A Line in the (Tar) Sand

Here’s an amazing longform article about the ongoing battle over the Keystone XL pipeline. In the long run I think the oil companies will “win,” i.e. the thing will get built, but in the even longer run they’ll lose, big time—both economically and politically, if not environmentally; people who are torn from their livelihoods usually get desperately angry.

Side note: I voted for Jill Stein in the last presidential election because she was arrested helping the Keystone XL pipeline protesters in East Texas, and I (along with many others) got an email from her from jail. Well, naturally I was going to vote for her; how could I not?

Meanwhile, the battle outside rages:

“Over the last 18 months, I think there was this recognition that stopping the pipeline is, in fact, important,” said Ross Hammond, a senior campaigner at Friends of the Earth. “But it has also brought a huge number of people into the movement.”

That movement, Mr. McKibben said in an interview, “looks the way we want the energy system to look: not a few big power plants, but a million solar panels all tied together.”

Only time will tell. I for one think the thing is, “in fact, important.” The people of West Virginia could probably back me up on this.

When the pipeline gets built (which as I said, it will), it’ll hopefully be the last straw for many who up until now were resting—precariously: more precariously than they’ll ever know—on the fence. Could the pipeline be our Bastille?


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