Bill McKibben on Keystone XL Senate Vote

Republican amendments designed to mandate approval of the Keystone XL pipeline just failed in the Senate. Here’s our response: 

350.org founder Bill McKibben, who has led protests against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, gave the following statement on today’s vote in the Senate: 
 
Today’s vote was a temporary victory and there’s no guarantee that it holds for the long run. But given that this thing was a ‘no brainer’ a year ago, it’s pretty remarkable that people power was able to keep working, even in the oil-soaked Senate. We’re grateful to the Administration for denying the permit and for Senate leadership for holding the line. 
 
The reason this fight has been so hard is because of the financial power of the fossil fuel industry, so that’s what we’re going after now. We’ve been playing defense for months, now we’ve got to quickly go on offense. Going forward, we’ll be working with the huge majorities of Americans who want to end subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. We’ve learned a lot, not all of it savory, about how the political process works and we’re going to put that to use.
 
Next week, 350.org will be launching a global petition to end fossil fuel subsidies and working to get every member of Congress on the record about whether they side with Big Oil or stand the American people. 
Exactly 1,253 people were arrested in Washington, DC last August and more than 12,000 surrounded the White House in November to push President Obama to deny the permit for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. This February, concerned Americans sent the Senate 800,000 messages opposing the pipeline in just 24-hours. 
 
One of the top concerns of pipeline opponents is the climate impacts of the project. The tar sands oil that would be transported by Keystone XL ranks among the most carbon-intensive oils on the planet and its production is three-to four-times more greenhouse gas intensive than conventional oil. According to the EPA, the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline has the potential to increase carbon pollution by 27 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (2). This is the equivalent of seven coal-fired power plants operating continuously or having 6.2 million cars on the road for 50 years. (3)
 
### 
 
Contact: 
 
Jamie Henn, 415-601-9337, jamie@350.org 
 
References: 
 
1. National Energy Technology Laboratory. “Development of Baseline Data and Analysis of Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Petroleum Based Fuels,” DOE/NETL-2009/1346 (November 2008), p. 12, table 2-4.
 
2.  Giles, Cynthia, EPA Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, to Jose Fernandez and Kerri-Ann Jones, Washington, D.C., July 16 2010, http://yosemite.epa.gov/oeca/webeis.nsf/(PDFView)/20100126/$file/20100126.PDF
 
3. NRDC et al., “The Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline Is Not in the National Interest.” September 8, 2011; Based on NRDC calculation considering CAFÉ standards for passenger vehicles, EPA average miles per vehicle, and assumption of Keystone XL pipeline at 830,000 barrels per day.
 

 

350 Global Map

Check out local groups around the world on the 350 global map!
Launch the Map