Keystone XL southern leg begins operation. Hold Obama responsible for toxic spills.

Another news item. We’ve been following tar-sands stories, and the Keystone pipeline in particular.

As of now, the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline is operational.

There are a lot of ways to present this news, but CREDO has a good take. Via their email list:

The southern leg of Keystone XL begins operation today. Share this graphic to hold Pres. Obama accountable, and urge him to reject the northern part of Keystone XL.

Almost two years ago, President Obama stood in TransCanada’s pipe yard in Cushing, Oklahoma, to boast about expanding U.S. oil production, and proudly announce that he would fast-track approval of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline, to transport tar sands crude from Cushing to the Gulf Coast.1

Today, KXL south is scheduled to begin operation. Now, this is President Obama’s tar sands pipeline. He owns its approval, and all its future spills.

The approval of the northern section of Keystone XL, which crosses the Canadian border, still hangs in the balance. And today is a powerful reminder that we can’t count on the president to stand up to big oil and reject the pipeline unless we pressure him to do so. …

Unfortunately, there was little we could do at the national level to stop the president from approving KXL south. But we are extremely grateful to the landowners who carry on legal challenges against this pipeline, the brave blockaders in Texas and Oklahoma who literally withstood police brutality and intimidation to do everything in their power to stop construction for days or weeks at a time, and the citizens of the Texas Pipeline Watch who will now monitor this new pipeline for leaks.

Unlike the southern leg, the cross-border section of Keystone XL must go through Secretary Kerry at the State Department, and the final decision belongs to President Obama and no one else.

This is the moment to call out President Obama’s mistake of fast-tracking Keystone XL south. We simply cannot afford another misstep on climate by this White House.

CREDO offers this shareable Facebook link — and this handy graphic:


All you need to know:

The main point of the Keystone pipeline is to take Canadian bitumen (poisonous, heavy carbon-rich tar-sands extract), owned by a Canadian company (which may or may not have Chinese partners; stay tuned), from Canada to the Gulf Coast, so it can be refined and shipped to Asia, which means, in part at least, to China. China is a carbon-hungry beast. The atmosphere is a trash can for the Chinese.

What’s the U.S. involvement with Keystone and tar sand products?

Tar-sand oil is not “our” oil; it’s Canadian tar that passes through seized U.S. land to China.
Canadian tar has to pass through our land or British Columbia to get to the tankers.
Every tar-sand pipeline endangers the environment.
Keystone enriches people like David Koch, so that’s a plus.
Keystone needs the approval of cash-hungry U.S. politicians.
We have plenty of cash-hungry politicians.

Other than that U.S. involvement, it’s an entirely Canada-China transaction. Our politicians are just the enablers, their voters the poor folks who will live with the mess while those they voted for cash their checks and go on legacy tours.

Like I said, just news. For more, read “How Obama threw the South under the bus for the Keystone pipeline.” Nice piece.


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Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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