Major victory over Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, but more battles to come

Posted by bex - 19 January 2012 at 5:34pm - Comments
All rights reserved. Credit: Greenpeace / Colin O'Connor
Rubbish piled up on the barren ground of the tar sands outside Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada

President Obama has just said no to the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which was to carry tar sands oil from Alberta to Texas. Despite a fierce lobbying campaign by oil companies and by Canada's Harper government, Obama spiked the pipeline - in part thanks to an unprecedented and global grassroots uprising.

So this round, at least goes to the people, not the polluters.

But before we crack open the champagne, it's worth remembering that there will be many more tar sands battles to come. TransCanada, the Canadian company wanting to build the pipeline, will be allowed to re-apply for permission. And there are other pipelines in planning - like the proposed ‘Northern Gateway’ pipeline from Alberta to the sensitive and beautiful coast of British Columbia.

And, for Obama, this was a decision based not just on principle, but publicly positioned more as a political win ahead of the US elections. While the outcry against tar sands certainly made Obama's decision easier, he has explicitly said this was not a decision about the pipeline's merits but rather a response to the game-playing of the Republicans in Congress. The US may well support future pipeline proposals.

Meanwhile, on this side of the Atlantic, an EU battle is underway. The European Union is on the verge of passing legislation that would keep dirty fuels - like tar sands fuel - out of the tanks of European cars: the Fuel Quality Directive.

Who is blocking it? Big Oil, and their friends in Cameron's government. Documents obtained through Freedom of Information requests reveal a series of high-level meetings between Canadian ministers, oil executives and British government officials focused on the UK’s position on the Fuel Quality Directive.

The UK, which started out supporting the Fuel Quality Directive, gave in to the oil lobbyists and is now actively blocking the proposals.

The global battle to stop tar sands continues. Big Oil is not likely to give up easily. But this victory shows that, if activists work together to oppose every stage in the process, we may just beat Big Oil, and succeed in protecting vast tracts of Alberta's wilderness - and the global climate.

So the oil will be burnt in China instead of the USA. Net effect on climate: Nil. Pointless "victory".

@DaithSci

Not if BC's indigneous population can help it...

Hey look, it's that ever peristent troll again; http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/search/node/DaitheSci

DaitheSci, if you hate Greenpeace that much, and any attempt to campaign for reduced greenhouse gas emissions, why do you spend so much time on the Greenpeace website - haven't you got anything better to do?

It's a really Major victory but more battles to come.

HeLLo..........

CoOl i LOvE grEEN pEaCe......

 

but nasty...

just jowking....ehehe

 

love nature by the way.... so that means that we will have global warming../.

lol

i will donate....

 

 

 

 

Ah, it's our resident troll again. He could acknowledge Greenpeace's faults and, like many other critics who post here, try to get Greenpeace to do something about them(e.g. go back to pulling up crops or maybe blocking the VW CarGoTram in Dresden- with TOYOTAS and HONDAS) Instead, he chooses to be a troll and criticize Greenpeace whenever he can. 

(Sorry for the troll bait. I couldn't resist.)

Greenpeace, you should try to lobby for environmental laws, form SuperPACs for Obama, shoot whaling ships with spearguns, and block the VW CarGoTram in Dresden with the world's REAL greenest cars. Know thine enemy, they always say. 

Well i find you guys rather rude. I was just trying to stir up some discussion, but now i feel bullied.

I thought maybe a healthy debate could spawn some friendships.

 

Well, you're being pretty rude yourself.

"If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all."

-Thumper

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