Clothesline in Winter

Clothesline in Winter

Friday, December 9, 2011

Back Room Politics & the Tar Sands Pipeline

Over the last few months, I’ve worn you out with information about the Alberta Tar Sands, and the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline to carry tar sands oil across the United States heartland.

You’ve watched the tug-of-war between the people and the oil industry – with the Obama Administration in the middle.  You’ve followed me to the State Department, the White House, and even to a Washington DC jailhouse. 
I thank you for your patience with a struggle that has borne distinct political features. It hasn’t been fun, but the stakes for the whole world have been really high.

50 square miles of these "lakes," and growing daily
A few weeks ago, with fear and trembling, I dared to cheer the President’s decision to conduct a new analysis of the pipeline’s merits – this time using independent analysts, and not consultants hired by the oil industry.

Some of you wondered if I was being naïve.  It turns out, you were right.  It ain’t over, they say, till it’s over.

As you know, there’s a big fight in government right now over the President’s plan to extend the payroll tax cuts, and to fund them with an increase in taxes on millionaires.  Congress is under pressure, because polls show that most people think this is a good idea, even though most in Congress oppose it. 

So the House Speaker, John Boehner, has come up with a clever plan: He’s approving the payroll tax cuts, but only if the President approves the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline now.   Since almost everyone agrees that the payroll tax plan is a good one, the President’s opponents can either blame him for vetoing his own tax plan, or deliver the tarry goods to the oil lobby as the price of poker.

Now, Boehner’s plan will sail through the House.  But the Senate is another matter, where the leadership opposes the tar sands deal.  The problem is, virtually every senator takes money from oil and coal lobbyists.  And money talks. The President has promised to veto any bill that forces his hand on the KXL Pipeline. But you never know. He too is a politician.

NJ's Bob Menendez: Still deciding?
We need to stop this in the Senate. And your part is easy.

If you have 30 seconds (really!), all you need to do is click here, enter your zip code, and click “send” for a letter to go to your senators.  If you have a couple of seconds, customize it a bit.  But at least, send them the basic letter now.

Some of you have children, and you'll be doing it for them.  Some simply love a child, and you'll be doing it for him or her. Some of you believe in the Creator, and you'll be doing it for his creation.

Because stopping the KXL pipeline is vital to the future of our children, and for the children of the world.  Its approval would mark a course toward imponderable harm to the earth and countless living species – including mankind.

So please, take a moment, and write your senator.  Something so good and so urgent was never so easy.

And may God bless you,

J. Elwood

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