"President Obama just struck a cruel blow against our hopes for saving our planet from catastrophic climate change" said the Green Party's Jill Stein.
Yesterday, the White House issued the following statement, “The President welcomes today’s news that TransCanada plans to build a pipeline to bring crude oil from Cushing, Oklahoma, to the Gulf of Mexico. . . . We look forward to working with TransCanada to ensure that it is built in a safe, responsible and timely manner, and we commit to take every step possible to expedite the necessary Federal permits.”
Stein, who is seeking the presidential nomination of the Green Party, was responding to yesterday’s White House endorsement of the construction of a key section of the TransCanada pipeline permitting oil from Canada's tar sand reserves to be shipped to refineries on the Gulf coast. While one section of the Keystone XL pipeline's route remains to be approved, it is clear from the White House statement that the President is making a commitment to the eventual approval of the entire pipeline.
"This is the point at which the President could have chosen to stand up for our planet. Instead he decided to stand with TransCanada and to defy clear scientific warnings about the consequences of exhausting enormous amounts of tar sand carbon into the atmosphere," said Stein.
"His decision is motivated by a calculated political self-interest. The voices of scientists and concerned citizens have fallen on deaf ears. Now the question is whether the environmental movement, in understanding the consequences for the planet, will make sure there are political consequences for the White House. If we do not have the backbone to stand up to the President on this, he will conclude that he made a smart political move and that the environmental movement can easily be brushed aside. That conclusion will lead to a tragic series of setbacks for all of us and for future generations."
"A few weeks ago, over 800,000 people mobilized overnight to say no to Keystone expansion. Yet Obama moves ahead anyway. Now is the moment for those 800,000, and millions more, to speak in the only language this president seems to understand by building the Green Party as a force at the voting booth this November.”
"We are building new political force in this nation: a force that can stand up to the oil lobbyists and the shortsighted politicians and the Transcanadas who would sacrifice our future for their own short-term profit. We can stop this pipeline and we can create 25 million jobs in its place. But it has to begin with unhitching ourselves from the compromised and spineless politics of Washington and giving our support to a politics of integrity and ecological wisdom."
Of course Oklahoma is one of the very few states where it’s nearly impossible to put an alternative party on the ballot, basically eliminating any voter rebellion.