Caution: Leaders at Work
by Tommy Hough
Last night at my presentation at the Poway Democratic Club, I was asked several questions about the state of the Keystone XL Pipeline.
As you can imagine, San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action is entirely against the notion of the Keystone XL Pipeline, and we applaud recent comments from President Obama indicating he will veto any such legislation from Congress authorizing the pipeline's construction.
While we're pleased with the president's recent re-discovery of his environmental backbone, the administration's argument is, in part, that the pipeline is still going through a regulatory process with a variety of agencies. In other words, the president cannot acquiese to any sort of pro-pipeline bill from Congress while further study on the matter is pending. It's a handy, lawyerly way around the question, and if that what it takes to keep the pipeline on the shelf, fine.
But it would be great if President Obama would take a Harry Truman moment, and call the pipeline for what it is: a giveaway to super-wealthy special interests, energy lobbyists, and a Canadian oil company which has "bought up" a great deal of congressional real estate through domestic surrogates. And Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts wasted no time today in putting the pipeline, and its backers, in their place.
"Who does this new Republican congress work for?" asks Warren. "Foreign oil companies, or the American people? Today their first priority is to advance a pipeline that means a whole lot to an army of well-paid lobbyists, and a whole lot to a giant foreign oil company. But we know that this pipeline runs terrible environmental risks, and it just won't do much to help the American people. I didn't come here to do favors for TransCanada."
Funny, as well, how the "anti big government" party is suddenly once again in favor of eminent domain. More politics by convenience from a long-ago, hollowed-out GOP.
Stand by our national leaders in the Democratic Party. Tell President Obama thank you for continuing to stand against the Keystone XL Pipeline. Tell Senator Warren thank you for her efforts standing up for the environment, and for those who don't have access to private planes or multi-billion dollar hedge funds.
Thanks to our friends at Grist.org for sharing this clip. Click here to check out the Politico story Sen. Warren references in her remarks.
Tommy Hough is president of San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action.
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