Obama delays Keystone XL oil pipeline; local activists react

Local activists reacted with guarded relief as the Obama Administration this afternoon announced that it is requesting a 12-18 month review for the Keystone XL pipeline.

Jacquie Ayala, an organizer with the Southern Energy Network who helped organize last weekend’s rally in Asheville against the oil pipeline, was cautiously optimistic.

“It’s good that it won’t get approved anytime soon. A delay does feel like it will be effectively killed. However, the [oil interests] are talking about rerouting the pipeline, finding a new way to get it approved. The Obama administration said they’re going to delay the decision until after the election, which removes the accountability. We remember the promises [President Obama] made in 2008,” she continued. “A big portion of his voter base is looking to him to be a leader on a clean energy economy, and so far, he hasn’t been stepping up.”

Well-known activist Bill McKibben, who has spoken at Asheville events, said, “A done deal has come spectacularly undone. The American people spoke loudly and today the President responded, at least in part. … We take courage from today’s announcement. It’s an unspoken salute to the power of people who come together in the open to demand action; it gives us some clues about how to fight going forward.”

photo by Bill Rhodes


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14 thoughts on “Obama delays Keystone XL oil pipeline; local activists react

  1. Warren

    Yeah, delayed until after the election, so President Obama can keep from losing some of his base. He is such a disappointment, he should simply deny the permit to this environmental nightmare, period.

  2. Dionysis

    I echo Warren’s point; for those of us that had expected something akin to leadership on environmental issues, Obama has been an abysmal failure, having capitulated time after time to the interests of Big Oil. He reneged on his promise made in the wake of the Gulf Oil disaster (his own Sec.of Energy publicly stated that another similar disaster could be “contained in 17 days.”). This administration contradicted its own FDA in promoting the ‘safety’ of shell fish from that area, and the Coast Guard retiree they dusted off to “head” the ‘investigation’ simply did what BP told him to do.

    If Obama is reelected (as is predicted), expect approval for this disaster in the making to be granted within two months of the election. Not that there are choices…it will be vote for the Republican nominee, for the DINO incumbent, write in Donald Duck or sit it out.

  3. Lamont Cranston

    I wouldn’t advocate sitting it out or writing in Donald Duck because if we do not make sure that our current President wins another term, whether you like him or not, it will give us all a Republcian loser for president the likes this country has never seen in it’s history.

    Think about those idiot child clowns who were on stage last night in the Republican debate and really ask yourself if that is what you really want.

    It stinks, but unfortunately the saying rings true once again about voting for he devil you know versus the one you don’t know. This, for me, will be just another election where I hold my nose and pull the “D” lever again (and I hate voting against someone as opposed to for a candidate).

    • bill smith

      Ever notice how that seems to ALWAYS be the case? Almost as if they know they are forcing our hand??

      When does the shell game cease??

  4. Tony Creasman

    There is a fine line between ecologically savy and energy dependant. Many years until alternative energy can sustain us as a productive nation. We all need to get our heads out of our asses and do what is prudent today and constructive for tomorrow. There can be an intelligent balance!

    • bill smith

      The thing is, that ‘intelligent balance’ will entail ALL Americans consuming FAR less than they have become accustomed to. There are no ‘green fixes’ to the current rate of consumption. ‘alternative’ sources will never, ever, ever, ever match what we currently do with fossil fuels.

      And, as we know, Americans aren’t so good at conservation.

  5. D. Dial

    What is Betty Cloer Wallace’s avatar doing on the byline…nom de plume, Betty? :-)

  6. bill smith

    That’s some good political maneuvering from the O; drag it out for months, until you can ask for another assessment, which will be completed right after the election. Oh, and probably something about how his is all Bush’s fault.

  7. Dionysis

    ” just another election where I hold my nose and pull the УDФ lever again (and I hate voting against someone as opposed to for a candidate).”

    Sadly, that is what it has come down to, and it is dismaying to say the least.

  8. Dionysis

    “about voting for he devil you know versus the one you donТt”

    A final thought on that point. I voted in my first presidential election in 1972 for George McGovern (who only won one state). Since then, I cannot recall a presidential election where it did not get down to just that…hold your nose and vote for the lesser of two evils. That’s a disheartening state of affairs to deal with time after time. Obama was the first candidate that I really thought was different, and I was very hopeful that he would at least stand firm on basic convictions. Regrettably, I haven’t seen much evidence of such convictions.

    We can only hope that if elected to a second term, Obama may feel more inclined as a lame duck to push harder on some of those campaign promises. And I would never vote for a presidential candidate with an ‘R’ by their name.

  9. Warren


    I agree with you. McGovern was my first presidential vote, too, and since then I’ve been holding my nose. Until Obama, I enthusiastically voted for him. Then we got Larry Sommers and Tim Geithner and business as usual. Obama is a total disappointment, he’s to the right of Eisenhower. I never thought I would dislike a president more than Richard Nixon, and then along came G.W. Bush. Ugh. Obama gave me hope, and for falsely raising my hopes and showing absolutely no conviction or backbone, I just can’t vote for him. I’d need both hands to hold my nose, and then you would I pull the lever? :-)

    I’ll be sitting this one out, or writing in Ralph Nader, or Bernie Sanders, or some other progressive. The only thing that would change my mind would be Obama telling us he’s moving to the left and giving us some clear steps he’ll take if he as a Democratic congress that will support him. Like bringing Progressives like Robert Reich, Ralph Nader, Elliot Spitzer, Russ Feingold,etc., into his administration. And getting money out of government.

    Back to the pipeline. I don’t see how anyone can trust him to nix this terrible project. He’ll make some minor modifications, at best, you can take that to the bank.

  10. Dionysis

    “The only thing that would change my mind would be Obama telling us heТs moving to the left and giving us some clear steps heТll take…”

    While such a declaration might allow me to vote for him again with only one nostril closed, I’m not sure I’d really believe it.

  11. john5

    Well, there goes thousands of potential American jobs down the drain. And the oil will probably now be sold to China instead of the USA. But hey, I know none of these activists drive cars or SUVs. Yes, I too voted for McGovern in 1972. My first vote ever. Thank God I woke up and grew up. I encourage those of you who plan to vote for Nader–please do! And tell your friends to do the same!

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