Decision on the Keystone Pipeline is big Victory for the Environment

 Further study is likely to kill the project for good

Environmentalists won a significant and unexpected victory on November 10 when the Obama administration sent the Keystone Pipeline XL back for further study.  The pipeline, a huge project which would bring filthy tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, across the US to Texas, was expected to win easy approval.

Further study is likely to kill the project: especially since President Obama named climate change as a serious concern.   This is his most prominent mention of climate change in some time.  Climate expert James Hansen has said that full exploitation of the tar sands through the pipeline would be “essentially game over” for the climate.

The Power of Corporate Money

Bill McKibben, founder of, is being given great credit for leading and inspiring this come-from-behind victory.  For his part, McKibben credits the 1200 people who were arrested protesting the pipeline this summer, and the 12,000 who encircled the White House on November 6th in actions initiated by  And he noted that this outcome  “owed no small debt to the Occupy Wall Street protesters … who helped everyone understand the power of corporate money in our daily lives.