Approval of Keystone would have been a great setback. So 4RG appreciates the support of the campaign against Keystone from other countries, particularly from Norwegian grandparents.
Yet there is much more to be done. If the next US President is a Republican, the rejection of Keystone could be overturned
So President Obama’s rejection of Keystone is only a tactical victory in the fight to limit climate change. On a world scale, the actual amount of carbon that will remain in the ground because Keystone is not there to transport it is small.
In addition the fossil fuel industry and its partners are pressing on with three other pipelines, any one of which would nullify the rejection of Keystone:
- expansion of Kinder Morgan that from Alberta to Vancouver,
- Line 9, an extension of an existing pipeline from Alberta to Ontario’s eastern border, and from there a planned extension to the East Coast, and
- Energy East that was supported by the Liberal campaign platform.
And there is still the option of rail transport. USD Terminals Canada is seeking Canadian Federal approval of a project, the Hardisty Rail Terminal Project, that would allow its existing facility, which currently transloads light crude oil from pipeline to railcar, to handle a wider variety of products such as propane, butane, and heavy crude oil.
Just as significant: this additional infrastructure would allow USD to double the shipments by rail from its terminal. The quantity of tar sands oil reaching Gulf refineries by this method would be less than transported by Keystone, but not insignificant as a factor in the context of the level of Canada’s emission. .
It will require a lot of imagination to decide the best way environment NGO’s can oppose USD’s proposal. Our new Federal Government does not wish to be completely “offside” with Alberta.
Bill Mckibben explains why we need to keep the heat on in these words:
“The job of movements is to keep brewing up the gale-force winds that shifted our political landscape last week — and to hope we can do it before hurricane- force winds, drought, flood, and sea level rise shift our landscape landscape.”