by Frances Beinecke,†President, NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council)
This is a do-or-die moment for the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
Republican leaders in Congress have carried out their threat to pass a payroll tax-cut bill that contains a provision requiring President Obama to make a decision on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline in 60 days — without waiting for the full environmental review that has just begun.
The Keystone rider has nothing to do with tax relief. But Republican leaders cynically used what everyone agrees is the urgent need to extend the payroll tax and provide unemployment benefits to millions of Americans as an opportunity to score points with the oil industry.
The good news is that these anti-environmental lawmakers have overplayed their hand. The State Department has already said that it canít make a decision on the pipeline in only two months — which means the President must reject this monstrously destructive project.
Yet, Republican leaders and oil giants are trying to put terrific pressure on the White House to approve the Keystone XL, spreading disinformation about the pipelineís supposed job benefits and asking us to believe that making America even more dependent on dirty oil is good for national security.
Make no mistake: they are putting President Obama to the test right now. Thatís why itís more important than ever that we tell President Obama to stand up to Big Oil and reject the Keystone XL. Itís vital that he hear from hundreds of thousands of concerned citizens like you and me as soon as possible.
The Keystone XL pipeline — and the dirty tar sands oil it would transport — have no place in a nation building a cleaner, more secure energy future. You and I know it, and President Obama knows it. Now we need the President to demonstrate firm environmental leadership and reject the Keystone XL pipeline.
Photo credit: NRDC