Support For Obama's Decision to Send Keystone XL Back for Review
The Renewables 100 Policy Institute thanks President Obama for listening to the concerns of the American people and asking that time be taken to re-review the misguided Transcanada Keystone XL Pipeline project.
We also thank the many groups, elected officials, and activists who have been courageously fighting to make the case loud and clear to the President why he should reject Keystone XL. We stand by them in our belief that as more details come to light about this project, how destructive it will be to local, national, and global environmental and economic health will become all the clearer.
Gaining US energy security from Canada's tar sands oil is a myth often promoted as fact by Keystone's supporters. The truth is that oil companies do not prioritize US energy security in their operations. If that were the case, how could the US have lately been a net exporter of oil? Petroleum is a global commodity sold to the highest bidder and controlled by international corporations and a cartel that operates outside US government control. The only chance for Keystone XL guaranteeing more oil for the US might be if the US would pay the highest prices of anyone in the world, which is hardly a winning course for the US economy.
It's critical to focus on real solutions to our energy problems. Energy security will come not from continuing dependence on depleting fossil fuel resources like petroleum, but from rapidly implementing and developing technologies that utilize abundant renewable and recyclable materials. This technology exists and is only getting better and cheaper, while oil is only getting dirtier and more expensive.
Electric, flex fuel and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, for example, are scaling up commercially, advanced aviation biofuels have hit the commercial market, solar powered planes have had their first successful test flights, and electric trains are already the norm in several countries. Electricity, heating and cooling made from advanced renewable technologies are becoming ubiquitous--to the point that entire cities, regions, even countries are using them exclusively, or are aiming to do so in the near future. (Visit go100percent.org for examples.) These places are not going poor or subjecting their citizens to rising unemployment. On the contrary, according to the Brookings Institute, clean energy jobs are more recession proof and well paid than other jobs. In Germany, where some of the strongest policies to advance renewable energies have been put in place, employment numbers in the clean energy sector are so high that they are outpacing the famous auto industry.
Henry David Thoreau said, "In the long run, most men only hit what they aim at. Therefore...they had better aim at something high." For the sake of future generations and those already suffering the existential impacts of the world's conventional energy system, we urge the President to aim high--at a 100% renewable energy economy.