Last night, despite intense pressure from the fossil fuel industry, climate champions in the United States Senate kept the chamber from approving the Keystone XL pipeline by a single vote. All of us share in this victory. Celebrate it.
With a dramatic change in Senate control next January, the Senate will undoubtedly pass this measure next session, and all eyes will be on President Obama, waiting to see if he’ll veto the bill or allow the pipeline to go forward. His decision will have consequences here in Massachusetts: if Keystone goes forward, tar sands could make up nearly 18% of our liquid fuel supply by 2020.
We’ll be watching Obama as eagerly as anyone. But pressuring the President is no longer enough. Despite the millions who have spoken out, Big Oil is still calling the shots in Washington, and we can’t trust our national leaders to do the right thing.
The national scene is grim, but we have an opportunity to lead locally now. Governor Patrick has the chance to move towards a ban on tar sands in Massachusetts before he leaves office. Strong action by Patrick will help stiffen Obama’s spine and show him there is grassroots support for bold climate action.
Sign up here to get involved in banning tar sands oil in Massachusetts! We’ll be in touch soon about a conference call and other ways in get involved, including a day of action in early December.