Dave Roitman: Recent reports on Keystone pipeline miss the point

Last modified: Monday, March 03, 2014
To the editor:

All the recent media reports I’ve heard miss this key point about the Keystone XL pipeline: This is a powerful symbolic issue. Two examples: first, as Bill McKibben has made clear in his Rolling Stone articles, oil and gas companies have identified fossil fuels in the ground that are estimated to be five times the amount we can safely extract and maintain human life as we know it.

So if we don’t stop projects like Keystone, when will we start “just saying no” to our powerful addiction? Second, although the State Department reports claim “the tar sands oil will be transported regardless of whether the pipeline is built,” this ignores the powerful political impact that rejection of the pipeline can have, especially as it would establish President Obama and Secretary Kerry as the leaders on environmental issues they claim they want to be. And this is why public actions opposing the pipeline are so important.

Dave Roitman