This is an interesting time for the climate movement. As often happens with movements, a threshold seems to have been reached. After decades of efforts by the fossil fuel industry to intentionally mislead the public, and its influence in our government, it is no longer possible to hide the results of environmental damage and injustice.
TransCanada requested that the State Department halt its review of their application for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, and the State Department has just denied that request for delay, stating a lot of interagency work had already gone into that review.
One of the reasons cited for the delay request was that the use of eminent domain was successfully challenged by farmers, ranchers and activists in Nebraska, so there is presently no route for the pipeline in Nebraska, even if the President approves the Keystone application, which it is widely believed he will not do. That is why many of us believe the real reason for the requested delay was to avoid that rejection. TransCanada is thought to be hoping a more fossil fuel friendly administration will be elected next year. While I was heartened by TransCanada’s request for the delay, knowing that would keep the pipeline from being used for at least a couple of more years, what we, the environmental community, and the Keystone Pledge of Resistance would really like to see is the rejection of the application. Now that the State Department has rejected halting the review, we are likely to get that.
In rather stunning news, Bernie Sanders and 6 others Senators introduced a bill that would prohibit fossil fuel extraction on public lands, which would keep about half of the available fossil fuels in the ground. This is essential if we are going to have any chance of surviving the coming environmental changes.
Of course the Paris talks are generating a lot of discussion and activists activity.
Finally, last night during a national call of the Keystone Pledge of Resistance, plans were discussed to continue the campaign to try to get Morgan Stanley to stop financing mountain top removal and other fossil fuel projects. Recent actions have resulted in discussions between Morgan Stanley and the environmental movement. But with no commitment to change, further actions are being planned. Evidently there is a Morgan Stanley office in Indianapolis, and we will be taking part in the national day of action against Morgan Stanley on November 19th. Stay turned for details.