As John Kerry looks to become the new Secretary of State, there are hopes that he will be a force for good and nix the Keystone XL Pipeline:
President Barack Obama nominated Senator John Kerry as his secretary of state Friday, raising new hopes among environmentalists that the administration will reject TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline.
The Massachusetts Democrat – who will replace a retiring Hillary Clinton – led a losing battle in Congress for aggressive climate-change legislation and has been an outspoken advocate on the environment.
The State Department is finalizing a new environmental impact statement on the controversial project, which would carry crude from Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast.
The State Department has authority over the pipeline permitting because it crosses an international boundary. It will make a recommendation to Mr. Obama, who is expected to make a decision on the permit early next year.
I really hope Kerry will do better on the Keystone XL issue. But I’m reminded of what Amy Goodman wrote in the lead-up to the election: “When forces used to having the ear of the most powerful person on earth whisper their demands in the Oval Office, the president must see a force more powerful outside his window, whether he likes it or not, and say, ‘If I do that, they will storm the Bastille.’ If there’s no one out there, we are all in big trouble.”
Some South Dakotans, such as some brave Lakota activists last March, have gotten on board with stopping Keystone XL, which is set to run straight through our state. Groups committed to fighting TransCanada like Fast for the Earth, Dakota Rural Action, the SD Sierra Club, and those of us here with the SD Peace & Justice Center need to come together with landowners and Lakota to strategize how SD can do its part in storming the Bastille, so to speak. Keep your eyes and ears open as we head into 2013 – this fight is far from over.