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