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Dave Roitman: Blocking Keystone needs to happen right now

To the editor:

It seems to me that the logic employed by the State Department impact statement on the Keystone XL pipeline, and at times by U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch in his run for the Senate, is essentially flawed.

Here’s why: Their logic is, “If this Keystone project doesn’t go through, someone else will do the same thing and the environmental impact will occur anyway, plus we’ll lose the jobs.” Well, let’s take a look at that.

First of all, yes, there will be jobs involved building the pipeline, but the number of permanent new jobs will be small — some say as few as 35. Compare that to the number of new jobs that could come from an equal investment in conservation, solar or wind power.

But even more important is the logic that “someone else will do the same thing.”

Well, maybe they will. But the whole point of opposing Keystone now is that now is the moment in history we need to shift from supporting the entire fossil fuel infrastructure and economy.

If President Obama and former Sen. John Kerry block Keystone, that will have huge symbolic impact, and very real political impact.

The State Department report and Rep. Lynch assume a “business as usual” economic and political climate if Keystone is rejected. Not so! Blocking Keystone will change the game — and that’s exactly what has to happen — now.

Dave Roitman


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