Naomi Klein: Reject Keystone XL Pipeline, Radical Change Needed [VIDEO]

by: Obert Madondo  | Published Monday, Nov 17, 2014

Naomi Klein is repeating the message she made in her new bestselling book “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate“: Radical change is needed to prevent catastrophic global warming.

In an interview with DemocracyNow! on Monday, the Canadian journalist and bestselling author urged U.S President Barack Obama to say no to TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline.

“Keystone is a pipeline that’s intimately linked to plans by the oil and gas industry to dramatically expand production in the Alberta tar sands,” said Klein. She also expressed concern about the “capture” of American politicians by Big Oil.

If approved, the 1,900km Keystone XL would ship 830,000 barrels of carbon-intensive tar sands oil from Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast every day. According to Environment Defence, one of Canada’s leading environmental actions organizations, Keystone XL is a “gateway to tar sands expansion” and, if built, “tar sands pollution will soar.” A recent Environment Canada report said Canada’s oil and gas industry has replaced the transportation industry as the biggest source of green house emissions. Earlier this year, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change urged a major global shift away from fossil fuels.

Klein’s call comes at a crucial moment in the fight against Keystone XL.

U.S Republican politicians wasted no time in their push for the pipeline’s approval following their victory in the November 4 congressional elections. Last Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to approve the pipeline.

But the Republicans aren’t the only ones backing the pipeline. Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu of oil-industry-dependent Louisiana is using Keystone XL in her bid to beat Republican challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy in a run-off election scheduled for next month. According to DemocracyNow!, Cassidy is the sponsor of the House’s pro-Keystone bill. Landrieu is sponsoring a pro-Keystone Senate bill critics say is designed to portray her as a stronger XL supporter. The bill is due for a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate this week.

The New York Times’ Coral Davenport reports that “The House and Senate votes are chiefly intended to be political maneuvers by Republican and Democratic party leaders in the drawn-out battle for a Louisiana Senate seat.”

“The world is watching in horror as the climate becomes this prop in this vaudevillian piece of political theatre,” Klein told DemocracyNow!

Climate activists are undaunted by the pro-Keystone circus in the U.S. In a statement released last week, they urged Obama to “stand strong on Keystone XL,” a project that that threatens “the climate as well as our land and water, while bringing no benefits to the American people.”

“This Congress has taken vote after vote to appease corporate polluters by attacking clean air, clean water, and action to tackle the climate crisis. This latest push for the dirty Keystone XL pipeline is no different,” said Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club.

Brune added: “The bottom line is the decision whether or not to approve the pipeline rests solely with President Obama, who has repeatedly said he will reject it if it contributes significantly to climate pollution. There is no question that it will, so we remain confident that he will reject this pipeline and these attacks on long-standing executive powers.”

Obama has said he would reject the pipeline if it exacerbates climate change. Last week, Obama again rejected the lie that Keystone XL guarantees jobs and aid energy security for the U.S.

Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based progressive blogger, and the founder and editor of The Canadian Progressive. Follow him on Twitter.com/Obiemad

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Obert Madondo

Publisher and editor
Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based blogger, activist, photographer, digital rights enthusiast, former political aide, and former international development administrator. He's the founder and editor of these independent publications: The Canadian Progressive, a political blog dedicated to progressive Canadian journalism; The Zimbabwean Progressive, a political blog dedicated to producing fearless, progressive, adversarial, unapologetic, and activism-oriented Zimbabwean journalism; and Charity Files, a publication dedicated to journalism in the charitable public's interest. Follow Obert on Twitter: @Obiemad