole project back close to the beginning. Cynics, who might be right, say after he is reelected he will be more friendly to the giant oil interests. However, there is no necessity in this if people stand together.

Republican congressional leaders showed sudden interest in the claim of a supposed 20,000 temporary jobs building the pipeline as they condemned Obama’s decision.  However, recent university studies show the pipeline will create many fewer net jobs than 20,000. It is not unlikely no net jobs at all will be made.

Throughout the summer and fall more and more protests and arrests of pipeline opponents took place. Labor unions began to lose interest as they saw the jobs claims as more illusion than fact, and even some major Republicans in places like Nebraska began to worry about the pipeline’s effects on water quality and the soil.

Updates

Nebraska Celebrates Keystone Pipeline Delay. By Matthew Daly and Grant Schulte. Associated Press. This AP article has a lot more news about the issue than the headlines might lead you to believe.
Keystone XL pipeline unites left and right. The Fix in the Washington Post. Too often property rights are just rolled over by big energy projects, but conservative property rights activists have plenty to cheer.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

7 Responses to Obama sends plans for Keystone XL pipeline back to square one (Updated)

  1. avatar Ken Cole says:

    I think Obama is a coward for postponing this decision. He should say no now. It’s totally political and this leaves open the possibility that he will say yes if he gets reelected. I don’t trust him for a second.

  2. avatar david says:

    I don’t trust him either Ken, but wouldn’t he be LESS friendly after re-election?? Now’s the time he has to impress and make donations. Where’s the incentive after re-election to give the handouts? Unless it’s a backroom deal where he tells them to put it on hold and he’ll scratch their backs later. ??

  3. avatar Rita K. Sharpe says:

    I,too,do not trust Obama.It seems like everything today is politically motivated.It probably has been going on for along time but it seems more evident now.

  4. I don’t think Obama has much of an ethical center, but he does want to get reelected and the momentum seems to be shifting away from the tea party and Wall Street because citizens have finally taken to the streets. He’s a gigantic disappointment, but compare him to the complete fools and candidates devoted heart and soul to Wall Street and people like the Koch Brothers such as Hermann Cain, Rick Perry, etc. Think about the the Republican congressionals like Erik Cantor and Paul Ryan. To use the old phrase, they’d happily steal they the money out of a blind man’s cup.

    His decision on Keystone will put them years back, disrupting their plans. Now they are going to push hard for a pipeline across B.C. to Prince Rupert. This was in the works anyway. From an environmental standpoint, this route is even worse. It will be up the folks in B.C. to kill that route, but world opinion is needed.

    Development of the tar sands is probably the single worst continuing environmental insult on the planet, and no single politician is going to stop them. It’s the world’s biggest oil company playing the key role developing them. This battle will go on for years between big oil and people all over the world who want a livable future.

  5. avatar DB says:

    Ralph…yours is a reasoned point of view, thanks. Of course many of his actions are politically motivated. The presidecny is a political position operating in a highly charged political environment. And he won’t be looking for contributions after reelection. The environment’s only hope is an Obama reelection. I’m with Chris Rock, take heart: “You can’t really do your gangsta shit until your second term…”

    http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/11/quote-for-the-day-10.html

  6. avatar monty says:

    The harder fight will be to stop the pipeline being built to the west coast of BC. The reality is that this dirty oil is going to be used & in the end the pipleline will be built in some direction…probably to the west coast of Canada.

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Quote

‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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