Green Party: Pressure must remain on President Obama and Congress to reject the Keystone XL pipeline
Green Party of the United States
For Immediate Release:
Thursday, February 26, 2015
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-904-7614, firstname.lastname@example.org
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, email@example.com
Danger remains that Obama's veto might be rendered null by further legislative action in Congress, say Greens
Investments in long-term fossil-fuel extraction projects indicate that Big Oil believes it can block effective action against climate change for decades to come, whether Democrats or Republicans hold power
View and download Green Party responses to the 2015 State of the Union: http://tinyurl.com/greenplaylist-2015sotu
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Green Party leaders praised President Obama's veto on Tuesday, Feb. 24, of legislation to authorize construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, but said that those concerned about climate change, the environment, and public health must continue to demand rejection of the project.
"President Obama's veto is very good news and it proves that activism and public pressure work. But we must maintain pressure on the White House and Congress to defeat the pipeline. The veto only delays the final decision and it's possible that the president and some anti-pipeline Democrats in Congress will cave in to sustained lobbying from the oil industry," said Darryl! L.C. Moch, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States.
President Obama, who vetoed the legislation on procedural grounds, is waiting for a statement of national interest from the U.S. Department of State before making his final decision. Greens noted the president's mixed signals on the pipeline in recent years and the State Department's Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement's approval, despite an EPA assessment's warning about the effects of tar-sands oil extraction on global climate (http://www.epa.gov/compliance/nepa/20140032.pdf). Greens expressed concern that pipeline supporters in Congress might attach a rider to subsequent legislation that President Obama is likely to sign.
The Green Party of the United States strongly opposes the Keystone XL pipeline, which would convey crude oil and diluted bitumen from the Athabasca tar-sands mines in Alberta across the U.S.
Greens said that the extraction, refinement, and consumption of the tar-sands oil would pump large quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere at a time when fossil-fuel energy should be drastically reduced to keep global warming from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius.
Furthermore, the pipeline will create only a small number of permanent jobs, threaten areas along the pipeline route with spills and explosions, and transport crude oil to Gulf Coast refineries and ports for shipment to Asian markets, which means that its purpose is not domestic energy needs but enriching North American oil companies and contractors.
Green Party leaders said that aggressive anti-pipeline activism should be continued to inform the public about the dangers of an "all of the above" energy policy and the need to end reliance on fossil fuels, accelerate conversion to 100% safe and clean energy by 2030, and curtail the political power of oil companies and other corporate interests.
Green candidates have promoted the Green New Deal, a plan to create millions of new jobs through public investment and projects to end fossil-fuel addiction and curb climate change (http://www.gp.org/GreenNewDeal).
Exxon, Chevron, and other companies are investing in numerous extraction projects that they expect to be lucrative for decades to come. Exxon's mines in Alberta and BP/Husky Energy's Sunrise Energy Project are expected to yield profits for 40 years, while Chevron believes its Gorgon Gas Project in Australia will produce natural gas for 30 years.
Greens said that these operations are evidence that oil companies, billionaires like the Koch Brothers, and lobbies like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) believe that their clout will block the U.S. and Canadian governments (regardless of which major parties hold power) from imposing effective limits on fossil-fuel energy in the foreseeable future, even as the planet's climate heats up and sea levels rise.
"The battle over the Keystone pipeline is enormously important for both sides. The fossil-fuel industry is asserting its power and trying to expand its influence over government policy. We've already seen wars for oil in recent decades. Unless we can take back our political system from Big Oil and other corporations, the 21st century will be an era of deteriorating climate conditions, virtual rule by the oil cartel, and more wars for energy resources," said Sanda Everette, former co-chair of the Green Party of the United States and co-chair of the Green Party of California.
State Green Parties organize against the pipelines
Green Party press release, November 17, 2014
Green Party urges President Obama, Sec. of State Kerry to reject the tar-sands pipeline
Green Party of the United States, February 5, 2014
Green Party: Approaching climate change 'point of no return' requires defeat of tar sands pipeline and the Trans-Pacific Partnership
Green Party of the United States, October 1, 2013
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